Why does it make us so angry when an eleven-year old girl can’t sell misteltoe she cut, to pay for her dental bills?

December 6th, 2013

Why should it? Certainly the state has the power to regulate economic transactions. The answer belies an important factor that many would rather ignore. That innately, everyone recognizes that there is a right to earn an honest living. This is something that the government should not be able to take away. But, we only get upset as a society when a cute little girl is denied the ability to sell something as trivial as mistletoe around Christmas-time, to help (for crying out loud!) pay her medical bills. And what is really the kicker in this story is that the security guard told her that she should beg for money, but couldn’t sell. If this is not a parable for the state of our healthcare system, I don’t know what is. And certainly, the government has a “rational basis” for this decision.

I’ve blogged before about why the government breaking down lemonade sales frustrates us (see hereherehere, and here.). These cases illustrate this right to earn a living. See also an earlier post by Tim Sandefur.