Blog author: John MacDhubhain
by on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Holland, Mich., teenager is being stopped from opening a hotdog cart due to city zoning laws. It’s really disheartening when you consider the fact that this young person was trying to be responsible and work to help his family and build up savings for his future.

In Work: The Meaning of Your Life, Lester DeKoster writes that work is a way in which we provide service to others—a service this teenager has been denied the chance to provide.

The Mackinac Center has a video up about this story.


I wrote last month about how government officials have shut down lemonade stands for various regulatory reasons. Last week, I also wrote about occupational licensing laws that prevent people such as florists from engaging in enterprise.

The common theme is that government regulation often serves as a barrier to entry to would-be entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged in people, not obstructed. Such restrictions prevent enterprising people from participating in service to others. Young Nathan Duszynski and his hot dogs would have served the community by serving food and also provided service to the sporting goods store by attracting and feeding customers.

Instead of getting to perform a service to his community and earning money for his family and his future, Nathan has gotten an unfortunate lesson in government regulation and protection of favored businesses.