It still happens today, as I remember one time visiting my brother's family, how my nieces were up at the corner selling Kool-Aid or some other beverage. It's still a childhood institution.
(Thanks to The Pigeon Post)
But rampant government regulation is killing that dream.
And it's a damned shame.
There are too many instances of government officials coming in and forcing kids to shut down their lemonade stands because they don't have a vendor's license. Or because the kitchen where the lemonade stand was made hasn't had a health inspection.
The problems are endless.
The Freedom Center of Missouri has an awesome map of these incidents, dating back to 1990. But if you look at the timeline, you'll notice that they really start kicking into high gear in 2005. And these are just the incidents that have been reported to the operators of this web site! Stories still abound that aren't included there as well.
To give one example from that page:
"July 15, 2011 – Cops in Midway, Georgia shut down a lemonade stand some kids were running in their own front yard, saying the kids had to obtain a peddler’s license, a food license, and pay $50 per day for a temporary business permit."Is this insane, or what?
Kids these days are learning a lesson, all right, but it's not a lesson they should be learning. They're learning that government is getting in the way of making an honest living (you could buy a used video game with that money, if you make enough lemonade!). They're being encouraged *not* to be innovative and entrepreneurial.
How much will the kids have to charge for a glass of lemonade to make up for the $50 (or $100, if you do it more than one day), not to mention the one-time fees for the licenses? Fifteen bucks?
(Thanks to Upset Patterns)
Do you take credit cards?
And it's not just lemonade stands.
Ed Driscoll has some more examples on his page, including an excerpt from Mark Steyn's book, After America.
In the excerpt, Steyn talks about how a Catholic church's fish fry on the first day of Lent was raided by a state official, and the old ladies involved were told that they couldn't sell the pies they had made for it. Since the pies were not made in a kitchen that had been inspected, it was illegal for them to sell the slices of pie. The only way they could was if they each paid $35 for him to come and inspect their kitchen, certifying that it was "safe."
I feel like the world is spinning out of control. I may have to go lie down soon.
(Thanks to Buzzle)
Do they think that people walking down the street who just may want to pay 10 cents for an ice cold glass of lemonade are too stupid to weigh the risks of buying said lemonade? "Hmmm...I better not buy this, because I don't know where it was made! There might be grasshoppers in there or something!"
If somebody is that paranoid, they're free to pass on by without purchasing any of the lemony goodness.
Take these examples and expand them into the adult world, and you get the situation that we're in today.
I guess it's good the kids are learning these lessons early, eh?
(Of course, I wrote this on Thursday night, scheduled it to post Friday, and in the meantime National Review's Rich Lowry also writes an article on it, which is a must-read)