I just received my 2010 U.S. Census in the mail. I am old enough that I can remember some past censuses. In the old days a nice lady or man would come up to your door and ask questions which they would record on a paper on their clip board. We never received anything in the mail, and the census workers got paid for the work they did.
Now a days the government mails out the census, and pays money, lots of money, to advertise to us that the census is coming, and that we need to fill it out and send it back to them. The latest reports state that the government (read, you and me the tax payers) is spending 360 million dollars to advertise this census. I find this curious in today's high unemployment. Why not spend this money hiring unemployed people for a few months? I think this would be a better way of finding out our true population than sending out mailers and hoping that people will bother to fill them out and return them. Perhaps it is too dangerous to send pollsters into certain areas. Instead of spending all of this money on advertising, perhaps their goals would be better met by sending a cashiers check for $50 with each census form. The check would be made payable after the receipt of the census. I bet this would guarantee that they would get most of their mailers back and filled out.
I have heard some of these advertisements, including the one they paid 2.5 million dollars to air on the Super Bowl. They encourage us to fill out the census and return it because it is our patriotic duty, and that the information will help our local communities by getting us our fair share of Federal money, and funding.
I don't know about you, but all of this advertising has convinced me to fill out and return my census. I DO want to be patriotic, and I do want to help out my community. I filled out my form stating that my 2200 square foot house is actually an Indian longhouse, and that I have twenty five relatives; from a great aunt to my fourth cousin living here.
I sure hope this helps me get some of that Federal funding money.