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A Ron Paul volunteer explains how to dodge the Census

Vijay Boyapati, a former Google engineer who famously (relatively speaking) quit his job to work for Rep. Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign, posts an essay at Paul's Campaign for Liberty website making the case for not complying with the Census. He's been dodging the system himself, and explains what happened on his second refusal.

After I informed the worker that I had previously refused to answer any questions on principle -- and thus that I would refuse to answer her questions -- she warned me that participation in the census was "mandatory." I replied that I was aware of the potential consequences and still did not wish to comply, whereupon she switched strategies, trying persuasion by utilitarian arguments. The worker explained that without the census the government would not be able to correctly allocate its funds to the various states. Of course, the government has no funds, but only that which it violently appropriates from the population, and I explained that such violent redistribution of private property was entirely immoral.

Like the first worker who visited my house, the second was confused about the aggressive nature of the state. I explained to her that, as Ludwig von Mises observed, all government action ultimately resorts to the use or threat of aggression.

Worth reading if you want to understand the problem (some) tea partyers and libertarians have with the Census. Yes, it's in the Constitution. That doesn't erase their problems with its invasiveness.

By David Weigel  |  June 18, 2010; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Libertarians  
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