Long ago, way back in the halcyon summertime days of 1954 America, when I was a wee lad of 8-years, my neighborhood pal Buzzy Acker and me, with our mother’s permission of course, set up a Kool-Aid stand in front of our modest houses on Adams Street in the city of South Bend Indiana.
We purchased packets of Kool-Aid at the grocery store for a nickel apiece, mixed the contents with ordinary tap water and sugar, and sold 10 small paper cups of ice cold Kool-Aid per packet to thirsty neighborhood customers (mostly other kids), and motorist passersby for a nickel each.
It was fun; it was easy; it was profitable, innocent juvenile entrepreneurship. We weren’t doing anything wrong. No one complained to the government about our activities. No one got sick. No permits or licenses, or health department permission was necessary. Lots of kids did the same thing back then. It was all part of growing up free in America.
Of course, that was before the United Statists of America took over control of the United States of America. Today’s kids don’t have it quite as easy as Buzzy and me had it in 1954. Today a kid setting up a Kool-Aid stand or a homemade cupcake or cookie table is likely to run into a nasty buzz saw of statist bureaucratic government bullshit.
In short, if you’re a kid or even an adult nowadays and don’t have permission from the local government to run a Kool-Aid stand, a church bake sale or the like, the statist municipal Kool-Aid, cupcake cookie monsters are likely to shut you down, perhaps even charge you with a “crime.”
That’s what happened to little 12-year-old Chloe Sirling of Troy, Illinois, when the Madison County Health Department shut down her Hey Cupcake! Homemade cupcake proprietorship operation she started for helping out local fundraisers and churches through sales of baked goods to family and friends. When the local municipal statist cookie monsters found out about it she was squashed for selling baked goods without a license or having a state-certified kitchen.
The sad fact is that, today nearly 30 percent of Americans work in jobs that require some form of federal, state or county licensure. That’s six times the number in the 1950s. And it really has nothing to do with health and safety. When was the last time you heard about someone getting sick from eating a homemade cookie at a church bake sale?
It’s all about money in the municipal coffers from permit and licensing fees and statist government control over individual’s lives. Today one has to buy a permit to repaint their house; to put up a fence; or add a patio to their back yard. None of that bureaucratic nonsense was necessary back in the good old 1950’s.
This week, however, magnanimous Illinois State lawmakers unanimously passed a law dubbed the “cupcake bill” that will allow home kitchen operators earning less than $1,000 per month to operate freely without the intervention of local governments or health departments.
Republicans seized on Chloe’s story after she became a folk hero. You see, they didn’t do it because it is the right thing to do. They did it only because a large number of their constituents made a stink about it and they were consequently worried about their statist political hides. “Some of this stuff seems so stupid to me, that we have these rules,” one lawmaker sheepishly told National Public Radio.
What does a $1,000 per month limit on sales, I wonder, have to do with health and safety, or anything else for that matter? Why does someone earning more than $1,000 per month still need expensive permission from the authority?
The statists, including competition hating restaurant owners, who attempted to block the law, did succeed in amending it to provide that it only applies to home kitchen operations where the local governing body has adopted an ordinance authorizing the direct sale of baked goods.
So many little kids will still have to get government permission to set up a Kool-Aid stand. They’ll still be required to look out for the municipal Kool-Aid cupcake cookie monsters.