Government in my Mailbox

I just got back from about 10 days on vacation.  My bookkeeper takes care of all the mail that is vendor related, and I get what is left.  Unsurprisingly, I had about 60 pieces of mail, which is actually pretty low since we are in our off season.

However, when I started going through it, I was struck by how much was government related.  Out of those 60 pieces of mail, 5 were small checks (pay phone commissions, that type of thing), about 5 were from private parties and the rest was all government -- department of labor, department of revenue and taxation, vehicle registrations and issues, etc.  Have we really come to the point that 80% of my correspondence is with government regulatory and taxation authorities?  Part of this is because we are in 10 states, as I have discussed here, but it still seems excessive.

The one dominant piece of mail was a survey from the Department of Labor in every state we operate in.  The first thing I do with these surveys, as discussed here, is check to see if they are voluntary.  If so, they immediately get circular filed.  I don't want to spend the time, and I don't think the government needs the information.  In large part data is just the job security of the bureaucracy - more data means more people collecting and analyzing and reporting, and, the worst, proposing new regulations and taxes based on the data.

Two states, California and Florida, required the survey get done, so I did it.  Actually completing these surveys really got me irritated,  There is very little on this thing that we don't already report to the government.  Already, we have to report every individual person's wages each month or quarter.  Why is this not enough?  Mostly, this survey just asks me to aggregate the data the government already has in different ways.  Why can't they do that?  What are computers for, anyway?

UPDATE #1

I got the following comment:

And you'd like them to propose regulations based on incomplete data?

It is not the accuracy of data that is objectionable - it is the ridiculous detail.  For example, does the government really need to know monthly employment levels by detailed SIC code by county?  This just leads to some government staffer saying - hay, the employment in the tourism business in Maricopa county fell by 1% in August - we need a taxpayer funded initiative to promote tourism there, yada yada.  And whala, pork is born.  See examples here.

  • Mike

    "more data means more people collecting and analyzing and reporting, and, the worst, proposing new regulations and taxes based on the data"

    And you'd like them to propose regulations based on incomplete data?