Unfettered capitalism returned to some American cities – in a small way – last weekend. It was lemonade day! Lemonade day is a day that teaches our young citizens a valuable life skill, the skill of entrepreneurship and capitalism, by running a good ole’ fashioned lemonade stand. These young capitalists were not licensed, they were not permitted by the city, they had no knowledge of health codes, they were not trained in food handling, and they didn’t collect or pay taxes to the government. Despite the lack of the wide reach of government regulation, the general population suffered no dire consequences. No one was harmed by the two days these young citizens engaged in our economy – in a way that would be illegal the other 363 days of the year. The youth that participated learned a good lesson about capitalism and developed their character in a positive way. Perhaps, in America, it is time to legalize lemonade stands with no governmental oversight all year round.
Capitalism is what has made America the best country in the world. Capitalism has brought more people out of poverty than any other economic model. Capitalism works most efficiently when the market determines the outcome without any input from a government agency. It is something needed more in our country, and it is something we must teach our young people.
We must ask ourselves, as a country, whether we are better off with a citizen-directed government or if we should act as government directed citizens. In the first case we, the people, inform the government what it can and cannot do, as our forefathers intended. In the second case we concede to the government, allowing it to direct us what we can and cannot do, and I, for one, don’t like being told what to do. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They make America flourish and are a leader in innovation. When they innovate well, they transform into large businesses, growing the economy and creating jobs that further increase the wealth of America.
Kudos to Lemonadeday.org! Organizations like you are making our country better; we need more of them. Simple ideas are the best ones, and yours will have far-reaching results in the future. In polling, Lemonade Day and Gallup indicate a 32 point jump in the desire to start a business between youth that participated in Lemonade Day and those that did not. You are making our country better with local activism – thank you.