It is time for the United Status census. In the wake of debate and demonic demographers' dazzling displays of disingenuous duplicity, it is time to count noses.
The U.S. Constitution requires the census to be taken once every 10 years. It is a necessary tool for establishing congressional districts. However, that is all the Constitution requires, or intended, the census to be used for.
A Libertarian gadfly recent wrote, "Ten years ago, I received the census forms and only answered the constitutionally required question: How many people live in our house. The census supervisor called me and asked me to answer the balance of the questions. I said, 'No, I don't have to.' The supervisor tried to bully/scare me into completing the form. I resisted and heard no more from the snoops. You can stick to your guns and tell them no more than our Constitution requires and you are within the law. This is a legal and effective means of defying the government."
We have all heard the cliché "Knowledge is Power." It is. In fact, in this, the age of digitized data consolidation, the most formidable tool used and abused by government is the power derived from knowledge and data collection.
Marketers lust for qualitative data. No longer content to know if a prospect to whom a message is delivered is a he or a she, now they know your age, weight, political party and a lot more. How much more? Mere quantitative data isn't enough; now the name of the game is qualitative.
Most major market radio stations know at least the following about members of their potential listening audience (beyond if you are a he or a she): age, education, cars owned, magazines to which you subscribe, profession, associations and club memberships, recreational activity, buying habits, credit card use, brand preference, military service, number of televisions, video players, sound systems, computers owned (and for what purpose), travel, bank, credit history, politics, religion and more. Factoid: at one point the radio station I work for was the most listened to in Marin County, and our listeners in that county consumed more Brie cheese than anyone else.
Now the government wants in on the psychographic action. The same government that is unable to keep confidential FBI files confidential wants you to "trust" them. The same government that has routinely used the IRS to harass perceived political enemies and sends America's young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines into harm's way for political cover now wants you to tell all. After all, "We're from the government and we're here to help ..."
Kenneth Prewitt, Census Bureau director, claims it is your "civic duty" to answer all the census 2000 questions. However, the Libertarian Party says it is your patriotic duty to not comply beyond "the one required by the Constitution: How many people live in your home?" Prewitt crystallized what is wrong with the inflated process by acknowledging the results of the census affect "power, money, group interests, civil rights; in short, who gets how much of what." Which is precisely why the Libertarians suggest you boycott all but the one required question.
According to the U.S. Constitution, the purpose of the census is precise (and like most everything else in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, limiting). That purpose is to make an enumeration -- in other words, an accurate count of Americans. Why did the framers prescribe a nose count? To apportion congressional districts.
The long form of the census includes fifty-two questions. However, the questions themselves are insignificant compared with how the data is subsequently used (and/or misused). The additional (unrequired) data is used to carve up a federal pie of almost $200 billion in taxpayer money. The data and redistribution of the American wealth is justified, rationalized, intellectualized and homogenized. It becomes the nexus for expansion of government program inefficiencies, and establishes government-mandated criteria to discriminate against taxpayers based on a variety of inappropriate criteria.
The Libertarians claim, "Census information is used to forge the chains that bind Americans to failed government programs, meddlesome bureaucracies and a sky-high tax rate. So if you care about privacy, genuine equality and old-fashioned American liberty, it is your civic responsibility to just say 'no' to nosy government bureaucrats." They would have you say, "We live in an information age, but the only information the government deserves on the census, beyond the number of people in your home, is: None of your business."
However, there are consequences to those who would cling to the principle of constitutional authority. Anyone officially responding to the Census 2000 invasion of privacy could expect pressure, bullying, government harassment and a $100 fine. Besides, beyond the inconvenience, the assault on what is becoming the anachronism of privacy, why not just give Big Brother what he wants? What have you got to hide? Oh sure, there is the case of the Mayor of Compton, Calif., who has 17 people registered to vote from his home, but hey, that's "tradition." After all, the government only needs all that extra non-authorized (by the Constitution) data just so they can take better care of you. Privacy and freedom sound nice, but are they worth $100?
is a story floating around cyberspace about a church service that was allegedly
interrupted by a squad of armed men dressed in black with black ski masks
covering their faces. They supposedly burst into the full church and fired
into the ceiling. The leader stepped forward and announced, "If you're
not willing to take a bullet for God leave
now." There was a stampede
of parishioners who raced for the exits. The minister was left standing
at the pulpit with a mere dozen remaining in the congregation. The masked
leader announced, "OK, preacher, we got rid of the hypocrites. You can
continue with your service." The masked gunmen left.