Lemonade Day—or Regulation Day?


Author: Timothy Sandefur

May 1 is supposed to be Lemonade Day—an event organized by a Houston based group called Prepared 4 Life, to teach kids about entrepreneurship. But as Nicolas S. Martin of the Consumer Health Education Council, explains, the lesson it really teaches is about overregulation and the barriers that local communities have set up against entrepreneurship:

Lemonade Day is promoted as a way to “inspire a budding entrepreneur!” But it is actually a dispiriting lesson about how hard it now is to become an entrepreneur, whether you’re an adult or a child. It is about how even the most harmless enterprise, the humble lemonade stand, has been sacrificed on the altar of government regulation.

Learning to be an entrepreneur “starts with a lemonade stand,” say the organizers of Lemonade Day. But they don’t want to talk about the regulations that make it impossible for my kid to become a lemonade stand entrepreneur. They tell me it is “silly” and “beside the point” to focus on the regulations. I am told that Lemonade Day is about kids learning to “give back to their communities,” “do better in school” and “open bank accounts.” It is not about something so self-serving as making a profit by selling a good product. That is the old American way, but the new way is living with rules that banish the lemonade stand to one government-approved day a year.

Definitely read the whole thing!