Bridgewater, NJ — In America, “Land of Opportunity,” you are free to pursue your dreams of financial freedom, provided you have filled out the proper form and been extorted by the proper bureaucrat.
Two teenage boys from Bridgewater, New Jersey are getting a hard does of this statism after their pursuance of financial freedom landed them in hot water with the fuzz.
Earlier this week, Matt Molinari and his friend Eric Schnepf, both seniors in High School, were going door-to-door advertising their snow shoveling services in advance of the storm. School was out, and instead of sitting inside and playing XBOX, these two young entrepreneurs felt the fire of enterprise and decided to turn their down time into an actual dime.
However, Molinari and Schnepf apparently didn’t realize that in order to make a dime you have to pay a quarter — to the state. When the two boys were out trying to rustle up some business during what they saw as an opportunity, along came the uniformed agents of the state, to put this unapproved business venture out to pasture.
“We weren’t looking to break the law. We just didn’t know the law,” Molinari tells Jim Smith on his WCBS 880 radio show.
The cops then gave these two kids a lesson in statist economics, which consequently ended their high school snow shoveling business.
“They need a permit, unpermitted solicitation is not allowed,” Molinari said, recalling what the police told them.
In this particular county, anyone selling goods and services door to door must apply for a license that can cost as much as $450 for permission that is valid for only 180 days; after all freedom ain’t free.
“We don’t make the laws but we have to uphold them,” Police Chief Michael Jannone said Tuesday, in true statist fashion, after reading some of the online comments about the incident.
The teens’ story quickly started gaining traction in a local Bound Brook Facebook group after a resident witnessed police shaking down Schnepf after going to his door.
“Are you kidding me? Our generation does nothing but complain about his generation being lazy and not working for their money,” he wrote on Bound Brook NJ Events‘ page. “Here’s a couple kids who take the time to print up flyers, walk door to door in the snow, and then shovel snow for some spending money. And someone calls the cops and they’re told to stop?”
The two teens have, rightfully so, been met with loads of support.
After being questioned by reporters and seeing the backlash against them, the Bound Brook police chief did some back peddling and told MyCentralJersey.com they are not cracking down on kids shoveling, but rather that it was a state of emergency and should not have been out.
Unfortunately the young entrepreneurial spirit is often stomped into a sad puddle in this land of the ostensibly free. Similar bans around the country have nixed the learning stages of free enterprise by putting an end to practices such as lemonade stands and selling Girl Scouts cookies.
In October of 2013, The Free Thought Project reported on the incident in Washington DC in which dozens of cops were dispatched, not because there were armed gunman threatening to kill hostages, or because of a bomb threat, or riot, but because a group of rowdy kids would dare sell lemonade, without a permit.