Thursday, March 18, 2010

Census

I received the census form the other day. I decided to follow the example of a friend of mine. He was a Canadian who moved here and is now a citizen. When the census worker came to his cabin 10 years ago (he lives in the NH woods) he told the worker, "Unlike you, I had to take a test to become a US citizen. And I learned that the only thing the Constitution requires is to enumerate the population. You cannot come into my house, you cannot ask me any other questions and you cannot stay on my property. You have enumerated and you may leave."

So, I filled out the space requesting the number of people living at that address. Just for fun, I gave them my phone number – in Roman Numerals. That is all the information I gave them.

And I found it strange that in a time when the country is supposed to be "post-racial", that there were so many questions about race and ethnicity. But there were none asking if the responder was a citizen! I have lived in several countries for extended periods of time and none of them would even think to include me in any population count and certainly not give me any social benefits. Seems to me that a question about resident status would be more important to the census.