The Census The 2000 Census

The Census

The 2000 Census came in the mail
today. I was a little excited, because filling out the census is a fairly
important thing that is an crucial part of out federal government, like
voting. The questions are no-brainer things, like how many people are in
your family and how old are they, so I sat down to fill it out. Then I
remembered all the television commercials they have acting out all the terrible
things that happen if people do not fill out their census - no money for
daycare, less money for schools, etc. I realized I had a moral obligation
to my neighbors to fill out the census. But would someone truly loyal to
their community lie on the census to maximize the amount of money that is allocated for our region? Certainly I have a duty to my country to fill
out this census accurately to ensure a fair distribution of federal services,
but do I have a greater allegiance to the arbitrary geo-political boundary that
is my state and county? Quite a moral dilemma, n'est pas? Further, there
is room on the form for up to twelve people per household, but I suspect that
the expert statisticians at the census bureau might be suspicious of
pathological liars like me that would consider reporting twelve people in their
household. Thus, would I benefit my area most by putting less than that
number - eight or nine, perhaps? And, since I am required by law to fill
out the census form (as it brazenly states on the envelope), can I assume that I
am putting myself at legal risk by misrepresenting my household?

Oh! The ethical conundrums of living in a representative democracy, where
I must balance my loyalty to my country, state, and self. If only I could
appeal my paradox to a higher Rule of Reason that recognizes the parallels,
interconnectedness, and self-similarity between country, state, and self.

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