Wake Up, Little Susie

Have you seen Susie? She’s the cute little girl in a Verizon  ad selling lemonade. She has a simple stand in front of her house. As Dad leaves, he drops off a phone so that she can use it to calculate profits. Susie, who is way smarter than any adult as they are in TV land, immediately takes charge. She realizes she can use her phone to map her sales areas. Next thing you know, she’s sitting in a board room as CEO. She has people trying to keep up with her as she inspects her new lemonade outlets.  Susie is such a success, Dad can’t even get to see her without an appointment.

The message seems to be that hard work, smarts and the right equipment can make the American dream come true, even for a kid.

Sorry, Susie, but there are more lemons than sugar in that ade you’re pumping.

It used to be like that in the U.S. Entrepreneurs with a good product could pop up, work themselves silly and find success. Not now. The ad forgets one very important person.  Uncle Sam.  In the real world he’d be following Susie around like gum on a shoe. He wants a part of the action, for sure, but that’s not the only thing.  If Susie lived in the real world, today Sam would be standing in her way at every turn.

He would tell her Susie, please! What about fat kids or diabetic kids? You can’t be pushing that sugary juice in Michelle Obama’s world. You can sell it, but with warning labels. You had better have a low calorie version and you had better list every ingredient on every glass. Let’s not forget that obesity is the greatest problem society faces, according to them. We just don’t need any more fat kids or kids hopped up on candy type drinks. Ever hear of the Twinkie defense?

Susie, are you adding tax to that brew? If there is one thing that makes Sam the maddest, it’s you keeping the profit. Girl, get ready for an IRS sit down before you’re put down.

Then there are taxes you must pay on those employees running around for you. Payroll tax, social security tax, state income tax; they all have to be deducted. And that’s just the start.

Do you have a business license? Do the lemonade makers wear hair nets? Has your kitchen been inspected? That costs money, Susie, and we’re not talking change.

Then there’s the EPA. Has your kitchen been tested for lead? Are you using organic ingredients? Are you green? Let’s hope those cups you’re handing out aren’t styrofoam. They had better be biodegradable, recycled materials or Sam and Michelle are going to be very mad.

Lucky for you there was a minority person in the ad. We can’t leave any group out what with affirmative action. Keep that in mind as your business grows, Susie, because there are lots of lawyers out there just waiting for a slip up. Ask Wal mart or Micky D.

Susie, you’ll have to come to a decision about health care. Somebody’s got to pay if they get sick. What if lemon squirts in someone’s eye? Things could turn sour, and fast.

Susie, I’ve just peeled off a few layers of Sam’s demands. You’d get loaded down by lots more with your city and state. You’d be crying uncle before you’d get a seat in that big boardroom you like.

Have you thought about a newspaper route? It’s a dying business, but rumors suggest Sam might get in to help you out.

Think about it, Susie.

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