"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
— Fred Rogers
Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/Associated Press
The Census helps millions of Americans make smarter decisions. Census data lets local governments assess where schools and hospitals are needed, and helps businesses determine where a new store would find a market. It helps us know whether public policies are working, and it’s what we use to reapportion political districts. Also lots of other serious things, like natural disaster response and military preparedness and public health, all rely on the Census.
As a side benefit, the Census also can answer absurd questions, such as:
Plus: TAX BARGAIN ALERT! In 2010, the Census Bureau got the work done and stayed $1.6 billion under budget.
Just in time for Tax Day — a video game where you get to defend your local schools, hospitals, and fire departments from the dreaded TAX EVADERS. A totally addictive game for any pro-tax patriot!
Oh no! The school’s windows are boarded and the lights have gone out at the fire station!
Look what happens when we make sure everyone pays their share!
WHEW! Taxes save the day once again!
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory helped develop a new light-weight energy efficient stove, which will reduce fuel use, smoke, and cooking time for families in the developing world.
Stoves like this reduce use of forest resources and emission of greenhouse gases.
Photo credit: Envirofit.
Those dollars in your wallet? Printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Check out their awesome anti-counterfeiting work — and the high-tech new $100 bill, coming soon.
Americans have recourse against discrimination in the workplace thanks to the EEOC. These are just a few of the cases the EEOC has fought and won this year.
Protecting Americans’ jobs and their civil rights: your tax dollars at work.
Here’s a photo of the newest Earth-observing satellite, whose images will be made available *for free* thanks to the U.S. government and your tax dollars. Data from previous Landsat satellites have made whole new kinds of research possible (and are also what power Google Earth).
Launched by NASA, this little guy will be Landsat 8. And how have the previous Landsat’s worked out? Glad you asked:
Landsat 5 successfully set the new Guinness World Records title for ‘Longest-operating Earth observation satellite’ as stated in an e-mail from Guinness World Records sent to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Outliving its three-year design life, Landsat 5 delivered high-quality, global data of Earth’s land surface for 28 years and 10 months.
Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Americans have written some of the world’s great literature, but increasingly few of us are reading it. As the NEA says, literary reading in America is “declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.”
So for the past seven years, the NEA has sponsored “The Big Read,” a program to encourage reading across America, especially among young people. The NEA provides grants to local communities, who discuss and celebrate a single great book through a month of local events.
At the Brooklyn Open, a open-mic night and book group explored Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Photo by Brenda Williams-Butts.