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Sep 13, 2008

Kids vege stand busted.


This is something I put aside to work on later, and now much later I found it again so here it is. Liberator Online had this story sourced from ABC titled: -
Hero Mayor Saves Town from Menace of Little Girls Selling Vegetables

This summer eleven-year-old Katie and three-year-old Sabrina Lewis set up a tiny roadside stand in their hometown of Clayton, California (pop. 11,000). On Saturdays the girls sold melons, radishes, and squash from the family's home garden. Katie saved $500 for her college fund from the proceeds.

Then the police showed up. Busted!

"They said traffic was being stopped, and then they came up with we can't have a roadside stand, and then they said it was a commercial enterprise," said Katie.

Clayton Mayor Gregg Manning strongly defended the action.

"They may start out with a little card-table and selling a couple of things, but then who is to say what else they have?" the mayor warned. "Is all the produce made there, do they grow it themselves? Are they going to have eggs and chickens for sale next?"
Some critics charged this was ugly and obnoxious, like shutting down a kiddie lemonade stand. But Mayor Manning had a quick answer for that.

"Lemonade stands are technically illegal, but they don't last long enough to do anything about," Manning said.

The mayor finds the criticism he's receiving annoying and unfair.

"It's not like we're the Gestapo going out and closing down fruit stands," he said.

We're happy to report that the girls and their father are fighting back, circulating a petition to let the girls reopen their stand. The story is receiving national attention, and of course most decent and sensible people are on the side of the kids.

But few of these same people will bother to think about the fuller implications of the story. How many *adults* see their business plans and entrepreneurial dreams burdened or destroyed by red tape and bureaucratic control -- by occupational licensing laws, zoning laws, permit requirements and countless other authoritarian measures?

There's seldom a word written about these tragedies, which occur constantly nowadays -- an outrage in a country founded on the ideals of entrepreneurship and free enterprise.

This is part of the sickness in our society caused by authoritarian petty dictators and the larger variety throughout society. Ironically this is the same type of busybody who will call for laws to solve the obesity problem suffered by youth, yet he appears to favor the idea of these kids doing the usual thing, sitting in front of tele or a computer with a Coke, Big Mac, and fries, rather than break his idiotic planning laws.

A while ago I read an enlightening article “Going out” - three ways to tackle a negative drinking culture,” in which the author identified regulation at the root of much of the problem. Its well worth the read.

On a happier note, as result of the massive press coverage and a petition raised in their cause the planning committee has moved to change the plan.

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