US citizens should be obligated by law to truthfully fill out or otherwise complete government surveys at most once every five years. These surveys should consist of 100 questions, at most, including essay questions. Before beginning the survey, participants should be educated about the importance of such surveys for learning about social trends and their influence on future government decisions. People should be given very flexible timeframes in which to complete the survey, such as a one month window of time.
These surveys should focus mainly on constructing snapshots of major social opinions and identifying long term social trends or events with significant influences. Questions with real relevance to policy making should be the only kinds of questions allowed. These surveys should not be about short-term, partisan political, trivial, minor, or unimportant things. The building of accurate, long-term, consistent, and comparable records should be the highest priority of these surveys.
The results of the surveys should be made public as soon as possible after the data has been collected and assembled. Anonymity should be guaranteed to the survey takers. Care should be taken to not duplicate work done in the private sector or by other organizations.
Participants should be adequately compensated for their time and efforts.