Friday, 17 December 2010

Just Pray a Little

It is an odd report tonight....New Hampshire Democrats are now saying that a Republican “Bible Belt agenda” exists....and it's asking folks to pray to God to heal America.

Naturally, Democrats are worried about this agenda.  They'd prefer the public not get into a prayer mentality....or that we invoke God into government affairs.  The last thing that a Democrat would want in New Hampshire....is a miracle of sorts occurring, and everyone running around thanking God for fixing up the state.

So the Republicans have jumped up and feel insulted over this Democratic comment, and they want an apology. They think that this anti-God agenda and anti-prayer agenda by the Democrats....is an absolute insult.

It kinda feels like being in a dry county in Bama....with a bunch of Baptists telling you about Satan and beer....before they sit down on your back porch to sip some of your beer offerings.

The truth is....a true Democratic or Republican political figure....believes that only money can fix the woes of a situation, and they'd hate to get into invoking God to heal anything.  If a new $62 million highway extension program is the answer....then that's more effective than a bunch of guys sitting around praying.  This praying business would never bring a highly overpriced highway extension into the big picture.

Thank God for American politics.

Census Woes

There is a report by the Census folks that indicates that the sheer cost of doing the Census each decade is becoming an issue.  Things were simple up until 1970...then for some reason, the cost started to double each ten years.  So the 2010 Census ran around $15 billion, and based on this report....unless things change, the 2020 Census will cost $30 billion.

I sat there, and pondered over this.  Statistics are a passion of mine.

This would mean that the 2030 Census would be $60 billion.  Then the 2040 Census would be $120 billion.  The 2050 Census would be around $240 billion.  And the 2060 Census would be around $480 billion.  You don't even want to know about the 2070 Census or beyond.

Why the cost situation?  There simply isn't a cost-effective way of counting what exists or doesn't exist.  Yep, the numbers folks need to fill in this void when things don't fit, and they need research and various other data collections to find data to dump into their numbers.

From a historical standpoint, it was fairly simple in 1810 to walk around South Carolina and come up with a number.  You could ask the Census guy for one county.....and he'd likely admit that he'd walk through a frontier town on the western end, and just get an eye-ball number by asking the Jones family about their neighbors and then get the magic '188'-number for the local Census count.  Ms Jones would rattle off her own statistical numbers, and Mr Jones would offer up some whiskey from his stash in the barn.  After three hours, the Census guy would be all happy with whatever Ms Jones said....and be mostly drunk as he left the town without every really hitting every single house.  It was a simple method.  Things have changed.

So as we look ahead to 2060, and this idea of the nation having to pay around $480 billion possibly....I'm of the mind that we really can't afford this anymore.  The cost would outweigh the benefit.

The solution?  This void that continually exists....that needs extra research to fill in and be highly accurate?  Well...I'm of the mind to go back to the Ms Jones method, and just get some data from some local person and dump it into the mess....no matter how accurate or inaccurate it might be.  And let the Census guy have a drink or two while on duty to help him steady his hand at this counting business.  Maybe getting one and one to equal three....might work....with five sips of a good Tennessee whiskey....and we can save $470 billion in 2060 (and help a Tennessee whiskey company in bad times).