Yesterday I wrote about VP Joe Biden’s lame, ludicrous and downright reprehensible statement, saying that Mitt Romney and the recently crowned second coming of Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan, “They’re going to put you all back in chains.” Despite the attempts of the DNC saying that this was simply the VP being metaphorical, I believe the part that reads, “…you all back in chains,” is obviously directed towards scaring the African American community. The phrase that leads to this preposterous and shameful comment was his claim that again, Mitt Romney and the newly minted anointed one, Paul Ryan, wish to “Unchain Wall Street!” Accusing the GOP and their new “wonder twins” of wanting to deregulate the banks and launch us, as a nation, headlong into the abyss of financial ruin, never to be seen or heard from again. Well, let me point out a little something about government regulations, and how they actually can serve as a benefit to established companies and businesses.
Meet Nathan Duszynski. He is a thirteen year old resident of Holland Michigan; an idyllic town on the western portion of the Michigan “mitten.” Nathan’s parents both suffer from disabilities that prevent them from working full time. His mother, Lynette Johnson, suffers from epilepsy and his step-father, Doug Johnson, has multiple sclerosis. Their inability to work full time obviously hampers their earning potential, and the family receives about $1,300 a month in Medicaid and food stamps; not a whole heck of a lot to take care of 3 people, wouldn’t you say? Well, Mr. Duszynski took it upon himself to go out there and earn a little extra money for he and his family; you know, harnessing that good old fashion American “can do” work ethic. No, you’ve never heard of that? Well, trust me, it did exist at one time – maybe your grandparents remember it. But what can a thirteen years old young man do to earn money? He can start his own business, that’s what.
Nathan Duszynski scraped and saved up his money and bought himself a hotdog cart. I know exactly what you are thinking, he failed to get permits, a la Justin Peterson and was fined for his insolence of the government’s authority – well you would be wrong. Mr. Duszynski actually did go to the appropriate authorities and filled out all of the necessary forms to get his little business legally started. Everything was coming up Milhouse, for this young, family oriented, entrepreneur; but just like Milhouse in that “Simpsons” episode, things would soon unravel.
Nathan and a local sporting goods store owner worked out a mutually beneficial deal, where Nathan could sell his hot dogs in the parking lot, so long that he (Nathan) referred business to the sporting goods store – win, win, right? Well, unfortunately, again you are wrong. Ten minutes after Mr. Duszynski opened shop; officials from the city of Holland shut him down. Why? Because there is a nice little regulation in the city ordinances that ban food carts that are not attached to (meaning affiliated with) actual brick and mortar restaurants within the commercial district – which is where Nathan’s cart was set-up. The purpose of this regulation is to protect downtown restaurants from those who do not share in the expense of maintaining the attractiveness of downtown. Sounds reasonable right? Well, read it again, and pay particularly close attention to the beginning, “…to protect downtown restaurants from those…” it is a barrier to entry for anyone who isn’t already established there. That my friends is what the vast majority of regulations do, they serve as a thorn in the side of the established businesses, but are actually a brick wall that hinders new comers from entering this now protected (regulated) turf. Regulations actually serve to kill competition. Honestly ask yourself, do you think that a 13 years old and his hot dog cart was going to drive established restaurants out of business? I’m 99.99% sure it wouldn’t. Some out there will say that without this ordinance/regulation there could be food carts lined end to end throughout Holland’s downtown. Okay then, wouldn’t that mean that there is a hell of a lot of people shopping downtown then? Which wouldn’t that also mean more money for ALL businesses, including those restaurants, and more tax revenues for the city? Anyway, if you don’t think regulations are bad, simply try and start a new business in whatever city you live in, and see how many flaming hoops and bowling pins you have to juggle, just to get the paperwork filed with the local authorities, then you have the state and federal regulations to worry about.
So what happened to Mr. Duszynski following his honorable attempt to provide a little extra something for his family? Well, he and his mother had to move into a homeless shelter, his step-father wasn’t allowed to stay with them because he takes what are considered “prescribed narcotics” for his multiple sclerosis and those are banned in the homeless shelter. Unfortunately though, Nathan’s step-father, Doug Johnson, was arrested yesterday, August 14th, on “unspecified charges,” it is presumed he will be charged with practicing law without a license, by using his paralegal experience to provide limited advice to people who cannot afford, or necessarily need, an actual attorney. Let’s just hope that the state doesn’t decided to make it a three-fer and put Nathan into a foster home over all of this nonsense.
If you would like to donate to Nathan’s cause you can do so here: https://nathanshotdoghut.com/ and here: http://www.indiegogo.com/hotdogboy?c=home. If not, that’s okay; because I’m sure the government will take of he and his family just fine. It has done a bang-up job already, don’t you think?
The government is great at breaking your leg, handing you a crutch, and saying ‘You see, without me you couldn’t walk.” (Harry Browne)