Selling the Welfare State Through the Census
by Jeffrey Terry
The Constitution mandates that a census be taken every 10 years so that the members of the House of Representatives can be apportioned among the states according to their population.
But as the Census Bureau prepares to undertake the 2010 census, it is planning to stress a far different purpose for the population count, according to its own carefully crafted communications plan.
This plan is detailed in a 351-page Census Bureau document titled "2010 Census Integrated Communications Campaign Plan" that is posted on the bureau's Website.
I looked for and found the above-mentioned document at the Census Bureau website.
Whether or not you agree with Jeffrey Terry, the Census document is interesting. It's not what I expected (dry number-crunching) and reads more like a brochure for Up With People.
Something that caught my eye was the recurring references to various forms of the word "empower". As in,
Compared to 2000, when people still needed to be empowered, today's population is very comfortable exerting the control they have in many aspects of their lives.
After seeing four or five usages, I did a text search and it came up with 16 various forms: empower, empowered, empowerment, empowering.
And I thought the government just wanted to know about boring stuff like my my marital history.
Who knew they were concerned about my empowerment?