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Meet a Man Who WANTS Kids' Lemonade Stands Shut Down

If you want to gin up some legitimate and righteous outrage, share the story of a kid's lemonade stand being shut down by the authorities. An activity that has been going on for generations has been under attack in recent years by nanny-staters who hammer children for not having the myriad of licenses required to sell something people eat or drink. It's nearly universal that people look at what happens with confusion, with people on both sides of the ideological divide wondering just what the problem really is.

Well, it seems we've found the mentality in a post where someone says they were glad a child's lemonade stand was shut down and the girl was fined for her entrepreneurial spirit. In an editorial in the New Statesman, Duncan Hothersall writes:

Who could fail to be moved by  the widely shared tears of a five year old whose innocent lemonade stall was brutally shut down by evil bureaucrats? What sort of monster would not have their heartstrings tugged by the plaintive “I've done a bad thing” from a girl whose father tells us she “just wanted to put a smile on people's faces”?

Well me, actually.

There are half a million cases of food poisoning each year in the UK, and one of the reasons we have stringent controls on who can sell food and drink, especially in unsealed containers, is to try to cut those figures down. And street stalls in general are regulated because we have a system of taxation, rights and responsibilities in this country which underpins our functioning society. Regulation is a social and economic good.

There are a half a million cases of food poisoning in the UK, but how many of those come from lemonade stands?

What's that? You don't know? Wow. I'm shocked. Someone justifying regulating a children's activity doesn't actually know if there are any real dangers associated with that activity.

Further, it's not like lemonade stands are preparing raw chicken at the same time they make the beverage for crying out loud. Anyone with half a brain understands there's little to no risk from a lemonade stand.

It’s also pretty unfair to criticise the hard-working public servants who acted in this case for doing the job they are no doubt underpaid to do. For the council to say “we expect our enforcement officers to show common sense” as they cancelled the fine is all very well, but I’m willing to bet they are given precious little leeway in their training when it comes to who gets fined and who doesn’t. If the council is handing out apologies, it likely should be issuing one to its officers as well.

No, it's really not unfair.