Monday, September 30, 2013

Ruining the Curve

It's an exciting time in the Krause household.  We have been selected to fill out the VERY IMPORTANT American Community Survey for the US Census Bureau!  How do I know this is VERY IMPORTANT?  It says in big, bold letters on the outside envelope YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW!!  I wonder how Census Dodgers are treated in Federal prisons?  Are they above child pornographers--but below corporate embezzlers?  Well, I don't plan to find out--because I completed my "legal obligation" on-line this morning.

I must say it is a real honor to be selected for a survey that, according to the mailer warning me that I was going to get something else in the mail that would tell me what website to log on to to complete the survey, "will help communities decide where new schools, hospitals and fire stations are needed".  I'm glad to see that they decided to get some information on a dwindling minority here in the US: People who can take care of themselves.

I expected the computer to reject several of my answers based on the focus government has placed on "epidemic problems in our society today".  For example, I was surprised that when I checked "yes" for do you have health insurance, the website didn't ask "wait a minute, are you sure you have health insurance?  Because a lot of people don't you know."  And when I answered that we do not have a mortgage on our house, I was positive there would be an error message "this does not compute.  You are 41 years old and are middle class, there is no way you can afford to pay off your house early.  Please answer the question again." 

If the Census Bureau really does "use this information" provided by what is likely just a small handful of people in our area (and then extrapolated to predict the general makeup of the entire community), then my single response could have a profound impact on federal funding heading our way in the future.  We don't have kids that require "new schools".  We don't take public transportation (because if we had to, I'd be 3 and a half hours late for work every morning).  We don't need a mortgage bailout.  We don't need food stamps.  We don't need subsidized day care.  We don't need a state health insurance exchange.  Heck, we probably won't even need Social Security or Medicare.

I guess I should apologize to Mark Rohloff, Stan Mack and Mark Harris for "ruining" their visions for the Oshkosh area right now.

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