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GregH
03-08-2010, 04:53 PM
I know something you don't- in a week or so, I'm going to receive a 2010 Census form!!!! I know this because today I received a PERSONAL letter from my buddy Robert M Groves, Director, U.S. Census Bureau. I'm sure that Bobby assumes that I've seen those (assinine) Census TV commercials, but he's such a caring person that I just know he wanted to be sure that I would not miss it or think it was some other stupid government mailing and throw it in the garbage. What a great government we have to be that thoughtful- no expense is too extravagant meaningless letters, absurd TV commercials....as long as it's OUR money they are spending!

Mark Van
03-09-2010, 12:31 AM
I got one today also. What are the languages of the last five lines?
My guesses are:
Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and russian.
Why not other languages?

Keith Wilson
03-09-2010, 12:44 AM
Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Russian.Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian. Maybe the most common languages in the US other than English? Around here they should have Hmong and Somali, but they probably send out the same letter to everybody.

I'd guess the cost sending out a simple form letter isn't much. In the mail today with it came my fancy color brochure from Comcast trying for the 273rd time to get me to sign up for cable, and all in vain.

paladin
03-09-2010, 06:49 AM
What a bunch of uncaring a$$wipes....at least one Native American dialect should be on the thing.

skuthorp
03-09-2010, 06:56 AM
In the last census here the results on religious following were regarded as 'unreliable' because of the large number who gave their religion as Jedi.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi_census_phenomenon

This Quote might amuse also: "For the Australian census (http://www.woodenboat.com/wiki/Census_in_Australia) of 2006, there was a movement for people to list their religion as "Pastafarian (http://www.woodenboat.com/wiki/Pastafarian)", a reference to the parody religion (http://www.woodenboat.com/wiki/Parody_religion) worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://www.woodenboat.com/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster)".

SMARTINSEN
03-09-2010, 08:14 AM
I got the same letter, in the same languages that Keith mentions, so I am guessing that they are all the same.

In 2000, we got tagged for an extensive follow up with a real live person, who asked just about every possible question about our lifestyles. We answered most but not all of the questions, some of them getting a little too personal.

I am sure that the libertarians would have loved it.

Bruce Hooke
03-09-2010, 09:14 AM
I would guess the logic on the letter (and the TV ads) goes something like this:

If someone does not return the actual census form then a census employee has to go out (often multiple times to try to find someone at home) and collect the information in person. This is obviously pretty expensive. So, the calculations are done to try to figure out how much it is worth spending to try to increase the response rate to the census form and reduce the hours that must be spent going out and manually collecting data.

ishmael
03-09-2010, 09:23 AM
Two " bugger offs" here in Maine in the last week. I guess people don't want to be counted. Mildly violent, "Get the frick off my porch" stuff like that.

A loss of trust in governance?

elf
03-09-2010, 09:24 AM
I know something you don't- in a week or so, I'm going to receive a 2010 Census form!!!! I know this because today I received a PERSONAL letter from my buddy Robert M Groves, Director, U.S. Census Bureau. I'm sure that Bobby assumes that I've seen those (assinine) Census TV commercials, but he's such a caring person that I just know he wanted to be sure that I would not miss it or think it was some other stupid government mailing and throw it in the garbage. What a great government we have to be that thoughtful- no expense is too extravagant meaningless letters, absurd TV commercials....as long as it's OUR money they are spending!

Having troubles with your imagination today, man?

Save the government $15/hr and fill in the form when you receive it, OK?

Just a heads-up. Costs the government around 17 cents to mail to you.

OconeePirate
03-09-2010, 01:41 PM
I told my wife that I'm listing myself as a Viking-American and putting her down as a Leprechaun-American.

rbgarr
03-09-2010, 02:12 PM
The census forms here are left in a bag on your door handle. A few days without them being taken inside marks your house as seasonal or the owners being away for a while. Not a good thing.

john welsford
03-09-2010, 02:20 PM
I enjoy census ( sensii?) . Its an opportunity to play head games with the beaurocracy. For example, when answering the one on religion, wife and I sat and worked up an outline for a new one that fitted our general beliefs, and listed ourselves as belonging to the "Church of God the Gardener" We got a phone call on that one and did our very best to convert the lady who phoned. When it came to "Occupation" that was another opportunity, I have an up to date "Shorter Oxford" dictionary, two volumes, real thick, real thin paper and small print, something like 26000 entries. I was teaching part time at the time, had to drive quite a ways and stay overnight each week so looked up teaching, and lo, there was "Docent" a travelling, or itinerant teacher. When they phoned I refused to describe myself in any other way so got a VISIT on that one. It seems that their vocabulary is not so extensive as to know what that one meant, and you can do that with a lot of the questions.
Our census has a whole lot of questions intended to establish the living standards of the respondees, and you can have a lot of fun with those, we dont "own" anything other than some second hand clothing, everything else is in a tax trust, had LOTS of fun with those and had ANOTHER visit.

I dont like Governments, or anyone else collecting information on me, but rather than get really annoyed, prefer just to make a game of it.

John Welsford

BarnacleGrim
03-09-2010, 03:33 PM
We miss that fun, we just get a number in the bureaucracy at birth.

Bruce Hooke
03-09-2010, 04:06 PM
The census forms here are left in a bag on your door handle. A few days without them being taken inside marks your house as seasonal or the owners being away for a while. Not a good thing.

I believe hand delivery is generally only used for houses where there is not a street address that can be used to mail a form to that household. Remember, the government is trying to get these forms to every household. Simply mailing them to every mailing address in a town does not achieve the same end.

The problem you raised is certainly an unfortunate consequence.

Bruce Hooke
03-09-2010, 04:09 PM
I dont like Governments, or anyone else collecting information on me, but rather than get really annoyed, prefer just to make a game of it.

Here in the US, knowingly providing false information on a census form is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Failure to return the form is punishable by a fine of up to $100. It is unlikely they would use levee these fines except in extreme cases but I don't think I'd risk it by deliberately lying.

Bruce Hooke
03-09-2010, 04:12 PM
have all that gibberish at the bottom.. ain't English is American offical language anymore?

As far as I know English has never been designated as the official language of the United States. I don't think the US has an official language.

OconeePirate
03-09-2010, 04:50 PM
Here in the US, knowingly providing false information on a census form is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Failure to return the form is punishable by a fine of up to $100. It is unlikely they would use levee these fines except in extreme cases but I don't think I'd risk it by deliberately lying.

The game is to not lie, just be as creative as possible with the truth. I want to be an errant data point!

paladin
03-09-2010, 05:34 PM
My parents always filled out the forms....when I returned from Vietnam in first trip I moved to granddads place and set up housekeeping. I found that with no one living there several locals decided to use the land as their private hunting preserve.
Since the land is legally Indian Land I can keep folks off it for most any reason. I had a sign on the gate "We shoot every third salesman, the second one just left"....and "armed trespassers will be shot on sight"......I had spent a late evening with a couple of friends and was sleeping in....and the door gets a couple of loud knocks....I slipped on my jeans and headed to the door intending to have a little fun, so picked up a war ax (tomahawk to youse folks who dunno the difference) and opened the door.....there was the sweetest looking college type female with eyes wide open and about to wet her pants.....I couldn't let it slide.....I asked her to step inside...she did but with a wary look...I asked her if her hair was dyed....she said "No, why" I told her that I only scalped redheads and natural blonds......I think she was looking for a fast way out.....I asked her to have a seat.....so she was fast with the questions....
I think the sheriff heard about it...he thought it was funny but he said it wasn't a good idea to fun the givment workers....

Bruce Hooke
03-09-2010, 05:43 PM
The game is to not lie, just be as creative as possible with the truth. I want to be an errant data point!

Just so long as you keep in mind who will be judging whether you lied or not...hint...it won't be you! :D

johnw
03-09-2010, 05:44 PM
I enjoy census ( sensii?) . Its an opportunity to play head games with the beaurocracy. For example, when answering the one on religion, wife and I sat and worked up an outline for a new one that fitted our general beliefs, and listed ourselves as belonging to the "Church of God the Gardener" We got a phone call on that one and did our very best to convert the lady who phoned. When it came to "Occupation" that was another opportunity, I have an up to date "Shorter Oxford" dictionary, two volumes, real thick, real thin paper and small print, something like 26000 entries. I was teaching part time at the time, had to drive quite a ways and stay overnight each week so looked up teaching, and lo, there was "Docent" a travelling, or itinerant teacher. When they phoned I refused to describe myself in any other way so got a VISIT on that one. It seems that their vocabulary is not so extensive as to know what that one meant, and you can do that with a lot of the questions.
Our census has a whole lot of questions intended to establish the living standards of the respondees, and you can have a lot of fun with those, we dont "own" anything other than some second hand clothing, everything else is in a tax trust, had LOTS of fun with those and had ANOTHER visit.

I dont like Governments, or anyone else collecting information on me, but rather than get really annoyed, prefer just to make a game of it.

John Welsford
Around here, the title 'docent' is usually applied to a volunteer or staffer at a museum who guides groups through it. I like your usage better.

Keith Wilson
03-09-2010, 05:55 PM
. . . all that gibberish at the bottom.. ain't English is American offical language anymore?It's not gibberish, except to somebody who's ignorant of those languages. The point of the census is to get accurate information, not to cater to your prejudices, and one way to do that is to speak to people in a language they can understand. Do what works.

OconeePirate
03-09-2010, 10:59 PM
Just so long as you keep in mind who will be judging whether you lied or not...hint...it won't be you! :D

I'm as much a Viking and my wife is as much a leprechaun as those people that check African-American are African.

Honestly the only question on the census that bugs me is the one about race. I find it offensive that there are twenty different choices for people of other skin tones but all I get is "white". Or does it say caucasian? I'm not from the Caucus mountains either.

OconeePirate
03-09-2010, 11:13 PM
Then perhaps you should go away, as you are pre-occupied with RACE!

:(

(please, tell me I am incorrect ... if you can!)

What? No. I just feel left out. LOL. If other races get to be specific, why can't I? Personally I feel everyone should just describe their race by whatever Sherwin-Williams swatch they most closely match.

skuthorp
03-09-2010, 11:14 PM
As far as I know English has never been designated as the official language of the United States. I don't think the US has an official language.

From Wiki there are states with official english but you might be right Bruce.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States

As for race, I just put down Human(?)

OconeePirate
03-09-2010, 11:57 PM
Hummmm... maybe putting down "Neanderthal" may raise some brows... :D



Someone explained to me one day that red heads that are of Scandinavian decent are closer to neanderthals than other modern humans. Long, weird explanation there.

Point being, maybe I will put down Neanderthal-American.

ishmael
03-10-2010, 12:18 AM
Golly Chuck. I didn't invade your country. My forbears are French and English and have been here since 1700. But I didn't do you wrong. I was just born here. Maybe it's time to get over it? Whites won, whuped the Indian ass, and took over. Just the way it is.

Bruce Hooke
03-10-2010, 02:05 AM
Costs the gov't a LOT more than that, elf ... a LOT MORE!

Hell, the postmark on my letter (that the postman handed me personally ... :cool: ) was 25 cents ... let alone the 10-15 cents in production costs for the letter/insertions/sealing/mailing.

The letter I got yesterday from the census just had "Presorted First Class Mail Postage & Fees Paid U.S. Census Bureau Permit G-58" where the stamp would go...with no cents figure.

purri
03-10-2010, 06:34 AM
Golly Chuck. I didn't invade your country. My forbears are French and English and have been here since 1700. But I didn't do you wrong. I was just born here. Maybe it's time to get over it? Whites won, whuped the Indian ass, and took over. Just the way it is.

So sayeth Simplex Maximus

SMARTINSEN
03-10-2010, 07:55 AM
The letter I got yesterday from the census just had "Presorted First Class Mail Postage & Fees Paid U.S. Census Bureau Permit G-58" where the stamp would go...with no cents figure.


I think that they get the employee discount from the post office.


Then perhaps you should go away, as you are pre-occupied with RACE!

:(

(please, tell me I am incorrect ... if you can!)

You are incorrect, Brad and you missed the boat, too. Oconee Pirate is O.K. It is Big Woody that is the master race-baiter.

Joe Dupere
03-10-2010, 08:35 AM
I was listening to an interview on the radio with a representative of the US Census Bureau. She said that for every 1% increase in the return rate of the census forms, they saved 85 million dollars of followup costs.

By mailing out the notices, they're hoping to increase the return rate and thereby save tax dollars. Who doesn't want that?

Joe, FFPoP

oznabrag
03-10-2010, 08:58 AM
I think that they get the employee discount from the post office.



You are incorrect, Brad and you missed the boat, too. Oconee Pirate is O.K. It is Big Woody that is the master race-baiter.

I always suspected he was the master-baiter.

Bruce Hooke
03-10-2010, 12:06 PM
By mailing out the notices, they're hoping to increase the return rate and thereby save tax dollars. Who doesn't want that?

Exactly...and they apparently have carefully conducted research to back up the idea that an advance letter will improve the return rate, so it is not just a hope that it will increase the return rate but a very well founded expectation that it will increase the return rate.

paladin
03-10-2010, 02:00 PM
Damn Jack, maybe I should just come up there and discuss this with you with my war ax......scalping knife is a bit rusty, but it'll do.

Bobcat
03-10-2010, 02:13 PM
So sayeth Simplex Maximus


Now, that's funny.....:D

Kevin G
03-11-2010, 11:30 AM
Just as a point to ponder...
The Chinese version in that letter is the "Simplified" Chinese characters that were devised by the Chinese Communists in order to make it easier for the Chinese to read and write. I would guess by using the simplified characters, those Chinese that read and write "Standard" Chinese characters don't mean much to our gov't, what with the mainland holding so much of our debt.

KG

oznabrag
03-11-2010, 11:33 AM
I won't be surprised to see this survey turn up very strange numbers, because the Right has taken leave of its census.

David W Pratt
03-11-2010, 01:24 PM
In today's Providence Journal there was an interesting OpEd article that mentioned that the census takers are going to record GPS coordinates for every front door, that during the cold war the government used census data to make up a list of people they would round up if the war hotted up, and census data were used to intern the Japanese Americans during WWII.

Kaa
03-11-2010, 01:39 PM
Actually, I'm hoping that those RWZ who hate the census because they consider it to be an 'unconstitutional invasion of privacy' DON'T fill out their forms. The net effect will be an undercount in thier districts, resulting in a possible loss of congressional representation. It's a perfect self-defeating attitude! :)

So, let's see. Let's pretend that the conservatives in MA managed to avoid the census in such numbers that MA lost a congressman or two. Do you think that's a win for Republicans or Democrats? :D

Kaa

Keith Wilson
03-11-2010, 01:52 PM
A more reasonable assumption would be that delusional paranoid conservatives are a constant percentage of conservatives everywhere. Thus the undercount would greater the more conservatives are in a given area.

rbgarr
03-11-2010, 03:44 PM
Fewer than two of three Maine residents responded to the last census: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNewsArchive/tabid/181/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3475/ItemId/11359/Default.aspx

How does your state do? http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/response-rate/

Keith Wilson
03-11-2010, 03:46 PM
Minnesota was second highest at 75%, after Iowa.

elf
03-11-2010, 03:57 PM
considerably more detailed info here (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2000/frrtables.pdf)