Tomorrow, parents and children across the country will set up lemonade stands in their neighborhoods. More info here. And they’re going to do it without getting licensed, inspected, poked, and prodded by regulators. But not everyone is happy about it. Esther Cepeda writes:
By all means, let’s celebrate Lemonade Freedom Day — make it a teaching moment. Those who actually care about preparing the next generation to become profitable businesspeople should take their favorite youngster down to city hall to jump through the necessary hoops and learn what it really takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
Sounds more likely to discourage than encourage young entrepreneurs.
Still not a bad idea, though. A trip to city hall would be an excellent way to teach the young ones about opportunity costs. Show them the forms they have to fill out. The licenses they have to apply for. How long permits take to process. Take them to the store and show them how long it takes to buy and install a handwashing station; many towns require lemonade stands to have at least one.
Then tell them they could have spent all that time actually selling lemonade.
Besides today’s CEI Podcast, Iain Murray and I have a column over at Townhall.com about Lemonade Freedom Day:
Bureaucrats have the power to pick winners and losers—a power many are happy to exploit. Lydia Coenen of Appleton, Wisconsin, recently learned about this dark side of competition. Appleton hosts an Old Car Show every year near her house. She and a neighbor have been selling lemonade and cookies to passersby for the last six years. This year, they were shut down by police. Vendors inside the car show didn’t appreciate the competition, so they convinced the city council to ban concession sales within a certain radius of the Old Car Show, putting young Lydia and her friend out of business.
Read the whole thing here; the Lemonade Freedom Day website is here.
Have a listen here.
Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray talks about the rash of children’s lemonade stands being shut down by police, and his plans to celebrate Lemonade Freedom Day on August 20. Started by Robert Fernandes, families across the country will set up lemonade stands in their neighborhoods without going through the permits and inspections that many towns now require.
Kids have been setting up lemonade stands for as long as there has been lemonade. But in recent years, regulators have started shutting them down. Robert Fernandes, a father of two, has had enough. That’s why he has declared August 20, 2011 to be Lemonade Freedom Day.
Fernandes is encouraging kids and parents to set up lemonade stands that day without going through the permits, inspections, and fees that many towns require. For more information, visit LemonadeFreedom.org. There is also a Lemonade Freedom Day Facebook event page here.
Fernandes also links to a list of news stories about lemonade stand shutdowns. The list is disturbingly long.
That’s why on August 20, I’m going to take a stroll through my neighborhood to see if any young entrepreneurs are selling unlicensed lemonade. I encourage everyone to do the same.
This is a minor battle, as these things go. But the same obstacles to lemonade freedom apply throughout the economy. Federal regulations alone cost nearly an eighth of GDP to comply with. That sizable burden is a major reason why the economy is still struggling. Lemonade Freedom Day is one way to tell overzealous regulators to back off.