Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making Lemons from Lemonade

The NY Post has a great exposé on the city fining a ten year old for selling lemonade in Riverside Park: "Three sourpuss Parks Department agents put the squeeze on a 10-year-old girl in Riverside Park yesterday, slapping the tyke with a $50 ticket for hawking lemonade without a permit."

And while the city is embarrassed enough to rescind this exercise in stupidity, it does present an object lesson on the regulatory regime pursued by the Bloombergistas. The isolated fines that are exposed and rescinded help to cover up the relentless nature of how this administration has used fines and regulations-on citizens and small businesses alike-to raise money and harass the folks.

What the little girl and her father got a taste of, was what so many mom-and-pop retailers experience every day-and their frustration is felt by all of us: "Business was booming for Clementine and her photographer dad, Richard, 49, for the first 20 minutes at the stand on West 73rd Street and Riverside Drive...But their day turned into the pits at 3 p.m. when the heartless pack of city sticklers iced their operation. "They approached us nonchalantly but then surrounded us," the peeved papa recalled. "They were very hostile as soon as they approached, saying 'Where's your permit? Where's your permit?' "

The epitaph for the Bloomberg administration? We have it: "Where's your permit?"