Once Again, Law Enforcement Protects Us From The America-Destroying Scourge Of Children With Lemonade Stands

from the protecting-america dept

Every summer a bunch of these kinds of stories pop up, but Nick Burns was the first to send in this year’s first story of police shutting down a lemonade stand that was set up by three girls between the ages of 10 and 14-years old… because they didn’t have a business license. And, yes, this happens all the time, and yes, it always seems to make the news, but it doesn’t make the story any less crazy, or any less of an example of politicians following rules over common sense. Of course, last year’s story involved a stern lecture from a financial columnist about how lemonade stands that give away lemonade are anti-American. At least these girls were selling their lemonade…

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Comments on “Once Again, Law Enforcement Protects Us From The America-Destroying Scourge Of Children With Lemonade Stands”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lessons

Or they could just try obeying the law and get the necessary licences. People like this who set up manufacturing and retail operations without the proper licences, do not pay minimum wage, pay no insurance are able to undercut the genuine business people of the US, law enforcement was right to shut them down. Surely jail time must follow.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lessons

Yes, I’m sure the teen and pre-teen girls involved can afford the $700+ required to secure a business license and are likely to make a return on their almost-a-thousand-dollar investment with their little lemonade stand.

Of course, that amount doesn’t include the amount they’ll also need to spend on a “privilege” tax license, required insurance, IRS quarterly tax filings in addition to State quarterly tax filings…


Benjamin Unander says:

Re: Re: Lessons

You’re an idiot. We should be encouraging found people to look for ways to be creative in making money (i.e. lemonade stands) when they are too young to work. This is completely ridiculous that we are punishing people who want to sell a completely legal product in a completely legal venue. Its people like you…

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Why would its yearly occurrence make it any less crazy? I think it should be the opposite. Why haven’t the laws changed? Why are police still enforcing these laws? That’s where it gets crazy.

There was a story a few years back about shave ice stands being illegal prior to June 1 in Provo, UT. The law changed to May 1st, eventually. I have no idea why they couldn’t just make it legal all the time, but they at least changed the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

how would having the license save people from e coli? Last time I looked, fast food restaurants, food manufacturers, etc. have been giving people e coli all the time WITH the required licenses.

Have any roadside unlicensed lemonade stands given anyone e coli? I honestly don’t know. I’ve never heard of any. Seems the unlicensed scofflaws have a better record than the licensed businesses.

All this teaches kids is to distrust government.

DandonTRJ (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Exactly. It’s all about expectations. If I walk into a restaurant, supermarket, or any obviously-licensed business, then yes, I expect them to comply with certain standards. But when I buy a cup of lemonade from a 12-year-old’s collapsible table, I know what I’m getting myself into. At this rate, I’m waiting for the government to start regulating Halloween so only licensed households can dispense candy.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If I walk into a restaurant, supermarket, or any obviously-licensed business, then yes, I expect them to comply with certain standards.

Unfortunately, those standards sometimes only exist during the time in which the health inspector visits. And unless there are complaints, that only happens once in a great while. There are quite a few organizations I know that recently lost their license due to failed inspections after a number of complaints, who had “A” ratings until they lost them. I also know a couple friends whose stories about their teenage years in the restaurant industry nearly caused me to swear off going to restaurants ever again and the companies they work for never lost their rating either.

Since it is pretty hard to mess up lemonade (but not impossible,) and with proper parental supervision, the chances of me getting e-coli from drinking their lemonade are several orders of magnitude smaller than me going down the street to McDonalds… Life is about taking acceptable risks…you risk being killed or injured every second you are alive…but it is better than the alternative.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I also know a couple friends whose stories about their teenage years in the restaurant industry nearly caused me to swear off going to restaurants ever again and the companies they work for never lost their rating either.

Seriously, I worked at a fine dining restaurant/bar in the early 80’s. There was always an unmarked envelope in the back of the bar register drawer just in case the health inspector made a suprise visit when the owner wasn’t there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“I don’t know about anyone else, but if I buy lemonade from my neighbor’s kid and I get e coli I’m going to blame”

Those who sold your neighbor the lemons. After all, if the lemons are safe to sell, then why isn’t the lemonade that came from the lemons also safe? What, did the e coli magically materialize itself in the lemonade making process?

If my neighbors invited me over their house and made me lemonade, does the government need to get involved? Does the government need to make sure that there is no e coli inside the lemonade before I drink it? Presumably, the lemons used to make the lemonade has already been screened, right?

What if I go to my neighbor and eat an apple that my neighbor cut into four pieces. Does the process of cutting the apple into smaller pieces (or making lemonade from lemons) magically make the apples subject to regulation?

How is this any different? Just because it’s for profit?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, yes. Personal responsibility and accountability has completely gone out the window for most people in this society, and it’s honestly a large part of the problem. No one feels as though they should be accountable for anything – but what’s worse is that they take it one step further, and believe that since they aren’t accountable then surely someone else MUST be.
Something harmful that people probably shouldn’t do? Illegalize it instead of raising awareness and educating people on it.
Fall down and break your neck because some establishment didn’t put a wet floor sign out? Sue the crap out of them.
Business models failing because they’re outdated? Pay to have them enforced even harder, instead of updating them.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I believe that the half of the block with E. Coli. kindly asks the local police department to investigate the sudden outbreak on their behalf, with the intent of seeking compensatory (not punitive) damages from the seller since they (the buyers) assumed a risk at the time of purchase from the person(s) selling the lemonade.

…if it happens that the outbreak wasn’t just a coincidental cockup at the local water treatment plant.

That fun situation likely occurs despite the license you hold in such high regard. To assume that a license significantly decreases the risk of a purchase, let alone removes said risk, is a logical fallacy. To say correlation is not causation simply does not go far enough. The myopic assumption that a license can ward off serious risk from consuming lemonade sold out doors is analogous to pasting a sign with “No unlicensed water allowed past this point!” over a screen door on a submarine. I can understand the comfort of legally guaranteed channels for recompense should a seller distribute a faulty product, BUT, let’s not forget the nasty “… you further agree not to hold [insert name of horrible lemonade selling urchins here] liable for any harm caused by [insert juvenile allusion to urine as a product name here]” phrase likely found in any purchase agreement the license obliges the legally savvy lemonade stands to use. Like any activity with a potential risk, people will continue to do it with or without regulation, regardless of said regulation’s “effectiveness.” Blind pursuit of entrepreneurial children simply does not fix this specific problem. Like many laws, it merely places a football-field-sized bandage over a minor skin blemish and justifies itself with a clueless cosmetic-beauty-is-overrated attitude.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Wait, are you suggesting that the grocers who sold tainted produce were on the hook financially when people contracted e coli from the produce they purchased? The farmers, maybe, but I don’t think the grocers were. (But I could be wrong.)

In a typical products liability action, everyone in the chain has potential liability, but I don’t think the same applies here.

Then again, if a night full of customers gets food poisoning at a restaurant I expect the restaurant would be on the hook.

Mike42 (profile) says:

In my hometown...

They tried to do this licensing crap where I used to live in Belleville, IL. It was sparked by the telco complaining that people were using nails for yardsale signs instead of tape. The psycho money-grubbing administration decided to require everyone to license their yard sales, rather than just ask people to use tape.
The law was struck down the following year.
Too bad for these girls, their community isn’t as anti-regulation as ours was.

DandonTRJ (profile) says:

Silver lining: Dude in the news article comments offered to buy the girls tickets to the water park that they were raising funds to gain entrance to in the first place. But overall, this continues the long and proud American tradition of rigorously enforcing trivial laws and making plenty of exceptions to the most important, high-level ones.

known coward says:

Re: speaking of comments to the origianl article Re:

one of the comments said the lemonade sale was in fact legal

= = = =
ben on 07/18/2011 17:34:24

Not sure what ordinance this police chief is reading but from what I can tell the little kids should be able to operate with a liberal reading of this section of the code:

Section 7-1-8 Casual and isolated activity.
Except as otherwise provided in this title, nothing herein contained shall be interpreted so as
to require any person who may engage in casual or isolated activity and commercial transactions,
where they involve personal assets only and are not the principal occupation of the individual, to
obtain a business license and pay a fee therefore. Garage sales, involving the exchange or sale of
personal items are considered casual or isolated activities for the purpose of this chapter

Jay (profile) says:

A famous guy

Oh well, when life makes you lemons. You make lemonade…

But you know what? Police officers don’t want your damn lemonade. So you need to give those lemons back! That’s when you get mad! What can you do with those lemons now? You demand to see the police officer’s manager! Make life rue the day that they gave three girls without a business license lemons! They’re the ones that are gonna burn those officer’s house down! With the lemons! Those kids are going to invent a combustible lemon to burn their house down!

The Incoherent One (profile) says:

Re: As the saying [now] goes

Unless you have secured the proper business license, and comply with all neighborhood zoning laws, CCRs, and homeowners association rules. All forms must be filled out in triplicate and submitted no less than 20 business days prior to planned lemonade stand.

**Additional health inspection may be required. please visit: http://www.nottheamerica.com/Igrewupin.php

Jud says:

whose job is it to protect the consumer?

I think stories like these show how ingrained the idea of government protection is. People simply do not understand or comprehend how a free market system could protect people from poor or dangerous products. They think that government intervention is the best (and only) way to ensure that the consumer is protected. But they are so wrong – licenses can simply be purchased at a price. Government inspections are infrequent and the inspectors are fallible or easily bribed. The end result of licensing is that consumers are lulled into a false sense of security instead of being forced to use their brains and common sense to protect themselves.

?We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, of what the lemonade was made with, so we acted accordingly by city ordinance”

This quote says it all. The government thinks it’s their job to protect the consumer from every danger, no matter how small — even a lemonade stand.

Anonymous Cop says:

Re: laws are laws

Damn right! That’s why we’re going after all the people who spit on the sidewalk next. And women who wear patent-leather shoes, fish for whales on Sunday, get a fish drunk, participate or conduct a duel, breastfeed in public, mistreat anything of great importance, or ARREST ANYONE ON SUNDAY OR THE FOURTH OF JULY. And that’s just in Ohio.

Ohio Laws

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: laws are laws

How many laws do you break every day? Why not change those laws instead of break them?

Do/ did you ever:

Not wear your seat belt
Not use your turn signal
Break a TOS agreement
Drink before you were 21
Smoke before you were 18
Look at porn before you were 18
Sneak into a movie
Make an illegal U turn
Play your music to loud to late
Experiment with any illegal substance
Jay walk
Not report something as income to the IRS
Ride your bike without a helmet or where prohibited
Not pick up your dogs shit
Smoke in a public space where prohibited
And this list could go on

If you do or did any of the above without first trying to change the law, you “someone” are a hypocrite.

Rekrul says:

Re: laws are laws

But if that’s what the law says, then that’s how it should be.

In Wichita, Kansas, it’s illegal for a motorist to proceed through the intersection of Douglas and Broadway unless they get out and fire three shotgun rounds into the air.

I suppose you support that law being followed as well?

FuzzyDuck says:

Good lessons for those girls

Good lessons this teaches those girls:

– The police are *NOT* your friend.
– The police can’t distinguish good from bad and have no moral compass.
– The police is often used to harass good people.
– Governments make stupid laws.
– Neither the government nor the police exist to serve the people, in spite of claiming otherwise.

Learn this early and you won’t suffer later when more important things are at stake.

Alien Bard says:

Re: Good lessons for those girls

These are the lessons I’ve been teaching my kids since they were old enough to understand “Don’t talk to strangers.” Police and government have their place but never rely on them for help when you really need it. I’ve also taught them the inherent dangers in calling ‘911’ so they will only do that after first calling someone who can help.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The wrong set of vendors!

Actually, that’s how the government originally started punishing drug dealers, because they didn’t have authority to make selling the product illegal. The feds and state governments started issuing Marijuana Stamps – pretty much little tax stickers one should put on every bag of marijuana to make it a licensed sale. The government subsequently made not using these stamps a punishable serious offense. However, they issued a couple of stamps in the beginning, and then stopped issuing them altogether while keeping the law on the books; making every drug sale an unlicensed illegal sale.

Nicedoggy says:

What I like in politicians is that they are completely stupid. That is one reason why I don’t care who wins an election it won’t make a difference, good people in power happens once in a while.

Lemon juice is acidic how many pathogens that affect humans can grow in an acidic medium?

I don’t know but what I do know is that salmonella and e.coli don’t trive in those conditions and in enough concentrations they don’t even survive.

Lemon juice as a natural biocide for disinfecting drinking water.

Lemon Juice a Natural Disinfectant has Scientific Proof | Natural Cleaning Product Review


At the Tsyuma Central Hospital, scientists examined various methods of disinfection on a battery of 4 microbes, including strep. According to their study published in the Medical Journal of Tsuyma Central Hospital, they found that using a method of spraying lemon juice and then wiping with a paper towel after 1 minute achieved a “4-log reduction” of bacteria. A 4-log reduction is a scientific term meaning a 99.99% kill rate of microbes.

How to Clean and Disinfect with Lemon
This was a small scientific study, using only 4 strains of bacteria, but I think it is accurate to state that using a 50-50% dilution of lemon juice* and water as a disinfecting cleaner (spray it, wipe it, spray again and let dry) will kill all most all household germs on hard surfaces in your home.

Chris says:

No one called the cops they drove by and just felt like be the jerks and power hungry jack a.s.s’s they are. More and more people are tired of government and police actions but only a few are willing to stand up to them and try to make a change. That and you can blame the ice cream man that has to pay that fee of $180 and bitches when he has to compete with kids that charge .50 cents to his $2.50! I could have Baskin and Robbins for around the same price, so yah I will take the Lemonade now for .50 cents and have ice cream when I get home!

AJBarnes says:

So what's new?

Our gub’ment has made it SO hard for anyone to open a small business that we’re destroying those businesses that employ 80% of our workforce. Ever try to open a small business? Fees, licenses, taxes, permits… thousands and thousands of dollars you have to pay which is caused by the gub’ment to stiffle competition and protect their political supporters.

We used to be a people who had a government…

Anonymous Coward says:

How hard is it to understand?

If you allow the lemonade stands unlicensed with no health inspections, etc, you take a risk. You also set a precedent that would allow others to set up street side stands without a permit. Why would it be limited only to kids? Soon enough, everyone is running their unlicensed hot dog, burrito, and what not stands at every corner.

If there is a law, the law gets enforced. It makes it sound bad when it is “some 11 year old girl”, but that just isn’t legally relevant.

If anything, this sort of post is a good indication on where you stand on the law in general. Exceptions should be made for “nice” people, or people with “good” intentions. That’s just not how the law works!

John Harman (profile) says:

Lemonade and the Law

Hard to believe the cops would actually spend their time dealing with this. These guys should be fired for just being stupid. Since they were too stupid to realize the backlash this would cause, they should not be making decisions that deal with human lives….
So, let me think, should I spend today helping keep the citizens lives bettr or safer (which is why they pay me)and (which is why they became a cop in the first place)(we hope) or should I spend today busting 10 year olds for trying to work, learn a bit about hard work=money and stay off welfare when they grow up?

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