A Wrigglin’ Crime: Boys, 8 and 10, Fined $250/day for Selling Earthworms. No Room for De Bait, Says Mayor

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Clayton and Kristopher Cadieux,  8 and 10, dig up worms to sell to local fishermen (or whoever desires worms), $2.50 a dozen. Unfortunately, sibtaidena
the CBC reports
, the boys are now criminals in the eyes of Cornwall, a town in Ontario, Canada, because they set  up their business on their lawn, and even had the audacity to erect a sign:

…after a complaint from a neighbour, the brothers received a note from the city saying they were breaking a bylaw and had to shut down their business.

The mayor of Cornwall, Leslie O’Shaughnessy, explained that the bylaw requires all personal business sales be conducted within the home, without outdoor signage…. The city told the brothers to move their business inside their home, and to take down their signs on their front lawn.

As the mayor explained so thoughtfully:

“You are allowed to [sell worms] in the confines of your home, with no signage,” he said. “In other words, if people want to pick up worms, they knock on your door, you hand them the worms, they hand you the money, they leave.

Though the crime comes with a $250/day fine — a price that would pay for a mayoral top hat full of worms — the dad says they are not backing down:

“We were livid. Like, God! How could this be? They’re two little kids, eight and 10, selling worms,” he said.

“They’re not going to have pay the fine,” Cadieux added. “I am! Because I’m the daddy, and it’s daddy’s house. But I’m willing to do that for my kids.”

Kristopher [age 10] said the worm enterprise only brought in about $34 a month last summer, and he doesn’t understand why he and his brother are being told they can’t sell worms from their front lawn.

“I didn’t feel too good about that,” he said. “I thought at least we’re doing something. Most of my friends play video games. I’m building responsibilities.”

No, my little miscreant: You are building a rap sheet. Better to go inside and sit down on the couch for the rest of the summer with a nice big bag of Goldfish crackers. You can pretend you caught them yourself, with gummy worms, like a good, law-abiding blob…er…boy. – L

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Like Oxycontin, except wriggling.

Like Oxycontin, except wriggling.

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58 Responses to A Wrigglin’ Crime: Boys, 8 and 10, Fined $250/day for Selling Earthworms. No Room for De Bait, Says Mayor

  1. Jens W. August 3, 2015 at 2:14 am #

    Might one argue that since the boys are too young to enter any legal contract, they are not technically running a business as no real business transactions happen?

  2. MichaelF August 3, 2015 at 3:24 am #

    So which neighbor complained and why?

    I don’t worry so much about the kids in these situations but who is the person complaining about the worms, since in this case it didn’t seem like the town noticed until there was a complaint.

  3. BL August 3, 2015 at 4:54 am #

    This must be a very safe town, with the authorities so quick to react against these dastardly criminals.

  4. Dhewco August 3, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    Just how big are these frickin’ signs? Is this a strict HOA neighborhood? If it’s just the city, they must be hard up for cash. Well, at least with this publicity, they should be selling the heck out of the worms. I wonder if the ‘neighbor’ who complained is a nearby bait shop who’s being undercut by these boys.

  5. Kathleen August 3, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    My kids have been selling lemonade every week from our front lawn. They’re making a KILLING. The girls yesterday alone (7 and 5) made $11. My son and his friend, who move the table around according to where they can get the most traffic, made $27 in one day last week. (At 75¢ a cup, they’re selling a LOT of lemonade!) No one complains, and often the adults, who are coming home from government jobs, tell them to keep the change. They really appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit these kids have, and give them a lot of encouragement. But that’s here in Virginia…

  6. heather August 3, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Alright, I don’t think there is any reason to get up in arms about this. The kiddos can still have their business, they just cannot have a sign. They could also go down to the fishing docks and sell the worms if need be.
    The city isn’t trying to break their little entrepreneurial hearts, they are just asking them to follow the rules of a home business.

    If we keep arguing that children are capable of many things that adults do; then we, the community members and lawmakers, should give them space to do it. We cannot complain when the city asks them to do something like an adult must and then complain because the should be given special dispensation for being children. It doesn’t work both ways Lenore.

  7. lollipoplover August 3, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    This story makes me squirm. Why on earth is this mayor putting these enterprising kids down the wormhole?

    I asked my son what he thought about this story (he started out with a used golf ball/drink stand on the lawn) and he said “Make t-shirts”. Write “Worms for Sale” or Got Worms? and no sign is on your lawn. They can’t tell you what to wear.

    And with all the press this story gets, hopefully these kids will hit pay dirt with their worm business.

  8. theresa hall August 3, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    the problem is with no sign nobody knows about the worms and so won’t go and buy them.
    a sign tells people stuff they need to know.

  9. ChicagoDad August 3, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    $34 in sales each month does not make it a business. It is a hobby, a pass time, and a learning experience for the kids. If we consider this a home business, the results are absurd.

    If this were in the US, the IRS wouldn’t require a tax return, and the kids couldn’t write off their “business expenses” like worm containers, depreciation on the shovels, band-aids for digging accidents & advertising expenses, because the IRS would say it was a hobby, not a business.

    If we treat every sale or exchange of personal property as a business proposition, then our lives would become miserable. If we adopt this attitude then, without a business licence, there could be no garage sales, no ebay sales, no selling the extra tomatos from your yard to a friend, no trading sugar for eggs with your neighbors, no potluck dinners even, because these things would be businesses transactions and must be regulated. Do you want a health inspector in your home kitchen because a friend paid you to make cupcakes for her kid’s birthday party? Because that can and will happen with this sort of attitude:
    http://www.freerangekids.com/cute-kid-cant-sell-cupcakes-county/

    As for the sign, not all signs that say “X for sale” are business signs. Garage sale signs, or house for sale signs, & used car for sale signs are prime examples. Just because you say you are selling something, doesn’t make it a business sign. If you put a pink ribbon around your tree, you are putting up a “sign” that solicits for donations to fight breast cancer. How about that home-security sign, aren’t you providing advertising space for the security company in your yard? Do you have a license to put up a “billboard”?

    People are accustomed to business regulation, it is a normal part of modern life. In this case, the town is applying business regulations to personal hobbies and normal every-day life. It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, and this misapplication of business regulations will lead to absurd injustices.

  10. Juluho August 3, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    ‘After a Complaint from a neighbor’…. That’s everything isn’t it? How many of these stories begin with that sentence?

  11. Powers August 3, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    So under what age do you think people should be exempt from these sort of local codes?

  12. CrazyCatLady August 3, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    Does art count as a sign? I suggest worm sculptures and some nice drawings or paintings. Be sure to put some all around the house…front yard, back yard, even in the house. If there is a sidewalk, draw them on there. And then….advertise on Craig’s List.

  13. Jill August 3, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    A knock came at the door. Three quick taps, followed by a long pause and then two slow raps.
    Kristopher the eldest Cadieux brother slid back the panel on the door and suspiciously eyed the person standing on the doorstep.:
    “Whaddya want?” he asked.
    The man standing outside shifted uncomfortably. Looking over his shoulder, he whispered, “I hear you’re sellin’.”
    Kristopher scowled. “Oh, yeah? Who told you that?”
    “A guy named Frank told me, down at the dock.”
    The younger Cadieux brother, Clayton, called out, “It’s okay. I know Frank. I did business with him before.”
    Kristopher opened the door slightly. “You got cash, right?”
    The man held out some bills, “Yeah. It’s all here. You can count it. I need two dozen.”
    Kristopher thumbed through the bills. “Give him the stuff,” he told his brother.
    Clayton handed over the worms.

  14. Anna August 3, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    “Alright, I don’t think there is any reason to get up in arms about this. The kiddos can still have their business, they just cannot have a sign.”

    Um, who’s going to buy their worms without a sign? It sounds essential to the business model. How well would a lemonade stand work if there was no sign and customers had to knock on the door? Presumably, the worm-buyers are passers-by on their way to fish.

    “We cannot complain when the city asks them to do something like an adult must and then complain because the should be given special dispensation for being children. It doesn’t work both ways Lenore.”

    Yes we can, because it’s ridiculous. Zoning laws exist to protect neighborhoods from excessive traffic, noise, etc. (whether such laws are a good idea is of course a separate question). Children selling worms or lemonade to passers-by is simply not a “business” in the relevant sense. To demand a business permit (or what-have-you) is to ban childen doing such things. Unless you think that’s a good outcome, then it’s not a good idea.

    I don’t think Lenore ever suggested we should treat children as adults. Of course they get a special dispensation for being children. It’s in the interest of all adults that all the children around them grow up to be competent, healthy adults.

  15. Adoreandu August 3, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    Obviously the boys were going about it the wrong way. They should’ve been pushing a wheelbarrow up and down the street all day calling out “oysters, clams, and cockles!” That’s how it’s done.

  16. JR August 3, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    So the law says, basically, that all person-to-person sales must be conducted indoors, with no signage.

    So long as that law is applied to all transactions equally, garage sales and worm sales alike, this isn’t about the fact the sellers are children. It’s about the fact they live in a town with nosy neighbors and ridiculous laws.

    Maybe these kids can start a petition to get the law changed. If they’re not allowed to get a self-education in business, maybe they can at least get an education in civics.

  17. Joan August 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    @Powers, it seems logical to me that kids under the legal working age would be exempt from these regulations. I don’t know what the law is in Canada, but in most of the US, kids under 14 can’t legally be employed. That seems like an easy cut off for people to regulate businesses from lemonade stands.

  18. Erics August 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Another stupid, arrogant, ignorant, sanctimonious a-hole of a neighbor. Always one bad apple to ruin the bunch. I hope that karma comes knocking on this moron’s door, slaps him/her in the face…twice. One for being a “rat”, second for thinking twice before ratting out some children doing children things again.

    I really can’t understand why some people are just so miserable with their lives, that they just can’t bear to see anyone else have a good time. It’s a “by-law” for Pete’s sake. No jaywalking is a by-law. No spitting, loitering, or littering is a by-law. Yet, I can guarantee, most if not all, people in Cornwall do that very thing with no consequence, including the dumbass neighbor and Mayor.

    Kids just have no rights. They are often taking advantage of, including by their own parents. Not all but enough. Just let them be kids. If you sold lemonade or cookies from your lawn or on the sidewalk when you were a kid, shut-up and sit down, and keep your mouth shut.

  19. SanityAnyone? August 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    My kids better change their identities after having sold a dozen or more rainbow loom bracelets.

  20. Emily Morris August 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Jill, love the story.

    I want to start a band called Complaint from a Neighbor.

    Yes, we all have heard of that one kid who has a legitimate business going on and is raking in millions. Yes, that kid has a quality business and needs a license.

    Worms or lemonade from a Lifetime table in the front yard is not a license – requiring business

  21. Erics August 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    Heather: They’re kids. Not exactly “entrepreneurs”. I don’t even think they even know what that is. They are “learning to be responsible”, not just sit around at home “playing video games”. Let’s use your mentality for one minute. To the T. Have you ever jaywalked? Rolled on a stop sign? Have you ever tried to get out of a speeding ticket, or any traffic violation ticket for that matter? If a cop says, “I’ll let you off with a warning this time”, do you say “no, officer, I broke the law, I deserve this ticket”? Exactly. You can’t pick and choose what you uphold. But everyone does. Look at the bigger picture, look at the smaller picture.

    Do you realize what that by-law is for? For the city to make money of people who want to make money. Now I can understand if the they were actually making a killing, and selling a crap load of worms, and that they intend to make a living off of this. Do you really believe that’s the case with these kids? hmmmm. Let me ask you this, have you ever sold lemonade or cookies from your yard or the sidewalk in front of your house, as a kid? Did you get fined? Would you have understood if you did? No different than these kids selling worms.

    $34 all summer last year. lol Yet the fine is $250/day. And you think it’s completely alright for the city to be ball busters with these kids? While I bet the Mayor is getting kick backs, off the books. Trust, whatever politics it is, there is some sort of corruption going on. Don’t be a hypocrite now.

  22. bsolar August 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    The links in the article point to some touristic informations site. Found the likely original article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/cornwall-kids-defy-bylaw-to-stop-selling-worms-1.3176717

    The mayor of Cornwall, Leslie O’Shaughnessy, explained that the bylaw requires all personal business sales be conducted within the home, without outdoor signage.

    “It’s similar to most bylaws in most municipalities,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Yard sales are the prime example. It’s not a yard sale when you have them every day — it’s home occupation, it becomes a business.

    “So what the municipality did was restrict the number of yard sales you can have to two a year, so that all of a sudden, your district doesn’t become a flea market from yard sales every week.”

    […]

    City councillor Justin Towndale said he thinks the bylaw has gone too far and he intends to raise the issue at the next council meeting.

    “The bylaw is there to prevent businesses in residential areas and also stop illegal businesses,” he said. “But it’s gone too far, because it’s got kids caught up in its web. And that wasn’t how it was intended to function.”

    The mayor doesn’t agree that the bylaw needs rewriting.

    “The fact that the population of the city of Cornwall is 47,000 and you would change a bylaw for one person, to me, is asinine,” he said, adding that the incident has become a “black eye” for the city for enforcing a bylaw “that is strictly following the wishes of the people.”

  23. John August 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Goodness, does this neighbor have that much time and animosity on their watch that they will complain about two young boys selling earth warms on their front lawn? Who gives a rat’s ass?

    BUT, there is always one.

  24. Jim P. August 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    I’d worry as much about whoever filed the complaint. Got to have some serious issues.

    Unless the kids were hawking their wares with a bullhorn or shouting slogans at passersby or causing traffic jams with the massive business they were bringing in, this is utter nonsense.

    Wonder if there’s any sort of feud with this household and someone? (Not saying there is) Spite complaints are not uncommon by the right sort of narrow, little mind. Punish the kids to get at the parents kind of mentality.

  25. unimike August 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    So for that town, having 50 cents lemonade stand is also illegal? Oh gimme break.

  26. Andrea Drummond August 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Who the hell would complain about something like that?

  27. David Burton August 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    If the bylaws are wrong, get your elected reps to change them. Looks to me this sort of thing is to reduce corporate signs blighting the landscape. You get the government that you deserve in a free society. If you want to change it, get involved!

  28. Jessica August 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    The work-around in most, if not all, of these cases, is to give away the worms/lemonade/bracelets/etc. for free and accept donations. No one can claim it’s a business if you’re not charging! Then all of those by-laws and other rules no longer apply.

  29. chris canada August 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    Unfortunately, street-level free enterprise has been dead in North America for years now…

  30. Catherine R August 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    I think the children should be actively encouraged to do all the things that are allowed, in plain sight of the complainers. Noisy boisterous games. at 7;00 am.

  31. Steve August 3, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    lollipoplover said:

    “I asked my son what he thought about this story (he started out with a used golf ball/drink stand on the lawn) and he said “Make t-shirts”. Write “Worms for Sale” or Got Worms? and no sign is on your lawn. They can’t tell you what to wear. And with all the press this story gets, hopefully these kids will hit pay dirt with their worm business.”

    That’s a great start !

    The next step would be for “Dad” help start a Worms for Sale website with cute photos of the kids and their business with the News Story on the home page. This teaches the kids how to turn adversity into a real business — until PETA decides to put a stop to Torturing Worms. (Ha!)

    Free T-Shirts for all their friends with the website on front and back would also be good.
    Of course all this would teach the kids that all is not fun and games with all the taxes and regulations they would get into if it were a REAL money making business and NOT just a hobby.

  32. Peter August 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

    I asked my son what he thought about this story (he started out with a used golf ball/drink stand on the lawn) and he said “Make t-shirts”. Write “Worms for Sale” or Got Worms? and no sign is on your lawn.

    Reminds me of a non-kid-related story when I was in my late teens.

    My father decided to start a sign business after quitting his job. So he hung a little 3-foot x 4-foot sign out in front of the house with his business name on it. He also got some gravel and created a little parking area and set out to build a much larger sign–about 5′ x 6′–with the name of his business and the words “Parking” underneath, so people didn’t park in the driveway or along the street.

    Well, he made a somewhat ornate sign and decided he wanted to hang it up to see how it would look. He hadn’t lettered it yet, so it was basically an ornately shaped piece of green colored wood. As he was admiring his handiwork, coincidentally the local zoning official came by. He took one look at the sign and told my father he couldn’t hang it–it was too big for zoning. My father went to the appropriate town offices looking for an exemption and was told that he could not have one. The sign would have to go.

    A few weeks later, the zoning official came by and the sign was still up. So he confronted my father who basically said, “What sign? That’s no sign. It’s a piece of wood.” Essentially, it was not a sign until it communicated something. A big piece of green wood communicates nothing, so it’s not a sign. There is no zoning ordinance about hanging ornate pieces of wood.

    Now his customers, looking for a place to park, would slow down when they saw the ornate piece of wood and notice that there was a parking area for them. But that was purely coincidence because there was nothing on the “sign” that told them that.

    The town decided not to argue with him.

    About six months later, he gave someone a deal for a sign using the ornate piece of wood and I spent a rainy Tuesday morning digging up the signpost and helping my Dad install the sign for this person.

  33. CONTACT INFO August 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Contact Information for Cornwall City Hall / Mayor:

    Email: [email protected]

    1-613-932-6252 (Just the “1” is sufficient to dial Canada from the U.S.)

    City Hall
    360 Pitt St.
    Cornwall, ON
    K6H 5T9

  34. bmommyx2 August 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    The neighbor is a jerk. I wonder if they could go to court & have a jury of their peers

  35. James Pollock August 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    I’ll be the spoilsport. Why should this business be treated any differently, just because the proprietors happen to be young?

    (Note: Part of the point of FRK is that the kids shouldn’t be treated differently from adults, without a good reason. You don’t complain that an adult is on the subway alone, if they know where they are going and how to get there, so neither should you complain that a child is on the subway alone, if they know where they are going and how to get there.)

  36. James Pollock August 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    “in most of the US, kids under 14 can’t legally be employed. ”

    In the U.S., the law is not nearly that monolithic. Whole categories of employment are exempted (agriculture, entertainment) and so is, for example, employment in family businesses.

  37. pentamom August 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    James, the reason IS that they’re young. And there’s a good reason to treat them differently in this case: because they’re young, their business is necessarily going to be very small scale. And because it’s small scale, their business is neither disruptive to the neighborhood, nor creates significant competition to those who do have to follow the laws.

    So there’s your answer.

  38. Jolanta Conti August 3, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    I thought Canadians had more common sense than that!

  39. Warren August 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    I know Cornwall pretty well, and the anglers in the area will get ahold of this. These boys will not be able to keep up with the demand in the near future, as they will have customers coming to them just to shove it up the town’s rear. Wait until this jerk of a neighbour has trucks towing boats parked all over the street.

    To the idiot caller, “Be careful of what you wish for.”

  40. Warren August 3, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    James,
    Why should these boys selling worms with a sign on their lawn be treated any different than the hundreds of freaking yard sales every weekend. Every telephone pole, corner and lawn has a yard sale sign. And they are a lot more disruptive to traffic and the peace and quiet of the weekend than these kids worm sales could ever be.

    I have a good customer, that has a fleet running out of Cornwall. Him and I fish a few times. Gonna call him tomorrow and bring him up to speed. He is gonna be fuming.

  41. lollipoplover August 3, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    @Steve-

    My son, like these boys, started a stand at the end of our street selling used golf balls he found (he calls them “white gold”) on the golf course we live on. He changed locations to take advantage of the golf cart path and set up his stand next to the path leading to the 10th hole, right on the sidewalk. He sold drinks, snacks, tons of balls and he and his friend made very good money. Until one of the rangers from the golf course told him he wasn’t allowed to be there, that the sidewalk was golf course property and he had to shut down.

    My son gave it right back to him. He said that if the golf course was so concerned with their property, why didn’t they shovel their sidewalks in the winter as required by township ordinance? He reminded the ranger that kids walk to school in our neighborhood and untreated sidewalks are a public health hazard that he plans to document and look into fines the golf course will incur for this precious sidewalk.
    The ranger left him alone after that.

    He has since moved on to selling used balls online, in stores, and to the golf course (the rangers buy all his pro-v’s). He has regular pet sitting gigs and walks dogs for cash and recently started an auto detailing business (and makes over $200 a day).Some kids just have an entrepreneurial drive. Stupid by-laws and mayors who enforce them can spark creative solutions to get around the nonsense. I hope the boys in this story find their way around the nonsense.

  42. James Pollock August 3, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    “James, the reason IS that they’re young.”

    And the reason for having laws against leaving kids in cars is that… they’re young.
    And the reason for having laws against leaving kids outside unattended is that… they’re young.
    And the reason for having laws against leaving kids at home alone is that… they’re young.

    See what a can o’ worms that is?

  43. sexhysteria August 4, 2015 at 2:06 am #

    Worms are rich in high-quality protein and low in animal fat. They should be sold in grocery stores for people, not as fish bait.

  44. Eric S August 4, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    James: They aren’t a business. They don’t make enough. Not even to pay taxes. Have you ever sold lemonade as a kid (or any other treats)? You really think you need a business permit? Do you really believe a lemonade stand warrants permits, and legal fees? Hmmm. The by-law is for legitimate businesses.

    No being a kid (FRK) isn’t about treating them like adults. It’s nurturing them to be self sufficient, independent, and confident so that they learn to be successful ADULTS. Children don’t think like us, but they can learn to. That takes time, that takes trial and error, that takes experience. It would be completely asinine to treat a 6 year old like a 20 year old. FRK is about bringing back the way kids were raised and what they were doing back in previous generations. Think about your own childhood. Were you treated like an adult? Or were you just allowed to be a kid, doing everything kids do. Including falling, scraping your knee, disappointments, joys of playgrounds, creeks, trees, and yes…selling lemonade, cookies, or even worms.

    “And the reason for having laws against leaving kids in cars is that… they’re young.
    And the reason for having laws against leaving kids outside unattended is that… they’re young.
    And the reason for having laws against leaving kids at home alone is that… they’re young.”

    Those aren’t by-laws. In fact those aren’t even laws. Because many laws are so vague, people just manipulate it so that it seems like they are the law, or that people are breaking said “law”. Again, adults misconstrued and bend things to suit their needs, for their profit, convenience, or to avoid leitgation. No different than this by-law. Even a councilman realizes this ridiculous mentality. Anyone with any common sense would. Again, I’m very sure there are plenty of by-laws that are broken by EVERYONE in Cornwall, including the Mayor and the nosy, sanctimonious neighbor. Why aren’t anyone getting fined or put in jail? Because some yahoo with authority pick and chose whether they will enforce the relevant by-law or not. It’s called bending the rules. It’s done everyday. Don’t kid yourself. And if some people don’t get bit, then others shouldn’t either. No? By-law is by-law after all.

  45. Doug August 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    I suppose it’s be impolite to park themselves in front of the city hall with a sign “Free Manure.”

  46. Doug August 4, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    James, the point of FRK is not “treat kids like little adults.” It’s raising children who are safe and self-reliant without succumbing to the idea that everything in this world is a threat.

    It’s too bad these kids are getting harassed by know-nothings who have an inflated sense of self-importance.
    I’m always in favor of deflating those people.

  47. Warren August 4, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    James,

    “(Note: Part of the point of FRK is that the kids shouldn’t be treated differently from adults, without a good reason. You don’t complain that an adult is on the subway alone, if they know where they are going and how to get there, so neither should you complain that a child is on the subway alone, if they know where they are going and how to get there.)”

    Time for you to leave this site. You do not even have the basics understood. Goodbye.

  48. James Pollock August 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    “James: They aren’t a business. They don’t make enough.”
    There’s no shortage of real enough businesses that don’t make ANY money. Most businesses lose money when they are starting out.

    “Not even to pay taxes.”
    You need list of major American businesses that don’t pay taxes? (Not to mention S-corporations, which don’t pay (income) taxes.

    “Have you ever sold lemonade as a kid (or any other treats)?”
    Nope. I had a paper route, and moved from there to developing custom software. Then, in high school, I moved on to other things. The newspaper I worked for was a real business, as were my own.

    “You really think you need a business permit?”
    Depends on the way the business-permit law is written, obviously.
    It’s one thing to say that laws should be written to exempt businesses owned and operated by sub-teens. It’s another one to says that laws written without such exemptions should not be enforced.

    “Do you really believe a lemonade stand warrants permits, and legal fees?”
    Depends. there’s one at the state fair that generates six figures. If exemptions are to be written into the laws, should they be based on the income generated from them, or the ages of the owners?

    “Those aren’t by-laws. In fact those aren’t even laws.”
    Tell that to the people arrested, charged, tried, and/or convicted.

    “No being a kid (FRK) isn’t about treating them like adults.”
    No, it’s about treating them like adults IF THEY ARE ACTING LIKE ADULTS. Or, as I put it the first time, “kids shouldn’t be treated differently from adults, without a good reason. “

  49. James Pollock August 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    “James, the point of FRK is not ‘treat kids like little adults.'”

    Not what I said. See above.

  50. pentamom August 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    No, James, it’s not a can of worms, because I never claimed that “because they’re young” was sufficient justification for any and all laws. I said in this case, it was a decent reason they should not be treated as though they are adults running a business. In this particular case, the fact of their youth is relevant to why treating them exactly the same as an adult in business is a bad idea. It’s not always relevant, but sometimes it is.

    And as someone else pointed out, while part of the philosophy of Free Range is that kids shouldn’t *necessarily* be treated differently from adults in *many* circumstances, no one ever promulgated it as an iron-clad principle, or a magic bullet that every choice is based upon.

  51. pentamom August 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    James, did you get your law degree from Sophistical Obfuscation U?

    S Corporations don’t pay taxes.

    S Corporation owners, DO (assuming they make a profit above the personal exemption.)

    Kids making $34/month do not have to FILE taxes, which is obviously what Eric meant.

  52. James Pollock August 4, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    “Kids making $34/month do not have to FILE taxes, which is obviously what Eric meant.”

    You’ve decided I’m doing “Sophistical Obfuscation” because I addressed the argument that was actually made, instead of the one you like better than wasn’t actually made?

    (while you’re attempting to apply U.S. federal law to a Canadian municipality?)

  53. JKP August 5, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    James – “James: They aren’t a business. They don’t make enough.”
    “There’s no shortage of real enough businesses that don’t make ANY money. Most businesses lose money when they are starting out.”

    James, you’re confusing gross income with net income. Yes, many businesses lose money when starting out. But you have to gross enough money for the government to even consider you a business in the first place. Otherwise, you are just a hobby and can’t deduct any of your expenses. And even as a business, you are only allowed to lose money for a limited amount of time before being considered a hobby.

    If these boys were grown adults selling bait, at $34/month gross, they wouldn’t be making enough to be considered a real business.

  54. Warren August 5, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Yes James it is a Canadian municipality. So you should keep your very limited knowledge of US law out of it all together. Because you as well know nothing about it.

  55. Margaret Schwenk August 5, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    I applaud these boys for being entrepreneurs. It was also a very creative idea they came up with. It is sad that people take life so seriously, that they would feel the necessity to fine a child for wanting to better themselves. We don’t want our children to become addicted to electronic gadgets or drugs, and yet we do not let them have productive alternatives.

  56. Marianne Lappin August 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    Seriously???

  57. James Pollock August 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    “James, you’re confusing gross income with net income.”
    Not even a little bit.

    “Yes, many businesses lose money when starting out. But you have to gross enough money for the government to even consider you a business in the first place.”
    You left out “for tax purposes”, and any explanation at all of how government is or should be the arbiter of the question “is that a business”. Look up the definition of business… any thing in the definition about government, taxes, or how big a business has to be? No?

    “Otherwise, you are just a hobby and can’t deduct any of your expenses.”
    You can deduct for hobbies, if they’re the right kind.

    “And even as a business, you are only allowed to lose money for a limited amount of time before being considered a hobby.”
    Yeah, you seem to be a little fixated on tax law.
    You’re confusing the questions of “is this a business?” and “how should we tax this?”

  58. DrTorch August 11, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m going to be the contrarian here and say that zoning laws are often pretty reasonable, and we all want equal protection under the law.

    Let the kids know that this doesn’t work and why. It’s part of the big world that they have to learn about. Maybe they’ll think of a clever way around this.