Big River Running Company Ribbon Cutting
You may not feel like running when it is nearly 100 degrees, but when you are ready to run, the Big River Running Company is ready to help. They are located in the Hutchings Farm Plaza and it was my privilege to welcome them to O’Fallon.
The Official Census
Some people are still getting knocks on their doors from census workers. While this is a federally mandated program, so long as our citizens are getting interrupted by census takers, here is some information that may be helpful. The census was authorized by the United States Constitution:
"The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct."
-- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States
The original purpose for which the census was included in the Constitution was for electoral apportionment of the congressional seats. As our United States government has grown, so the basic purpose of the census seems to be bloating. Now the census web site is boasting that one of the purposes of the census has to do with “redistributing the wealth”. Here is a quote from the Census 2010 website:
“When you do the math, it's easy to see what an accurate count of residents can do for your community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. In fact, the information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services…”
They claim it is about how to spread around 400 billion of our hard earned tax dollars. The only problem is that the money came from us, so it is hard to feel grateful for their generosity should they prove that our population has inflated considerably. I have a great idea for the national government. Why don’t they let us spend our own money however we see fit without taking it from us first, extruding a hefty handling charge and then doling it out as if it were a gift from them?
Here is some background from Wikipedia:
“For the first six censuses (1790–1840) enumerators recorded only the names of the heads of household and a general demographic accounting of the remaining members of the household. Beginning in 1850, all members of the household were named on the census… In 1810, the first inquiry on manufactures, quantity and value of products occurred; in 1840, inquiries on fisheries were added; and in 1850, the census included inquiries on social issues, such as taxation, churches, pauperism, and crime. The censuses also spread geographically, to new states and territories added to the Union, as well as to other areas under U.S. sovereignty or jurisdiction. There were so many more inquiries of all kinds in the census of 1880 that almost a full decade was needed to publish all the results.”
We can all understand why the government would want to know how many people live in the United States, but it is offensive to see our government attempt to intrude into our lives. We have all heard about “big brother” but we really don’t like “nosey big brother”. There is a point where this becomes a violation of the fourth amendment which prohibits a search without a warrant. Most of the questions I am getting revolve around how much information we are required to give the census worker.
We owe it to the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. to get past the surface. Many of us long for a day when all people are judged by the content of their character rather than skin color. When it comes to ethnicity, there are so many interracial marriages, why should it matter anymore. Some of my constituents have started declining to answer questions on other applications about race because they feel it shouldn’t matter. I agree. It shouldn’t mean more than the type of cosmetics, sun tan lotion and hair treatments consumers use. I can imagine this being important to retailers, but not to government. All people are human beings made in the image of God. We are at the point in our nation’s cultural history where it is rude for government to participate in its own form of discrimination.
It is also rude for them to ask us how many bathrooms we have, but they don’t appear to have any sensitivity to that either. Here are some articles that explain the level of detail required, and includes a link to the actual “The 2009 American Community Survey”, sponsored by the Census Bureau: : ‘Big Brother asks: 'Do you have a flush toilet?'
One of the problems with the census is not the actual enumeration, but the estimation of what the true answers. There is a method under which the national government will attempt to “enhance the numbers” on a presumption that some people may not have been counted. They take a sample group and imagine how many others may not have actually filled out the forms. This is a big breech of integrity because you cannot prove a negative. The only way to count people is to actually count people. Here is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article that explains:
“The Supreme Court has ruled that congressional reapportionment—but not the redistricting of state legislatures—must rely on numbers generated by an actual enumeration. But for purposes of allocating funds, governments may well use adjusted figures based on sampling, which the Clinton administration will also provide. Methodological problems are likely to make these numbers unreliable, but the case for using them becomes stronger if many Americans refuse to fill out their forms.
If Americans don't trust their government today, wait till they see what happens if they leave census forms blank. The result won't be smaller government. It will be government by guesswork. Faulty data will drive funding decisions about housing, education and other programs, and will be used as evidence in discrimination suits involving bank loans, employment and contracting.”
Fortunately, I was able to speak with a representative from Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer’s office who gave me some additional information. He said that there is a penalty for not answering the questions, but as of now nobody has been charged or fined for not answering all the questions. If it were me, I would not risk it, but at the same time we ought to be a conscience for our federal office holders and ask them to exercise integrity. Since there is an election coming up, this is the perfect opportunity to let them know that the census should be limited to just counting people- real people and not imagined numbers added after the fact. This is the only way for us to have a fair and principled government.
Links to Other Related ArticlesØ 2010 Census Stirs Up Partisan Politics
Ø The Census and the Constitution
Ø US Census Bureau’s 2010 homepage.
Your thoughts are important to me, so please let me know what you think about the census. You can send me your opinion by clicking here: Cynthia Davis
A Little Bit of Humor…
Census-less-ness (n.): A peculiar kind of population survey that puts housewives, prostitutes and beggars in the same category.