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June 19, 2010

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Rev. LED Dowell

Mr. Zanoza! Thanks for the confirmation.

They are atrocious! When they called my house, they wouldn't talk to me or tell me what the call was about. I had responded my husband had filled out the 2010 census. They just wanted to talk to him and hung up. After about the fifth call, I told them again I knew about the form and had seen it and I could answer any questions. I had also told them I wouldn't answer any questions if they couldn't even tell me who they were, and they had phoned me! So I asked why should I give them information? One evening a woman called and we went through the same routine. I had already told the previous caller to write it down on his screen that they were wasting time and money -- mine and the taxpayers'. That caller told me they had a script they had to go by. I got angrier and angrier and said that was just why America is in trouble today -- because of government ineptness. By the time the woman had phoned, she agreed to let me answer what questions they had. I said I would but with the caveat that it would depend on what questions she asked. We proceeded and the questions were relatively minor and weren't even necessary. Everybody wasn't going to receive those phone calls and the interviewer didn't know what criteria was used to determine who would be called. The whole thing took about five minutes and I laughed and told her that could've been done weeks ago. We had a pleasant exchange of good-byes.

From our conversation, I got the feeling the Obama Administration hired a contractor and employed people with a large hourly rate just to boost their reportedly large "new job numbers."

Kevinbracken

Dan,

This is a normal part of Census data collection and happens in almost every country in the world that takes a decennial Census.

A certain percentage of the returned forms are called back to verify that correct information was given. Sometimes mail-backs are filled incorrectly, and sometimes people do not understand the questions on the form.

The Census is an apolitical statistical tool and has operated roughly the same way for the last 230 years, regardless of who is in office at the time.

The pay was actually better for Census 2000 when both chambers of Congress were controlled by Republicans. It has nothing to do with politics.

It is actually just a pleasant coincidence that the Census is taking place during a recession. The Census will happen again in 2020, even if the streets are paved with gold and we all drive around in cars made of diamonds.

Are two phone calls really such an inconvenience when it means getting accurate information on how many people live in the United States?

Nancy

I received a phone call from the Census Bureau today. I filled out my form clearly, completely and promptly and omitted nothing. I had that same concern about answering questions when not certain who I was talking to. The worker was very nice when I refused to answer. I asked for a web address, a phone number, her name, whether everyone was being called (she said yes!) so they could be sure the info was correct for the 2020 census (??? - like no one will change any info in the next 10 years!). She offered to let me speak to her supervisor but I declined. I asked her whether she was getting many responses like mine, objecting to the use of our taxpayer dollars for this kind of wasteful effort. She said she personally and other workers had run into a lot of refusals. I asked her whether she could see any incomplete info on my form and she said no. Therefore, I refused to participate in the call. I can't believe this kind of waste. 575.700 workers - working full time? The cost of at least 3 mailings to every household in the nation. And now the cost of workers at call centers in GA, AZ, CA, KY and one other she couldn't remember, making follow up phone calls to every household that had already returned their forms.

GL

It isn't just people who sent in forms. A friend of mine never got a form (due to having a PO Box) and so a worker came out to her home. She completed the survey w/ the census worker and now she is also getting messages on her machine saying they want to verify her information. Seriously? People are getting paid to be census workers and now other people are getting paid to verify the work that should have already been done by those already getting paid? Of course, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I mean it IS government after all.

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