So that’s what’s going on. My wife and I were wondering what was happening with the news trucks, the radio broadcasts, and the lemonade stand a couple of blocks from our apartment.
Apparently, a couple of young lemonade stand entrepreneurs found themselves in hot water with the vaunted City of Saint Louis for not having the necessary licenses, permits, etc. There are three important lessons we can take from this.
2. If we aren’t going to stop little kids from selling lemonade without permits, licenses, etc., a moment’s reflection should tell us that we’re inflicting harm on people by not allowing them to enter the market for any good or service without permits, inspections, etc.
3. Quoting Walter Block, from the Rothbard Graduate Seminar 2002, “property rights, property rights, property rights!” If the girls were on the offended party’s lawn, then he has an obvious and legitimate gripe. However, the Post-Dispatch article says that they were on the grass between his property and the road—if it’s a public right of way and is therefore unhomesteaded, the kids now enjoy commercial rights over their newly-homesteaded plot of land (I’ve passed it a couple of times—the stand doesn’t appear to be on anyone’s property). The land apparently doesn’t belong to the offended party. The lemonade doesn’t. The girls most certainly don’t. Unless they are engaging in uninvited transformation of the offended party’s justly acquired property, there is no principled, legitimate way we can register any complaint against them.
Again, the market delivers the goods. I think I’m going to have some lemonade on my way home.
Check out Radley Balko’s blog for more.