Mary Katherine Ham over at Hot Air notes the Obama administration’s health care team does not seem to be tracking the number of people without health insurance, or the number of previously uninsured who now have coverage. You would think the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) would consider that to be an important benchmark, but they claim they have not been measuring it.
From the Associated Press – a willing accomplice – we have a story concerning the Census Bureau’s concern about potential dangers to its workers, including anti-government sentiment and car accidents.
Malkin’s syndicated column today hits on my point about the Census Bureau’s semi-official slogan … fill out the census so your community gets their fair share.
Jim is also writing about the census today, but I’d like to highlight a post by Michelle Malkin concerning financial waste from within the US Census Bureau. Counting people is not that hard, but leave it to the bureaucrats to mess it up.
Nothing seems to rile my audience more than the Census. Some see it as government intrusion into privacy. Others see it as just one more excuse for a bigger government. Remember they sell it as a way to ensure your community gets its fair share of federal money (social justice), or maybe a guidepost to political payoffs (pork projects).
But perhaps my biggest objection is to the section that asks you to check off your race and, separately, ethnicity. The list is long:
The standards include five minimum categories for data on race: “American Indian or Alaska Native,” “Asian,” “Black or African American,” “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander,” and “White.” There are two minimum categories for data on ethnicity: “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino.” The concept of race reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify. Persons who report themselves as Hispanic can be of any race and are identified as such in our data tables.
My personal view is that it’s just another way to divide the nation, or to perpetuate the notion of special classes that need the government to survive. The absurdity of it all is demonstrated perfectly in this report by MSNBC this afternoon … one family, successful as well, with different views about who they are, when who they are, is American.
No doubt the government won’t see the absurdity of it all and will add yet another question on race. Why do they do this still? The Census website gives the following explanation
Race is key to implementing any number of federal programs and it is critical for the basic research behind numerous policy decisions. States require race data to meet legislative redistricting requirements. Also, they are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions.
Federal programs rely on race data in assessing racial disparities in housing, income, education, employment, health, and environmental risks.
The reasoning in 2010 is pathetic. Redistricting because whites, can’t represent latino’s who can’t represent blacks who can’t represent whites, and on and on it goes? Welcome to post racial America. And what of the programs that assess disparities in income et al? To what end? Spread the wealth around, create another government program, reward particular constituencies?
At what point do we begin identifying all as Americans, I do not know. But it seems as if the government continues because, as the Census site explains, it’s good for business, government business.
Yes, you read that title correctly. It seems that in an effort to “promote” the census, Uncle Sam has decided to spend your money in the fortune cookie business.
The Seattle fortune cookie maker, Tsue Chong Co. has been hired by the federal government to get out the message. Next time you open a fortune cookie, not only will you get your fortune, but you may also get a message that reads:
Put down your chopsticks and get involved in Census 2010.
Then, of course, there is the always popular:
Real Fortune is being heard.
Personally, I think the last one is about as comprehensible as the U.S. Census Bureau’s Super Bowl commercial, but, then again, maybe that’s just me.
Bessie Fan, co-owner of the family-run cookie and noodle factory, Tsue Chong, called it a “great thrill to partner with the census for such an important effort.”
Lest you be skeptical of this expenditure, remember, it has probably saved or created several thousand jobs. And, were that not enough, the linked article provides the list of ingredients to make fortune cookies, and a general description of how to make them. So, do your part, America. Get out there and make your own cookies that will spread the message.
One of our readers sent the following to us concerning The American Community Survey distributed randomly by the U.S. Department of Commerce. If you refuse or willfully neglect to take the survey, your subject to a fine between $500 and $5,000.
The real problem here is the federal government and the Congress-critters think $2.5 million is a drop in the bucket, but for many Americans, it is more money than will be earned in a lifetime. I understand $2.5 million is something like 0.0000066 percent of the budget, but perception matters.
The “community organization” under investigation for voter registration fraud in multiple jurisdictions has now partnered up with the U.S. Census Bureau to assist in the 2010 Census. Never mind that the Census is supposed to be free of politics or the myriad allegations of fraud against the partner, they are now one of the partners in the process:
“The U.S. Census is supposed to be free of politics, but one group with a history of voter fraud, ACORN, is participating in next year’s count, raising concerns about the politicization of the decennial survey.
ACORN, which claims to be a non-partisan grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people, came under fire in 2007 when Washington State filed felony charges against several paid ACORN employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 phony voter registration forms. The group’s activities were frequently questioned in the 2008 presidential election.”
Now, while the US Census Bureau claims that the hiring process includes an FBI background check. But, Census officials acknowledge, it was difficult to track an applicant political bias. Said Stephen Buckner:
“”I have no way of tracking any of that information,” he said. “If somebody comes in to a position with a political agenda and their work exhibits that, there are rules against that,” he said.”
“A whistle-blower forced Acorn to disclose the embezzlement, which involved the brother of the organization’s founder, Wade Rathke.
The brother, Dale Rathke, embezzled nearly $1 million from Acorn and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000, Acorn officials said, but a small group of executives decided to keep the information from almost all of the group’s board members and not to alert law enforcement.”
For some folks, it would seem, the rules exist to be broken.
The Berkshire Eagle Online has a story today concerning the low population growth in the state of Massachusetts. As you may or may not know, a states representation in the U.S. House of Representatives is determined by the population of the state.
“You are definitely going to lose a seat up there,” said Clark Bensen, founder and head of Polidata, a political analysis and census data firm in Lake Ridge, Va., that compiled the report. “There’s no way things are going to stay the same.”
So how do you think that state legislators and politicians are dealing with the issue? Might they try to turn the trend around over the next two years to get more people to move to Massachusetts? I doubt it. (Emphasis added)
Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who worked to save the 10 U.S. House of Representative seats in 2000, said he is troubled by the figures but committed to a strong count during the 2010 census.
“It is, as they note, still a projection based on estimates,” Galvin said. “This will be very challenging, because our population growth isn’t robust, but we have unique factors here that I believe might help us up our count.” Galvin pointed to the state’s vast college population — which can be counted if students spend most of the year in state — and to the immigrant community.
“For the size of our state, it’s a remarkable amount,” Galvin said. “We were effective in reaching out to indigenous groups up in Lowell and other locations to make them understand the need to be counted last time.”
Am I reading something into Galvin’s statement? Look, if students are truly residents of the state, that’s fine, but is there any check to ensure that these kids are not being double-counted?
And by the way, what the heck is an indigenous group Mr. Secretary?
On the boston.com Web site, I found an article from October providing some information about the Fifth Congressional District race between Democrat Niki Tsongas and Republican Jim Ogonowski.
Of the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, the Pew Hispanic Center has estimated that 150,000 to 250,000 live in Massachusetts. There are no estimates for how many live in the Fifth District, but Lowell and Lawrence are two of the state’s immigration hubs. According to the US Census, about 38 percent of Lowell residents and 74 percent of Lawrence residents speak a language other than English at home.
Translation: This area is full of illegal aliens, and since these good folks don’t like to call attention to themselves – since they are criminals – they usually don’t like to get officially counted for anything; even attendance figures for sporting events.
The problem here is that Galvin and the state of Massachusetts are not interested in innovative ways to bring new people to the state. Ideas like lowering the tax burden, reducing outrageous business regulations, running a more fiscally responsible government and more personal freedoms are just not on the table at all.
They would rather find innovative ways to count more people.