Editor, Your July 6 front page story was a very sad commentary of the times in which we live. The headline, “Lemonade stand operation goes sour,” reflects much more than just the lack of judgment of the officers involved in this incident. In my opinion, those officers should have allowed the girls to continue to sell their lemonade unless the officers had been instructed by their superiors to do what they did. If they were instructed to take action, then they simply were following orders and rightly so. However, if they had not received any complaints and had not been ordered by the Midway mayor and city council to take action, then it was overzealous policing.
In any case, it was wrong to prohibit the girls from experimenting with free enterprise, which is the backbone of American exceptional- ism. I don’t care what the ordinance says. If there is in fact a law on the books that prohibits children from selling lemonade in their yard, then let’s repeal that law. And we should not police any issue with such blind and unthoughtful vigor. For goodness sake, they were just children who were at home with their mother nearby.
This issue is an example of what has gone wrong with our government at virtually all levels — too much interference into free enterprise. We cannot all be employed by the government, although that is a hard argument in Liberty County.
The people who engage in business and free enterprise are the ones who fuel the engine that drives the economy. Those who work for federal, state or local governments are a drain on the economy.
We need to return to our senses, and all governmental agency employees need to be directed and trained to aid private enterprise and nurture it in any way possible. Those of us who engage in private enterprise put in long, hard hours for very little reward, often less than minimum wage and sometimes nothing at all. Government employees are better compensated than private-sector employees, and that is a fact.
There are entirely too many rules, regulations, license fees and permit and inspection fees. And most public-sector employees are far too eager to prohibit rather than assist those of us in private enterprise as we try to make money and create tax revenue.
It is time for a change in our attitude about how this country should be governed. I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who said “Government which governs least governs best.” More truthful words never were spoken.
— Jimmy Smith