Should the Census Have a Citizenship Question?
Join the Wall Street Journal may twentieth. Through the twenty third in New York City for the future of everything festival here from over seventy five renounce, speakers and visionaries touch taste and interact with the products that are redefining tomorrow. To learn more buy tickets. Visit our website at F O E festival dot Debbie s j dot com. Twenty percent off with code podcast, the supreme court hears oral arguments about a census question on citizenship. There's reason to believe that already the trend is going to be toward this census being much worse in quality than the census ten years ago and Sri Lanka continues to investigate who's behind a series of deadly Easter bombing that have now killed over three hundred people. I think they're highly connected. Become us is bull ISIS my personal last. It's a big day for corporate earnings. This is what's news from the Wall Street Journal. I'm Kim get all sin. Let's get started. Now before we get. Our main story this morning a lawsuit over a potential citizenship question on the twenty twenty census and what it says about our overall willingness to participate in surveys. Here's what you missed overnight. The death toll from a series of deadly bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka continues to rise as of this morning, at least three hundred ten people have been killed. Investigators are now focusing on an obscure group national thou teeth Jaama that they believe might have been responsible for the attacks. But they've cautioned that the sophistication suggests that the group had helped from international terrorism experts Indian and US officials had worn Tra Lanka in early April about the possibility of an attack Rajon Roman Yawkey is Sri Lankan government minister. How is my personal view? I don't know why tiller is people the this brutal terrorist. Groups. Why found why right they money tan by the civic our country to me and Mars supreme court has upheld the conviction of two Reuters reporters while loan and Josu they'd been arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison for their coverage of the military's crackdown on ethnic Mahinda Muslims. This was the last avenue of appeal available to the two who were awarded the Pulitzer prize for international reporting along with their colleagues earlier this month, the upheld conviction raises questions about press freedoms and the extent of the countries transitioned democracy under an son Sookie also under no obligation to release his tax returns. It's become a tradition. I know Ronald Reagan, I think released one year of tax returns, and he wasn't real happy about the invasion of privacy. When he did it. And that is a vice President Mike Pence in two thousand sixteen defending President Trump's decision not to release his tax returns something that continues to this day. But here. Here's something you might not know Mr. Pence has filed three tax return since taking office, but he hasn't publicly released any of them. That's a break from his predecessors going back to Walter Mondale in the nineteen seventies all have disclosed their returns. Mr. Pence office has said that he's following Mr. Trump's lead by refusing to release returns until audits are finished. Now, our big story this morning. It has to do with the census today. The supreme court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit over whether or not the twenty twenty census should include a question about whether or not someone is an American citizen. It's controversial because opponents say that question could make minorities end immigrants reluctant to participate. But as Charlie Turner has been finding out from our international economics reporter, Josh some Braham. The census case has raised another big question about our overall willingness to respond to surveys, Josh intertwined with the suit as a more general problem, and that is fewer and fewer Americans are responding to government surveys. Isn't that right? That's correct. And it's a problem. That's so much worse. I think than most people realize I mean here at the Wall Street Journal, we regularly writing stories about the unemployment report or will mention the poverty rate will mention in economic inequality or we'll talk about inflation. And all of these statistics that we talk about come from these. Government surveys that a generation ago. Everybody who got the government survey pretty much responded to it. You'd see you know, they'd send the survey out and ninety percent or ninety five percent of people would fill it out. And so the statistical quality of it was really high. But what's happened over the past twenty thirty years? Is it the rates that which people respond to these surveys have gradually been falling across the board. I mean, it's true in economic statistics true in health statistics demographics. Now, you have, you know, thirty forty in some cases, more than fifty percent of the people who are getting the survey they're not responding to it. And so you don't know that the answers you're getting any good anymore because you're not really getting a random sample and the only reason surveys are work statistically as if they're based on a random sample. And so it really looks like it's a big problem in in all sorts of government data, and it means that allow the statistics that are out. There are a lot worse than we realize. Well, the next question is why are people more worried about things like? Privacy and also spam? And the concern that they're being sold a Bill of goods, you know, it's basically a marketing call I think it's all of those things it's it's how often people are surveyed, you know, you walk in and you buy a coffee, and they try to get you to rate the experience one to five stars. I mean, you're buying coffee and you'll get surveys. You know, there used to be a lot more families where only one person in the family worked outside the home. And you know, there was the other person who's kind of there to to answer surveys. And so you just had a lot of reasons that there used to be more response. People used to be more willing to participate. People are concerned about privacy. They're concerned about being sold things. I mean, you add it all up, and there's just been a collapse and one of the things that's really important. There is to note that some of the people that aren't responding might all have a lot of things in common. So if you think about where both spouses work outside the home, if families like that aren't responding to economic statistics think how different your economic statistics are going to be if you're only sampling the families where one of those people is. Inside the home to answer the family. Suddenly, you're not getting a random selection of the population to all you're getting a very non random group of people in that leads to all sorts of distortions statistics. So it's a really interesting and significant challenge not only are people less likely to answer surveys than they used to be. But there's actually growing evidence that people are doing a worse job of answering surveys when they do respond. The the takeaway from all this is that whatever the outcome of the supreme court cases. There's reason to believe that already the trend is going to be toward the census being much worse in quality than the census ten years ago, and the supreme court decision this case could potentially exacerbate the problem pretty significantly joining us from Washington Wall Street Journal reporter, Josh zoom Brune, thanks a lot. Josh, thanks so much for having me, you can find our full coverage of that hearing and Josh's story about the problems of data collection at WSJ dot com. WSJ wine is celebrating. Ten years of wind discovery. With a limited time offer on our top twelve wines, featuring gold medal winners ninety plus point blockbusters and five star favorites as a special bonus you'll enjoy to luxury reserve cabernet as from an iconic Napa estate and complimentary glasses. Join the party and save over one hundred and sixty dollars at W S. J wine dot com slash go or call eight seven seven nine seven five nine four six three. Onto markets. It's the busiest week of the earnings season with one hundred and fifty s and p five hundred companies reporting results this week. Here's our hurt on the street columnist. Mike Byrd with how investors have been taking the results into a monster week for US Cobra earnings for the bus American companies reporting results this week, Microsoft, Starbucks and fold a just some of the names reporting in the days to come US Stokes at just shy of the record highs. They reach in September last year. Investors are on the lookout Sohn's financial sickness and health from the results. The good news is so far innings at coming out stronger than analysts expected, but the bad news is at the companies all beating earnings expectations of Bali being rewarded by investors right now. Coatings finalists of Bank of America, Merrill, Lynch. In contrast, those have worse quarters than analysts expected have been taking a beating in financial markets the day afterwards. So keep an eye out for any major MRs on ending. Things seem to be carrying heavy penalty than usual this ship. And now this guide. Here's what to look forward to later today. One key company, whose earnings investors will be paying attention to today is Twitter. The company reports earnings before markets open Twitter has struggled to grow the number of users who want to send out their thoughts and one hundred forty characters or less one key issue. It's been struggling to rein in toxic behavior. Chief executive Jack Dorsey has said that Twitter wants to do more to alleviate the burden of reporting abuse from victims also pay attention to oil prices today as we mentioned yesterday, the Trump administration ended waivers for countries. Still currently buying a rainy an oil, which is now subject to sanctions. Here's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. We will no longer grant any exemptions. We're going to zero going zero across the board the end of that waiver program caused oil prices to surge to a six month high yesterday, so pay attention what happens today because rising oil prices could exert upward pressure on gas prices. Just as we all look at planning our summer holiday travel. Finally, here's a fun story for you is a jeopardy whiz. America's best sports story James holes Hauer from Naperville, Illinois has one eight hundred fifty one thousand nine hundred twenty six dollars over his first twelve episodes. That's a rate of accumulation never seen in the programs thirty five season history. Have you been watching give us your best quiz questions? Tweet us a WSJ podcast or Email us at what's news, all one word wsJcom. That's what's news from the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for listening.