Coming to a town near you?

Following on the theme of regulators shutting down lemonade stands, a woman in the US is being prosecuted for selling a sample of one of her dishes on Facebook.

Entrepreneurship used to mean setting up a business and finding a new and better way of servicing customers.  Now it seems to mean finding a business area not already closed to new entrants by regulatory barriers to entry or one able to generate the income to pay the regulatory protection racketeers.

Recall, as was reported in Your ABC in 2014:

An 11-year-old girl’s cupcake and lemonade stand has been shut down by Bunbury city council officers over health and safety concerns.


Environmental health manager Sarah Upton said when staff arrived to shut it down, Chelsea had not even finished setting up.

Note, a manager and staff.  At least 3 people employed by the council came to shut the girl’s business.  And the Environmental Health Manager’s advice to the girl, get a commercial kitchen and maybe if you are lucky:

“If she can look at manufacturing food in a commercial kitchen, then there is a possibility that she will be able to do it in the future”

Fast forward to Stockton California, November 2016 where a Single Mom Faces Jail Time After Participating in Facebook Food Group.  Reported here also.

Mariza Reulas was cited by San Joaquin County for selling an illegal substance, but it wasn’t a powder, a pill or a plant. It was her bowl of homemade ceviche.

Worse.  Mariza Reuals was arguable entrapped.

On December 3 of last year, someone contacted Reulas, asking for a plate of her Ceviche –- one of her signature dishes. That person was an undercover investigator from San Joaquin County, according to court documents, on a sting because the majority of 209 Food Spot members didn’t have permits to sell their food.

Much like entrepreneurship of before, it seems regulation is now a protection racket designed to keep the government beast busy and fed.

Is there any corner of our lives left?

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19 Responses to Coming to a town near you?

  1. Eyrie

    Mrs Eyrie told me yesterday that in Queensland you can be prosecuted by the Police for starting the engine of your car before putting on the seatbelt – in a shopping center car park.

    Do we really need to be so prescriptive when the aim is to be DRIVING with the belt on? Also you can’t be more than 3 meters from the car with the key in it.

  2. King Koala

    If they are so desperate to find health code violations then raid a kebab shop at 2am. A lot of those places are selling stale ingredients or off meat slathered in sauce to drunks who won’ t notice. Asian (particularly Vietnamese) and Indian restaurants are also full of health code violations.

  3. Cannibal

    Here’s a story:
    I had a problem with a feral cat around the property and decided to trap it (didn’t yet have my firearms licence). Wondering what to do with it, having trapped it (I only had a humane possum style trap), I rang up Animal Control at my local council. Being a regionally based council, I thought they’d be pretty hands-on and positive about feral animals…. Imagine my surprise when the animal control person asked me whether there might be a danger of the animal biting or scratching. Wondering where this line of questioning was going I said that such a possibility could not ruled out, but anyway don’t you have protective gloves/clothing? Animal control reply was priceless : “we can’t possibly expose ourselves to danger, if we got injured, we wouldn’t be available for the next call-out”

    True story. I guess they’re still waiting for the next risk-free call-out…..
    And this person is paid from my rates.

  4. alexnoaholdmate

    I don’t know how it is in the rest of the country, but in Queensland you are guilty of an offence if you’ve merely been sleeping it off in the back of your car.

    The law states that you do not have the right even to sleep in your own damn car if you’ve been drinking, because apparently you are ‘in charge’ of the vehicle while intoxicated.

    A friend of mine was booked for rummaging around in the boot after she’d had a few drinks. She was not in the car itself – which was parked in her driveway – and had no intention of even opening the doors, let alone driving it. But it was enough.

    That’s the world we live in. You have no right to use your own property in the manner that you please.

  5. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Where is this all going? I used to fantasise that we would need licences to operate our own kitchens, but that can’t be far off, can it? Heard a documentary about how playing in dirt can help kids build up immunities to local bugs, BUT it has to be the right kind of dirt…. oh, oe! Someone will be authorised to test dirt before you can let your kiddies loose in the garden!
    Still, if you can’t beat them, join them! Who wants to be a licensed light-switch tester? Can’t have people misusing light-switches, can we? Any other jobs that seem ridiculous now, but will be the norm soon?

  6. Cannibal

    Any other jobs that seem ridiculous now, but will be the norm soon?

    Swimming pool fence compliance checker is a undergoing a boom in NSW atm.

  7. rickw

    Not only destructive to entrepreneurship, but funded by money taken from us in the first place. Tax minimisation is a Civic Duty. No one elected these fuckers to pry into every since aspect of our lives.

    On restaurants:

    A guy I knew started a restaurant, a full 12 months from start with the permits to when it was finally finished. By the time it was done, about 20% of the floor area was devoted to toilets of one description or another. He only really started to make progress on the above when he realised that the council were a bunch of slovenly pricks who were absolutely not trying to help him.

    Seasoned restauranter opens up next door, 3 months start to finish, no permits just does it. Bottom line was that they had a right to inspect, but not to stop trade without due cause. He had done it all before, knew they were a bunch of pricks, dealt with them accordingly.

  8. I await the day when it becomes illegal to cook your own meals at home without a Food Handler’s Certificate, a fully approved commercial kitchen etc and you will also require a Nutrition Certificate, so that food served is appropriately balanced and minimises on fat and sugar.

    Of course handing a beer or wine to a guest will require a course on Responsible Serving of Alcohol and only limited quantities of alcohol will be allowed to be stored on your premises without a Liquor License.

  9. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    People also get irritable from a bad night’s sleep, and some of that is the way the bed is (sloppily) made. Need blanket folding classes, or a licenced blanket-bender, or you must let the house robot do it. Your only job will be to give instructions to the robot, in the right tone of voice.

  10. JohnA

    We need to push back.

    Is there any way that we can call such intrusions Harrassment? Interference? (like that restaurant example)

    Is there any way to allow them one inspection, and then say “OK, after this you are not welcome. Any further visits will be prosecuted as Trespass.”?

  11. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Q. How many robots will it take to change a light bulb?
    A. Why should they care- they can see in the dark!
    Anyone not laughing is a robophobe, which can only be cured by expensive medication.

  12. alexnoaholdmate

    Q. How many robots will it take to change a light bulb?
    A. Why should they care- they can see in the dark!
    Anyone not laughing is a robophobe, which can only be cured by expensive medication

    Q: How many social justice warriors does it take to change a lightbulb?

  13. Mundi

    What do you mean regulation is now a protection racket? It’s been that way for decades.

  14. 70s Playboy

    Q: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: 3. One to form a support group, one to make a video and one to call their ex-husband to come and change it.

  15. Nato

    As a sort-of-related heads up, make sure the vendor has a Heritage Australia plan if the property being purchased is listed. Walk away if not EVERYTHING is ‘repair or replace’.
    Works will still cost the GDP of Adelaide, but to a council heritage officer, a rotting and decayed eyesore is preferable to a clean well presented building, true to the period, with working windows.

  16. Nerblnob

    people trying to do something productive: people trying to stop them

    now 1:5 in Australia.

  17. Razor

    Now at 1.5 years from start of planning to around 2-3 months from opening a cafe/ small wedding venue in a garden and orchard setting. (12 years for the hazelnut orchard and 3 years for the rose garden growth prior to the planning application) I concur very much with the concept that regulations are a significant barrier to startups.
    The planning staff are snobbish and unhelpfull unless you make the loudest noise amongst all the squeaks they deal with.
    Every turn reveals another regulatory hurdle for us as we are doing this in a rural precinct. One example only of many: We have to provide offical car parking according to town rules and can only have a venue with patron numbers directly formulated from what we can provide with parallel or angle parking. Forget that we have large open paddocks which will take a large number of cars during the dry summers.
    One unnammed* water body held up the permit for six months without any given reason.
    *unnamed because they have a reputation for vicious litigation when crossed. If our land was 240m further north (across the road) we would no come under that water authority because the catchment boundary is defined by the road not the geologic boundary.
    It goes on and on.
    On rickw’s point
    Have realised that while they can make the patron numbers according to city rules (even though on our private land) they cannot force the patrons to actually park in that area. We can offer them to park in the paddock as a choice on their part.
    I would like to know more rickw regarding the concept of they can inspect but cannot stop trade without due cause. Planning for example in rural areas allows now a cafe etc but there are many regs which apply to this.

  18. At least i can still go to the toilet without being told what to do.

    Oh, wait.

  19. Pat Warnock

    I do miss the cakes, fudge and coconut ice stalls at polling stations.

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