Fill Out the Form (4/1/10)
This decade's U.S. Census forms started showing up in mailboxes last week. And a lot of otherwise smart, responsible people are saying they plan to protest what they consider excessive governmental intrusion into our private lives by refusing to fill out and return them.
But that would be a big mistake.
Believe me, I think there are plenty of ways the government has over-regulated what should be private matters, but this isn't one of them. Anyone who's taken the time to look at the form knows it's about the least intrusive questionnaire you'll ever fill out. It asks how many people live in your household, their age, their race…and that's it. No Social Security numbers, no employment info, nothing else.
It takes about one minute. You hand over more information than this when you buy a book online. And much more when you file your tax return.
The census helps government planners allocate funds and resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. Put simply, accurately counted communities will get more funds for roads, schools and other necessities than those that are under-counted. So why would you possibly want to engage in a misguided protest that hurts no one but yourself?
Failure to fill out your form will only result in more of your tax dollars being spent to track you down personally. So don't let irrational paranoia overcome reason.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.