Intellectuals talk about government as it would behave in the ideal case. They can’t help themselves, since it’s easier to think about it that way (that’s the root of most of our problems). But in the real world, instead of being an instrument of virtue, equality, ecological harmony or whatever else you’re pushing, government kills people’s dogs, lets water pipes burst instead of repairing them, and shuts down kids’ lemonade stands, unable to differentiate between them and multinational corporations for regulatory purposes. Government is, by definition, the non-competitive sector of human life and will always be completely stupid. But today, some will strike a small blow against it and in favor of the freedom of those lemonade stands.
Don Boudreaux notes Wall Street Journal’s quoting of Ryan Young, who wrote:
Kids have been setting up lemonade stands for as long as there has been lemonade. But in recent years, regulators have started shutting them down. Robert Fernandes, a father of two, has had enough. That's why he has declared August 20, 2011 to be Lemonade Freedom Day...
Fernandes is encouraging kids and parents to set up lemonade stands that day without going through the permits, inspections, and fees that many towns require... This is a minor battle, as these things go. But the same obstacles to lemonade freedom apply throughout the economy. Federal regulations alone cost nearly an eighth of GDP to comply with. That sizable burden is a major reason why the economy is still struggling. Lemonade Freedom Day is one way to tell overzealous regulators to back off.
I’m going to declare it lemonade week here – and take it off to work on some other market-friendly stuff, but I’ll be back on Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook in eight days, with the punk-and-superheroes-friendly climax of my “Month of Extremists.”