A new Census Threat to Privacy
Now in 2004, in an article entitled"The Thought Police and the American Community Survey," John W. Whitehead writes of a new census threat to privacy -- the American Community Survey."Unlike the traditional census, which collects data every ten years, the American Community Survey is taken every year at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. And at 24 pages, it contains some of the most detailed and intrusive questions ever put forth in a census questionnaire. These concern matters that the government simply has no business knowing, including a person's job, income, physical and emotional health, family status, place of residence and intimate personal and private habits....The questions, as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has said, are 'both ludicrous and insulting.' For example, the survey asks how many persons live in your home, along with their names and detailed information about them such as their relationship to you, marital status, race and their physical, mental and emotional problems, etc."
Again, compliance is mandatory but this time the authorities are baring real teeth. Whitehead notes,"For every question not answered, there is a $100 fine. And for every intentionally false response to a question, the fine is $500. Therefore, if a person representing a two-person household refused to fill out any questions or simply answered nonsensically, the total fines could range from upwards of $10,000 and $50,000 for noncompliance." What are the chances that the cash-strapped government won't pursue this easy source of revenue? Slim to fat.
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