Thursday, August 13, 2009

LinkFest!

It's high time for a LinkFest, don't you think?

Brendan's company received a 2007 Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO) questionnaire from our friends at the Census Bureau. Actually, he's received two, since of course he didn't send in the first questionnaire. We expect the harassing phone calls and/or visits to commence shortly. It would be nice if all of that happened while we were out of town, wouldn't it?

While this survey is nowhere near as intrusive as the hideous American Community Survey, it's still pretty nosy, and of course, completely wrong and pointless. The Census Bureau wants to know about the owners of the business--their race and how they secured financing for the company--and the business itself, including whether the business had exports outside of the US and types of benefits offered to employees.

The survey is also "mandatory," but apparently enough small business owners complete and return the forms that the Census Bureau does not feel like it needs to include a big list of all of the bad things that might happen to you should you decide not to comply.

Who uses the survey data? Here's your answer, from the little form that accompanied the questionnaire:

Government program officials, industry organization leaders, economic and social analysts, and business entrepreneurs routinely use the SBO statistics. Examples of data use include those by:

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to assess business assistance needs and allocate available program resources.
  • Local government commissions on small and disadvantaged businesses to establish and evaluate contract procurement practices.
  • Federal, state, and local government agencies as a framework for planning, directing, and assessing programs that promote the activities of a disadvantaged groups.
  • A national women-owned business trade association to assess women-owned businesses by industry and area and to educate other industry associations, corporations, and government entities.
  • Consultants and researchers to analyze long-term economic and demographic shifts and differences in ownership and performance among geographic areas.
  • Individual business owners to analyze their operations in comparison to similar firms, compute their market share, and assess their growth and future prospects.
None of this falls under the role of a proper government designed to protect individual rights.

So, there's that. What else is in my LinkFest file?

Oh yes! Turning to happier news--there's a new blog carnival starting up! The Non-Punitive Discipline Blog Carnival will be a monthly collection of posts about

". . . attachment parenting, playful parenting, limit setting, and any other non-punitive ways of helping our children learn self-control. Book reviews would be great too!"

Kelly of Reepicheep's Coracle is the creator and admin for this carnival. I'm definitely participating, and will probably host occasionally. YAY!

In other parenting news, OGrownups is off to a great start! Just over a week and we've added over 100 members, 30 some-odd posts, another administrator (C. August, author of Titanic Deck Chairs and father of two) and four pages of resources for us all to build and share (books, websites, etc.).

After some discussion, we (including Diana, the owner of the list) made a slight change to the membership criteria. We are now welcoming those who meet the second membership criterion only (that of being interested in how Objectivism can be applied to parenting and education) to join OGrownups as non-posting members.

We think this is a way to expose those who might be interested to our discussions without diverting attention away from the purpose of the list (by taking the time to answer questions for newbies, for example). And we didn't discuss this specifically, but I think this would be great for those with non-Objectivist spouses--their spouses can join, read the posts, and both of them would have a common basis for discussions of their own. We have several members who have joined as lurkers already.

That's all for now. I guess it wasn't really a LinkFEST....not too many links. More of a LinkGETTOGETHER.

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