I need a good resource on the 1940 Census.

It is shockingly difficult to track down online what percentage of the population of Yazoo City, Mississippi was African-American in 1940.  It shouldn’t be: the Census asked that question, I believe, and they took down the answers. Shouldn’t this be readily available public information?

Moe Lane

PS: Because I want to know what kind of neo-barbarian tribe would have taken over the town after The Day After Ragnarok‘s Serpentfall, of course.  I was originally going to have it be ruled over by an increasingly-thewed Barbour Tribe, of course — it’s like they’re just handing me the idea — but if the town was already majority-black at the time then I gotta fiddle with the idea some more.

Megan McArdle waxes wroth on #Obamacare Census question changes.

I’ve been waiting for Megan McArdle to cook off over the news that the administration just casually made it impossible to assess the effects of Obamacare on insurance rates; and hoo, boy, but she’s unhappy.

I’m speechless. Shocked. Stunned. Horrified. Befuddled. Aghast, appalled, thunderstruck, perplexed, baffled, bewildered and dumbfounded. It’s not that I am opposed to the changes: Everyone understands that the census reports probably overstate the true number of the uninsured, because the number they report is supposed to be “people who lacked insurance for the entire previous year,” but people tend to answer with their insurance status right now.

But why, dear God, oh, why, would you change it in the one year in the entire history of the republic that it is most important for policy makers, researchers and voters to be able to compare the number of uninsured to those in prior years? The answers would seem to range from “total incompetence on the part of every level of this administration” to something worse.

Continue reading Megan McArdle waxes wroth on #Obamacare Census question changes.

Voxxie @sarahkliff abruptly goes 180 degrees on Census changes.

Point (11:43 AM, Sarah Cliff):

Counter-point (12:21 PM, …Sarah Kliff): “Don’t freak out about the changes to the Census yet“.

Continue reading Voxxie @sarahkliff abruptly goes 180 degrees on Census changes.

Barack Obama cooking the Census books over #Obamacare.

There are a lot of people in the health care pundit business who are screaming about this piece of news right now: “The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.” Basically, the questions have been changed in a fashion that supposedly will make the census data collected more accurate, but will almost certainly bring in a result where the percentage of uninsured will be ‘officially’ deemed to be lower.  As the New York Times (rather glumly*) had ‘officials’ put it: “it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.”

Funny how that works. Continue reading Barack Obama cooking the Census books over #Obamacare.

#rsrh I’m too sexy for my Census form.

The government probably had similar problems with the last one, too, but this is still funny: the hipsters aren’t bothering with filling theirs out, the dolts. Listen to the NPR report on this (with a slightly glassy smile) (transcript here):

…and let me just highlight this marvel of our public school system:

Just outside the record store, I meet Jamie Lilly. She knows the ads. She got the form but she thinks that returning it is just supporting a government that she doesnt believe in.

Ms. JAMIE LILLY: You know, on a personal note, maybe some people, they figure what’s the point to be counted if you dont count for much anyway? If we dont count, why be counted?

Words cannot express my relief that it is highly unlikely that Ms. Lilly will ever have a say in formulating Republican party policy.

#rsrh Government behind on hiring census workers; wait, what?

I mean, I’m pleased that they didn’t muck up the unemployment rate even worse than it already is (it stayed at 9.7%), and it’s good news that we have positive job growth this month. But… what?

The nation’s economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.


The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the most since the recession began but below analysts’ expectations of 190,000. The total includes 48,000 temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census, also fewer than many economists forecast.

By ‘fewer’ the AP means ‘half:’ the assumption was that 100K temporary census jobs would be added in March. 48K of 162K is actually a better ratio than 100K of 200K, in this context, but why is the Commerce Department missing what should be some very easy benchmarks?

Aside from the obvious answer of ‘consider the political party running the show,’ of course.

Moe Lane

The President always wanted to re-evaluate the census process?

Since when?

No, I’m quite serious: since when?

This is all part of this little article (Glenn Reynolds summed it up perfectly, by the way) about Sen. Gregg’s real value to this administration:

MANCHESTER – Sen. Judd Gregg yesterday declined all comment on reports that the White House will strip him of his authority over the federal Census Bureau even before he becomes Secretary of Commerce.

Gregg spokesman Laena Fallon said all comment would come from the White House.

A White House spokesman last evening said, “From the first days of the transition the census has been a priority for the president, and a process he wanted to reevaluate. There is historic precedent for the director of the census, who works for the Commerce Secretary and the president, to work closely with White House senior management — given the number of decisions that will have to be put before the president. We plan to return to that model in this administration.”

Continue reading The President always wanted to re-evaluate the census process?