Thursday, July 31, 2008

Census: Fill out this instrusive 28 pg form or go to jail

This is absolutely outrageous either way. If people are, in fact being prosecuted, which I doubt, then it is unforgivable. Otherwise, if the Census Bureau is simply using these kinds of intimidation tactics on 77 yr olds then that is equally outrageous.


The survey contains other personal questions besides financial data, such as "What time do you leave for work?"

Other questions ask about the number of people living in the resident's home, whether anyone in the household has received food stamps in the last 12 months, how many times the person has been married and how well the person speaks English.

Mary Smith, a 77-year-old from Elgin, received the survey about a month ago. She said she provided only her name and address and sent it back. So far, she has not been contacted about it.

"It asked, you know, personal questions that I didn't feel I should answer for someone I don't know. I felt uncomfortable," she said.

She pointed to questions such as: "Because of physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty remembering or making decisions?" Or, "Does this person have difficulty walking or climbing stairs?" and "Does this person have difficulty dressing or bathing?"

Smith said the only reason she sent it back was because the Web site threatens a fine or imprisonment if it is not filled out.