Census Tilt

We just got our Census form in the mail.  I was slightly tilted by the warning on the front of the envelope: “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRE BY LAW,”  but Mrs. Dynamite was on bajungi tilt because she couldn’t fill the form out online.  I tried explaining to her the argument that a part of the census was intentional stimulus – they (the government) pay to get it printed, they pay to get it mailed, tabulated, counted etc.  That money goes to people.   She understands that, but is furious at the blatant “waste” of money here – the money clearly doesn’t need to be spent like this.  The government should be paying people to get the Census web-ready instead.   It always comes back to make-work projects… Dig holes and fill them in – print forms, mail them, and count them.  It’s completely unnecessary.  Of course, they also spend tons of money advertising for the census – and sending out pre-notices like the one last week that said we’d be receiving the census the following week. 
Here’s what’s interesting about the actual census questions:  question 5 asks “Is this person of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?” choices are:
– NO – not of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin
– Yes, Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano
– Yes, Puerto Rican
– Yes, Cuban
-Yes, another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin – print origin (Argentinian, Colombian, Dominican, etc)
Then, question 6 asks:  What is this person’s race?  Options include:
White, Black, American Indian, Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian/Chamorro, Samoan, Other Pacific Islander or Other Asian.  Then there’s a write-in option  “some other race.”
Now, Hispanics may be surprised to find the preamble to these two questions, which states, “NOTE: Please answer BOTH question 5 about Hispanic origin and question 6 about race.  For this census, Hispanic origins are not races.” !!!
I wonder how many Hispanic respondents will choose not to classify themselves in one of the racial buckets in question 6, and instead will write in “Hispanic” in the write-in box…  Thinking of my Hispanic friends, I have no idea what they’d respond – White?  Maybe… who knows… it’s kinda a bizarre question in my opinion.  I always thought of Hispanic as a race – do Hispanics disagree?  Any Hispanic readers please let me know how you answer question 6 about your race, if “Hispanic” isn’t a possible answer.
And guess what – that’s pretty much all the census asks!  Name, age, sex, the two questions about race and Hispanic origin, and how the person is related to the primary respondent.  
I expected questions about education, income, work, hobbies and other useful stuff.    Pretty disappointing.  You can see the actual form here, but of course, you can’t fill it out online…
-KD

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