Why Are the Conservatives Anti-Census?

Northern Gaijin reports that the Conservatives both in the US and in Canada are waging a battle against the Statistical Abstract and the Census:

The right wing demagogues have won or should I say the Obama Whitehouse has capitulated and this is the last year for the Statistical Abstract of the United States as well as the American Census bureau having decided to shut six of its 12 regional centers at an eventual annual saving of $15 million to $18 million. . . This is similar to the situation in Canada where the Conservative government made the truncated version of the long census form voluntary.

What I don’t understand is why the Conservatives in both countries are so anti-census. Can anybody explain?

11 thoughts on “Why Are the Conservatives Anti-Census?”

  1. An irrational hatred of facts?
    Actually, I think they consider censuses to be “wasteful” and “intrusive” to privacy. At least that’s the logic I was offered when I asked some right-wingers in Montana why they hated the census so much. I was offered a job as a census taker last year, and I turned down the job because a lot of people were threatening violent retaliation against census takers for “trespassing”.

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    1. ” I was offered a job as a census taker last year, and I turned down the job because a lot of people were threatening violent retaliation against census takers for “trespassing”.”

      -This is just incredibly weird to me. What can anybody possibly have against a census taker??? Isn’t it obvious to any reasonable person that we need the census to get the services that are crucial to us? How do people think the number of schools per district gets decided? Through using a divining rod?

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  2. an accurate enumeration might tend to reveal greater numbers of the dispossessed and be used for greater apportionments for “entitlement” program or GOD FORBID reveal the actual depth of economic disparity in the United States. The census does WAY more than count people. It provides numerous demographic reports, many of which pertain to economic issues

    just a historian’s point of view. we ❤ the census and use it as a source all the time

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  3. I think it may also be a side manifestation of the bizarre (to British eyes) undercurrent to American thinking wherin otherwise sane people seem to assume that ‘the GOVERNMENT’S OUT TO GET YOU’ and can’t be trusted. Over here we’re very cynical about the ability of the government (whatever stripe it is) to get things done and expect them to fuck it up, but we don’t assume malice as a default.

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  4. I’m with FeMOMhist. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote, “Isn’t it obvious to any reasonable person that we need the census to get the services that are crucial to us? How do people think the number of schools per district gets decided?” That statement assumes the person wants the government to provide services and schools.

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  5. These aren’t conservatives, they are the same generation of hippie anarchists that they were 40 years ago…just 40 years older. In those days they were true believers in pot, Timothy Leary and Jim Morrison. When I was risking my life working for black voter registration in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi, they were busy “tuning in, turning on, dropping out” and saying me, me, me. Now they are true believers in Glen Beck, Rush (the bloviator, not the band) and Rick Perry and saying me, me, me. Oh, I forgot, they are also true believers in Jesus and pray to him often, “Gimme, gimme, gimme. Glory hallaluja! Ain’t God great cause I’ve got an Escalade and a McMansion.” The local ones around here go to the Republican caucuses hoping to get elected to some government office so that they can sabotage the functioning of the county government. I actually had one of these guys tell me that he was going to vote against every school tax and bond issue because his kids had graduated from high school and he didn’t need the schools anymore. That is until he needs a nurse with enough education to titrate the medication in his IV bag. Conservatives are people who want to be doublely and triplely sure before they take any action and say no because they are afraid to make a mistake, and are comfortable with the way things have been in the past and don’t want to take a chance on changes. That describes me pretty well. But it has nothing to do with these pompous anti-government clowns spouting off today. Take conservatism to the extreme and you get authoritarian dictatorships, not the anarchy preached by these over the hill prima donnas.

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    1. I love your comments because they always make me laugh. 🙂

      “they are also true believers in Jesus and pray to him often, “Gimme, gimme, gimme. Glory hallaluja! Ain’t God great cause I’ve got an Escalade and a McMansion.” ”

      – Did you see this post: https://clarissasblog.com/2011/05/15/jesus-as-reagans-sidekick/ 🙂 It’s exactly about that. 🙂

      “Conservatives are people who want to be doublely and triplely sure before they take any action and say no because they are afraid to make a mistake, and are comfortable with the way things have been in the past and don’t want to take a chance on changes.”

      -This is a very interesting definition of Conservatism that I haven’t considered before. I need to think about it now because this is the kind of conservatism I thought was completely dead on this continent.

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  6. Anti-government paranoia. They don’t like the idea that someone is coming to their house and asking questions and it skeeves them out because the census goes everywhere and isn’t just questions for people they don’t like. Since it’s supposed to gather information for government programs, a little light goes on in their brains and they think “government programs for people I don’t like, like welfare”.

    That explains why the same people think nothing of super harsh anti-immigrant laws infringing on privacy or freedom.

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