"We Were Being Entrepreneurs, But Now I Feel a Little Defeated"

Selling cupcakes in a park--public property, don't you know--two 13-year-old boys who had made $120 get shut down by the cops--no permit, don't you know--based on a complaint from a city councilman in New Castle, New York. When Councilman Michael Wolfensohn found out the sale wasn't for charity--the kids instead hoped to earn enough to one day open a restaurant--he called in the officers.

The reaction of one young politically unconnected entrepreneur, as quoted via MSNBC:

"We were being entrepreneurs," he said, "but now I feel a little defeated."

Welcome to America!

[Hat tip: Derrick Miller]

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  • Bender Bending Rodriguez||

    A great object lesson. Teach your children well: Government is NOT your friend.

  • The Gobbler||

    Plus, they're Jewish, so they really need to keep an eye out.

  • ||

    Were any dogs shot? Did they hogtie the kids? I'll be they at least seized the cupcakes as "evidence" right?

    Thanks for saving the neighborhood, you bunch of Barneys.

  • Bingo||

    Jesus fucking christ.

    Every single article today has been absolutely rage enducing. Add to that my coffee maker stopped working this morning and this has not been a good Monday.

    Can we get the seasteads going already?

  • P B||

    +1

  • omg||

    This just in: governments plan to declare seasteaders international criminals for evading taxes.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Remember you will have to go through an aggressive pat down before being allowed to leave the good old Land of the Free for one of those commie/hippie seasteads.

  • cynical||

    If we're going to do that, we need to get a nuclear sub or two for protection.

  • ||

    But don't you understand?? If they don't nip this in the bud, the parks and sidewalks would be filled with kids selling baked goods and lemonade and who knows what else, and probably poisoning people!!

  • ||

    or atleast risking people's cholesterol. I imagine this sort of activity would be banned in NYC and Chicago on the trans fat ban alone.

  • Old Mexican||

    "We Were Being Entrepreneurs, But Now I Feel a Little Defeated"

    You young hooligans! Don't you know it is the prerrogative of our State to protect us from profiteering assholes like you??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  • Abdul||

    They are learning something about entrepeneurship--pay off someone on the planning commission first.

  • ||

    Thornton Melon: Oh, you left out a bunch of stuff.

    Dr. Phillip Barbay: Oh really? Like what for instance?

    Thornton Melon: First of all you're going to have to grease the local politicians for the sudden zoning problems that always come up. Then there's the kickbacks to the carpenters, and if you plan on using any cement in this building I'm sure the teamsters would like to have a little chat with ya, and that'll cost ya. Oh and don't forget a little something for the building inspectors. Then there's long term costs such as waste disposal. I don't know if you're familiar with who runs that business but I assure you it's not the Boyscouts.

    Dr. Phillip Barbay: That will be quite enough, Mr. Melon! Maybe bribes, kickbacks and Mafia payoffs are how YOU do business! But they are NOT part of the legitimate business world! And they are certainly not part of anything I am doing in this class. Do I make myself clear, Mr. Melon!

  • Jeffersonian||

    Not even the great Rodney Dangerfield could make this kinda shit up.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The sad irony is that Thornton Melon probably didn't see anything wrong with a system like that.

  • Paul||

    If only America still worked like this, then we'd get something done.

  • hmm (as the State)||

    Future drug dealers. They need to be stopped.

  • Fluffy||

    I note with interest that the councilman only stopped them because it wasn't for charity.

    So that effectively forestalls the "They wanted to keep the park clear for its regular users" bullshit that is usually offered in these situations as a counter.

  • Bingo||

    Duh, Fluffy. As we all know, profits are evil and exploitive. Those cupcakes they sold were unfairly taking advantage of their customers. Only by donating these profits to charity do they cleanse their corrupt little capitalist souls.

  • ♥♥♥||

    They were also exploiting their employees and reaping all the money off their employee's hard work.

  • ||

    self exploitation, much like sexting...ergo they are sex offenders

  • ||

    They were extracting surplus value from their mother.

  • ||

    This smacks a bit of viewpoint discrimination.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Fluffy what about the fact that this a-hole didn't even have the stones to confront the kids himself?


    He [Wolfensohn] said "in hindsight" he perhaps should have told the boys they needed a license rather than calling the cops. "The police are trained to deal with these sorts of issues," he told The Journal News.

    I want to see a picture of these kids so I can see how scary looking they are.

    Or did they have a dog that looked like it needed a good dose of "police professionalism".

  • Upgrayyed||

    You should see what the cops did to their mom's van.

  • ||

    Only if you're fond of logical fallacies.

    The fact that criminals refuse to allow their houses to be searched without a warrant because they don't want evidence of their crimes found, doesn't "forestall" the argument that warrantless searches are a violation of privacy rights of the innocent.

  • ||

    Profit is bad, mmmkay?

  • ||

    Profit is bad, mmmkay?

  • ||

    Profit is bad, mmmkay?

  • Mango Punch||

    Posting the same thing three times in a row is bad, mmmkay?

  • ||

    I swear that's never happened to me before.

  • ||

    How many women have you said this to?

  • ||

    All of them. And I meant it every time.

  • All of Sage's Women||

    True dat.

  • All of Sage's Women||

    True dat.

  • Paul||

    You can say that again, and again, and again.

  • Joe M||

    Why is it every other post on H&R lately makes me think of Atlas Shrugged?

  • Bingo||

    It's almost like we've reached the equivalent of Poe's Law for statism as a whole. Even the most outrageous examples you can think of are plausible at this point.

    Groping toddlers at airport checkpoints? Check.
    Cops shutting down lemonade stands? Check.
    Putting grannies through machines that strip search them? Check.
    Sending a guy to prison for acting responsibly with firearms? Check.
    Giving cops blanket immunity to act violently? Check.
    Wars for peace? Check.
    Taxation is virtue, making money is evil? Check.
    Not engaging in commerce is actually commerce? Check.

    I'm sure I've missed a few...

  • ||

    You forgot the best one of all: libertarians are responsible for everything bad that happens, even though they have zero political power.

  • Bingo||

    Hey now, it's not how big of a voter percentage you get, it's how you use it!

  • ||

    Political homeopathy?

  • ||

    Libertarians are the Jews of the 21st century. Except on the whole circumcision thing.

  • Pip||

    Druge has a picture today of a TSA agent groping a nun with the caption "The Terrorists Have Won".

    http://www.drudgereport.com/tsa.jpg

  • Dan'l Webster||

    They need to take down that flag in the background. It's insulting.

  • Bingo||

    Since 9/11, the Feds have done more collective damage to the economy and freedom of Americans in response to terrorism than any terrorist attack could ever perpetrate on it's own.

  • insufficiently renumerated||

    Making it illegal to film cops performing their duties.

  • conspiracies are everywhere||

    George Soros wins "Globalist of the Year" award.

  • Joe M||

    "What if there was work going on that was dangerous?" he told the paper. "But I do understand why parents would think they can do this."

    Why is that? Perhaps common fucking sense?

  • Zeb||

    What kind of work could be going on that is specifically dangerous to kids selling baked goods? I mean, the park was open, right?

  • Prof. Farnsworth||

    Quiet, you!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I seem to recall hearing somewhere that Councilman Michael Wolfensohn was using that public space for his sheep-herding activities and didn't like those young entrepeneurs invading his territory.

  • Restoras||

    Do you mean to imply he participates in bestial congress with his herd of sheep?

  • Pip||

    Absolutely not! He merely "herds" sheep.

  • Kristen||

    Councilman Michael Wolfensohn's sheep herds are properly permitted, you see.

  • Zeb||

    So let me make sure I get this right. You are not saying that Councilman Michael Wolfensohn is a sheep fucker.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    In that case, I hope he goes to jail and gets prison-herded.

  • Kristen||

    Who do you hope goes to jail? Councilman Michael Wolfensohn, who herds sheep, but does not fuck sheep?

  • ||

    "We were being entrepreneurs," he said, "but now I feel a little defeated."

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

  • Matrix||

    Pay your protection... I mean permit money... or we will break your legs... err.. shut you down!

    Sounds more like the mafia to me!

  • Councilman Michael Wolfensohn||

    Nice little cupcake stand you boys got there. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it...

  • ||

    Stupid keyboard.

    "We were being entrepreneurs," he said, "but now I feel a little defeated."

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

  • creech||

    We can assume, can't we, that the local branch of the New York LP came to the defense of these kids - at least a supportive letter in the local newspaper - didn't they? Right? Right?

  • Extended Warren T||

    Is this an example of Lawn Order?

  • Jordan||

    Statists: working hard everyday to reclassify Atlas Shrugged as non-fiction.

  • Restoras||

    As a resident of the town in question, I can verify that all the councilmen are total jackasses. So are a good portion of the residents.

  • ||

    When can we stop the little shits and their untaxed, unregulated lemonade?

  • ||

    Of course, if someone wanted to contact Michael Wolfensohn, say at the email address of mbwolf@town.new-castle.ny.us , one could do so. Theoretically, of course.

  • Enyap||

    Considering the stituation I feel a lemonparty would be the most proper reponse.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Is there any evidence that Councilman Michael Wolfensohn fucks sheep?

  • AlmightyJB||

    What's that on your wool sweater? eww.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    How did you resist spelling that as "ewe"? You are a stronger man than I.

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    Councilman, you're supposed to herd those sheep, not hurt them.

    Wooly bully.

  • insufficiently renumerated||

    Shutting down a teen-run cupcake business is not quite like taking candy from a baby, but close enough.

  • Mean spirit||

    It feels better to shut down teenagers.

  • Sterile Singapur||

    The "buy-local" ecocreep crowd voted for the politicians that enacted these stupid laws. Unfortunately, they'll never connect the dots.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    *jumps into the time machine and sets coordinates for November 9th, 2007, Chappaqua, New York*

    The three Democratic candidates running uncontested: Barbara Gerrard for town supervisor, Elise Kessler Mottel and Michael Wolfensohn for town board, were duly elected by 1676 votes, 1633 votes and 1623 votes respectively. New Castle has 11, 493 registered voters.

    Sounds like this asshole is pretty much safe from any political fallout that should rightfully bury him.

    Hoorah for single-party control!

  • Pope Jimbo||

    AC,

    I was thinking that the best thing these kids could do would be:

    1) Wait until next election cycle (I'm assuming you meant 2010, not 2007)
    2) Find vagrant to run against Wolfensohn
    3) Begin selling cupcakes in park on Nov 1, 2012 (or 2014).
    4) When Wolfey decides to shut them down again use publicity to propel Vagrant into power.

  • JD||

  • Jeff||

    The exact same thing happened to me as a kid. I'm sure everyone remembers those kids who would sell candy on school buses for "charity" (read: so they can go on some group trip). Well, I figured that if it was a good way for charity to raise money, it'd be a good way for me to raise money. Long story short, the principal called me into her office, blew up at me, and accused me of preparing to sell drugs. She then informed me that making money was somehow evil and that "charity" money to goes to entertainment trips is fundamentally different than making money. That ended by small business.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I did cinnamon toothpicks. I knew from day one I'd be in trouble if I got caught, so always did whole thing as if I were a drug dealer. You had to get a proper introduction before I'd sell to you, and I always issued a warning that, if you get busted, you didn't get em from me (and oh ya, make sure you wash your hands really well before you touch your face). I'm proud of my 10 year old self. Much more initiative than I'd ever show today.

  • ||

    I sold elevator passes.

  • Brett L||

    What about pool keys?

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    I did cinnamon toothpicks.

    This is unacceptable, shocking, outrageous! Don't you know that toothpicks are a gateway product to consumerism? Not to mention sharp and dangerous. Have you no shame? What about the safety of Teh Childrunz™?

    Is the statue of limitations still running here? Does this guy have a dog we can shoot?

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    I sold magic the gathering cards, mostly revised and 4th edition. I then built decks designed specifically against the cards I'd put into circulation, played for ante, and made the bulk of my money. Since then I've always had a problem understanding why people claim it's a bad idea to use your own product.

  • ||

    Ha, I beat all you rubes. My dad ran a printing shop back in the day and tested making business cards with my info on it. Having 500 cards and not much to do with them, I started going to school and selling them for a dime a piece. Then, since there was such high demand (for whatever reason), I would charge people 5 dollars for a whole stack of cards, at which point they could keep some of the money for themselves.

    then my teacher found out and made me repay everyone. I was pissed because I wasn't allowed to make money off of peoples' stupidity- the most american of things.

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    "I can't take HIS money. I can't make my OWN money. I have to WORK for money. Why don't I just lay down and die?"

  • ||

    Honestly, I think the councilman was absolutely right. You're not above the law just because you're a 13-year-old. If people want to live in a community where every facet of business is micro-regulated then they should see the consequences of such micro-regulation first-hand. To let these kids slide would be to create the illusion that government regulation is reasonable and just. I don't lay the blame on Councilman Wolfensohn; I lay the blame on every citizen who supports governmental regulation of business.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Absolutely. These shitheads actually do us a favor when they do this type of thing. It gives Americans an accurate print-out of what the stupid laws(representatives)they vote for actually mean.

  • Flex Nasty B.I.G.||

    I've often thought of founding a group which goes around reporting people and demanding that they be held to the letter of the law. It'd piss a lot of people off, but I bet the laws would change pretty quickly.

  • ||

    I think you grossly underestimate how many people are comfortable with authoritarianism for everyone but themselves while living in "it'll never happen to me" denial.

  • ||

    Like Josh Marshall

  • Flex Nasty B.I.G.||

    Right. The point would be to make it happen to them.

  • waffles||

    whatever, it'll never happen to me

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Can't we have our cake and eat it too? I'm all for consistent application of crappy regulations for everybody that isn't me, hopefully resulting in fewer of those crappy regulations. But this guy is still a rat and eff him.

  • MNG||

    "When Councilman Michael Wolfensohn found out the sale wasn't for charity--the kids instead hoped to earn enough to one day open a restaurant--he called in the officers."

    My God the level of cretinism in that act...I mean, it would be bad enough for the town nanny to intrude into such matters, but a NYC city councilman?

    But perhaps I repeat myself...

  • Maureen||

    This happens in Canada too. Port Coquitlam City Council shut down the lemonade stand of two children in a park.
    http://maureenbader.blogspot.c.....rance.html

  • ||

    The ~8 year old girl who lives across the street from me set up a lemonade stand this past weekend. Glad the two officers who live one cul-de-sac down the block didn't see that.

  • ||

    I had a lemonade stand once when I was a kid. My older sister shamelessly exploited us younger kids to sell it and then proceeded to embezzle from the cash register.

  • ||

    Do you mean to imply he participates in bestial congress with his herd of sheep?

    "Ohhh, intercourse the penguin!"

  • ||

    "Dirty Deeds Done with Sheep."

  • ||

    That's Bob Rivers.

  • ||

    Next week ... teen cupcake turf wars. Underground bakery gangs vie for territory in illegal trade.

    Local residents complain that unemployed youth turn to pastry sales due to lack of government provided jobs.

  • ||

    Said pastries are rumored to be laced with trans-fats and high-fructose corn syrup.

  • PIP||

    And SALT!

  • ||

    Yes, they deliberately use salt in the dough to increase it's tastiness.

    Even though their own mothers tell them it's unhealthy.

  • Maureen||

    This is very good. You should write it up as a 'news' story for a satirical blogsite

  • ||

    1. The city councilman is a douche for behaving as he did. He should have "counseled" the kids to get a permit for their own sake, and then gone and minded his own business.

    2. Fluffy's fallacy above notwithstanding, just because a law is enforced at the request of a douche doesn't mean it's a bad law. Parks are not intended to be street markets. Note that in a libertarian utopia there wouldn't even be any public property for these kids to sell their wares on, so I don't understand why y'all are in a huff about this.

  • Maureen||

    True, but we don't live in a Libertarian utopia, so we still have public parks. Which public do you suppose the park should serve? Why not the public that wants to sell things?

  • ||

    The park should serve public who wish to engage in recreation. Just as roads should serve the public who wish to travel and public markets should serve the public who want to buy and sell.

    I mean, by your logic, it's wrong that we don't allow people to set up a lemonade stand in the center lane of an interstate highway.

  • Maureen||

    "my" logic would say a person wouldn't set up a lemonade stand in the middle of a highway because he wouldn't make many sales.

  • ||

    Hmmm. Don't buy that. People might slow down, thereby creating a traffic jam, thereby resulting in hot angry thirsty motorists, thereby resulting in more lemonade sales.

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    I'm not clear what Fluffy's fallacy is. He (wolfensohn) didn't stop them when he thought it was for charity, which he WOULD have done if he truly wanted to keep the park clear of that sort of thing. Thus, that can't have been his reasoning. Logically, by not acting immediately, he deprives himself of that claim just as Fluffy suggested.

  • ||

    Fluffy was arguing that the usual justification for the law was unfounded because this lone buttinski behaved like a buttinski (as buttinskis are wont to do).

  • ||

    Hmmm. Perhaps we should make exceptions for 13 year olds.

    Much of the reason people object to shutting down kids lemonade stands is that you can't reeally expect an 8 year old to know how to file a permit. Or even know that she needs one. And it seems fairly cruel to punish a child for engaging in a health productive activity, just because she or he isn't mature enough to read the CFR first.

    Think of it as an age-dependent enterprise zone. Kids below a certain age should have free rein to engage in entrepreneurial "play". Don't start imposing the red tape until after they graduate from play businesses to real ones.

  • ||

    So the kids get their first lesson in what passes for "capitalism" and a free market in this country. This is that capitalism stuff that Michael Moores and his ilk are all up in arms about and that drove us to the edge of the abyss.

  • Will||

    Obviously, if it was for charity, city doesn't give a crap about licenses or food poisoning.

  • ||

    Councilman Michael Wolfensohn

    Remember that name, and be sure to vote against him. Nanny state motherfucker.

    -jcr

  • Robert||

    The bottom line of all this is going to be that the children's parents will be embarrassed into giving them more money, and possibly donating to some charities as well. The parents will look into getting the kids a license to vend in the park, then decide it's cheaper just to give them cash.

  • j Case||

    mmm...Amercia could do with more entrepreneur's about now and less bureaucracy.

    I read somewhere that the average salary package for a public servant in the US was in excess of $100k, whilst their industry counterpart was $55k. Speaks volumes about why the US is currently on its knees.

    Waterproof iPhone Case

  • ||

    Let's just teach them to sell drugs then.. friggin' idiot.

  • Wesley Mcgranor||

    It's a park--public property, wich means his funds go to the public. I mow grass and other yard chores for a living. If i was mowing the parks lawn - they'd say are you employed by the parks department? I don't have a license and i am not insured.

  • Matt R||

    The rich get richer by not allowing normal folk to climb the ladder!

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