By this time we’ve all heard the stories of kids being put out of business for selling lemonade or Cool Aid in their front yards. Believe me, it is not limited to kids and lemonade.
When someone came up with private citizens driving others around, the taxi industry about had had the proverbial, not so literal, heart attack. They were paying bundles to operate their businesses and a bunch of non-professionals came in and started talking their customers.
Actually, it was also the city governments that didn’t like it as well. They make a handsome sum from each and every cabbie and not one cent from the Uber drivers.
Nonetheless, Uber succeeded despite the objections of many city halls. I can’t say why, but it is one of very few. Even then, California challenged and succeeded at altering their operating model.
I know a few that had no success at all.
- In New England, there were dozens of older women knitting caps. They sold the caps to distributors who sold them to small stores. Most everyone benefited, that is, besides the unions. The unions sued in federal court and won. It seems that it is illegal to be paid by the piece. The only ones to benefit from that court decision were the unions and the lawyers.
- While teaching at MCAS El Toro Marine Station, two of my students visited Palm Springs. While visiting a motorcycle shop, they couldn’t help but notice the high prices. When they asked about them, they were told about the exorbitant fee to transport them there. The 2 did the calculations and determined thy could transport them in a pickup for half the price and still make a good profit. They made three trips, making quite a bundle before they were approached and threatened for commercially transportation of goods without a license or permit. When the men told me about, they said it was good while it lasted. At any rate, now you know why motorcycles are so much more expensive in Palm Springs than in Los Angeles.
- My oldest brother was generally pretty industrious. One day he bougt and restored an old tractor to do some personal work. Very soon, many people were asking for help. It wasn’t long before the tractor was making him a bundle. He even paid a guy to operate it and still made money. After 6 months, that came to an abrupt halt when he was told what he was doing was illegal. I never totally understood that one. Still my brother made a bunch. Besides the work he was paid for, he sold the tractor for 3 times what he invested in it.
My guess from the above is that lawyers don’t like people making money unless they get their cut.
I do know there are true logical reasons for such laws and rules but those lawmakers do like to carry things to an extreme. Hence, 7 to 11 year-olds cannot make lemonade for profit.
By the way, if you come up with a really good money making idea, I suggest you check with a good lawyer…just to make sure it’s legal.