The American Community Survey

Empath

Flashaholic
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Nov 11, 2001
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Oregon
Unfortunately, I've been introduced to the Census Bureau's new ongoing form, designed to monitor constantly instead of every ten years.

Upon opening the package, I was surprised to find that rather than a questionnaire, it's a huge intrusive interrogation package, involving nearly every aspect of your life. I guess the intent is to regularly send these out to random homes on a regular basis.

I was just interested in whether I'm a "lucky" early recipient, or if others here have received them.

For more information, here's a site with a great deal of information and opinion.

A pdf sample of a questionaire.
 

Monocrom

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Aug 27, 2006
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Haven't received anything like that. Although in this Day & Age, I honestly can't say I'm surprised something like that would be considered acceptable to send out.

Just put it where it belongs.... in the trash.
 

LightBen

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
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New Jersey
I received that form several months ago. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has a problem with it. Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution directs the government to conduct a census every *ten* years, for determining the correct figures for direct taxation and the number of required representatives. The Constitution does not authorize questions about people with disabilities, how you heat your home, etc., etc...
 

Icebreak

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by the river
I got it and also got the follow up letter and the second follow up letter. Said something about getting in some kind of trouble if I don't fill it out and return it. OK. Here it is. On the front of the third huge envelope it says, "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW".
 

dudemar

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Arnieland
Are you sure this wasn't developed in conjunction with PNAC?

I agree with throwing it away. It's one thing to do a head count, but this is ludicrous. If data about Japanese-Americans was given to the Secret Service by the Census bureau during WWII, the same thing can easily happen today. Being a person of Japanese descent this leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

EDIT: Never mind, it's already happened. What a sad day in America. Perhaps I'm not too surprised history repeated itself:

https://www.checkpointusa.org/Census/ACS/docs/TerrorProfile.pdf

The Constitution does not authorize questions about people with disabilities, how you heat your home, etc., etc...

I got it and also got the follow up letter and the second follow up letter. Said something about getting in some kind of trouble if I don't fill it out and return it. OK. Here it is. On the front of the third huge envelope it says, "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW".

I thought the wiretapping was bad enough.:green:
 
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baterija

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Quick search led to the fines for ignoring it (in theory $100) or lying on it ($500). I didn't see any mention of anyone actually being fined though. They'll progress through 2 mailings, to calls, to actually visiting to tell you you have to answer. After a while they appear to give up. It would be interesting to see how the would even try to prove lies unless you incriminated yourself.

Hard to properly express my opinion here in the light of day though.
 

greenLED

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La Tiquicia
Are these sent certified, with signature delivery required, etc.? I dunno, stuff gets lost int he mail all the time.
 

Beamhead

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gone "Squatchin" :p
Its only a $100.00 fine to blow off the ever obtrusive Census Bureau and they never/rarely charge the fine.

I will only give them what the constitution requires and that is a head count of my household.
 

Lightraven

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Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
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Most people really have no idea what information the government can demand--by force (in the broad punitive sense)--and what information can only be requested--usually with hamfisted intimidation techniques. That's understandable, people are living their lives, not studying case law.

I'd be careful about blowing off anything from the government--I got a federal grand jury subpoena two weeks ago :). People often think, "I don't have to stop/answer questions/respond to this notice/give a blood or urine sample" and find out they're incorrect. On the other hand, the government is very likely to make people think they are required to do more than they are.

I'd bet the only Census information that is a requirement is number of U.S. citizens. Filling out the survey, "3 U.S. citizens living full time at this address" would probably be safe. Common sense suggests the home heating, economic and other data is just nice-to-know for statisticians in D.C.

Then again, a $100 fine that would probably never be imposed or collected isn't a big stick. :)
 

Marlite

Enlightened
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YVR
[I'd bet the only Census information that is a requirement is number of U.S. citizens. Filling out the survey, "3 U.S. citizens living full time at this address" would probably be safe. Common sense suggests the home heating, economic and other data is just nice-to-know for statisticians in D.C.] quote

The home heating data will be sold to heating and petroleum interests. The other data has multiple corporations, Banks, Brokerage Houses & Pink Sheet Boiler-rooms, Mortgage Companies, Charities, needing your current demographics to tele-market you, for their loans and stocks. Motor Vehicle Branch sells your info as does the Library, and Charities trade and sell info for fresh names. It's Data mining at every level, ask Mech Begon our intrepid PC protector.

They need to refill the coffers depleted by the Golden Parachutes and rapacious lifestyles, free loans, cars, planes, pensions, stock options and houses prior to filing bankruptcy by the departing CEO's, CPGA's Solicitors, Presidents and Chairmen. Aarrgghhh! Make them pay it back take it all.

You knew that didn't you? They tell you that in their Annual Reports they also sit on each others boards for inside info, trips, stipends and paid escort services.
"What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas"!
sssh.gif
:cool: Ooh I didn't know that! :confused:

Let's hope the
winds of change takes place. 700 B + is hard to come by.

googling Secret Societies will scare you if you drill down just a little.
Network and Nepotism are not new words from Yale Nerds.

greenLED
yellowlaugh.gif
Stop reading Jeers!

empath
ohgeez.gif
rant.gif
If they fine you I'll send US $10. cash 9 more pledges needed.

Census
mad71.gif
Underground will ge
tcha!
 

Ken_McE

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Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,687
The Constitution does not authorize questions about people with disabilities, how you heat your home, etc., etc...

The Constitution will not help you. It continues to have psychological significance, but its legal strength has been fading for some time now.

Empath
,

If you want to have fun with them, tell them that due to your history you are concerned abut your personal safety when answering such questions. Tell them you will cooperate fully but need to be assured of the confidentiality of the data.

Make up your own form. Model it on theirs. Ask for the name, age, pay grade, home and work addresses of the person writing to you. Ask how many people work in that building. Require them to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will be jointly and severally liable for any release of your personally identifiable data to any persons not employed by the census bureau for any reasons. Then have the same for their supervisor and the head of the department. Assure them that all information will be kept confidential. I think a million dollars per breach would be reasonable.

If they sign (odds approximately equal chances of winning lottery) first buy a fistfull of lottery tickets while your luck is still hot, then fill out the form accurately, but add a houseguest. If you start getting random mail or calls for the houseguest as per Marlite, then you have a case. If the census bureau calls for the houseguest, he's not there anymore.

Of course, on the bad side, once you wrote such a thing you would get their individual attention, and they would never let you go without giving them what they want. However, I would be willing to send you the second $10 US towards the fine.

P.S., No I'm not a lawyer. I don't even play one on the internet. I don't look or sound like one. But, being an empath, you knew that already anyhow.
 
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Monocrom

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Screw it! I'll send you the remainder of the fine ($80) if those @**hole$ want to push it. I know what it's like to live under the thumb of an oppressive government that doesn't give a $#^% about privacy rights.

Now I see the same $#^% happening in America. It's disgusting. :mad:
 

paulr

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
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I refused to answer in 2000 and the sent a census taker to my door. The census taker told me I was legally required to answer his questions. I answered that the census was supposed to be about counting people, so I told him the number of people living at the address. He then asked me a bunch of other questions so I answered "not available" to each of them (hey, that's an answer). He marked that down on his clipboard and that was the end of it. I'll give similar answers if they send someone around in 2010.
 

Empath

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According to the census site, they interpret Title 18 sections 3571 and 3559 as amending the fine to be $5000 instead of $100.

Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000.

I didn't see the same interpretation, but it's an indication of their efforts to posture for a stronger position.

I certainly wouldn't advocate a civil disobedience in dealing with the situation, but I can certainly see where citizen's would feel violated.

As far as directing any violation charges toward any particular individual, since they only address their forms to "Resident", it would seem to be on shaky legal grounds for them. Of course a direct visitation would be another matter.
 
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h_nu

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
444
Location
Virginia
Much has been made of past Supreme Court nominations. Some justices liberally interpret the Constitution to avoid the need for an amendment.

One question I would like to see any future nominee asked is "exactly what rights or privileges are legally and Constitutionally granted only to legal citizens other than the right to vote?" I think it would reveal a lot about the mindset of the justice. I'd also like to see some discussion of how government can use data it compels you to disclose.
 

JWP_EE

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
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Location
New Jersey
I have gotten two letters in the past from the government telling me that they have leaked my personal information - one from the veterans and one from social security.

I would respond to this survey with just the minimum information and a note stating that due to their past performance that I don't believe that the government can be trusted with my personal information.

I probably wouldn't say that but I would like to!
 

Empath

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Oregon
Requesting a warrant is an interesting approach. If the law is on their side, they should be able to get a judge to sign a warrant.

The authority they claim is from congressional approval of their questionaire as being the "as they shall by Law direct" mentioned in Article I of the constitution regarding the census. If such applies, then it would seem to apply in a one-to-one visitation, whereas a mailing to "resident" seems too vague todesignate a responsible individual.
 
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