Let me begin by saying I’m a fan of the Census. As a trained journalist, I enjoy statistics and I hear (over and over again on the commercials) that necessary funding for schools and such depends on everyone responding. So I responded. And at this point I can’t imagine there being anyone out there that is unaware that the Census is going on.
It started with the Superbowl commercial. Nevermind the fact that the government spent an obscene amount of money on the ad that didn’t even make sense, at least it got people thinking about it. Then came the TV commercials. And the advertisements near bus stops. I couldn’t wait for my form to arrive. But before it did I received a letter in the mail informing me that my form was about to arrive. Now I’m not usually one to go on about government spending, but I couldn’t believe this. First the Superbowl commercial, now the postage to send every household in America a letter? I thought it would stop there. But no, I have received four–four!–postcards since receiving my official form reminding me that I am legally obligated to mail back my form. And I’m sure there will be more postcards to come. Ridiculous.
I was at the library today when I saw a sign advertising a workshop for census form questions. The first time I saw the sign was before I received my form and I got a little worried. Just how complicated is the form going to be? I wondered. The library also offers tax help, is it going to be that bad? And then I finally got my form and was a bit disappointed. This is the government’s chance to ask its people anything it wants, and all it wanted was my name, age, race, and marital status. I guess if the form were any longer people would get upset and not send it back, but come on! Think of all the information we could obtain and the arguments we could solve! Do more Americans like their toilet paper rolled under or over? How many hours of sleep does the average person get? (Ok, I’m sure we could come up with better questions than those, apparently before I go to bed all I can think about it toilet paper and sleep). Could you imagine Family Feud: Census Edition? “We surveyed 300 million Americans…”
How do I get on the question-forming committee for the 2020 Census?