Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Census Data- Used for What During War Time?

Being a good law abiding citizen, I opened up the second letter today regarding the 2010 census.  The first letter was just informing me the census would be taken.  Ok.  Was this a huge waste of money in a tight (or any) economy?

So, I opened up the census and looked at it.  It's the short form, which means they are only asking for your name, rank, age and race.  How will this information be used?

According to the insert, the information can not be used by law enforcement or by tax collection folks.  Hmmm. Really?  It's only to decide how much money your neighborhood gets for children and the elderly?  It's only to identify how many Representatives are to be in Congress from your state?

The census bureau has in the past given information found on the census to the federal government for purposes other than law enforcement or tax collection.  What?  It has been claimed the census bureau gave info on residents to the government during World War I so they could look for draft dodgers.  Hmmm.  It has been claimed the census bureau gave info on Japanese American citizens for the infamous detention camps on American soil during World War II.  Is this true?  Did the phone ring over at the big boss's house saying, "Hey, I've got some people you may want to round up?" Did the big boss decide the information was needed to secure America?

I don't know if the claims are accurate or not, but it certainly gives me chills just imaging how the information could be used by those who may be in a position to abuse power given them.  After all, we are in a time of war against terrorism. Hmmmm.

Another fun little tidbit I've heard is there is no long form this time around.  So, genealogy types who delve into the census years of old will be mightily disappointed come 2082.  

Guess I'll get out my blue or black pen so I can fill in the blanks.  Just too bad there won't be anyone coming around to fill out all the blanks in previous census years with a completely illegible writing skill or with guesses on how old the residents are since the neighbors were supposed to know!

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