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Old 02-18-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
Charles Kozierok
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Default Have Americans really become this docile?

There was a thread in P&N about someone being sent an "American Community Survey", which is basically the old census long form. It asks dozens and dozens of questions, some of them rather personal in nature.

But most people must answer them, because they say they've never had to start an enforcement action (fines and whatnot).

I mentioned this survey on another board I go to, and asked if people thought it was reasonable. Sure, most of them said. Why not? It's no big deal. And how do you expect the government to decide where to spend money if they don't know all these details about Americans' lives?

I'm just flabbergasted about the whole thing. People really have no problem telling government employees about their family's physical disabilities, how much they earn, how well they speak English, what their mortgage payment is, how many bathrooms they have in thier houses, and on and on?

If that's okay, what's next? Can they ask me how many times a day I pray? Can they ask me if I've ever cheated on my wife? Can they ask me how many times a week I have sex?

Where's the line? Do Americans even have a line any more?
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Kozierok View Post
There was a thread in P&N about someone being sent an "American Community Survey", which is basically the old census long form. It asks dozens and dozens of questions, some of them rather personal in nature.

But most people must answer them, because they say they've never had to start an enforcement action (fines and whatnot).

I mentioned this survey on another board I go to, and asked if people thought it was reasonable. Sure, most of them said. Why not? It's no big deal. And how do you expect the government to decide where to spend money if they don't know all these details about Americans' lives?

I'm just flabbergasted about the whole thing. People really have no problem telling government employees about their family's physical disabilities, how much they earn, how well they speak English, what their mortgage payment is, how many bathrooms they have in thier houses, and on and on?

If that's okay, what's next? Can they ask me how many times a day I pray? Can they ask me if I've ever cheated on my wife? Can they ask me how many times a week I have sex?

Where's the line? Do Americans even have a line any more?
Can they ask? Sure. Whether or not you are required to answer, is the issue IMO.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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I really have to unlearn some behaviors from the other forum, I was temped to be a smart ass

Yes, we have come this far, but we're not done yet. We want things, so we surrender bit by bit. Then when something comes up we don't like, why should that upset us? We should have seen it coming. But if we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear. If it saves one life it is worth it. If it gives us gas in our car or health insurance, we can live quite fine.

That's not being a smart ass, but my thoughts on how this progresses. The slippery slope is a very real thing.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Can they ask? Sure. Whether or not you are required to answer, is the issue IMO.
Well, you're required to by law.

That's good enough for most people. I bet 98% of people fill that thing out accurately and quickly and never bat an eyelash.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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If people get upset over something that will help the community then I wonder how they react to all the information companies like apple and google, Microsoft and the billions of other companies that collect information on us.

The fact is people don't care other than those that hate government for any reason.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ivwshane View Post
If people get upset over something that will help the community then I wonder how they react to all the information companies like apple and google, Microsoft and the billions of other companies that collect information on us.

The fact is people don't care other than those that hate government for any reason.
how though does it help the community? them knowing if anyone in my family is disabled, hwo much i make etc won't do a damn thing for my area.

the long form was BS.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ivwshane View Post
If people get upset over something that will help the community then I wonder how they react to all the information companies like apple and google, Microsoft and the billions of other companies that collect information on us.
Google and Microsoft can't collect any information about me that I don't choose to give them.

Google and Microsoft can't give me a criminal record for refusing to give them information I don't want to give.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ivwshane View Post
If people get upset over something that will help the community then I wonder how they react to all the information companies like apple and google, Microsoft and the billions of other companies that collect information on us.

The fact is people don't care other than those that hate government for any reason.
What are the criminal penalties for people who do not participate in mandatory surveys by those companies? There aren't any. They aren't being asked, but from what I understand being ordered. If you don't see the difference then indeed we have no common ground.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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They get all kinds of pissy if you don't fill it out. I refused, was told all the bad things that were going to happen to me, still refused. So they sent a suit over to hang around in front of my house until they could corner one of us.

It's bullshit, an invasion of my privacy. And I'll bet nickles to rat turds that the information isn't put to any use that I would approve of.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:02 PM   #10
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Google and Microsoft can't collect any information about me that I don't choose to give them.

Google and Microsoft can't give me a criminal record for refusing to give them information I don't want to give.
True, but I often wonder just how much information they collect without people even knowing it...
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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They claim this information is held in strictest confidence and not shared with anyone and so forth. Except that in the past, there have been instances of census information being used by other departments. Fool me once...

They also claim that the information is only used to compile statistical data. Well fine -- anonymize the survey and I would fill one out without any qualms. Just make it so there is no name on it, and put a box somewhere I can mail it to. I'll consider it part of my civic duty.

Of course, they won't.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #12
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how though does it help the community? them knowing if anyone in my family is disabled, hwo much i make etc won't do a damn thing for my area.

the long form was BS.
The government can allocate funding for your area, schools, hospitals, local governments etc BASED on the ratio of disabled, how much you make, etc. Poor areas get extra care.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:48 PM   #13
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The government can allocate funding for your area, schools, hospitals, local governments etc BASED on the ratio of disabled, how much you make, etc. Poor areas get extra care.
no they won't. they won't send shit over where i live if there is a disabled person.

IF the school has disabled they can contact whoever and ask.


hospital? LOL not around here. closest is 14 miles.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:55 PM   #14
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The government can allocate funding for your area, schools, hospitals, local governments etc BASED on the ratio of disabled, how much you make, etc. Poor areas get extra care.
90% of that stuff they probably shouldn't be doing anyway.

This is how it always happens. First they make some program they have no business running; then they need information they have no business needing because of the program they have no business running; and then they need more information to support the original information -- where does it end?
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:10 PM   #15
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The government can allocate funding for your area, schools, hospitals, local governments etc BASED on the ratio of disabled, how much you make, etc. Poor areas get extra care.
I think this is the nominal reason. The problem is that it's a terrible reason to begin with; it is only palatable because people want government to do everything for them, manage money distribution, and meet every need. The bottom line for me is that government needs none of this information to protect my rights to life, liberty, or property, but it can and does use it to infringe on my right to property. The broader the tail of the wealth distribution curve the more people stand to gain from such money-grabbing and the more we will have.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:29 AM   #16
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I see a big nice colorful book with the statistics coming out every year.
You can't do that with just the information registers already have.
Also if the completed survey documents are destroyed after the data collection phase is completed then I'm cool with that.

I think the state does have business running schools, and they need information to properly size the structures.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:35 AM   #17
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I think the state does have business running schools, and they need information to properly size the structures.
Very little of the information asked for -- pardon me, demanded -- by this survey is required for legitimate functions of the federal government.

But if they really need, it fine -- anonymize it. We vote that way. This should be no different.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #18
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Very little of the information asked for -- pardon me, demanded -- by this survey is required for legitimate functions of the federal government.

But if they really need, it fine -- anonymize it. We vote that way. This should be no different.
I agree it shouldn't be forced. The day a single person actually has it forced on them is the day ill worry about it.

Don't we have enough real civil liberties problems?
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #19
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I see a big nice colorful book with the statistics coming out every year.
You can't do that with just the information registers already have.
Also if the completed survey documents are destroyed after the data collection phase is completed then I'm cool with that.

I think the state does have business running schools, and they need information to properly size the structures.
You think these things are anonymous, scored by hand, and never digitized? All three of those counts are incorrect. Nor does the federal government size schools.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Charles Kozierok View Post
There was a thread in P&N about someone being sent an "American Community Survey", which is basically the old census long form. It asks dozens and dozens of questions, some of them rather personal in nature.

But most people must answer them, because they say they've never had to start an enforcement action (fines and whatnot).

I mentioned this survey on another board I go to, and asked if people thought it was reasonable. Sure, most of them said. Why not? It's no big deal. And how do you expect the government to decide where to spend money if they don't know all these details about Americans' lives?

I'm just flabbergasted about the whole thing. People really have no problem telling government employees about their family's physical disabilities, how much they earn, how well they speak English, what their mortgage payment is, how many bathrooms they have in thier houses, and on and on?

If that's okay, what's next? Can they ask me how many times a day I pray? Can they ask me if I've ever cheated on my wife? Can they ask me how many times a week I have sex?

Where's the line? Do Americans even have a line any more?
The drama seems higher than justified here. I'm more concerned about the torture and indefinite imprisonment of people in the last decade than personal voluntary questions.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:20 PM   #21
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They get all kinds of pissy if you don't fill it out. I refused, was told all the bad things that were going to happen to me, still refused. So they sent a suit over to hang around in front of my house until they could corner one of us.

It's bullshit, an invasion of my privacy. And I'll bet nickles to rat turds that the information isn't put to any use that I would approve of.
Not just that but they get really invasive and start asking your neighbors questions about you.
One of my neighbors in the apartment complex I lived in was "selected" for this harassment, after being unable to contact them directly (or being refused) the census workers started going door to door asking for information about them.
I politely told them that people move in and out all the time and that I knew nothing about them.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Charles Kozierok View Post
Very little of the information asked for -- pardon me, demanded -- by this survey is required for legitimate functions of the federal government.

But if they really need, it fine -- anonymize it. We vote that way. This should be no different.
This is a good point it make. A lot of people don't complain when google collects information because it supposedly is anonymous, yet they complain when facebook collects it because it is tied to an account that is your real life persona.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #23
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I agree it shouldn't be forced. The day a single person actually has it forced on them is the day ill worry about it.

Don't we have enough real civil liberties problems?
There seems to be some question on whether one is actually required to provide this information or merely the number of people residing at the residence. However, I can attest from friends' experience that if you get the long form and do not fill it out, the government's people who come to your house will tell you that you are required by law to divulge all that information.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:30 PM   #24
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There seems to be some question on whether one is actually required to provide this information or merely the number of people residing at the residence. However, I can attest from friends' experience that if you get the long form and do not fill it out, the government's people who come to your house will tell you that you are required by law to divulge all that information.
Right, but plenty of people haven't and not one person has ever been fined or had any adverse action taken against them ever for the entire history of this survey. I'm just saying that if you're worried about government intrusion into your life you have so many bigger fish to fry.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:51 PM   #25
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Right, but plenty of people haven't and not one person has ever been fined or had any adverse action taken against them ever for the entire history of this survey. I'm just saying that if you're worried about government intrusion into your life you have so many bigger fish to fry.
Probably true, but like Charles it does rub me the wrong way. Although if I ever get one I'll probably fill it out. Why should the government know less about me than Google?

Oh yeah, because Google can't put me in jail or take my home.
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