I was an "enumerator" for Census 2000 when I lived in NYC. I was paid $18/hour (thanks, taxpayers) after scoring 100% on the easiest multiple choice form ever. I don't think anyone got a job who scored less than 100% but that wasn't saying too much! My supervisor made more. And she had levels and levels above her. So yeah, the census is expensive.
Anyway, then I had a couple of days of training (paid) and then they turned us loose. Each enumerator in the mainland gets a list of the addresses in their little zone that have and haven't filled out their forms. Then you visit the houses that haven't and ask them all the invasive questions in person. It was so interesting in NYC because the rents paid were a direct reflection of how long the family had lived there (longest residents paid $200 a month to every $1000 a month paid by new arrivals). Most people were super nice. It was an awesome introduction to my new neighborhood actually.
People who didn't answer the door... we would ask the neighbors, the mail carrier (that was like a jackpot, because they could tell you if a place was vacant and you didn't have to go back the six times), the doorman if there was one, anyone around to verify how many people lived at the address. The idea was to let the government know at least how many people are in the country.
We did all the homeless people on the same day, by staking out soup kitchens. Again, the idea is that people can't be in more than one place at a time, and so wherever they were at lunch time on that Thursday we counted them and extracted whatever info we "needed".
In the training we talked a LOT about the race question and we were told to accept absolutely whatever people wanted to put in that category. I had one awesome woman tell me she was "other", and she made me write "New Yorican" on the line (say it out loud - she was Puerto Rican/NYC). So the race question was rightly acknowledged by the government as being invasive, and yet they persist in asking it.
At that time, some families were mailed the short form (about 80% of households) and the remaining people got the long form. I cannot believe all of St. Croix is getting the long form. WTF?
I guess I'll have to fill it all out. I kind of feel for the enumerators!
Hope everyone had a great weekend.
The census is mandated by the Constitution to proportion representation in the House of Representatives. The VI does not have representation in the House of Representatives; we have one non-voting delegate and would have only one delegate even if the population of the VI were 500,000, so this is a pointless exercise. Questions about sources of income are not germane, and questions about (a) where I was born, (b) when I arrived in the VI for residency and (c) where my parents were born seem to be more related to provisions in the VI draft constitution that has a snowball's chance of becoming adopted. I left a lot of blanks. Let the canvasser ask me; I'll tell him/her it's none of their business.
Being a renter, I had to leave a few questions blank that pertained to financial and tax issues of the house. I e-mailed my realtor to ask her the answers, but she basically said that she wasn't going to pester the homeowners about it and to just leave them blank!
a bit nosey if you ask me. *-)
kidding. i filled mine out.
now i wonder if we will ever see someone actually come to house and pick it up.
i never did see a tax ass. when they came around a few years ago.
i like how you put tax ass. how appropriate
Two friends of mine got on with Census, and they said that the reason they have to come around and pick them up is that they're also having to fill in on the maps where the dwellings are if they're not marked. It's partly because our addresses and our mapping systems are so screwy.
I just put my census form in the mail. I answered question 1, how many people live at this address? Question 2- Are you sure? Then I wrote in the next box that the rest of the questions were none of their business. Why do they want my name, date of birth, sex, race, whether I rent or own my home? So they can Identify me when they are rounding people up? Other than for purposes of making up the distribution of the representatives in the House, they have no GOOD reason for this info. It will only be used to gerrymander the district boundary lines.
Now I'm expecting some one from ACORN or SEIU to be knocking on my door in the next few weeks.
You are correct about the distribution of Representatives in the House. But there is more to consider, it's how much need the State or territory is going to receive in funding. To make sure your State or territory gets it fair share out of the pie of all the various Federal programs that are available. If it's privacy you are concerned about your Social Security Number has all that information already. Get a copy of your credit report and see how private you are.
Lizard: SInce we don't put any money INTO the Federal system, any money we get OUT of it is 100% more than our fair share. 😉
Not True, You don't any income tax earned on the island How much is the Rum Tax we pay Direct to the US for starters. We pay more than any three towns in the states.
Please explain again. I didn't understand any of that, and I'm interested in how the tax money flows between US and VI.
It's called the rum excise tax. Congress put a cap on it so they don't have to return at the old rate 13.50 proof per gallon now its at 10.50 proof per gallon. Earned income the tax stays on island. Your Social Security and Medicare payment still go to the fed.
The rum tax is paid by people who drink the devil rum. 😀
This morning I was at the post office, I saw tons of unopened census envelopes in the trash can.
Tells me that lots of folks have no intention of bothering with the "census" 2010.
Well, I would like to know how knowing one's mother's birthplace, how many babies (including stillbirths) one has had or whether one is a government or private sector employee helps enumerate the populace...
I don't trust the VI government and am unwilling to provide truthful answers to such intrusive questions.
dnt: I was going to answer question number one and leave it at that, but eventually answered the 10 from the Big America form. Just waitin' for the enumerator to come hopping down the bunny trail...
And when s/he does appear, do you intend to stonewall on providing the rest of the information?
My plan is to note that the small print says: "Respondents are not required to respond to any information collection unless it displays a valid approval number from the Office of Management and Budget." I don't see any approval numbers, therefore I am not required to respond.
Either that or I'll yell, "Nunya!" 😛
I think this form was exactly like one we got for the 90 census. At that time they called it the "long form". I especially remembered the question about the number of flush toilets!!
The statistical data is not part of the census, but is valuable information. Haven't you ever wondered where people get the numbers they cite? Every time someone mentions the annual median income, or the average anything, they are probably quoting from the census data.
I'll be interested to see when/if someone comes by to pick it up.
A very nice young woman came to collect my census form. I told her I would not answer all the questions as I did not feel they were necessary and very intrusive. She simply said "no problem" and after pleasantries were exchanged, she left.
A very nice lady just left here with our census form, although I didn't have the answers to two questions. She had to call her team leader to ask how I should answer the question about what city and state my husband worked in last week, since there were many of them. Even though I agree with the fact that many of the questions are "nunya" (to quote East Ender), I just figured that they'd probably find out eventually, so why bother being coy?
It's not a matter of "being coy" but of personal safety. Asking whether residents are physically impaired and perhaps less able to defend themselves, whether they commute to and from a job and so are predictably away from home, and about income and specific features of a house suggesting which residences are more likely to contain valuables, is all information that is beneficial to thugs when choosing their targets. I don't trust the individual who comes to the door, or his/her employers..
Paranoia will destroy ya...:D