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Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by boink, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    Hey all, has anyone gotten a package from the census bureau ?
    I did and it looks incredibly invasive.
    I understand it's legitimate uses but it's still super creepy and, really, what makes anyone trust that your data is safe with any institution at all ?
    I'm looking at it and thinking...umm, the IRS has a ton of this info and the DMV has a lot of it, so why the heck do I need to fill this out ?
    I'm debating with just paying the $100 fine and not filling it out. I'm getting nagging post cards.
    Also don't really believe it helps.
    Believe it or not my faith in gov't is somewhere under my shoe.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    100 dollar fine??? :confused:
    I've never heard of such a thing from the Census Bureau.

    It's purely voluntary...and the information is retains is secure and not used for you specifically...but to develop archetypes of categories, regional context and fiscal distribution.
    The federal depts don't often share information...1. territorialism between them 2. policies for confidentiality.

    But, I'd be careful if it's a scam.
    Plus, the census is over.
    2020 Census Timeline of Important Milestones

    I don't think it's them.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    The papers say I must respond and there's a fine of $100 if I don't. And that it's illegal not to respond.
    I have several mailings that use this language.
    Last postcard I got was last night.
  4. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    Agree it sure looks like it's over.
    What I have is a census envelope and it also says American community survey.
    In a frame in bold it says
    Your Response is Required by Law.
    Inside it mentions the $100 fine and also more actions or fines for lying about anything.
    It asks my name, phone # SS# place of employment, how much I make
    Gender as well which seems odd it dosn't list any of the non binary options..race of course.
    Its gotta be a 1/4" thick stack of paper. 3/16" if you squeeze it.
    I just skimmed a couple pages and was...wtf ??
  5. redux

    redux Very Tilted

    Foggy Bottom
    It is the real deal.

    I served on a US Dept of Commerce census advisory committee in 2006 (representing National League of Cities) and much of the focus was on the American Community Survey (ACS).

    The ACS is an ongoing and far more detailed and comprehensive survey than the decennial census form. It is sent to a small random sample of 3.5 million household throughout the year, every year (as opposed to the decennial census sent to all households every ten years). By law, a household cannot be asked to participate in the ACS more than once every five years.

    It is a bitch of a survey, asking many more "personal" questions and, yes, there is a $100 fine for non-compliance.

    In fact, there was a bill introduced in the House by a Republican from Nebraska last session to eliminate the fine. It never got out of committee.

    American Community Survey Act
    This bill prohibits a person from being fined or otherwise compelled to answer questions in connection with the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey except for questions regarding the name of the respondent, the respondent's contact information, the date of the response, or the number of people living or staying at the same address as the respondent.

    Here is a FAQ for members of Congress that was developed to enable them to respond to questions like yours...

    ACS - Answers to Common Constituent Questions.
    (note the last checkpoint on page 2, re: $100 fine)

    ... added ...

    Here is a different version of the FAQ for Congress. Interestingly, it does not mention the $100 fine...
    ACS Resources for Congress


    As to the $100 fine, here is the current law -- Title 13 , US Code - US Census Bureau

    13 U.S. Code ยง 221 - Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers

    Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2022
    • Informative Informative x 2
  6. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    So the Census Dept seems to really keep their data separate from any other agency. They could have the address of someone on the FBI's 10 most wanted list and wouldn't be able to tell them. Which means that other agencies don't like sharing their data with them.

    Now, I don't know what questions are asked or what they do with the data they get from this survey. I kind of wish they would have a voluntary set of questions with the regular census to gather more information.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. redux

    redux Very Tilted

    Foggy Bottom
    The decennial census required by the Constitution used to have a "long" form that was sent to one in five (or one in six) households. The problem was that it resulted in a lower overall return rate for the decennial census, so in 2005, the American Community Survey was created to replace the decennial "long" form as a separate survey.

    Only the decennial short form is used for the Constitutionally stated purpose of Congressional apportionment. The ACS is used for other purposes by providing more detailed social and economic demographic data used by federal/state/local governments to determine need for, and develop, other programs and policies (housing, health care, education, etc) and how funding for such programs may best be allocated.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  8. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & be quiet.

    Large City, TX
    I have some reading to do.

    No, I didn't get one. Praise the lard!
  9. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    Thanks @redux.
    I believe you. I still think it's super invasive in scope.

    I think it's bad pr to add required by law on the front of the envelope when it's a random selection and many fol like me don't know what it even is. Puts you back on your heels in a defensive stance right off the bat. Shit like this is why people don't trust the government.

    I know a lot of people would just toss it out without that but could be, ratio of returns would be satisfactory if they sent it to everyone assuming some won't reply.
    At least if everyone got it then it wouldn't be this cryptic odd thing I've never herd of.
  10. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    What are some examples of the questions they ask?
  11. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    Well, first I was mistaken about the SS#. It was either a birthday or whatever...

    So they're asking questions about income, weeks worked, pto, hours worked per day, if I worked last week (?!? ) Not last week of the year or month but just last week ?
    I mean this form has been sitting for a week or two in the kitchen so asking if I worked the last week of an arbitrary date ? What is that ?
    What time I go to work ?
    Describe what I do at work with a 1"x3" open box.
    What's my wages, bonuses tips from all jobs
    Total 12 mo. income.

    I don't know these numbers. Really. I work from 9:45 ish to 6 or 7 pm and my paycheck is up or down because 1st and 15th paydays and a range of hrs worked per day from 6-9 total hrs per day.

    Housing section...
    Describe the structure
    When was it built
    when did you move in
    You have a phone ?
    Internet ?
    How many cars ?
    What fuels the house ?
    What's your electric bill
    your gas bill
    Cost of the last 12 mo. for water
    Last 12 month cost of various fuels, whatever type
    The homeowners insurance cost
    Mortgage payment

    There's more but for me this would be a ton of work to gather all this info. I just pay bills quick without looking when I get to it and don't think about it.

    Also made another mistake just glancing at it. It's made thicker because there's pages for 5 people inside this book.

    Regardless, I am super loose about home accounting and I have usually done 2 weeks time sheets for work the day of or a day late for payroll.
    The only debt I carry is the mortgage.

    Considering the time I'd spend on this to accurately do the numbers I can just pay the fine and come out ahead.
    If I'm inaccurate am I accused of falsifying or making a mistake ?
    • Like Like x 1