Only in America

Only in America: Cops shut down 13-year-olds' cupcake stand

Turns out even child's play needs a permit — as two young would-be entrepreneurs discovered

The story: Kids selling lemonade or baked goods from outdoor stands may seem like harmless hallmarks of Americana, but they're not above the law... at least according to one official in a New York City suburb. New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn called the police on two 13-year-old boys who were selling cupcakes and brownies in a local park without a permit or insurance. The bake sale was shut down when authorities learned that proceeds weren't going to charity. "We were being entrepreneurs," says one of the boys, Andrew DeMarchis. "Now I feel a little defeated." The sale ended in tears for his partner, Kevin Graff. "He was crying all the whole way home," Graff's mother says. "He was worried if he was going to get arrested or have a criminal record."
The reaction:
"Welcome to America!" says Brian Doherty in Reason. This is certainly a "modern-day twist" on our "entrepreneurial memories" of setting up lemonade or cookie stands, say the editors at Portfolio.com. Yeah, "what's the world coming to when kids can't hold a bake sale without getting busted by the police?" asks Paula Bernstein at Stroller Derby. But maybe we need to teach kids to be both entrepreneurial and law-abiding citizens.

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