April 1, 2010
Discover how you can save $59.57 by sending in the census form.
—NOT an April Fools Day Trick
ARRRGGUH! This is my second day of my provisional (in case I change my mind) practice of writing every day in the blog. I thought if I wrote more often that I could shorten the time it takes to write something I was willing to have people read.
Unfortunately, when I was putting the finishing touches on today’s blog — after about one hour, which is about twice as long as I would like it to take — when I couldn’t save it (the button for saving was blacked out). I’m sure it was an internal glitch (why should I take the blame?). So I closed it anyway, hoping it would save automatically but failing to copy it first to a blank page on the computer, and discovered my changes weren’t saved. Now I have to go back and do it again. As I said, ARRRGGUH! [or however one spells a scream]
Okay, calm down, Arlene, and begin again. [Don’t you just hate it when you’ve done something creative and it gets lost? All those brilliant, or at least original, ideas are down the drain and you have to restart the creativity process all over again.]
Anyway, I don’t want to change to a topic I can write more quickly, like simply sharing a favorite quotation, because today’s topic won’t wait. In fact, it is particularly timely because it is THE time to save money, taxpayer money, that is. Assuming you’re one of those, and who isn’t, by reading this blog today you may be able to save yourself $59.57. [Or tell others about the blog and you can save even more.]
That’s the figure I got from the NewsHour last evening. I didn’t write down the exact figures, so I may be slightly off, but I’m close enough to confidently tell you that you’re taking money out of your pocket if you don’t send in your census form by today. Well, actually, you get a little longer, but not much.
The director of the 2010 Census, who was interviewed, said that it costs 43 cents for every census form that is mailed in. It costs $60 if a census worker has to come to your house and find you.
Most of all, it’s important to know that participating in the census is not optional. It’s a federal requirement. So if you don’t send in the form, the Census Bureau will likely send someone to knock on your day to get the information. In fact, you could face a $5,000 fine if you don’t complete the form! Talk about an incentive for participating in a once-a-decade program! [I believe Canada has a census every five years.]
According to the Detroit News, “Gov. Jennifer Granholm walked from the State Capitol lawn to the Lansing City Hall this morning [April 1] to mail in her U.S. Census form, saying it costs Michigan $10,000 for each state resident not counted.” That’s because federal funds are doled out based on population.
Every form not filled out and returned costs the state $1,000. In a decade, that adds up to $10,000 and “with 178,000 Michiganians not counted in 2000, it cost the state nearly $2 billion.” Wherever you live, the same problem can affect your state budget, which likely has a shortfull or has already drastically cut services.
What do you get IF you participate in the census? You will have more money for libraries, education, infrastructure, health care, and other services paid for by YOUR dollars. In other words, if you don’t participate, someone else will get the money that belongs to you.
Ask Yourself These Questions
- How much do I know about the census? Take a quick quiz on Census 2010: Everything You Thought You Knew and Need to Know
- If I filled in the census form, how long did it take me? [They said it would be ten minutes, but it can be done in much shorter time than that.]
- If I filled in the form, did I mail it in?
- If I didn’t fill in the form, am I willing to pay (out of my tax dollars) $59.57 (or more) to have someone come and find me?
- If I think it is important for people to participate in the census, am I willing to encourage others to do so — and in the process save us all money?
As I’m finishing up this blog (as I said, for the second time today), I just now thought of a question that might be fun:
- When the census finishes its counting, what will be the total number of people living in the United States?
I will give the person who comes closest to the final figure a framed photo from my travels. All you have to do is send in your guess before the data is officially announced.