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July 19, 2011

Your Papers, Please. And Yes, I’ll Hold Your Teddy Bear While You Look For Them.

It has been a right of passage for generations now.  As the heat of summer presses in, young children across the country excitedly set up tables and chairs, mix up large batches of ice cold lemonade, set out cups, and create hand-scrawled signs announcing they are open for business.  Then they wait with giddy anticipation for that first person to walk up and say the words they’d been waiting to hear:

 “I’ll need to see your permit or I’m shutting you down.”

These are the memories children will cherish forever.  Christmas mornings, that first day of school, and being run out of business by the government for lacking the proper papers.

Of course, this is America. We cherish the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country great.  That’s why here, like nowhere else, if you want to open a lemonade stand, why, all you need is some lemons, a few cups, and a can-do spirit!

And $180 for a business license, peddler permit, and food permit, as some little girls in Georgia recently discovered.

These are just kids, of course, so it’s kind of heartening to watch them in their innocence, believing they can sell a product to willing buyers in a mutually agreeable exchange of goods and services absent express permission from the authorities. 

Ah, to be a child again! But as the Chief of Police pointed out, governmental authorities didn't know how the lemonade was made, who made it or what was in it.

Imagine!  Having lemonade prepared by some neighbor kids without close state supervision. Why, you could come down with any number of lemonade-borne illnesses, including an acute case of Sour Mouthicitis, and the need for a Lemon-Seed-in-my-Cupectomy.

But that’s not the only reason we need supervision of lemonade stands. As a couple of families in Wisconsin discovered recently, the government also has a responsibility to see to it that the health and well-being of entrenched moneyed interests are protected from the unwarranted competitive assault of little girls selling lemonade on their front lawns:

“It's certainly not that Appleton is against little girls setting up their cookie and lemonade stands. But the overall intent of the ordinance was to protect the vendors at these events. To get a little bit of security to the vendors who were at the events.”

Add to the list of oil companies, banks, and health insurers, nine-year-old girls, who are simply wielding far too much power to be allowed to operate absent stringent government restrictions.

Call them, “Too Cute To Fail.”

And so join us in celebrating this very American of traditions, and rest assured that the American dream is alive and well.

You had that dream notarized, right?  Also, you’ll need it in triplicate.


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July 19, 2011 at 01:13 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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But if they were passing out gay marriage lit, and taking donations, it would be kosher.

Posted by: John | Jul 19, 2011 3:01:32 PM

As you well know, commerce is evil. Sure, they'd get shut down if they were selling gay pride lemonade (now in a rainbow of flavors!) in an effort to make a profit, but would probably be okay if they gave away gay pride lemonade in an effort to raise awareness. The exchange of money (or more accurately, currency) for goods or services is suspicious enough an act by itself that you are presumed to be guilty, subjecting you to a whole series of laws and regulations thoughtfully designed to give you the opportunity to prove that you are not.

Posted by: Planet Moron | Jul 19, 2011 4:10:52 PM

Well, clearly we can't allow children to be introduced to evil capitalist ideas like supply and demand, cost analysis, and Great Leader forbid, profit margins. After all, it takes a gulag to raise a child!

Posted by: John | Jul 19, 2011 7:34:10 PM

Great article! May I reprint?

Posted by: bob | Jul 20, 2011 1:33:08 AM

Yes, of course. The more children educated as to their obligations to the collective, the better, we say.

Posted by: Planet Moron | Jul 20, 2011 8:24:38 AM

We godda make sure the little brats is using corn syrup sweetener, you know, they'll try to sneak sugar by you.

Nice little primary bid you got going there. Be a shame if somethin was to happen to it.

Posted by: The Iowa Caucuses | Jul 20, 2011 10:24:36 AM

" The overall intent of the ordinance was to protect the vendors-----"?
If these "vendors" can't stand the competition for some kids with a lemonade stand, they should get a different business plan.

Posted by: barryjo | Jul 22, 2011 8:57:04 AM

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