Friday, August 6, 2010

Liberty Lemonade

So I read the news story (http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2010/08/06/2010-08-06_health_inspector_shuts_down_7yearolds_summer_lemonade_stand.html) about a girl in Oregon who tried to set up a lemonade stand at a monthly fair. Some statist drone from the health department shut down the stand. Why? The girl did not have a license or permit to operate. Now, all the mindless adults blatter listlessly about "protecting public health", "health comes first" and on -- the usual statist blather. I suppose a loud voice from their government-controlled conscience declared "STOP THIS NOW" with imaginary red flags and visions of humans passed out around the lemonade stand. I suppose the last thing the government drone thought about was the liability the girl and the fair may result should bad lemonade make someone ill and that alone is good enough to discourage poor business practices. I suppose they think that the piece of paper ($120 value) will magically protect her customers from whipping up a batch of lethal lemonade. I suppose their 100-point inspection checklist would be a good substitute for common sense and tried-n-true food handling techniques (at no extra cost!). I suppose they think that $120 is best spent on government regulation versus...hmm..i dunno...a worthy business expense! For all we know, the girl's parents could be food quality experts who would be well versed in the latest food handling techniques. Or, perhaps, a kind neighbor could have helped her prepare in a way that keep the customers coming to her stand. I mean...in a free market, don't consumers have all the decisions to avoid bad products and services (vote with their pocketbook) which is incentive for businesses act appropriately.

Ho-hum. This girl's plight is another brick in the wall. Another example of the individual getting stomped on by "big brother". Another reason to question the nature of government. This lemonade stand and its operator violated no one's individual rights (unlike the statist drones who violated hers). All who purchased the 50 cent cup entered in a simple exchange: 50 cents (albeit fiat money) for a cup of lemonade. Isn't that good enough? What's more appalling is the distinction between "stepping up shop right outside her home" and the fair seems to be insignificant -- downright irrational -- in this case. So, is serving lemonade from her yard more safe than from a fair?

In the words of John Stossel, "give me break!"

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