“HAZELWOOD, Mo., Aug. 18 (UPI) — A Missouri judge said a woman should have spoken further with her city about the Girl Scout cookie stand at her home before going to court.”
Okay, I’ve had enough. Government regulation of our lives is way past a reasonable point. It’s become intolerable. This is a “free” country? Ya think?.
The above story lead is a prime example. The two teens, aged 14 and 16 were selling Girl Scout cookies from a stand at their home. They were shut down by the city because it violated city codes. Really? Was the city going to lose out on their tax money? Because, believe me, and I have experience here, the only reason the city code exists is to make sure they get whatever tax due they can from any operation that is set up at home or anywhere else it’s allowed.
Cities have regulations against having more than three garage sales a month. Why? Because they lose potential sales tax dollars. They have regulations about roadside stands. Same reason. Oh, they’ll allow them in certain circumstances but only if you get one of their business licenses, get a sales tax permit, and subject yourself to all the regulatory fees and taxes that they can apply. Of course they’ll tell you that the codes were written and enforced for the public good and enjoyment, but it’s all bunk. It’s all about taxes. Every single thing that municipal, county, state and federal codes are enacted to “protect” are aimed at protecting the tax base.
Remember how you and a friend would set up a lemonade stand on a hot summer day? Make a few extra dollars to buy that model car you wanted. You can’t do that anymore. You can probably play a video game called “Lemonade Stand,” but you’ll run afoul of the authorities if you put up a card table, write-up a sign, and mix up a pitcher of “Koolaid”. You need a business license in most communities now if the neighborhood you live in even allows for that type of use. You’ll need to collect and remit sales tax. You’ll need to have food service and preparation inspections. You probably need your product tested by some authority. You’ll need a fire department inspection for customer safety. Probably be a requirement to get liability insurance. All of those things cost money, translation=tax revenue.
They probably regulate paper routes, door to door seed sales, and lawn mowing. Not that I’m suggesting most kids would even want to do that today to make a little money in the summer, but those are things we did. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a kid ask me if I wanted my lawn mowed in 20 years. Probably because setting up the “business” was too much of a hassle.
I wish I was exaggerating, I really do, but I don’t think I am. I think people still do stuff like lemonade stands and lawn mowing businesses, and maybe don’t get “caught” by the authorities. Let’s face it, budget cuts in government has affected their enforcement ability. This has clearly, in my mind, gotten out of hand though. Let people make a little extra money in tough times. Let them have a garage sale every week as long as it’s not hurting anybody. Let them sell Girl Scout cookies from their front porch. Let kids mow lawns in the neighborhood to buy that new video game they’ve been wanting. Just stop regulating and taxing the hell out of us. Leave us TF alone.
Oh, by the way, this will blow your belief in factual history. A guy named William Canby started the rumor in 1870 that his grandmother, thirty-six years after she had died, had, in fact, sewn the first flag. Yeah, his grandmother was Elizabeth Griscom Ross, better know to all of you as Betsy Ross. He claimed his grandmother told him about the flag while on her deathbed when he was only 11. He just happened to mention this at a meeting of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, so it immediately became fact. In truth, although there is some evidence that Betsy had sewn some “ship’s colors” for the Pennsylvania Navy in 1777, there is no evidence that she was the one who put together the first United States flag. Another historical thing you thought was gospel, but it isn’t. Now I want to know who did sew the flag for George.
Update, August 29th, 2011.
Check out this Forbes story: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/03/the-inexplicable-war-on-lemonade-stands/