We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I closed my small business down back in the early 2000s --sold some parts, went to speculating in the markets, producing nothing really tho i do savvy the function of capital efficiency and allocation, blah blah blah.
What hurt most, really, was the 15 years --was my brand name --my label --that would exist no more, after i had blown the guts of my working life trying --and succeeding, everywhere but at the gov't interface --to establish it.
Long/short, i had the misfortune to have located near enough to Texas Health Dep't HQ in Austin that field inspectors could check out of their cubicles for the day and drive out into the refreshing hill country to inspect Larsen Farms, and finish with me by noon and still go kayaking (on my and your taxpayer time) on Lake Austin.
In 15 years of producing it, my goat cheese never flunked a health test --yet towards the end i was spending 20% of my time (and filling store rooms with unusable labels they kept finding fault with only after i'd corrected the previous and taken delivery of a new $5K or $10K order) and growing energy and cost on trying to maintain an ever-growing conformation to the agency regulation book --several hundred pages, growing annually and shifting emphasis quarterly, weekly, hourly, of single-spaced and notoriously poorly thought-out and haphazardly-written, contradictory, almost indecipherable, excuse for an English language document.
And fiendishly contrived situation, you cannot object or discuss or argue at all. The more i argued with them, and pointed out the flaws in the demands of the regulations, the more onerously they enforced the letter plus whatever penumbra the field inspectors and his bosses wished to add on. The idea was kow-tow --to enforce fear and peasant-like obeisance to a divine-right kingsmen authority. IOW, you kiss my ass or you die.
Later a friend inside the agency (which inspected on contract for the FDA) told me that the hidden agenda was to simply shut down all the little cottage industry food businesses they possibly could, because the agency budget was limited and more efficiently spent by spending their labor on the bigger producers and restaurants. I remarked that they seemed to have unlimited time to spend on me, and the reply was, that was just the investment, that once i'd quit it paid off.
So, there it is, an agency that exists to protect the public health, running wild on small business, and no way to stop them, as any complaining just paints the target on your back even more vividly.
Meanwhile, Blanco County was at the time, and may still be, classified a poor county on the ratio of jobs avaialability vs job seekers. The locals my company employed (and it could've been grown and grown and employed more and more, but when you realize the state is after your scalp, you stop thinking that optimistic 'growth' way), oncwe i quit, stayed unemployed again, for long, long stretches of time. And all because of ther internal workings of a gov't agency which had really zip to do with the art and craft of investing in a farm and tending a herd of livestock in order to create food for the local population, and thereby make enough profit to provide for your family, and to do it all again the next year.
need to correct the comment: the agencies don't shut you down --what they do is add a wet blanket to the complex material and psychological mix of an ongoing entrepreneurial enterprise. A wholly gratuitous and arbitrary and (except for their own machinery) utterly pointless precious time and scarce resources tax upon you personally --in addition to the formal monetary taxation that is.
When times are dark and you're making it work by a spark and a vision --the agencies are standing there to extinguish both for you. Even though, except for you (and your like) the agencies would not even exist.
I read the story. It could be my story, except I did throw in the towel and go BK. There is no way to renegotiate/reconfigure all of your cost and capital structure when the customers disappear and/or change. It was as though I had been forced into a completely new business.
I have thought long and hard about how much blame I should place on myself, versus having the rug pulled out from under me by government policy/action. I do accept the consequences of my actions. I do have responsibility for the capital and cost structure that was in place and that was insufficient to weather the downturn. I got my ass handed to me.
My own personal demon though is Hank Paulson. His running around screaming about the world coming to an end, did, in fact, pretty much bring the world to an end.
Buddy, as you are well aware, the regulators are nothing more than the cartel enforcement arm of the big players. I can only imagine the level of your frustration. Look no further than the banking industry. Their regulatory structure featured my buddy Hank and his friend little Timmy.
Timothy Geithner, the president of the New York Fed while the bust-out was being set-up with his full knowledge and approval, should have been condemned to life in prison, but was instead installed as Secretary of the Treasury.