I received a letter about the census last week. No, it wasn’t the census itself, just a note to say the census is on its way in the next week. Well, thanks. Good to know. I’ve adjusted my schedule for the next week accordingly, which is to say not at all. (And how much did this mailing to every household in the nation cost me?)
Truly depressing is the language used to encourage participation:
Your response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share.
No word about using the census to determine representation in Congress… you know, that most important function of the census in our republic. Instead it’s a naked appeal to personal and parochial interests, with a hint of fiscal extortion at the end for good measure. It’s not about important statistical data and accurate apportionment of national political influence; it’s about cash.