Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shoveling Snow

In the NY Times there is a piece on how our towns have managed to clamp down on any individual spirit. When I was a young man I sold Christmas Cards in July, had a paper rout of 112 customers spread over some 8 miles, mowed lawns, shoveled snow, and other similar tasks. I learned a great deal from the process and never once did a NYC Police Officer approach me for what I was doing, other than my father just to make sure I got an opportunity to do more!

But alas, in our new Mommy State, yes in New Jersey, you need a permit to ask to shovel snow. Yes folks, a permit, at the cost of $200! You cannot make this up. Frankly this shows we have too much Government, if they have time to spend on this issue. But wait, it gets worse. They even dispatched the Police to send the young snow shovelers a packing! This is New Jersey, not Berkeley, not Burlington VT. It is the Soprano's State! People have just too much spare time.

As the Times records;

Armed with about 100 fliers, ...., both 18 and seniors at .....High School, went door to door in ..., N.J., and then headed to ..., a neighboring town of about 10,000, to offer snow-shoveling services for a reasonable price the following day. The ensuing combination of neighborhood vigilance, community policing, social media, local and national news coverage, libertarian ideology and the New Jersey Legislature swirled into an unexpected narrative about small-town living, or media fishbowls, or perhaps snowstorms. After handing out about 40 fliers with their names and cellphone numbers, around 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 27, the two teenagers were stopped by police officers responding to a call that some suspicious characters were traipsing through yards, going door to door. ... met the description and were told that soliciting without a permit was “technically illegal” according to a town ordinance, .... said. They were also violating the town’s travel ban, which had gone into effect at 5 p.m., six hours before the state’s.

 Yep, the town sent a car with Police to scatter the wandering snow shovelers. Now how much did that dispatch cost the town? I have seen bullet holes, smashed mail boxes, vandalism, and the like that at best gets a Police report but in my experience never an investigation. But go outside to make a few dollars and the hounds of Hell descend.