Cold Fury

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Root causes

Still wondering how our once-mighty economy got turned into a staggering, anemic, dysfunctional parody of its former robust self?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Teens in Gardendale are in for a rude awakening this summer when it comes to cutting grass. According to the city’s ordinance, you must have a business license.

Teenagers have been threatened by officials and other lawn services to show their city issued license before cutting a person’s lawn for extra summer cash.

Cutting grass is often one of the first jobs many have in the summer. But a business license in Gardendale costs $110. And for a job, just for a couple of months, that can be a bit extreme.

“I have never heard of a child cutting grass had to have a business license,” said Elton Campbell.
Campbell’s granddaughter cuts grass around the neighborhood.

“She charges one lady $20, and another lady $30, and another girl $40 besides what we pay her,” said Campbell.

For her, this was the perfect summer gig!

“Just helping out and raising money for admissions and trips,” said Alainna Parris.

But now, it’s becoming a hassle.

Which is kind of the whole point. But lest anyone thinks it’s all the fault of greedy, grasping government, think again:

“One of the men that cuts several yards made a remark to one of our neighbors, ‘that if he saw her cutting grass again that he was going to call Gardendale because she didn’t have a business license,” said Campbell.

And there you have it. Government will always be ready, willing, and eager to step through the doors opened for it by medddlesome fools like this putz.

“He’s coming after a kid when a kid is at least trying to do work. There’s kids at home on iPads and electronics and not wanting to go outside,” said Parris.

And that presents a larger conundrum: how do we foster anything resembling a good work ethic and a sense of responsibility in our youths when they’re faced with horseshit like this? Assuming, of course, that we want to inculcate those values in the first place. Clearly, that can no longer be taken as a given.

Mayor Stan Hogeland said when operating a business for pay within the city limits, you must have a business license. He said sending someone after a child making extra money over the summer, is not a priority. But he is committed to find a way to make this less of an issue for teens.

“I would love to have something on our books that gave a more favorable response to that student out there cutting grass. And see if there’s maybe a temporary license during the summer months that targets teenagers,” said Mayor Hogeland.

Seems reasonable enough. But is a kid out mowing lawns in and around his neighborhood for a few bucks really “operating a business” in any truly meaningful sense? If a kid helps an elderly neighbor rake some leaves or paint his house or mend a fence, say, and the neighbor throws him twenty bucks for his trouble, is that “operating a business for pay” too? If not, why not?

I look back on my own childhood experience mowing lawns, and I can’t help but wonder: how in the world did we all ever manage to survive our own childhoods without the Nanny State watching over us and making sure we were all in full compliance with its edicts, anyway? And what about safety? Lawnmowers are dangerous devices; shouldn’t these kids be wearing helmets, gloves, goggles, full suits of medieval armor—shouldn’t ALL of us be?

And finally: is it too much to ask for the busybodies to finally admit that they’ve badly overstepped their bounds, and to willingly relinquish some of the outrageous power and control they’ve asserted over us—without our having to string a bunch of them up from lampposts first, that is?

Does the word “tyranny” have any meaning at all anymore?

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3 thoughts on “Root causes

  1. You can’t take jobs away from illegals. Children can’t be indoctrinated if they are busy working at real jobs.

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