Tying up kids in red tape
The Denver Post
I used to love combing through the woods by a nearby golf course every summer, looking for golf balls to resell for a couple of quarters, said Jimmy Sengenberger. The golf course probably knew I was selling the balls for less than the new ones at the clubhouse, but they weren’t about to make me close my business. That wasn’t the case for Ben, Jonathan and William Knowles, three young brothers who had their lemonade stand shuttered by Denver police “because they didn’t have a permit.” Now there is a state proposal called Senate Bill 103, which would let minors operate their own business on an “occasional basis.” But the bill faces opposition—from another “kidpreneur,” Jack Bonneau, 13, whose own lemonade business was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. Jack opposes Senate Bill 103, arguing that exempting kids from the laws doesn’t give them “the full experience of starting up their own business.” He sounds much like a youthful version of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who both oppose government regulation, “except when it advantages them by stifling competition.” Bonneau should support SB 103. Instead, he’s demanding that all 8-year-old lemonade-stand owners be afflicted with government red tape, because a successful market leader says so.