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We just got our Census form in the mail. Well, it’s not the census form, it’s the warm-up census form, telling us that we’re going to get the census form shortly and to look forward to it. We have a week to get all excited before the main event (guess this is what the Department of Commerce calls foreplay). The first part of the letter is in big print in English but at the bottom there are instructions in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian on how to get to the census web site for more information (readers of Portuguese, Japanese, Cherokee and Hindi are just out of luck I guess).

But here’s the part that interests me. The letter tells me:

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.

I thought that the main purpose of the census was to preserve the Republic by fairly appropriating representation in the House of Representatives, electors, and direct taxes, at least that’s how I read that bit of Article One, Section 2 of the Constitution. OK, it was never that simple: there’s all that business about Indians not being counted and only three/fifths of a slave (which meant I guess—at least on an account book—you could hack a slave apart and count two legs and an arm had to leave out his head and the other arm, which, come to think of it, is what actually happened to a lot of white boys here in Murfreesboro at the Battle of Stones River, history has an terrible way of settling scores)—but that was the general idea, messy as it was.

But there’s not even the wisp of a hint of that notion in the letter. Not much of a civics lesson here about “no taxation without representation” and all that. The census is about loot. And getting my communities’ “fair share” of it. And it’s loot I need. The United States Federal Government tells me so.

I’ve written before ( here and here ) about how I think it’s pretty clear Americans’ values are simply based upon money and not much else. Now I have the folks at the census telling me the same thing, in six languages. Thanks for the update. I’m all a’ twitter.

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