The only things possibly more mundane than taxes are regulations. The list of things that are not regulated by the federal, state, or local governments is surely shorter than the list of things that are not.
The days of smart and limited seems to have passed a long time ago. Today, many regulations are not aimed at public safety, but are simply ridiculous rules passed by busy bodies who want to save people from themselves. To listen to our regulation-loving friends on the left you would think that little children were working in West Virginian coal mines.
Which brings us to Discover Bay, California. Discover Bay is home to the LaRouche family who recently almost found themselves in a dispute with the Nanny State and its insatiable desire to control everything. The LaRouche’s daughter decided she wanted do what children have done for decades: run a lemonade stand. After all, what better way to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in the youth of America than by selling lemonade in the middle of the summer?
However, one man was determined to see the LaRouche’s daughter put out of business. From the SF Gate
[A]s she was setting up she was approached by a man who was all bent out of shape by what she was doing.
“The man just pulled up next to her and asked for her business license and then told her ‘I’m calling the police’ and then got on the phone and began speaking as if he was talking to police.”
“She was so scared that she came home crying and sobbing and said she didn’t want to go to jail.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Some adult threatened to call the cops on a child for running a lemonade stand because she did not have a permit. I hope Wyatt Earp is proud of himself because it takes a real man of courage to stand up to children selling lemonade in their driveway.
The LaRouche’s daughter would not be the first lemonade stand shut down for lacking a business license or food handler’s permit, but that does not make the situation any less absurd. Cities across the country have also criminalized feeding the homeless in similar episodes of insanity.
Thankfully for the LaRouche family their story had a happy ending as the community rallied around their daughter and her lemonade business thrived with customers including police officers. However, there are stories similar to the LaRouche’s that do not have happy endings because some people have an insatiable desire to tell other people what to do and make themselves feel better about themselves in the process.
Why is it necessary that lemonade stands run in somebody’s driveway be regulated by the government? How many little boys and girls across America have ever put something nefarious in their lemonade to justify such an absurd concern of food safety?
Where does this end? If a lemonade stand is a business, is the car wash fundraiser for the local high school a business as well? How about a yard sale? What about a grandchild who mows their grandparents’ lawn? After all lawn mowers can be dangerous.
Instead of passing regulations for the sake of passing regulations we should ask we they are necessary. Is it really important to get approval from the government in order to sell lemonade? After all, this is supposed to be a free country.