The American Community Survey, an addendum to the government census which is done every ten years, is sent out to a selected 250,000 citizens every month. It is meant to supplement and update the original census, but it is far more intrusive. Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 193 has been cited for the justification of this survey. True to form, former Congressman Ron Paul went on record opposing it
The American Community Survey asks many more questions than the 10 year census. It asks for much more (and much more personal) information and has been challenged as a violation of the Right to Financial Privacy Act. A look at some of the sample questions will have you feeling that it’s an all-out attack on the right to privacy in general:
How many rooms are in this house?
In the past 12 months what was the cost for water and sewer for this house?
Please print below the specific major of any bachelor’s degrees this person has received.
What is the person’s ancestry or ethnic origin?
How many times has this person been married?
How long have the grandparents been responsible for the children?
What time did this person usually leave home to go to work last week?
Has this person been actively looking for work?
What were this person’s most important activities or duties (at work)?
The Census Department’s claim is that this information is needed to develop housing programs, show quality of housing, study migration, create training programs, provide a basis for government funding, establish school and daycare services, justify new hospitals, and plan public transportation. Many of these are clearly at odds with the libertarian effort to minimize government. The ACS is simply fodder for county governments and local city councils. It gives them what they need to micro-manage neighborhoods and follow in the footsteps of our leviathan federal government.
Of course the survey packet assures you that your information is private, but my concern is more than that. Title 13 allows for a periodic census. There is no mention of an on-going survey. Gathering so much information and using it to create a future world will never come out exactly the way they plan.. The human spirit is too spontaneous, changeable, and diverse. Or at least it should be.