The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Driving a Survey 

Recently I went over to Sensenbrenner's website to see what was going on there lately. I'll admit it... I was looking for blog fodder. I found plenty of it which I'll be blogging about over the next few days. Apparently he sent out a questionnaire to his constituents asking their opinions on several issues. First of all, I didn't get one Jim... I'm feeling kind of left out. So if you only sent out a small number of them, how did you determine who got one? I'd think that the sampling method would be rather important to get accurate results. But since you don't share that, let's look at the questions (I'll only be covering a few of them):

(1) Should illegal aliens be permitted to receive a driver's license?
YES - 5.3% NO - 94.1% NO RESPONSE (NR) - 0.6%

While an interesting question, and I'm sure he'll use it as justification for his Real ID bill (discussed here, here and here)... I'd love to see the answer to this question - "Is it the Federal Government's job to decide who should and shouldn't receive a driver's license?", and also "Should the Federal Government force states to check immigration and naturalization documents without funding them?".

(4) Current law bans the purchase of drugs from Canada or other countries that are shipped to the United States. Should this law be changed?
(a) Yes, seniors should be able to purchase prescription drugs, from countries such as Canada - 80.9%;
(b) No, there are too many safety concerns - 18%; No Response - 1.1%

This is what I mean by driving a survey. You've taken a Yes/No question and turned it into more than that. By adding "there are too many safety concerns" you've colored the answers. First of all, there is no proof of any safety concerns, and secondly, that might not be the only reason to say No. How about "No, we shouldn't destroy the pharmaceutical industry's ability to do research and development on future drugs by killing their profit margins on current drugs". Don't think it would happen? Look what happened to our ability to create flu vaccines every year because of government interference. There are now only a small handful of companies that bother any more, and we end up with a shortage every year. I don't want that happening to heart drugs next!

(5) There are currently 44 states that have enacted some form of parental notification or consent statute for minors who wish to have an abortion. Should minors be permitted to circumvent their state's law by going to another state to have an abortion, without their parent's consent?
YES - 14.8% NO - 84.2% NR - 1%

Listen... I'm personally against abortion, and I think that state's ought to be able to pass abortion laws as they see fit. However, I also think that if a state wants it to stay legal, they should be allowed to. This question is obviously geared to probe whether people think there should be a federal law banning cross state abortions. This is a dangerous concept Jim. What's next... people can't fly to Las Vegas to elope depending on your state's marriage laws, or gamble in Las Vegas if it's illegal in their home state? People aren't circumventing law if they go to another state to do something where it's legal. We don't have state border checks.

(11) In your opinion, which of the following solutions would assist small businesses and enhance economic growth in Southeastern Wisconsin?
(a) Affordable health insurance for small business employees - 14.4%; (b) Tax laws that encourage growth - 3.3%; (c) End of frivolous lawsuits - 2.9%; (d) All of the above - 76.3%; No Response - 3.1%

I understand that you can do something (b), and you could pass tort laws to help (c)... but I fear any government option that attempts (a). Please don't. Wisconsin is already trying and it scares me (see here).

(13) Who do you think should make the majority of decisions regarding spending taxpayer money for education?
(a) U.S. Department of Education - 7.3%; (b) Wisconsin State Government - 13.3%; (c) U.S. Congress - 1.6%; (d) Local school boards, administrators, and parents - 74.9%; No Response - 3%

This is an important one Jim. I'd appreciate a bill which gets rid of the Dept. of Education completely any time soon. Many thanks.

I'll hit some other highlights from Sensenbrenner's legislative update in the next few days.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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