This morning I received yet another mandatory survey from the US Census Bureau. I have written about these before. We have to fill out the Census lodging survey (a long and tedious detailed financial report) as well as a myriad of other Department of Labor and Commerce surveys. Where I can legally, I throw them away. If I risk prison not filling it out, I do so reluctantly.**
So this morning I got the Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO). Apparently the SBO comes out every five years. It's got a big MANDATORY stamped on it so with a sigh I started it up online to get it over with.
The survey was mercifully short, but it was bizarre. After asking me my address, it asked how many owners there were, and then for each owned asked his or her race and gender. And that was it. Suddenly the survey was over, particularly quickly for me because I always refuse to answer race questions on surveys.
But that is the sum total of what the government wants to know about business owners - race and gender and nothing else matters I guess.
** I know I always engender outraged comments over this. I refuse to supply the government with data that they will use to pass new laws to make my life harder or take more of my money. As for economists and academics, they are welcome to pay me for the effort of filling this out but I should not be obligated to labor for their benefit.