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7-Year-Old Boy Devastated After New York State Launches Full-Out Assault on Lemonade Stand

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President Ronald Reagan once said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

Unfortunately for freedom-loving Americans, this commonsense rule is one big government leftists refuse to abide by.

Seven-year-old Brendan Mulvaney found this out first hand after he set up a small lemonade stand across the street from the Saratoga County Fair in upstate New York.

According to his father, Sean Mulvaney, Brendan wanted to raise money for a trip to Disneyworld and also planned to donate some money to a needy family in the area.

“We are trying to teach our son good manners and to do something with himself,” Mulvaney said. “He wanted to make some money with a lemonade, we said sure. It’s better than sitting in the house.”

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These entrepreneurial dreams were quickly crushed when a state health official visited the lemonade stand and told the family to shut it down because Brendan didn’t have a permit.

“She didn’t introduce herself, she didn’t leave a card,” Brendan’s dad said. “She asked if we had a permit and I said ‘no’ and she told us we couldn’t do it. Then she started taking pictures. She was rude.”

“We didn’t think that we needed (a permit), we didn’t know that we needed one,” said Brendan’s mom, Jodi Mulvaney. “It didn’t even cross our minds.”

The Department of Health initially seemed confused by the incident, as the agency doesn’t inspect stands, and issued an apology to the Mulvaney family.

Do you think this is a case of absurd government regulation?

“While we work to confirm the inspection was performed by DOH staff and the surrounding circumstances, we offer Brendan an apology for any inconvenience,” said spokeswoman Jill Montag. “We are working to better understand the situation but in the meantime want to assure the community that DOH does not issue permits for or oversee lemonade stands.”

But only hours later, the over-zealous government bureaucrats reversed their stance.

According to The New York Post, vendors at the Saratoga fair had complained to health inspectors about Brendan’s stand because he was undercutting their prices: He was selling lemonade for 75 cents, versus the $7 drinks inside the fair.

And so in an effort to “level the playing field,” officials insisted Brendan did, in fact, need a permit.

“We have zero interest in shutting down a boy’s lemonade stand or regulating lemonade stands,” spokesman Gary Holmes said to the Times Union. “We also don’t want to pick a fight with the family. We want to put all the vendors on a level playing field.”

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Brendan’s dad was furious. “Yesterday, they issue an apology and today I need a permit,” Sean Mulvaney.

And he should be.

As explained by The Daily Signal, this kind of government regulation is crony capitalism at its worst:

“Food-vending licenses, like other types of occupational licenses, offer individuals and businesses protection from competition, which destroys free markets and innovation,” The Signal explains. “Licensing laws incentivize individuals and businesses, such as food vendors, to seek and lobby for government intervention — at little or no cost — to obtain economic benefits at the expense of others.”


State Sen. Jim Tedisco has spoken out against what happened.

“When I was a kid, state bureaucrats didn’t go around shutting down lemonade stands and threatening children and families with fines,” Tedisco said in a statement. “These kids are trying to give people sweet lemonade and learn some important business skills but the overzealous state bureaucrats in the administration just keep giving taxpayers lemons.”

“There’s nothing that says America more than apple pie and kids running lemonade stands,” Tedisco said later. “What has our state government come to?”

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Rebekah Baker is the former deputy managing editor of The Western Journal.
Rebekah Baker is the former deputy managing editor of The Western Journal. She graduated from Grove City College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She has written hundreds of articles on topics like the sanctity of life, free speech and freedom of religion.
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Faith




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