You Could Write “Nunna yer Damned Bidness” on the Whole Thing


Or, you could write “Get a warrant.” 

The Rutherford Institute — which also tracks violence by police — is keeping an eye on Census Bureau. Like all federal agencies, it seems to have mission creep.

Unlike the traditional census, which is limited to a simple head count every ten years for the purpose of establishing representation in Congress, the ACS is sent on an ongoing basis to about 3 million homes every year at a reported cost of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Individuals who receive the ACS must complete it or be subject to potentially significant monetary penalties. At 28 pages (with an additional 16-page instruction packet), the ACS 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 questions relating to respondents’ bathing habits, home utility costs, fertility, marital history, work commute, mortgage, and health insurance, among others. As Rutherford Institute attorneys point out, the real danger with the ACS is in not knowing why the information is needed, how it will be used by the government or with whom it will be shared.

There might actually be great reasons for the government to compile data on communities — like to determine where resources should go, or what programs are successful. We really should look at the War on Poverty, and the related War on Drugs, as well as other programs.

On the other hand, get off my lawn. Data-based lawn, I mean.

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This entry was posted in Stupid and Evil, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to You Could Write “Nunna yer Damned Bidness” on the Whole Thing

  1. onwyrdsdream says:

    With enough information fed into the right kind of machine learning algorithm, you could figure out a fairly large subset of the people you want to keep an eye on for whatever reason you feel you need to keep an eye on them. Clustering algorithm says you’re in the same group with 80% of the terrorists we’ve captured. Clustering algorithm says you’re in the same group with 80% of the Republicans we’ve captured. Either or.
    I don’t think the government needs a more intimate look at it’s citizens than what it gets from our trip to the ballet, or is gathered to determine the allocation of congressmen. Rather, it is useful for the government to know such things in order to stop bad things, but dangerous for the government to know such things because “bad things” is subjective.

    Like

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