Why I Really Hate Census Forms

A while ago, I ranted a bit about a stupid census for our business had to fill out.  We get a lot of government data requests that go beyond the numbers required for things like taxes, that are generally being collected by the Census Bureau or the Depart of Labor or some such agency.  I throw out unanswered all but the ones that say my response is required by law, but that still leaves quite a few. 

A commenter on this post asked why I get so worked up  -- wouldn't you rather the government have good data than bad?  And I finally figured out what really irritates me about these forms.  It is this thought, that is always in the back of my head, and which if there was any justice would be put on the forms themselves:

"Information on these forms will be used by the government to justify taking more tax money from you and/or to justify further restricting your freedoms."


  1. Phil:

    OT: Coyote, have you seen this bill yet? Scary.

  2. CC:

    The statement "wouldn't you rather the government have good data than bad?" is really begging the question isn't it? Or is it a false dilemma? Isn't another option that the government doesn't collect the data at all? Or phrased as your commenter did..."Wouldn't you rather the government had no data?" I would.

  3. Kyle Bennett:

    Most people probably think the government should have bad data about them, and good data about everybody else.

  4. Bruce:

    The last couple times that I recieved census forms, I specified only the number or humans in my household. I enclosed a printed note that I could not sign it because some beaurocrat would likely try to derive my ethnicity from my name. The Census is legitimately gathering information only to determine a state's representation in the House. Anything more is just being nosey, and I choose to draw the blinds.