If you don't get the Economist, just holler with a comment and I'll fax you the Dec. 22 article called "Census Sensitivity," which is all about why counting folks matters.
Anyone checking out this space knows that I've made altering the U.S. Census questions for 2010 to include the virtual economy a cause celebre for the next few years.
As I've been writing, when you are not counted you just don't COUNT in the eyes of the government. At stake is health care, social security and a raft of other programs.
And The Economist article makes that case over and over, from country to country. Interestingly, in countries that are democratic the population wants to get counted for these very reasons. Often, there are cases of corruption on the part of government officials that purposely slight various populations.
The article posits that in recent years the Republican Congress, which has been anti-big government, has been less than eager to count all Americans. Again, those entitlement programs cost big bucks and big bucks have been going overseas for other causes that make daily headlines.
In authoritarian or fascist states, not surprisingly the population often does not want to be counted and resists censuses, says The Economists. Hey, who wants to end up in a gulag or even worse?
But what's great about this piece is that it makes the case, and a very forceful one, that being counted means being part of power blocks that can make a difference. Right now the virtual work place is NOT BEING COUNTED so many of us just don't count.
Isn't it time to get to your Congressman or Senator and ask for a change?