weather icon Clear

War on lemonade stands comes to Reno

Since tarring and feathering tax collectors and other government bureaucrats is no longer considered an appropriate form of shame and humiliation, the question arises as to what to do with the Reno apparatchik who recently issued a citation to a pair of kids operating an “illegal” lemonade stand.

According to The Associated Press, the Washoe County Health District has admitted that one of its inspectors shut down the lemonade stand being operated by 12-year-old Emma Farrell and 14-year-old Alex Farrell during the Reno-Tahoe Open golf tournament on Aug. 3 for failing to have obtained the proper government-issued permits.

Oh, the humanity!

According to Robert Fernandes of a national organization called Lemonade Freedom, the kids and their parents live in the Montreaux Golf and Country Club community where the annual PGA tournament is held.

“Alex and Emma sell ice cold lemonade, homemade cookies and gently used golf balls that they custom decorate for customers,” Fernandes reported on his blog. “They have been operating this stand in front of their house for the past five years with nothing but compliments and support from the community.”

But this year an as yet unidentified Washoe County health inspector (no relation to Larry the Cable Guy) issued the kids an “operating without a valid health permit” citation and shut the lemonade stand down “because another vendor launched a complaint claiming that sales were low because of the lemonade stand.”

Well, boo-hoo-hoo.

Welcome to the real world, kids, where a competitor will “rat” you out to “the man” and use the strong arm of government to squash a smaller, startup operation. Indeed, do not be surprised when some day the Nevada Legislature creates a Lemonade Stand Licensing Board and requires you to get a college degree in lemonade administration before being allowed to sell cups of this summertime beverage favorite.

It’s bad enough that some low-life competitor would whine and snitch to the health police that a pair of young kids were operating an “illegal” lemonade stand. That’s just bad form.

But for a government agent to actually take the complaint seriously, shut the stand down and issue a citation? That’s just being stuck on stupid.

This War on Lemonade Stands is part of an even larger war on capitalism and entrepreneurship; where self-employment and making a profit are seen as inherently evil and should be punished rather than encouraged; where the rich aren’t “paying their fair share” and the poor are innocent victims of greed and avarice.

This is a war against all that has made America the greatest, most-prosperous nation in the world — which was aided and abetted by this clueless, heartless, soulless health inspector. Almost makes me yearn for a return of the good ol’ days of tar and feathers.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass-roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at chuck@citizenoutreach.com.