An Objectivist Individualist

Years back, I authorized my lab, Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc., up as a federal contractor under the machine the government was using at that time. I was submitting an SBIR proposal, which turned out to be in competition with about 60 other smaller businesses for research and development grant.

Recently, I performed two analyses for a federal government company which so impressed it it decided it needed five more such analyses. These individual analyses were performed for three thousand dollars and may be covered with credit cards apiece. Over the years since my last bad SBIR experience, any work I had developed done for the federal government was performed at its request for credit-card payment with no formality of being a registered government contractor. As a total result, my company didn’t need to be in the federal government contractor system until this agency just requested that I respond to their RFQ for 5 more analyses on the contract.

So, I spent a lot of afternoon and night time and Friday afternoon placing my lab up in the new federal contractor system call SAM. Among the rest of the tasks was the mandatory reading of 45 FAR and DFARS requirements positioned upon federal companies on a host of issues. You have to affirm that the first is in compliance with each.

To understand these federal government requirements, one is referred to various laws and regulations. In a single case, the first is told that this is of the entity is usually to be found in a law and that it’s different than this is the IRS gives to the same identifier in the Internal Revenue Code. Apparently, small enterprises come with an infinite time frame that bureaucrats and Congressmen can believe is readily dedicated to the finer points of their games.

No links are provided to the laws in question. What the federal bureaucracy does value is that it appears to have some concern for the problems of these FAR and DFARS. If some service provider does violate one of them, it wants to be able to slam the responsible parties into prison or to greatly fine them. Woe to the small business proprietor who rushes through these requirements without understanding them. Woe to the small business proprietor who uses the time he could be using to make a living to completely understand these requirements.

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This is a Catch-22 common to working with Big Government. Many a small business just can’t afford the assumed degree of understanding and hence assumes a level of risk which the average citizen has no concern about, in the same way the bureaucrat and the Congress and the President have on concern. Big government will not like smaller businesses. It cannot understand an ongoing business, which is less than very large. Small businesses with resources that truly need to be earned the old-fashioned way with effort simply reside in a different world from governments.

Business owners are also a minority, so they count little at election time. Indeed, most politicians think it creates nothing but sense to take care of small enterprises as villains while courting the votes of the worker bees. Basically, authorities justify its intrusiveness in everyone’s life almost entirely upon the claim that companies are villains and only Big Government can control them. So, who cares how much time government makes these villains waste materials? It is all very logical really. But, what would the private sector be without small businesses? It is unusual that few voters ever give much thought to the function of authorities, either what is does or what it will do. It really is even more unusual that few voters think about the critical role of smaller businesses in the private sector that has to produce the wealth and perform the tasks so profligately squandered by Big Government. Posted by Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D.

If you’re like me you didn’t really read all of it. So, since a recent post from Commoncents33 brought this to your attention back again, I returned to carefully read it more. • Our discussion of return on equity earlier in the letter figured shareholder return falls short of return on equity. That’s certainly been the full case for traders in the wide stock market and the S&P 500 as time passes, and it’s regrettably the case for investors generally in most businesses.