My house, along with millions of others, received a letter this week telling it that it would be receiving another letter shortly. The English portion of it read as follows:
About one week from now, you will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail. When you receive your form, please fill it out and mail it in promptly.
Your response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share.
Others have already noted that it was rather wasteful to send out something telling us that we will be receiving something later. In fairness to the Census, however, one must remember that by so doing they are providing work for the Post Office–which could use the revenue.
That aside, I’d like to look at the use of “fair share” in the second paragraph. First, the reference in both places is to a community–not people. A slight difference, true, but a difference none the less. It apparently takes a community to receives its fair share of government largess. No reference is made to individuals or small disadvantaged groups getting their “fair share.” After all, that would be divisive and intolerant. Instead, we are told that communities receive this so that they can then benefit “you and your neighbors.” In fact, these are for things that we “need.” See, we can’t live without the good old government programs.
Of course, this is very much the way the federal government likes it to work. In brief, here is an ideal system: I work and earn money, from which the federal government takes a generous helping of cash. The federal bureaucrats then dole out the cash to various state and local governments. These entities are also run by bureaucrats–who are largely more intelligent than you and I. They decide who gets what and why they get it.
It is quite revealing that the letter says absolutely nothing about the constitutional mandate for the census, which is as follows:
An Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.
The letter also says nothing about the original point of the enumeration–which is to ensure that representatives are allocated in accordance with population.
Let me say very simply. I do not want my community to gets its fair share. I do not want to get my own trickle down fair share. I do want to keep the share that I work for and use that to provide for my wife, my children, my parents–and those who may not have that which I do. I would like to do this without interference from the government. I would like to do it through my church, my family, my friends and acquaintances. I would like to use just enough middle men to ensure that those I’m helping do not usually know who is doing the helping. I do not want to do this by giving my earnings to the government and trusting that they will do better things with them than I would.
One last point. The government funds talked about in the letter? Those aren’t properly the property of the government. Everything the government “owns” is held in trust for the citizens. Of course, putting it out that the government has funds for all of the communities makes it out as a loving father, or perhaps a wealthy uncle. Unfortunately, it has already broken our grandchildren’s piggy banks, as it were, to fund a number of enormous future liabilities.
Remember, if you don’t fill out the census correctly, a bureaucrat somewhere will lose his wings.