Cupcakes, bureaucrats and nanny-state solutions

By The Madison County Record | Jan 29, 2014

To the Editor:

To the Editor:

Madison County taxpayers have recently seen their county government at work.  The government sat idly by while Fred Bathon took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes right in front of their noses but closed down an 11 year old’s cupcake business because she wasn’t doing things the way the county officials thought she should.  What is wrong with this picture?

I believe that the cupcake controversy demonstrates what is wrong with one-size-fits-all government regulations.  Whether it is Obamacare’s one-size health care system, where bureaucrats make our healthcare choices for us or the county health department closing up a cupcake creator to save us all from a fate worse than death, the principle is the same.  Shouldn’t the lesson be about private entrepreneurship and the free market instead of overweening nanny government?

Like all, or nearly all, of us I sold lemonade when I was a child.  I found it to be an informative and exciting experience, although not particularly profitable since my dad suggested I pay for the sugar out of my earnings. Later on I bought lemonade from young vendors. Neither my customers nor I suffered any maladies from the adventure.  Life is full of risks worth taking. Some are worth the risk, particularly if it is a hot day and the lemonade has ice in it or the cupcakes are homemade.

I do not merely complain of the County’s Nanny State.  Since the problem is a legislative one, I hereby propose to the County Board the following revision of the County’s Health regulations.  (If the State is implicated, I will pursue this with appropriate and sympathetic State Representatives).

  1. For “small businesses” (and I use the term to mean money or stature) with gross sales of less than, say $200 a month (this figure can be fully debated at the next County Board Meeting) the stringent complete health regulations are hereby modified.

  2.  For such “small” businesses, the health department will, upon request, and for no fee, inspect the kitchens and preparers where such cupcakes or lemonade (etc.) are prepared and will approve such kitchens unless a manifest health issue is observed.

  3. The health department will advise such “small” businesses as to good and sufficient procedures to be followed.

  4. Such “small” businesses will reasonably notify (by signs or etc.) any customers that their delicacies have not been prepared in a fully compliant kitchen and that “caveat emptor” (Let the Buyer Beware) applies.

  5. Thereafter, fully informed consumers may purchase cupcakes, lemonade or other and sundry consumables from said “small” businesses.

I call my proposal The Cupcake and Lemonade Stand Protection Act. All in favor say “Aye."

Don Weber



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