New Hampshire: low taxes, lowest poverty, sixth highest median income

Posted on August 28th, 2008 by bile
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http://wbztv.com/…

New Hampshire has the lowest percentage of people living in poverty in the nation.

The U.S. Census Bureau says more than 90,200 Granite state residents lived below the poverty line in 2007. That number represents about 7.1 percent of the state’s population.

New Hampshire also has the lowest number of children living below the poverty line.

The state also has the sixth highest median household income in the country with residents earning a median salary of more than $62,000.

The data was released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

More on taxes in New Hampshire

Property taxes are fairly high but according to the 2004 census it’s 48th in Revenue as % of income. If anyone comes across a chart with taxes, median income, poverty percentage, etc. all listed post the link in the comments.

Service Nation sponsors and supporters and additional information

Posted on July 31st, 2008 by bile
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Companies and organizations which very likely won’t be getting my business in the future.

  • Target
  • TIME
  • Home Depot
  • Bank of America
  • American Red Cross
  • Big Brother Big Sister
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • “I Have a Dream” Foundation
  • National Peace Corps Association
  • Special Olympics
  • United Way of America

This is a subset of the list available at BeTheChangeInc.org and is organizations that stood out for me. AARP, Target, TIME, The Home Depot Foundation and Bank of America are sponsoring the 2008 Service Nation Summit in NYC on… wait for it…. September 11-12.

Mark Edge of Free Talk Live has contacted Target to get their official position but as of last night’s show had not received a response.

I noticed that Americans for a National Service Act is a member of the Service Nation coalition. Comments after the jump.

Read More…

Clarification and information on my current census situation

Posted on May 30th, 2008 by bile
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I don’t believe in any of my posts on my ongoing census ordeal I’ve claimed the census was the official decennial census. However over at the MLP‘s blog Serf City I had and was asked how it was I got a 2010 census request in 2008.

It really hadn’t dawned on me to look into how they go about collecting the census and while the law says they can have other surveys the pamphlet they gave me [page 4,5] says “United States Census 2010″ on the front lower right. I figured “The American Community Survey” title was just some fancy thing used to get more people to fill it out. “It’s for the community! To help the children and fix the roads!” type guilt trip. Turns out I was incorrect. The ACS according to Wikipedia:

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a project of the U.S. Census Bureau that replaces the long form in the decennial census. It is an ongoing statistical survey, and thus more current than information obtained by the long form. Many Americans found filling out the long form to be burdensome, intrusive, and its unpopularity was a factor in the declining response rate to the decennial census. In 1995, the Bureau began a process to change the means of demographic, housing, social, and economic information from the census long form to the ACS. Testing began in 1996, and the ACS program began producing test data in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The full program is expected to be implemented by 2010.

Not surprisingly Ron Paul has commented on this:

You may not have heard of the American Community Survey, but you will. The national census, which historically is taken every ten years, has expanded to quench the federal bureaucracy’s ever-growing thirst to govern every aspect of American life. The new survey, unlike the traditional census, is taken each and every year at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. And it’s not brief. It contains 24 pages of intrusive questions concerning matters that simply are none of the government’s business, including your job, your income, your physical and emotional heath, your family status, your dwelling, and your intimate personal habits.

The questions are both ludicrous and insulting. The survey asks, for instance, how many bathrooms you have in your house, how many miles you drive to work, how many days you were sick last year, and whether you have trouble getting up stairs. It goes on and on, mixing inane questions with highly detailed inquiries about your financial affairs. One can only imagine the countless malevolent ways our federal bureaucrats could use this information. At the very least the survey will be used to dole out pork, which is reason enough to oppose it.

Keep in mind the survey is not voluntary, nor is the Census Bureau asking politely. Americans are legally obligated to answer, and can be fined up to $1,000 per question if they refuse!

I introduced an amendment last week that would have eliminated funds for this intrusive survey in a spending bill, explaining on the House floor that perhaps the American people don’t appreciate being threatened by Big Brother. The amendment was met by either indifference or hostility, as most members of Congress either don’t care about or actively support government snooping into the private affairs of citizens.

[more]

The Wikipedia entry links to  a World Net Daily article from November, 2007 which reads in part:

Another month is coming, and another 250,000 forms are being mailed out in the U.S. Census Bureau’s perpetual American Community Survey, which demands responses to personal questions about a family’s lifestyle, housing accommodations, work schedules, physical and mental disabilities, income and the like.

That means roughly 250,000 times recipients will see the warning that participation is required by law, and there are penalties including fines for not answering each question. But, in fact, U.S. Census Bureau officials say they’ve never had anyone prosecuted for refusing to provide those intimate details to the government.

“The Census Bureau has never prosecuted anybody,” spokesman Clyve Richmond told WND. “We try to work with people and explain how useful the information is.”

The very next line is:

As WND has reported, the U.S. Census Bureau switched from the surveys once every 10 years, called for in the U.S. Constitution, to annual surveys sent to three million households, to keep the government’s data more up-to-date.

So maybe I wasn’t all that off. They’ve moved the (IMO) unconstitutional long form component from the decennial census to a rolling survey and plan on getting rid of the long form for the 2010 head count census.

In case I’m partially blind or missed yesterday’s envelope

Posted on May 28th, 2008 by bile
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Today as I walked up to my home after work I noted the all too familiar U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau envelope taped to my door. Two in two days. I must be important for Mr. Marcus/the Census Bureau/the US taxpayers to be spending the money on gas to deliver this envelope. You’d think the USPS would be more efficient. In any case…

This envelope instead of “Important information from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce regarding your residence” being printed on the front [page 6] it has “Updated penalty information.” Inside it contains no trifold pamphlet [page 4,5] and no form letter explaining why I should need to participate [page 1]. What it does contain is another copy of the “Request for Appointment” note [page 3] with better centering of “Edward Marcus” and “201-927-4763″ and the same text in the remarks box. It also contains the print out of the law indicating the Title 18 US Code which overrides the Title 13 fine [page 2]. That’s it. However the print out is structured a bit differently. I’ll try to reproduce it below in HTML and you can compare it to yesterday’s. I’ll scan these tomorrow for archival purposes and true comparison.

Please cooperate in our survey which is helpful to determining the requirements of the households in your area.

Every resident of the United States is obligated to participate in this survey and there are penalties involved for not co-operating.

The American Community Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, and response is mandatory. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100.

Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000.

The U.S. Census Bureau may use this information only for statistical purposes. We can assure you that your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.

Wouldn’t “from a fine not more than $100 to not more than $5,000″ be worded better as “from a max fine of $100 to max $5,000.”

Edward Marcus and the Census Bureau strike again! Raise stakes.

Posted on May 27th, 2008 by bile
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Today I came home to another personally delivered envelope from Mr. Marcus on behalf of the Census Bureau. It looks like it was placed in the second floor’s mailbox and they noticed it addressed to “Occupants of: APT 1.” The “APT 1″ written in pen. It was the same envelope Edward delivered the first time and that he failed to give me on when we had our face to face chat. It has the same US Census 2010 pamphlet as before [page 7 & 8] and the same general warning letter [page 3] but as you’d expect there are some differences. If you look at page 2 there is the Request for Appointment slip. On the one received today the top section is again blank, the Census Bureau Representative and Telephone number are the same but the remarks say:

I am following up on the survey you received in the mail and did not return. I have been to your home and you have refused to allow me to interview you either in person or on the phone. Title 13 of the US Code imposes Penalties for non response to this survey. It is a very brief interview you can do on the phone by calling me. If you do not reach me leave a phone number & a time to call back.

In addition there is a new page which reads:

Please cooperate in our survey which is helpful to determining the requirements of households in your area.

Every resident of the United States is obligated to participate in this survey and there are penalties involved for not co-operating.

The American Community Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, and response is mandatory. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000. The U.S. Census Bureau may use this information only for statistical purposes. We can assure you that your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine up to $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.

Tricksy they are. This is why the whole “ignorance of the law is no excuse” statement is absolutely ridiculous. They thugs in Washington DC obviously wanted to raise fines so instead of going through existing law and replacing values they go and add a new one that trumps the old values unless the law explicitly says it doesn’t. So this TITLE 18 > PART II > CHAPTER 227 > SUBCHAPTER C > § 3571 Sentence of fine reads:

(a) In General.- A defendant who has been found guilty of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine.

(b) Fines for Individuals.- Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, an individual who has been found guilty of an offense may be fined not more than the greatest of-

(1) the amount specified in the law setting forth the offense;

(2) the applicable amount under subsection (d) of this section;

(3) for a felony, not more than $250,000;

(4) for a misdemeanor resulting in death, not more than $250,000;

(5) for a Class A misdemeanor that does not result in death, not more than $100,000;

(6) for a Class B or C misdemeanor that does not result in death, not more than $5,000; or

(7) for an infraction, not more than $5,000.

(e) Special Rule for Lower Fine Specified in Substantive Provision.- If a law setting forth an offense specifies no fine or a fine that is lower than the fine otherwise applicable under this section and such law, by specific reference, exempts the offense from the applicability of the fine otherwise applicable under this section, the defendant may not be fined more than the amount specified in the law setting forth the offense.

According to Section 3559 since in Title 13, Section 221 there is no classifying letter grade and no imprisonment is authorized, refusal or willfully neglecting to complete the questionnaire is an infraction. According to Section 3571 as shown above an infraction can carry a fine of not more than $5,000.

So it appears that ol’ Ed is trying to intimidate me. I had told him prior I was well aware of the Census law and knew my fine was not more than $100. Well it seems my criminal code knowledge was lacking. Not that this changes anything. In a similar case where two individuals, Russell Kanning and David Ridley, had been issued a fine from the federal government for distribution of handbills and refused to pay the fine they were imprisoned for a period of time. Dave for 4 days I believe and I’ve not yet tracked down Russell’s length though I’ve sent Dave an email asking for the numbers and any info he feels is relevant. You can find his story here, here, here and here.

I found TITLE 13 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER III > § 241 Evidence interesting:

When any request for information, made by the Secretary or other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, is made by registered or certified mail or telegram, the return receipt therefor or other written receipt thereof shall be prima facie evidence of an official request in any prosecution under such section.

Does this mean that the hand delivered requests can not be prima facie evidence? Not that they need to worry as they sent me two booklets, a postcard and a letter which they likely have receipts for or could make up if need be.

Also interesting is I finally talked with the occupants of the other apartment in my building and found that they had been contacted by the Census Bureau separately and filled out theirs and returned it several weeks ago. They also informed me that they had been looking for me (our friend Edward Marcus I’m sure) but had forgotten to tell me. What are the odds that both apartment addresses would be chosen or are they just lazy?

I’ll provide a PDF of the new documents tomorrow.

Some info on the US Census

Posted on May 13th, 2008 by bile
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http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_cens.html

The Constitution includes the phrase “[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” Congress first met in 1789, and the first national census was held in 1790.

There was actually some debate about whether how and on what time table a census should have been held. In early 1790, several Congressmen argued against a census prior to the next election. Some in the Congress, who advocated an immediate census, noted that those who did not want one were the people from states which were generally regarded as being over-represented in the Congress based on the initial figures provided for in the Constitution. Others were concerned that the questions to be asked in the census, while others felt that more questions should be asked to get a better picture of the citizenry.

For example, on February 2, 1790, Samuel Livermore of New Hampshire lamented that the question about profession would be hard for his constituents to answer, since some had three or four professions, depending on the season. Connecticut Representative Theodore Sedgwick, on the same day, wondered why the questions were not extended further – “The state of society could be ascertained, perhaps, in some degree, by observing [the] proportions.”

The final bill, Statute 2 of March 1, 1790, provided that census marshals be appointed, directed to “cause the number of the inhabitants within their respective districts to be taken; omitting in such enumeration Indians not taxed, and distinguishing free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, from all others; distinguishing also the sexes and colours of free persons, and the free males of sixteen years and upwards from those under that age.” The act directed that the names of the heads of families be recorded, the number of white males sixteen and older, the number of white males under sixteen, the number of white females, the number of all other free persons, and the number of slaves. Failure of an assistant marshal to make a return, or to make a false return, was punishable by a $200 fine. Failure of a marshal to do the same was punishable by up to an $800 fine. The questions about profession, and other information Representative Sedgwick spoke of, were not made part of the final census. Census day was set at the first Monday in August, 1790. Failure to cooperate with a marshal or assistant was punishable by a $20 fine.

Today, the controlling law for the U.S. Census is Title 13 of the U.S. Code. There is a lot of census data collected in the United States today, such as economic figures, sales and production figures, and agricultural statistics. Still, the head count is the only part of the census that is called for by the Constitution. The code for the enumeration can be found in 13 USC 141. In this code, the census is directed to be taken in 1980 and every ten years thereafter, and that the count is to be taken on April 1. The returns must be completed within nine months for use in apportionment of representatives. The code also specifies a mid-decade census be taken in 1985 and every ten years thereafter. This count need not be a head count (sampling may be used) though the data cannot be used for apportionment.

The code, at §141(g), notes that “As used in this section, ‘census of population’ means a census of population, housing, and matters relating to population and housing.”

There are fines for non-response and for false response as well, though the amount has risen from the 1790′s $20. Today failure to respond can result in a $100 fine; providing false answers is a more severe offense, and carries a $500 fine. Recent news reports, however, indicate that punishment for failure to respond is not usually enforced. The controlling section of the Code is 13 USC 221.

Today, all persons are counted as whole persons – the original census counted “other persons” (slaves) as three-fifths persons for the purposes of apportionment. This fractionalization was removed by the 14th Amendment. The Attorney General ruled, in 1940, that there were no longer any Indians in the United States who could be classified as “not taxed.” In the Constitution, non-taxed Indians are not counted.

In 2000, a group of citizens are suing the Census over the questions on the long form – a form sent to one out of every six households. Though the 2000 log form is 18 questions shorter than the long form in 1990, and the shortest since the 1940 census, distrust of the Census Bureau’s ability to keep the data private have many people up in arms about the questions. The suit challenges the ability of the census to ask all of the questions asked. The biggest problem for the suit is the Constitution itself: “[The Census] shall be made … in such Manner as [Congress] shall by Law direct.”

The questions on the long form are there because of legislation duly enacted into law by the Congress and signed by the President. Though the ire of citizens is being directed at the Bureau, the Bureau itself says that the Congress is to blame. The Census Bureau is looking to find ways to collect the data on the long form in other manners, such as polling and sampling. Though there is a possible $100 fine for failing to file with the Census, the Bureau also notes that no one has been penalized for failing to file in the past. The fine is more of a psychological reminder of the importance of the census than a source of income for the government.

Advice to leave the form blank or to fail to fill it in may actually bring more of the government into your life than you want – unfiled and incomplete forms will be followed-up upon by actual census workers, either in person or by telephone.

The U.S. Census Bureau has a web site at Census.gov and also has lots of data about the 2000 Census.

The 2000 census data, along with data from other sources, has been compiled into a user-friendly web-based database by LocalCensus.com.

$20 huh? That’s pretty extreme for 1790. It’s nice to know that they don’t generally enforce the fine but why bother then really? If you don’t hear back from someone why not just pick another house? They are wasting their time (aka our money) by trying to hunt me down. I’m not going to respond.