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john65pennington's avatar

Why is the U.S. Census Bureau having so much trouble this year?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) April 9th, 2010

This year is like no other for the U.S. Census Bureau. problems are arising that the bureau has never had to face before. like, immigrants not co-operating, threats made to the bureau, overspending, and The Freedom of Information Act. and, lets not forget that employees laptop that was stolen that contained personal information about you and i. i was not aware, if i did not mail in my census information, that a census worker will make six attempts to visit my home for the information. how much will this cost the taxpayers? should the census workers wear protective vests, since threats have already been made? question: is there a better way for The U.S. Government to take a census count? and, will illegal immigrants ever comply for fear of being deported? source: associated press…today.

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30 Answers

silverfly's avatar

I think a big reason for this is because of fear. Seems like there’s an awful lot of fearful people these days with the all the “terrorism”, medical “restructuring”, and economic recession.

The other big reason is probably because there’s a democrat in office, so republicans are finding anything they can to cause a scene and point fingers. Conservatives have often disagreed with the census, but with the addition to all these factors, I think it’s worse this time around. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I predict it will be even worse the next time around.

john65pennington's avatar

Silverfly, this is exactly why i asked the question: is there a better way for the government to take a census count? one man has already threatened to use his shotgun, if a census worker comes to his front door. see what i mean?

ragingloli's avatar

It is because of all the rightwing fearmongering about how Obama is going to use the census to enslave you all.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I really don’t understand what the big deal is…. I mean, all I did was put in my name, birthday, what race I am, gender, and that’s about it. It’s not like they’re asking me sexual preference, how many sexual partners I’ve had, dna test to confirm my identity or anything like that.

They just want to know how many people are living in the household, how old they are, and what race they are, SHEESH!

earthduzt's avatar

Well then to me it seems like there’s a problem. Doesn’t seem the govt is transparent enough for people. Which causes people to be untrustworthy of them. It’s not like its a small amount of people either that are acting this way, it’s a very large amount. So even if the govt. has good intentions they need to just be upfront and honest with the people. My census form asked for cell phone numbers and whatnot, why the hell do they need my cell phone? All I gave them was how many people lived in my house. That was it…nothing more.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@earthduzt I think they want a phone number to reach you at if they had any questions. Which now that you only gave them the number of people living there, they may want to reach you to find out more. Why didn’t you want to give them all the information about race and age?

earthduzt's avatar

Because I they don’t NEED to know. Why do they need to know my race? So they can put me on some sort of “watch dog” list if I am a race that is questionable to them? Its a population count, not a need to know everything about you, I don’t like intrusive govt, and to me that is a bit to intrusive. Govt is there to do just that, govern…to protect the rights of the people by stopping all initiation of force. With those census commercials acting like the world is going to end if I don’t fill it out, seems more a forceful tactic, and that is the problem on why people are giving them such a hard time this year. At least that is my opinion

john65pennington's avatar

Surely, the government did not expect the immigrants to fill out a form, right? even if they did, they would not give the correct name, for fear of being deported. the government made that mess, so they can deal with it. and, lets not forget about running everyones name in a computer to check on outstanding warrants. there has to be a better way to take the census.

ragingloli's avatar

@earthduzt
Race has been in the census since your country was founded, in the guise of a question on the number of slaves in your household. Ask your founding fathers why they put it on there.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@earthduzt I don’t see how you can say “everything about you”, they’re simply asking you race, age, gender, and name. It’s far less information than what you’d put on a job application. And even job applications usually have a “race” section.

What exactly do you seem to think they’re going to do with this information once they have it? It’s just race, age, gender and name. If they really really wanted this information, they couldn’t just get some surveillance and find out anyways, when I hear people question simple things like this, it makes me think they’re paranoid over nothing.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@john65pennington to answer your question, the census is having more problems, because more and more people are paranoid…

earthduzt's avatar

It’s not that I am paranoid, it’s the fact that if the govt would be more transparent then I don’t think people would have a problem. Example: health care bill…“we will have to pass it to be able to find out exactly, what is inside it” that is so far from transparency. @RandomMrdan do you think this many people are just being “paranoid” there has to be a reason why so many people are? So instead of going after the individual try and get to the root of the problem which is our govt. With the economy going down in flames and our nation sinking steadily. People just aren’t trusting the govt. anymore to “fix” anything or set up any type of “program” that the census will allow them to do.

ragingloli's avatar

“we will have to pass it to be able to find out exactly, what is inside it”
That is not because they want to keep it secret, but because they had to make so many concessions over the course of the process to get people to vote for it in the first place that it became impossible for anyone to know the exact contents of the final legislation.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@earthduzt do you not think race or age has anything to do with what future structures may or may not be built? Funds get allocated to certain things, and they have to find out how necessary those things may or may not be. Nursing homes vs Day care centers… things like that.

And you still haven’t answered my question. What exactly do you think they’re going to do with this information once they have it? Assuming of course you don’t believe they’re using it to find out what cities need certain things more than others and so on.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Paranoia.
Just fill it out folks.
They’re going to come after you if you don’t.
The notice on the envelope saying “participation is required by law” in all caps is intimidating though.

Snarp's avatar

This stuff has all come up before. We’re hearing a little more about threats of violence because of the amplification of right wing conspiracies by the likes of Glenn Beck, but they’ve always been there. There have been issues with the race question for some time now, and immigrants have taken issue with the census before. What I would say is the real difference this time is the extent of the marketing push to get people to respond. Otherwise this is all old news. Some people are paranoid conspiracy nuts and don’t want to fill it out, that’s not new.

CaptainHarley's avatar

This is just another example of a bureaucracy taking a constitutionally madated responsibility and turning it into a bureaucratic nightmare for their own reasons. The Constitution states:: ”[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct,” not to pry into the private lives of citizens nor to use the data to decide who gets whose money.

MissAnthrope's avatar

As an aside, I’m pretty sure job applications are not allowed to ask age, gender, or race.

Snarp's avatar

@CaptainHarley Yes, it’s horrible of our socialist government to use the census for things like determining where more highway or emergency preparedness funds may be needed.

silverfly's avatar

There’s nothing the census can get from the form you fill out that they can’t get from Facebook. People don’t seem to have a problem with putting their information there.

I say the government grab as much information as they can from social media.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Don’t confuse the federal census with filling out a job application. That’s not even close to being a relevant comparison.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Snarp… glad to hear you agree! LMAO!

njnyjobs's avatar

Take the 10 minutes to fill the form out and be done with it. It’s less of a hassle than entertaining a field census worker knocking at you door right when you’re about to have dinner or watching your favorite primetime show for them to jot down the answers for you. . . . additionally, by getting interviewed, you actually expose your information to that guy unnecessarily than just sending out the info via the mailed form.

Taciturnu's avatar

Gotta agree with the majority, that fear is a factor. If I may also add in, there are a lot more people impersonating others and stealing identities than there were 10 years ago.

plethora's avatar

@Taciturnu You mean like Obama?

ragingloli's avatar

@plethora
Yeah. His disguise is so bad. Everyone can see that he is a british muslim, arab, robotic reptilian infiltrator from the Kenian planet Kolob in Indonesia.

plethora's avatar

@ragingloli Took the words right out of my mouth. And, wouldnt you know it, you were the person I expected to be first to comment on that..:)

ragingloli's avatar

@plethora
Sorry, but this birther nonsense always makes me want to strangle puppies more than normally.

Ron_C's avatar

Teabaggers!

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