Wednesday, August 31, 2011

America's Pro-Freedom Resistance Movement? Taking Back the Streets with Lemonade Day

America's "Lemonade Spring"?

From the website of the organization "Lemonade Day":

"Entrepreneurship is the past, present and undoubtedly the future of our nation, for the rich and the poor alike. And no organization supports this concept more than Lemonade Day. For this reason, we wish to partner with every city in America on Lemonade Day. Together we can provide the opportunity for every child in America to build their own “American Dream” through Lemonade Day. The time is now to come together to rebuild a sustainable economic future for America’s families and to give the children of this great country the tools to succeed in life.

The 2007 debut in Houston, Texas, the national headquarters, showcased the Lemonade Day impact. There were over 2,600 children involved, 1,013 participating schools, and 82 community partners. In one year the number of registered lemonade stands in Houston almost quadrupled to 11,200. Today Lemonade Day has become the largest citywide event of its kind for children. In 2011 Lemonade Day reached 120,000 children in 31 cities across America and Canada. Our goal is to positively impact 1 million youth in 2013 with Lemonade Day.

Lemonade Day stands for the American Dream. It gives young people the knowledge and the power to invent new stories for their lives, and it gives them the tools to put their dreams into action."

MP: In Houston there were 50,000 kid-run lemonade stands operating on Lemonade Day - May 1 - and lemonade sales topped $4 million (from the video above).  That must have been a little overwhelming for the "Lemonade Gestapo."  

HT: Kelly Morris


At 8/31/2011 9:45 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Its those racists TEA party people again!

At 8/31/2011 10:08 AM, Blogger Nicolas Martin said...

The Lemonade Day organization is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It is sponsored by many of the government agencies that enforce the laws blocking lemonade stands. It refuses to criticize the anti-entreprenuerial regulations, and it recommends that kids donate the fruits of the labor to charity, not keep it as profit. In sum, this is a progressive group promoting egalitarianism under the guise of entrepreneurialism.

An op-ed I wrote about it was published in the LA Times.

Government regulation: Lemonade Day done wrong

A different organization, which just sponsored Lemonade Freedom Day, is a genuine defender of entrepreneurial opportunity.

At 8/31/2011 10:40 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

I propose a new political slogan

At 9/01/2011 2:49 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...


Thanks for the excellent op-ed, and thanks for the enlightenment. I hope you have some impact with your efforts, especially the leaflets. Good luck to you, and thanks.

I had to love this:

"What the Lemonade Day organizers should teach the children," said the health official, "is about the importance of learning and obeying the government regulations that prohibit lemonade stands."

Excuse me while I go get sick.

At 9/01/2011 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't let Mr. Martin mis-represent Lemonade Day. Lemonade Day is not "sponsored by government agencies." It is in fact sponsored by local businesses, individuals and community organizations who want to teach at risk youth about financial literacy and entrepreneurship. We do work with local governments in the communities we are in to allow lemonade stands that are participating in our program and, just a week ago, responded to the numerous shut downs of stands on our blog:

We actually DISCOURAGE these young entrepreneurs from donating their full profits to charity. Our curriculum teaches youth to pay back their investor and then to SPEND some of their profits on their goal item, SAVE some by opening a bank account, and then SHARE some with the community that supported them.

Lemonade Day's mission is to help today’s youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow.

At 9/01/2011 11:41 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

LemonadeDay: Sorry, your comment got hung up in Blogger's spam filter, and was just "released." That's why there was a delay before your comment was posted. Thanks for the information.

At 9/01/2011 2:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...


Maybe a better message to the kids would be :

"See how prosperous we could be if we didn't have so many rules and regulations that effectively prevent small business startups, such as lemonade stands, every other day of the year?"

Or perhaps the lesson should be:

"See? By providing others with something they value, you can improve your own well-being at the same time."

I have several questions.

"...who want to teach at risk youth about financial literacy and entrepreneurship"

Why the emphasis on "at risk youth"? Couldn't all youth benefit from learning financial literacy and entrepreneurship?

"Our curriculum teaches youth to pay back..."

Isn't this what parents do - instruct their children? Why do you feel they need help from you?

Besides, they don't "owe the community" anything, unless it's a big thank you for relaxing onerous restrictions for a day.

Entrepreneurs provide "the community" with something of value, for which they are rewarded financially. There is no debt owed. Both parties in a voluntary exchange are better off.

"Lemonade Day's mission is to help today’s youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow."

That's all very nice, but it seems there are more than enough "social advocates" in the world already, and learning the lessons of Adam Smith would provide plenty of "forward thinking"

At 9/01/2011 6:54 PM, Blogger Nicolas Martin said...

You simply have to look at the various web sites of the Lemonade Day organization to find the sponsoring and partnering government agencies.

I interviewed the founder of Lemonade Day for my piece. He was disdainful when I asked if kids and parents should be informed that laws and regulations prohibit the legal operation of lemonade stands. The organization has blocked comments from its Facebook page about regulatory obstacles to lemonade entrepreneurialism. How in good conscience can the Lemonade Day organization promote a business activity that is in almost all places illegal? Why is it not only unwilling to challenge the laws, but willing to partner with the agencies that enforce those laws?

In Indianapolis, my city, the parks and health departments are Lemonade Day "partners," and both of them enforce the laws forbidding lemonade stands from being operated by children any day of the year (except during the Lemonade Day publicity stunt).

One of the two "presenting partners" of Lemonade Day in Houston, where the organization is based, is Imperial Sugar. Kids can learn a great deal about real-life economics by being taught about the cost to Americans of the sugar cartel, but they won't learn that from the Lemonade Day group.

Lemonade Day is the brainchild of Michael Holthouse, who also founded and controls the Holthouse Foundation for Kids. His organization supports the constellation of kids organizations that have largely been transformed into progressive outposts, and groups supporting the public schools. The foundation also supports the Children's Defense Fund, a darling of progressives. It supports Children at Risk, which know for stirring up hysteria by promoting bogus statistics about child sex trafficking in America.

The dirty little secret of Lemonade Day is that in most of America it is illegal for a child to operate a lemonade stand. But the Lemonade Day organization hasn't whispered an objection to those regulations.

At 9/01/2011 7:10 PM, Blogger Nicolas Martin said...

In a recent blog post the Lemonade Day organization responded to Lemonade Freedom Day protests (which it didn't offer to support or help) thusly:

Of course government has a critical role in protecting the health of consumers. Food safety is a serious issue. Municipal health departments are essential in regulating professional food businesses that are run by adults. However, applying the strict regulations to lemonade stands is taking it too far. Let’s not let a law designed for food stores and restaurants get in the way of youth learning valuable lessons. Health inspectors should be empowered to use personal discretion when it comes to enforcing regulations on children’s lemonade stands.

The problem with regulations is not merely that they prevent the legal operation of lemonade stands, but that they destroy the entrepreneurial aspirations of millions of adult Americans. Michael Holthouse and his organization reveal no recognition of this assault on free enterprise, much less a willingness to address it. Why should children be exempted from the regulations that confront adult entrepreneurs? If they regs are bad for kids, aren't they even worse for adults?

Lemonade Day will be back next year, and you can be sure that the organization will not talk about the real-life difficulties confronting lemonade stand entrepreneurs.

At 9/05/2011 7:55 AM, Blogger Nicolas Martin said...

Dan Pallotta provides an insightful counterpoint to the philanthropic claptrap of the Lemonade Day organizers.

Steve Jobs, World's Greatest Philanthropist

Our youth are growing up with the strange notion that the only way to make a big difference in this world, or to be of service, is to work for a nonprofit organization, or become the next Bill Gates and establish a private foundation, or to start some kind of "social enterprise," often without any understanding of what that means...

What a loss to humanity it would have been if Jobs had dedicated the last 25 years of his life to figuring out how to give his billions away, instead of doing what he does best.

We'd still be waiting for a cell phone on which we could actually read e-mail and surf the web. "We" includes students, doctors, nurses, aid workers, charity leaders, social workers, and so on. It helps the blind read text and identify currency. It helps physicians improve their performance and surgeons improve their practice. It even helps charities raise money.

We'd be a decade or more away from the iPad, which has ushered in an era of reading electronically that promises to save a Sherwood Forest worth of trees and all of the energy associated with trucking them around. That's just the beginning. Doctors are using the iPad to improve healthcare. It's being used to lessen the symptoms of autism, to improve kids' creativity, and to revolutionize medical training.

And you can't say someone else would have developed these things. No one until Jobs did, and the competitive devices that have come since have taken the entirety of their inspiration from his creation.

Without Steve Jobs we'd be years away from a user-friendly mechanism for getting digital music without stealing it, which means we'd still be producing hundreds of millions of CDs with plastic cases.

We would be without Pixar. There's a sentence with an import inversely correlated to its length.

We would be without the 34,000 full-time jobs Apple has created, just within Apple, not to mention all of the manufacturing jobs it has created for those who would otherwise live in poverty.

We would be without the wealth it has created for millions of Americans who have invested in the company.

We would be without video conferencing for the masses that actually works. Computers that don't keep crashing. Who can estimate the value of the wasted time that didn't get wasted?

We would be without a whole new way of thinking. About computers. Leadership. Business. Our very potential.

Last year wrote of Steve Jobs, "It's high time the minimalist CEO became a magnanimous philanthropist."

I've got news for you. He has been. What's important is how we use our time on this earth, not how conspicuously we give our money away. What's important is the energy and courage we are willing to expend reversing entropy, battling cynicism, suffering and challenging mediocre minds, staring down those who would trample our dreams, taking a stand for magic, and advancing the potential of the human race.

On these scores, the world has no greater philanthropist than Steve Jobs. If ever a man contributed to humanity, here he is. And he has done it while battling cancer.


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