Thursday, August 5, 2010

Government Persecution

Why stop with adults?

I remember having a lemonade stand on my front lawn as a kid. A few nice adults bough a cup and I even made a couple of bucks.

It's a nice memory, no? I'll bet a few of you have a similar one.

Well, leave it to the government to harass and destroy a childhood staple.

Found here, and I guarantee you'll be screaming at the screen before you're though:

It’s hardly unusual to hear small-business owners gripe about licensing requirements or complain that heavy-handed regulations are driving them into the red.
So when Multnomah County shut down an enterprise last week for operating without a license, you might just sigh and say, there they go again.
Except this entrepreneur was a 7-year-old named Julie Murphy. Her business was a lemonade stand at theLast Thursday monthly art fair in Northeast Portland. The government regulation she violated? Failing to get a $120 temporary restaurant license.
Turns out that kids’ lemonade stands — those constants of summertime — are supposed to get a permit in Oregon, particularly at big events that happen to be patrolled regularly by county health inspectors.
Julie had become enamored of the idea of having a stand after watching an episode of cartoon pig Olivia running one, said her mother, Maria Fife. The two live in Oregon City, but Fife knew her daughter would get few customers if she set up her stand at home.
The girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying “Yummy.” She made a list of supplies.

Then, with gallons of bottled water and packets of Kool-Aid,  they drove up last Thursday with a friend and her daughter. They loaded a wheelbarrow that Julie steered to the corner of Northeast 26th and Alberta and settled into a space between a painter and a couple who sold handmade bags and kids’ clothing.
Julie was careful about making the lemonade, cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, using a scoop for the bagged ice and keeping everything covered when it wasn’t in use, Fife said.
After 20 minutes, a “lady with a clipboard” came over and asked for their license. When Fife explained they didn’t have one, the woman told them they would need to leave or possibly face a $500 fine.
Surprised, Fife started to pack up. The people staffing the booths next to them encouraged the two to stay, telling them the inspectors had no right to kick them out of the neighborhood gathering. They also suggested that they give away the lemonade and accept donations instead and one of them made an announcement to the crowd to support the lemonade stand.
That’s when business really picked up — and two inspectors came back, Fife said. Julie started crying, while her mother packed up and others confronted the inspectors. “It was a very big scene,” Fife said.
Technically, any lemonade stand — even one on your front lawn — must be licensed under state law, said Eric Pippert, the food-borne illness prevention program manager for the state’s public health division. But county inspectors are unlikely to go after kids selling lemonade on their front lawn unless, he conceded, their front lawn happens to be on Alberta Street during Last Thursday.
“When you go to a public event and set up shop, you’re suddenly engaging in commerce,” he said. “The fact that you’re small-scale I don’t think is relevant.”
Kawaguchi, who oversees the two county inspectors involved, said they must be fair and consistent in their monitoring, no matter the age of the person. “Our role is to protect the public,” he said.
While Fife said she does see the need for some food safety regulation, she thinks the county went too far in trying to control events as unstructured as Last Thursday.
“As far as Last Thursday is concerned, people know when they are coming there that it’s more or less a free-for-all,” she said. “It’s gotten to the point where they need to be in all of our decisions. They don’t trust us to make good choices on our own.”
Question: How does the little girl paying $120 keep a diarrhea causing organism out of her lemonade?
Answer: It DOESN’T
This is absolute BULLSHIT. Yes, let’s teach our children how to run a business correctly and by the books. So let’s have a special license for kids that allows the sale of food for 50 friggin cents. Make the license $10. I hate the money grubbing government.


cube said...

It's more than just money grubbing, it's more like they're avidly killing any vestige of entrepreneurial spirit in our kids.

Always On Watch said...

Yet another outrage!

I tell you, this Nanny State crap is waaaay out of hand now.

Brooke said...

An update.

USA_Admiral said...

At least I hope they know what kind of asses they made themselves out to be.

Alligator said...

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help. This is just a sample of the nanny-state attitude that is developing at all levels of government and all of us will face, should sanity fail to prevail at the polls. Would the county supervisor have told his staff they went too far WITHOUT the public outcry? I doubt it. "One size fits all" tends to be the mantra whether you are a corporation of 7,000 or a seven year old entrepreneur.