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.
Abigail Krutsinger is 4 years old. She lives in Coralville, Iowa. A local tradition there is the RAGBRAI bike ride, where cyclists ride clear across Iowa. Abigail, seeing how exhausted the cyclists were when they reached Coralville, opened up a lemonade stand. It was a way to help out thirsty bikers, make a little bit of money, and learn a little something about running a business. Classic Americana.
In another display of classic Americana, police quickly shut her down. Abigail, who is 4, never applied for a permit and a health inspection.
This is not an isolated incident. Similar crackdowns have happened in Wisconsin, Georgia, Oregon, and Maryland, and New York. Will there be more?
Appleton, WI police taught some children a lesson about regulation’s true purpose by shutting down their lemonade and cookie stands. The children live about a block from an annual Old Car Show, and have been selling lemonade and cookies near the event for six years.
Vendors inside the car show didn’t appreciate the competition. So they talked the city government into passing a new ordinance that put the girls out of business.
After a round of bad publicity, city officials are thinking of re-writing the ordinance.
Posted in Competition, Economics, Public Choice, regulation
Tagged appleton, appleton old car show, competition, kids lemonade stands, lemonade stands, regulatory capture, rent seeking, wisconsin