The Fine Points of Solicitation, or What’s Wrong With This Snow Job? January 29, 2015

The Fine Points of Solicitation, or What’s Wrong With This Snow Job?

Like most people, I love a little sweat-of-your-brow initiative, and it’s twice as cool if it’s displayed by budding entrepreneurs who aren’t even out of high school yet. So two teenagers going door to door after a heavy snowstorm, asking if they can help out by shoveling driveways and sidewalks for a little extra cash… that’s excellent. Who would possibly object to it?

The Jersey cops, that’s who. They picked up two Bridgewater high-school seniors and told them to scram, because

“They need a permit. Unpermitted solicitation is not allowed.”

So the duo scotched its plan for neighborhood-wide, hand-powered snow removal, except for a few clients who had come on board sans “unpermitted solicitation.”

In summary, it’s bad to go door to door shoveling snow. It’s fine to go door to door shoveling religious horseshit. (Of course, you don’t need a permit for the latter.)

I understand that free speech and free commerce are different, but it’s still kind of a fucked-up lesson to learn.

(Image via Shutterstock)


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