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The Debate Over the American Community Survey – NYTimes.com

This survey of American households has been around in some form since 1850, either as a longer version of or a richer supplement to the basic decennial census. It tells Americans how poor we are, how rich we are, who is suffering, who is thriving, where people work, what kind of training people need to get jobs, what languages people speak, who uses food stamps, who has access to health care, and so on.

It is, more or less, the country’s primary check for determining how well the government is doing — and in fact what the government will be doing. The survey’s findings help determine how over $400 billion in government funds is distributed each year.

But last week, the Republican-led House voted to eliminate the survey altogether, on the grounds that the government should not be butting its nose into Americans’ homes.

via The Debate Over the American Community Survey – NYTimes.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Ann Sibold

    In case you haven’t actually seen the ACS 28 page questionnaire being sent to citizens under threat of penalty for non-compliance, go on line and look for yourself. Is it the Govts business (or anyone else’s) what your sources of income are, what time you leave for work, when you bought your house and what you paid for it, whether or not you have a flush toilet and have trouble concentrating – and on and on and on?

  2. Lee Adler

    I just got one for my business. Only 8 pages, but still a pain in the ass.

    Frankly, I think these things are a boondoggle. There are plenty of organizations, both for profit and non-profit, corporate and state and local government, as well as massive data gathering by other Federal Agencies.

    The Post Office and public utility companies have reams of data. Google knows everything there is to know about everybody on the face of the earth.

    Aside from the fact that it is intrusive, we don’t need it. If the government needs to take a survey, it can call Gallup.

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