Over the years I saw more and more licenses "required" in order to keep the business open. I saw more and more things (and animals) criminalized. I saw more and more effective pet medications taken off the market due to governmental fears that they might be "abused". I saw more and more ridiculous hoops and rituals that were "required" in order to not be in violation of some "law" added every year.
There were "laws" regulating signs, fire extinguishers, parking, advertising, etc. That was above and beyond the "pet shop specific" stuff saying how you were required to house certain animals, what you could sell in the state and what you couldn't, and all that sort of thing. There were probably "laws" regarding keeping the animals fed and their quarters clean, but I never ran into any of that stuff. Although "health department" goons did come snooping a few times, but they never said anything.
And I knowingly and willingly violated many of those "laws" each and every day. I had to. To follow them all "to the letter" would have resulted in paralysis. Every working minute would have been wasted on some bureaucratic nonsense that had nothing to do with the welfare of the animals in my care or the customers who also depended upon me.
I lied on forms. I told customers that if they lied on the forms that were "required" when they bought certain animals (like those dangerous parakeets and iguanas!) that there would be no way for any enforcers to know. I even stared down bureaucrats who showed up to make sure I was following all their edicts and examine all the paperwork.
It got bad enough that I don't want to work in a pet store ever again. Not until The State dies.
Anytime I look into any other business venture I might enjoy, I run into more of the same. And that's the problem. There is nothing I can do to make money "legally" anymore that is worth the trouble. At least nothing I am comfortable/competent doing. I'm too tired to work to avoid the traps. I don't feel like being subjected to molestation in order to get a job. I don't feel like giving out some governmentally-mandated number (either my own or Elvis' orphaned number) in order to be hired. My family would not support my decision to do things "extra-legally" (even though I would not do anything dishonest or aggressive to get money).
The things I have done that I thought might make money have not worked out that well. Most ended up costing more than they brought in. I know that means I should keep trying and experimenting, but I am having a dry spell for ideas and a lack of any money to pursue anything anyway. I am also not getting any emotional support here at home, but instead am being drained of any positivity and ambition. The past performance of my attempts is used against me.
I hate to admit it, but right now I feel like giving up. I know you don't come here to read that. That's why posting has been sparse here and basically non-existent on Dispatches from Libertopia. I hope this passes soon.