Monday, August 15, 2016

The Red Tape Times (article 1)

The Carrollton, TX municipal court issued an arrest warrant for a woman simply because she sold tamales to her neighbors without obtaining a food establishment permit.

It should surprise no one that the same state that prohibits the retail sale of raw milk also considers it a heinous offense, at the city level, for someone to sell home cooked food to his or her neighbors without submitting to the municipal government's extortion racket of licensing fees and business permits. Dennise Cruz never imagined that she would be forced to pay a $700 fine and go to court simply for using her cooking skills and some scraps from her kitchen to make a little extra money selling homemade tamales on the Nextdoor for sale app. Unbeknownst to her, and most people in general, the municipal government requires her to get a Food Establishment Permit, which costs $400 just to submit an application for one, and submit to a host of other regulatory requirements including acquiring a State sales tax permit (which can take up to a month to process once you submit your application), acquiring an occupancy certificate, submitting to food safety inspections and submitting to building code inspections (and the list of requirements continues ad nauseum). The cost of complying with every municipal regulation probably exceeds the small profit she made from her one time sale of tamales to her neighbors. The Carrollton government probably wouldn't have fined her and issued a warrant for her arrest if she would have simply invited her neighbors over for tamales because they aren't actually concerned about 'protecting public health', a phrase which translated from Newspeak to plain English means taking my cut of your earnings without giving anything in return. The rent-seeking motive of these parasitic bureaucrats is transparent to anyone who can read between the lines.  The true intention of imposing a myriad of permits and licensing fees on even the most mundane businesses is to protect larger, politically well connected businesses from startups who are much less likely to afford the inhibitive cost of complying with them. This not only prevents the lower strata of society from starting their own businesses, it also suppresses wages by reducing competition among employers. However, what Dennise did isn't anymore of a business than having a garage sale every so often or paying your neighbor to cut your grass while you are away.

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