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August 5, 2011

A Childhood Tradition Dies by Government Strangulation

Do you remember the childhood lemonade stand? You and a friend or sibling would go out on the sidewalk with a nice, cold pitcher of lemonade and some cups, and sell glasses of lemonade for five or ten cents a glass?

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)


  1. This is atrocious! I stop at every lemonade/kool aid stand I see just to support the kids who were so ambitious to actually WORK to make money. I suppose the government would prefer that these children become depressed due to not being able to have a lemonade stand, resort to drinking the day of the 21st birthday, become raging alcoholics, and file for social security disability (because alcoholism is a disease ya know)!

    The easiest way to 'fix' this is to have a exclusion to the health/tax/licensing laws: nothing is necessary if the proprietor is under 12 years of age. (Duh!)

    ***** On a side note: I am organizing a fund raiser and we plan to have food there. Since it is for charity, I figured I didn't have to worry about licenses and such. After reading this article I did some investigating. WRONG! I am suppose to apply for a temporary permit, $33.50. Seriously? To serve tacos and soda? I don't think so.

  2. I feel sorry for those kids. Obviously some of these government flunkies don't have enough to do.

  3. Raquel, I couldn't have said it better myself. If this is our future, I guess it's good that the kids learn it early, though. *scoff*

    Knotty, it's sad, but I think they have too much to do, because they're being told they have to enforce this stuff.

    The problem comes from much higher than the inspector who is supposed to carry this stuff out.

    Thanks for the comments, ladies!! There should be a public outcry about this sort of thing.

  4. Okay, let's see if THIS time, Google cooperates and lets me post! I will not, repeat, will NOT rant on this. I could, of course, and go off on a diatribe about Monsanto and how crooked they are, in bed w/ the FDA, etc., and how said FDA is becoming a Nazi-like presence in our country. I'll leave it at that one pointed remark, though, and just say that this is a travesty of "justice" and due process. Shameful, really. Absurd. Waste of tax payers' dollars, etc., etc. Okay, so maybe I'm ranting a wee bit. The whole thing is just ridiculous and I, like everyone else, feel badly for the message that is being communicated to these kids. Very sad. I wish I had a solution, but the one I do have would involve zapping the FDA (and Monsanto) out of existence, permanently. One can dream, I guess! :)

    ~ Dawnie

  5. Woo worked! I was successful in posting above rant! Go ME! :)

  6. Woo! Glad it made it through. :)

    Sadly, I don't think the problem is *all* the FDA. It's the government regulation mindset that is just so prevalent in society. The Nanny State run amok.

    I do agree that the FDA is a part of it, though.

    I love getting a Dawnie rant. :)


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