Government fears put squeeze on Lemonade Day at Indy 500
UPDATED 2:15pm – IMS Apologizes to young woman for shutting down stand – see last paragraph.
Chalk this up as yet another example showing that when we regard our governing documents as items that “grant us” rights, rather than restricting a government from interfering with our God-given rights, our liberties are greatly diminished (whether the letter of the law is a direct cause or not).
And in this sad case, fear of government NOT granting the right for a little girl to sell lemonade as an young entrepreneur on Lemonade Day caused her liberties and this educational experience to be taken away. And this happened right here in Indianapolis. As WTHR reports:
“A 10-year-old Indianapolis girl had high hopes for Saturday’s Lemonade Day, a day when kids get the chance to learn about running a small business.
Morgen Morris, who was sponsored by WIBC Radio, scored a spot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I was very excited. I thought I was going to make a lot of money,” Morgen said. “Indiana is one of the top places for races, so I thought there’d be a lot of people there. Pole Day is a big day.”
But just an hour into selling glasses of Peachy-Keen lemonade for 75 cents a glass, sales came to a screeching halt. An IMS employee put the brakes on her stand.
“We had a line going, so I thought maybe we would make a lot of money, but then he said you have to shut down and he cut the line off,” Morgen said.
She didn’t have a permit from the Marion County Health Department to sell food or beverages.”
The Marion County Health Department didn’t even need to be directly involved. In fact, the health department proactively made sure that Lemonade Day would go off without a hitch by suspending the health rules for one day on lemonade stands. But that didn’t matter. Someone had to be a busybody, and that somebody brought their statist perspective about the government needing to grant this little girl the right, so therefore this little girl should be shut down.
This is a complete shame. Even more so, it’s a shame that little kids should have to have a permit to sell lemonade day to begin with. With absurdly restrictive business practices like these, it’s no wonder that kids don’t have the experience they need to be better in the workplace. It’s no wonder 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years. It’s no wonder our economy is running so weakly.
But enough about the glass being half empty: there is a lesson in this and that is if we reject the statist idea that the government grants us our rights, then we can help make sure little girls like Morgen have the full experience that they deserve.
Thankfully, some good businesses stepped up and donated to help Morgen reach her goal anyway. Please note that the government did not and never will really help her, but some kind souls did (largely business owners) and now that she has her lesson in crisis fund-raising, I hope she never forgets how the mere fear of the government “busting things up and shutting her down” was bad for business.
UPDATE: The Associated Press reports (as run in Muncie Star Press) that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has apologized and joined two other private donors in making signifiicant contributions to Morgen’s charity, the American Heart Association.
This post was tagged under: Local Politics