"Americans Should Be Able to Sell Stuff Without a Permit"

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    Sep 02, 2011 7:54 PM GMT
    Stuff like this should be common sense... but apparently not.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/08/americans-should-be-able-to-sell-stuff-without-a-permit/244250/

    Especially in tough economic times, onerous rules for starting a small business are a burden on the worst off among us

    In a small municipality on the shores of Lake Michigan, a town council passed a law earlier this summer that is especially objectionable in tough economic times. "It is in the interest of public safety and welfare to require certain individuals to obtain a license before conducting solicitations or making sales transactions throughout the town," the Burns Harbor, Indiana, ordinance states. Put simply, if you aren't a resident, you'll need an expensive permit to make or sell anything, whether on the street, door-to-door, or in a brick-and-mortar business inside town.

    What's required for a permit?

    One hundred dollars, getting fingerprinted by police, and a criminal background check. "If the applicant has been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony, the permit application may be rejected," the law states. And if you're granted a 30 day permit? Once it expires, you're ineligible to apply again for six whole months.

    This is the sort of story that makes me furious. Burns Harbor officials insist their law is necessary to protect public safety, but from 2001 to 2009, an eight year stretch before the law was passed, the town had zero murders, zero rapes, and three robberies. Its police presence is 4.36 officers per 1,000 residents, compared to an average of 1.87 officers per 1,000 residents elsewhere in Indiana. Meanwhile, there are high unemployment rates and tens of thousands of people on food stamps in the surrounding Lake Michigan region. Few firms are hiring. People are looking for a way to make a living. Some of them want to sell stuff. Why burden them? Why force folks to be fingerprinted like a criminal if they want to hawk goods at a local flea market? Why exclude from commerce people convicted of a mere misdemeanor? In a global economy, why should a traveling salesman be allowed to sell his goods only at 6 month intervals inside a town of 1,156 people?

    The town council is abusing its authority. Alas, theirs is a common attitude. The normal mindset among U.S. officials is that prior permission should be required to sell legal goods to a willing buyer. Kids selling lemonade on the street are shut down. A Missouri man has been fined $90,000 for selling rabbits (he made about $200). In Illinois, an artisan ice cream maker is being shut down for lack of a dairy permit. Manuel Winn was arrested, handcuffed, and booked for selling magazines door-to-door without a permit. A Maryland mother of three was arrested for selling $2 phone cards without a license. Lots of municipalities are going after food trucks. A group of Louisiana monks had to go to court to win the right to sell simple wooden caskets to consumers.

    If you read enough of these stories, you'll see the targeted entrepreneurs say the same thing again and again: I just had a good idea and started a business. It never occurred to me that I needed permission. And, of course, other would be entrepreneurs don't ever get started because they're too intimidated to assess and grapple with the bureaucratic hurdles. Or else the regulations are written in a way that excludes from commerce folks who are operating at a very small scale.

    These needless, onerous regulations would be objectionable at any time. But they're particularly problematic when many Americans find themselves unemployed, needful of income, and thrust into the position of doing what they can to get by. That may mean a series of garage sales, or selling fruit from a backyard tree, or making a craft to offer for sale on the street, or going door-to-door offering handyman skills, or any number of other informal businesses. We're making things harder on the least advantaged among us, and some are forced to take more social welfare because laws prevent them from making a living on their own.

    This isn't a jeremiad against all government regulation. Should commercial airline pilots be required to have a license? Sure. Are zoning restrictions sometimes legitimate? Of course. But is society really going to suffer if lemonade vendors, casket makers and purveyors of $2 phone cards sell their wares without permission? The default should be that free citizens can engage in commerce with one another, sans any prior restraint by federal, state, or local governments. It's time to deregulate.
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    Sep 02, 2011 8:04 PM GMT
    Here's some more..

    http://www.lemonadefreedom.com/2011/07/27/the-government-war-on-kid-run-concession-stands/

    Permits are a good idea, for some kinds of vending. Tracing food poisoning for example. The trick is to keep permit costs low.


    In some parts of Vancouver, the sidewalk selling stuff on spread blankets began obstructing pedestrian traffic, forcing people onto the road. Some set up in front of legitimate store-fronts that pay leases and property taxes.








  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 03, 2011 10:15 AM GMT
    Like how you have to now get a photo ID in every republican gubernatorial State? In order to Vote?


    Kinda like that ? icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2011 2:35 PM GMT
    GQjock saidLike how you have to now get a photo ID in every republican gubernatorial State? In order to Vote?


    Kinda like that ? icon_wink.gif


    Totally different, no, vastly.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 03, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    GQjock saidLike how you have to now get a photo ID in every republican gubernatorial State? In order to Vote?


    Kinda like that ? icon_wink.gif


    Totally different, no, vastly.


    Aww ... lol por que?
    When a nursing home patient has to go to the DMV and wait on line and pay for a photo ID
    and isn't this another silly regulation that's just not needed?
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14395

    Sep 03, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    It is because local politicians cannot get their fill of money and micromanaging the people. Here in Buffalo, we have a corrupt, micromanaging mayor who acts like a dictator by placing an onerous, costly permit process for anyone wanting to start up a business or for any street vendors. Most of our common council members go along with the mayor under the facade of quality of life issues which is a crock of shit. But they have the nerve to scream why many businesses flee Buffalo for the suburbs. It is thanks to our corrupt, facist city politicians especially our "all appearences, no substance" mayor. This is another compelling reason why Buffalo needs to get rid of the democratic party and allow another political party to control city hall. The democrats have had monopoly control over the City of Buffalo since 1964 and it has been nothing but urban decline, loss of business and jobs along with a loss of on street vitality and out of control corruption in city hall. icon_mad.gif
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    Sep 03, 2011 3:04 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidIt is because local politicians cannot get their fill of money and micromanaging the people. Here in Buffalo, we have a corrupt, micromanaging mayor who acts like a dictator by placing an onerous, costly permit process for anyone wanting to start up a business or for any street vendors. Most of our common council members go along with the mayor under the facade of quality of life issues which is a crock of shit. But they have the nerve to scream why many businesses flee Buffalo for the suburbs. It is thanks to our corrupt, facist city politicians especially our "all appearences, no substance" mayor. This is another compelling reason why Buffalo needs to get rid of the democratic party and allow another political party to control city hall. The democrats have had monopoly control over the City of Buffalo since 1964 and it has been nothing but urban decline, loss of business and jobs along with a loss of on street vitality and out of control corruption in city hall. icon_mad.gif


    Democrats are as bad when it comes to controlling peoples' lives in economic ways as Republicans try to be in controlling social issues.
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    Sep 03, 2011 4:04 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    roadbikeRob saidIt is because local politicians cannot get their fill of money and micromanaging the people. Here in Buffalo, we have a corrupt, micromanaging mayor who acts like a dictator by placing an onerous, costly permit process for anyone wanting to start up a business or for any street vendors. Most of our common council members go along with the mayor under the facade of quality of life issues which is a crock of shit. But they have the nerve to scream why many businesses flee Buffalo for the suburbs. It is thanks to our corrupt, facist city politicians especially our "all appearences, no substance" mayor. This is another compelling reason why Buffalo needs to get rid of the democratic party and allow another political party to control city hall. The democrats have had monopoly control over the City of Buffalo since 1964 and it has been nothing but urban decline, loss of business and jobs along with a loss of on street vitality and out of control corruption in city hall. icon_mad.gif


    Democrats are as bad when it comes to controlling peoples' lives in economic ways as Republicans try to be in controlling social issues.




    You are exactly right !!
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    Sep 03, 2011 4:08 PM GMT
    realifedad said
    mocktwinkie said
    roadbikeRob saidIt is because local politicians cannot get their fill of money and micromanaging the people. Here in Buffalo, we have a corrupt, micromanaging mayor who acts like a dictator by placing an onerous, costly permit process for anyone wanting to start up a business or for any street vendors. Most of our common council members go along with the mayor under the facade of quality of life issues which is a crock of shit. But they have the nerve to scream why many businesses flee Buffalo for the suburbs. It is thanks to our corrupt, facist city politicians especially our "all appearences, no substance" mayor. This is another compelling reason why Buffalo needs to get rid of the democratic party and allow another political party to control city hall. The democrats have had monopoly control over the City of Buffalo since 1964 and it has been nothing but urban decline, loss of business and jobs along with a loss of on street vitality and out of control corruption in city hall. icon_mad.gif


    Democrats are as bad when it comes to controlling peoples' lives in economic ways as Republicans try to be in controlling social issues.




    You are exactly right !!


    Why do BOTH parties have to suck so much, ugh. hah.
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    Sep 03, 2011 5:03 PM GMT
    Have any of you ever spent time in a place where no permits for any kind of vending are required? Go to one, then come back and describe the beaches crowded with hawkers, overrun parks and crowded sidewalks.

    In Vancouver there was a time when the City garbage collectors had to clean messes daily by junk vendors that at the end of the day, left piles of unsold junk on boulevards and in parks etc.

    Misuse of the permit process by gov't officials from the municipal up to the federal are not uncommon and should be addressed, but to swing from one extreme to the other makes little sense.
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    Sep 04, 2011 12:34 AM GMT
    meninlove said Have any of you ever spent time in a place where no permits for any kind of vending are required? Go to one, then come back and describe the beaches crowded with hawkers, overrun parks and crowded sidewalks.

    In Vancouver there was a time when the City garbage collectors had to clean messes daily by junk vendors that at the end of the day, left piles of unsold junk on boulevards and in parks etc.

    Misuse of the permit process by gov't officials from the municipal up to the federal are not uncommon and should be addressed, but to swing from one extreme to the other makes little sense.



    There is only one extreme or another.

    What else is there? icon_eek.gif

    Compromise is for pussies.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 04, 2011 12:56 AM GMT
    There are ways for us 'commoners' to get around all this crazyness of permits for minor efforts at making or saving some extra money, BARTERING !! , you can barter you time in trade for a skill someone else has that you need, you can barter with something you make for something else you want, and the list goes on and on and as they say in the Navy, ask no question you don't want the answer to. and its easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission. Just do what you want and need to, to make your way and keep it to yourself. LOL

    A neighbor of mine and I have worked on and built each others houses with skills we both have from years of experience in home building, we worked side by side on each others building projects and have saved ourselves thousands of dollars. Just be creative and you can work around most any 'problem' !!
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    Sep 04, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said


    Democrats are as bad when it comes to controlling peoples' lives in economic ways as Republicans try to be in controlling social issues.


    I think this is the truest statement that you have ever made.