Lack of Permits (and government jerks) Stop Teen Bake Sale

Check out this news story (disregard slightly annoying ad) from New York on an effort by a few local teens to do something productive by holding a bake sale. A busybody council man “caught” the two engaging in such nefarious activity and shut the effort down because “the two were selling for their own benefit rather than a charity.” More details on the situation in this article.

There are two really interesting things about this situation:

1) Teen unemployment is a real problem in this nation and this kind of government meddling is a major reason (26% percent according to this article). Minimum wages are another. But, what better ways to kill the natural entrepreneurial spirit of a couple of teenagers than for city bureaucrats to make life difficult on them;

2) The somewhat less jerk-like Robert Snyder (another city bureaucrat interviewed in the story) says that “he’d be happy to sell them a permit for $1 or something — if they are going to use the money for college — just to show them that there’s a cost of doing business.” This guy makes me almost as sick as the other councilor who stopped the teens in the first place.

The inputs in terms of flour and sugar cost money; so does the time to make the baked goods and sell them; the only thing government does is stand in the way (this is a microcosm of almost all government interaction with business). Lastly, I find it morally offensive that Snyder feels the need to lecture these two youngsters on what they can do with their earnings. It is THEIR money after all and they should be able to engage in economic activity in any legitimate way they wish and do with their money what they want, regardless of the wishes of government.

I don’t know how often similar things happen here in New Mexico, but I do know that Doug Turner (an RGF board member) had to pull some political strings when he was a kid trying to run his own lemonade stand.

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3 Replies to “Lack of Permits (and government jerks) Stop Teen Bake Sale”

  1. Try to sell a jar of home made jam at the Farmers Market in Santa Fe without a NM Food purveyors license ($100.00)…. Good luck.

  2. Cream skimming inculcated,so that redistribution and progressive taxation can never be challenged for it’s insult to personal freedom that encourages self- sufficiency and the choice of markets and charity.God help our future generations!

  3. Reminds of the booths at the Big Tent (at I-25/Paseo) on the weekends of the Balloon Fiesta). I wondered why I saw just a very small handful of New Mexican artists (most were from out of state), and then I figured it out. A booth costs $1800. That is a lot of money for someone selling a product that is, say, $30, which a lot of NM artists do. What a shame. (Of course, that was about as bad as the vendor charging $8 for a breakfast burrito (I passed on it).

    As far as I am concerned, the reason why most businesses are not making any money is not because of poor business practices (yes, some of them are not smart), but the government intervention. How many of the churches holding holiday arts and crafts shows this season have a permit?

    It’s about time the Government got out of our knickers and tended to its sole business of safety and security.

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