The first time I read about cops shutting down a child’s lemonade stand, I hoped that it was just an isolated event. Alas, no such luck. Lately there has been a positive epidemic of children’s lemonade stands being shut down by local authorities/agents of the nanny state:
In Midway, Georgia, police shut down a lemonade stand because the little girls operating it lacked licenses and permits that would have cost them hundreds of dollars.
In Appleton, Wisconsin, two little girls who had run a profitable lemonade and cookie business for several summers were informed that they could no longer do so, due to a new ordinance passed by the Appleton city council.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, some children were fined $500 for operating a lemonade stand without a license. They were attempting to raise money for research to cure pediatric cancer. (The fine was eventually waived.)
In Coralville, Iowa, police shut down several lemonade stands because the children operating them did not have the required permit, which carried a $400 price tag.
In Portland, Oregon, a 7-year-old girl’s lemonade stand was shut down by county health inspectors because she didn’t have a restaurant license.
And on and on. In response to this insanity, Robert Fernandes of Stewartsville, New Jersey has proclaimed Saturday, August 20 Lemonade Freedom Day. Fernandes is encouraging children across the country to engage in acts of peaceful civil disobedience, by setting up lemonade stands and selling lemonade without first obtaining the permission of the nanny state.
Because I admire entrepreneurial spirit in children, I never pass by a kid’s lemonade stand without stopping to make a purchase — even if I’m running late, even if I’m not thirsty, and even if I suspect that the “lemonade” in question may be a little on the warm side and was probably made from a jar of artificially-flavored powdered drink mix. That’s how strongly I feel about cheering on kids who are attempting to become little capitalists. If they learn the fundamentals of running a successful business, there will be plenty of time for them later to learn how to make really good lemonade. I’ll even give them my recipe, if they want it.