NPR: “If lemonade stands are symbols of the American dream, and if lemonade stands are under attack in the United States, then the American dream is under attack.”

July 19th, 2011

When NPR has an opinion piece in favor of the right to earn an honest living–let the kids have lemonade stands!–you know the statists went too far.

Arguably there is no catchier, kitschier symbol of the American spirit than a lemonade stand. It represents not only a way of life, but a way of making a living. It is capitalism and leisure, refreshment and resourcefulness, enterprise and summer skies all squeezed together — stirred in with lemons and sugar and water — and sold by the glass for whatever the market will bear.

But if you are paying attention to the news, you know that lemonade stands are at risk.

Just this year, The Associated Press reports: In July, police shut down a lemonade-making operation in Midway, Ga., because law enforcement officials were not sure how the lemonade was being made. In April, a 13-year-old lemonade purveyor was robbed of $130 by dastardly customers in Warner-Robins, Ga., and, in July, kids in Strongsville, Ohio, said a handful of teenagers, including two boys sporting skinny jeans and blue hoodies, stole at least $13.50 from their lemonade stand.

During the U.S. Open in June, officials in Montgomery County, Md., fined kids $500 for running a fancy lemonade stand — that sold bottled lemonade and other drinks — near the golf tournament. Proceeds, the children said, were going to charity. County officials finally agreed to waive the fine and allow the kids to operate without a permit if they would move the 10-by-10-foot tent down the road a piece.

As one of the mothers of the children told WUSA news: “The message to kids is, there’s no American dream.”

Now if only NPR would apply this reasoning to the countless other attacks on the right of people–not just cute kids selling sugary watery–to earn an honest living.

For my previous posts on the assault on lemonade stands see here, here, and here.