Of course you might have heard the ad — the government’s spending millions of dollars to air it — but if you haven’t heard the ad, you might have seen it on a bus:
The government is spending millions of dollars of our money to remind us that, without the census, the government wouldn’t know how many buses they need.
“If a city had three buses to start with, and grew by a half a million people, without the census telling us how many people there are, we’d still only have three buses!” Well, yeah, I guess you would — if you were as dumb as a box of congressional economists.
Somehow a McDonalds in that same hypothetically growing city knows how many people they’re going to need to work on any particular day, and about how many hamburgers they’ll need to make. But according to the government, McDonalds can’t possibly know that because they’ve never taken a census in the community. That McDonalds should still be making only 25 hamburgers a day and have four employees just like they did when they first opened in 1958. What gives?
“Hey boss, we ran out of burgers by noon and had to close. We turned away dozens and dozens of people. That happened the day before, too.”
“Hmm, that’s strange. Okay, I’ll see you in the morning. We’ve got 25 hamburgers to make tomorrow!”
Of course, the real reason for the Census these days is for gerrymandering and to figure out how to cut up and re-distribute your pie, but as for their claim that they really wouldn’t know how many buses they’d need if no Census was taken, is the government really that stupid? Yes.
I’m sure they’ll do just fine running the health care industry and car companies though.