Why Can't Chuck Get His Business Off the Ground?

Uploaded by InstituteForJustice on 26.10.2010

Narrator: Just about everyone knows that government at every level is requiring more and more Americans
to get a government issued license before they can earn an honest living. In the 1950's,
well, only about 1 in 20 Americans needed the government's blessing to do their
job. Today that number is more than 1 in 3 and government puts all kinds of requirements
on would-be entrepreneurs making it harder for these entrepreneurs to start and grow small
businesses -
entrepreneurs like Chuck here. This is Chuck.
Chuck hates his job,
but Chuck has an idea. Chuck: I'm going to fix computers in my garage and sell them for low
prices Narrator: Uh, Chuck... Chuck: My business will create new jobs for my community...
Narrator: Chuck ol' boy Chuck: ...and give more young people access to computers, and then once my business
really gets going I can expand into a commercial space. Narrator: You live in Milwaukee Chuck: So? Narrator: Actually,
in Milwaukee starting a business in your home means you can't work in your garage,
can't have any employees, can't have any signs, and can't take deliveries.
Chuck: What? Narrator: Unless you come up with the money for a commercial lease right away you won't be starting
your business at all.
Chuck: Well, if Milwaukee won't have me I'm going to start my business somewhere else.
Narrator: That's the spirit. Chuck: What Los Angeles needs is a good used bookstore. Narrator: Actually, believe
it or not, Los Angeles treats used book shops like they were strip clubs or gun shops. You'll need
a permit from the police to operate. You have to be fingerprinted.
Anyone who sells you books may need to be fingerprinted, too.
For every book you buy you have to stamp it with an individualized number that corresponds
to a bill of sale that identifies the book and who it came from.
The police get to inspect those bills of sale and - hold on -
you'll also have to hold books for at least thirty days before you sell them just in case the
police have any questions. Chuck: But the First Amendment to the Constitution protects my-
Narrator: The First Amendment?
Well, how quaint. And, you're not planning on selling that copy of the Constitution to anyone, are you Chuck?
Chuck: Oh for Pete's sake!
Narrator: Balloon advertising? Well, that's an idea that's on the rise.
Maybe you're onto something here, Chuck. But remember, Chuck, entrepreneurs aren't the only ones who
have ideas. Bureaucrats have them, too.
-Here in Houston
you're only allowed to use balloons to sell cars, or if you have a message that doesn't sell anything
at all.
Chuck: That's ridiculous. -You're right.
All balloons now banned in Houston!
Narrator: Maybe Houston isn't ain't your kind of place, Chuck.
How about DC? Oh,
want to be an interior designer, huh?
Not too bad,
not too bad at all.
But in Washington DC you'll need a license before you can tell people where to put those paintings,
pillows and planters.
Chuck: But that doesn't make any sense. Narrator: Actually, that makes a ton of cents, and dollars too.
You see, existing interior designers lobbied the city to make all new interior designers -
but none of the current ones - take a test and pay a bunch of money go into the interior design
It's a win-win for the industry and the government. Interior designers get to keep out the competition,
and government gets to make money. Don't go ruining a good thing by trying to lower prices
for consumers now. Now you're talking, Chuck. Miami, nice and sunny down there,
valencia oranges and lots of tourists too.
You want to be a street vendor, huh?
Well you just need to get a little permission slip from the city government ready
Chuck? Let's go here's all you need:
an occupational license from the City of Miami, an occupational license from Miami-Dade County,
a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation if you want to
sell prepared food, or if you want to sell pre-packaged food,
a license from the Florida Department of Agriculture, or if you want to sell gum another license from the City
of Miami, the City of Miami tax certificate, a State of Florida tax certificate, a certification
from the Florida Department of Revenue that all of your taxes have been paid,
a copy of the current Florida Department of Motor Vehicles registration for your cart,
a license plate for your cart, a cart certification form signed by 3 different bureaucrats in 3 different departments,
$500,000 in insurance coverage for any bodily injury or property damage caused by your vending.
Got all your paperwork together Chuck? Chuck: Yes... Narrator: Great.
Now you're entitled to enter the street vendor lottery. If you're lucky enough to win you'll
be allowed to start your business.
And the winner is...
Oh, not you.
Tough luck Chuck.
This is still Chuck.
He still hates his job, any ideas left, guy?
Chuck: I'm just going to sell the leftover stuff from my computer business and go back to my old
Narrator: Actually... Chuck: What?
Narrator: ...if you want a close a business in Milwaukee you'll need a government issued license for
That, too, and you'll have to give the government an itemized inventory every day of everything
you're selling. Sorry, guy, that's just the cost of doing business,
or of
going out of business. Chuck: Oh, I just give up. -Excellent.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go fix this unemployment problem.
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