The other day I put a new post on my lemonade stand tumblr. Some average citizen has declared August 20th “Lemonade Stand Day” in protest against what he perceives as Big Brother oppressing little kids selling lemonade. I address some of the issues raised by this, but I forgot to note a common argument lemonade stand defenders make: running a lemonade stand teaches kids valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and running a business.
Setting aside arguments about “too much” or “not enough” regulation, shouldn’t part of that lesson be about how to navigate the regulatory environment of your business? It would be unrealistic for anyone to establish a business without regard to the necessary permits and laws pertaining to that business. Just because they are kids doesn’t excuse them. When you teach a kid how to drive, part of that lesson is obeying rules of the road; the other part is preparing for the driver’s test and earning a license to drive a car. If you think the regulatory environment is too stringent, then you can always provide a valuable civics lesson by showing them how to advocate for changes in the law. That would be much more instructive than whining with extremist rhetoric about “government education camps.”