In Case You Wondered What Killed the Entrepreneurial Spirit in America

Wonder no longer. Bureaucratic red tape is so pervasive, it has now encroached on one of the touchstones of the young entrepreneurial spirit, the lemonade stand:

Two young sisters with an entrepreneurial spirit set up a lemonade stand in Overton, Texas, to raise money for their dad’s Father’s day gift, their mom said.

But Andria and Zoey Green’s business closed abruptly Monday after police came by to tell them their stand was illegal without a city Peddler’s Permit, according to Overton Police Department Chief Clyde Carter.

“It’s illegal to sell lemonade without a permit,” Carter told ABC News today. “But we didn’t tell them to shut down, we just asked them to get a permit.”

The girls’ mother, Sandi Evans, said they went to try to get a Peddler’s Permit at City Hall, but found out they’d have to get licensed by the Rusk County Health Department before being allowed a Peddler’s Permit.

Maybe they should call it a Meddler’s Permit. I wish this story were a joke. But I know it’s not. This is what we have become. And it’s not just lemonade stands that get the shaft from over-reaching bureaucracies. Consider the boa constrictor of red tape small businesses get strangled by, mostly at the behest of the already established competition:

America was once considered the land of opportunity, home of the American Dream—where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives. But is all that a thing of past?

Now, it seems, a ridiculous bureaucracy has people jumping through hoops to start a business and forcing entrepreneurs to do useless things for no logical reason.

. . .

Lobbyists and special interest groups infiltrate politics on the federal and local level. They urge lawmakers to pass regulations that benefit them, and keep the competition out. The result: an America growing increasingly regulated. According to the Institute of Justice, in the 1950’s 1 in 20 occupations required a government permit. Today it’s one in three. And all this red tape is costing taxpayers billions.

So wonder no longer what killed the entrepreneurial spirit here in America. Here it is, and it’s as ugly and stupid as you imagined.