Ah, summer. Who doesn’t get nostalgic for their childhood this time of year? Spending days with friends in parks, playing baseball and riding bicycles (with the playing card in the spokes for the motorcycle sound!), and celebrating the fact that schoolwork was still a season away. Nothing evokes that kind of reminiscing like the old-fashioned lemonade stand, and … the city inspector?
Reason TV announces its Nanny of the Month, and this time, it’s almost literal:
This month’s lineup of busybodies includes two regulars: the FDA, which is slapping new, more graphic, possibly counterproductive, warning labels on cigarette packs and the goldfish grabbers on San Francisco’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission.
But top dishonors go to the sour bureaucrat who put the squeeze on a group of kids for running a lemonade stand. Sure they were raising money for a worthy cause (pediatric cancer research), but they were doing it without a permit, and that’s why they got slapped with a $500 fine.
Presenting Reason.tv’s Nanny of the Month for June 2011: Jennifer Hughes of Montgomery County, Maryland’s Department of Permitting Services!
Yes, because it’s never too early to teach children that they must seek permission from government for every little action, or else face penalties and sanctions! In this case, the state doesn’t even appear to be making a public-safety argument, but instead is simply demanding a permit fee from elementary-school children raising money for charity. (The public-safety argument would be bogus, anyway; no reasonable consumer would have the same expectations of hygiene for a kid’s lemonade stand as they would for a restaurant. Caveat emptor applies.)
On the other hand, we’re spending their money already at the federal level, and their children’s money, for that matter. Why shouldn’t state and local government shake kiddies down for permit fees, too?