Monday, November 29, 2010

Small town virtues?

If you were to listen to some people, big cities are evil, impersonal places, and we would all be better off if we lived in small towns, by small town virtues, where people were free to do what they wanted without the danged government bureaucrats getting in the way.


See what has to say:

[Andrew] DeMarchis and [Kevin] Graff, along with two other classmates, Zachary Bass and Daniel Katz, had a simple, if half-baked, business plan: sell their treats at Gedney Park for a couple of years and save up enough to open a restaurant.

Their first day was wildly successful, the boys said. They netted $120, of which they invested $60 to buy a cart from Target and added water and Gatorade to their offerings on their second day, the next Saturday, Oct. 9.

After about an hour of brisk business , during which DeMarchis and Graff — Bass and Katz were not with them — said they made $30, police arrived at their stand and asked them to shut it down.

"The police officer was extremely pleasant. He said he was sorry to have to do this, but that he was following up on a report filed over the phone by a Town Board member," said Suzanne DeMarchis, Andrew's mother, who was called to the scene.

The Town Board member, Michael Wolfensohn, in an open letter to the community, cited those danged lawyers:

I was finishing up a walk with my dogs in Gedney Park and saw two boys selling homemade treats. I asked them what charity the proceeds were going to, as I was going to buy something to support the cause. They told me it was for “the charity of us.” I said, “Fine,” and headed home with my dogs.

Once home, I started to think about what would happen if a treat made with nuts were sold to a child with allergies? Would the town be responsible? Would the boys and their families be liable?

Oh, and he had another concern:

Or, I thought, what if I go to the park next week and there are other people selling all kinds of products, not just baked treats? Is that what we want in our parks?

So it seems that people in small towns aren't necessarily allowed to live the American dream.

Or perhaps it's just because this particular town is in the state of New York. I'm sure that Wasilla, Alaska is unencumbered by regulation.
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