Hand-wrapped mistletoe picked from a family farm tied with a red bow in the hands of an ambitious 11 year old girl with a welcoming smile – it’s a successful business model ready for takeoff. All Madison Root had to do was find a location busy with Christmas shoppers to sell her product. She chose a bustling location in downtown Portland, OR that is full of local vendors. Little Madison had just started her first business!
The reason Madison decided to start selling mistletoe was to help pay for her braces. Most people know that braces are not cheap! Working hard to make some money to help her father with the expense seemed like a great idea. It’s much more satisfying than begging for donations. Unfortunately, she found out that the city thinks very much differently. From KATU:
A private security guard asked Madison to stop selling because city ordinance bans commerce like that without proper approval.
“I wouldn’t think I’d have any problems because people are asking for money, people are selling stuff, this is a public place,” said Madison…
The guard, hired by the market from a private security firm, told Madison she could sell her products on city sidewalk outside the park’s boundaries or simply ask people for donations for her braces.
That is one way for government regulations to destroy a young child’s entrepreneurial spirit. Madison’s reaction to this policy was priceless:
“I don’t want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg,” said Madison.
“It’s crazy. People can get money for pot. But I can’t get money for braces. I’m working for this! They’re just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot.”
This is not an uncommon story these days. Kids across the country are having their lemonade stands shut down for lack of permits.
Our economy relies on motivated people to create a product or service and bring it to the market to meet a customer’s need. Teaching kids work ethic, the value of a dollar, and the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age should be encouraged. While is unfortunate that government has decided that begging rights take precedence over the pursuit of happiness, it is our responsibility as citizens to put a stop to the madness. In Madison’s case, Portland’s mayor got wind of the story and is supposedly reviewing their policy. Portland’s citizens should stand up for Madison and every other would-be youth business ventures by pressuring the mayor and the city council to make exceptions for young businesses like this.
“Don’t you ever give up on dreaming,” Beck told Root. “Don’t you ever let somebody tell you, ‘Well you can’t do this because you need these permits…’ There’s always, always a way to freedom and to pursue your own happiness and your own dreams. That is what the Constitution guarantees you … so don’t ever give up.”
Watch Glenn Beck’s interview with Madison: