The Corner

When Obama Hands You Lemons . . .

. . . the state enforcers won’t let you make lemonade.

Iain Murray wrote yesterday about the spate of lemonade-stand crackdowns by this once great republic’s depraved regulatory class. This is not a small thing. A land in which a child requires hundreds of dollars of permits to sell homemade lemonade in his front yard is, in a profound sense, no longer free: It is exactly the kind of micro-regulatory tyranny of which Tocqueville warned two centuries ago.

Guest-hosting for Rush a week or two back, I suggested en passant that we needed a children’s version of the Tea Party — a Lemonade Party. I see now that a concerned citizen is organizing a Lemonade Freedom Day for August 20th.

By the way, our fellow NR cruiser Ed Driscoll has posted an excerpt from my new book about another curious priority of the control freaks of the Brokest Nation In History: The church bake-sale pie crackdown. I hesitate to channel Martin Niemöller (“First they came for the kid next door’s lemonade stand and I did nothing, then they came for the widder woman across the street’s maple pecan pie”), but this is a sustained assault by the state on civic participation, and thus on citizenship itself.

The proper response of any self-respecting seven-year-old girl on being told she needs the state’s permission to sell homemade lemonade is, “You’ll never take me alive, copper!”

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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