City tells girl, 11, she can’t sell mistletoe, but panhandling would be okay


If you want to know what’s wrong with America, an 11-year-old Oregon girl with lots of gumption can tell you — we’re killing the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit with too many idiotic regulations.

Madison Root of Portland, Ore., wanted to help her dad with a $4,800 orthodontist bill for her braces, so she decided to sell a seasonal favorite — mistletoe — at the Portland Saturday Market, according to local TV station KATU.

The girl harvested the herb from her uncle’s farm and hand-wrapped each bunch in clear plastic, tied with a red bow.

“I felt like I could help my dad with the money,” Madison told KATU.

But when she began selling the mistletoe at the market, she ran into trouble. A private security guard told her she’d have to close up shop because she didn’t get prior approval to sell the items, as required by a city ordinance. In other words, the city wanted its cut.

“I wouldn’t think I’d have any problems because people are asking for money,” Madison said. “People are selling stuff. This is a public place.”

KATU reported:

And she’s right — to a point.

In fact, we saw people protesting, hold signs, playing music, and begging all over the area on Sunday morning as well.

The Saturday Market is incredibly diverse.

You can buy whistles, order crepes and sign a marijuana petition all without walking more than ten steps.

But to market their wares, vendors must complete a formal application process. Begging, Madison was told, is fine.

“I don’t want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg,” Madison said. “It’s crazy. People can get money for pot, but I can’t get money for braces. I’m working for this! They’re just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot.”

While Janie Johnson’s book, “Don’t Take My Lemonade Stand: An American Philosophy,” tries to teach our children self-reliance, the city of Portland is teaching them it’s better to beg. Amazing.

Watch the KATU news report, and if you haven’t already, check out NFL unbelievably bans this ad from Super Bowl

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • OldmanRick

    How sad that we didn’t learn a thing from the Greatest Generation.

  • allan

    a donation of say $5/ $10 would go a long way of having a decent Christmas or a not so decent Christmas; for your poor families and members;

  • Danny NoWay

    if the station would deliver a message for me, please let this little girl know that our family would be more than happy to buy $50.00 worth of her mistletoe. We also live in Oregon (Klamath Falls)and like her, we are sick and tired of the rules and regulations blocking any possibility of entrepreneurial enterprises by children or anyone else for that matter. Regulations are choking this country to death. But we will be glad to ignore the rules and buy some from her.

    • Danny NoWay

      You can get my email address from my profile

  • rhodes autry

    she should just just ask for donations and give a bag of mistletoe away for donations over $5

    • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

      Good suggestion for getting around the stupid rules. She’s right – exceptions should be made for children.

  • disqus_6npiJ7fVP4

    Porkland… Home of ‘The Other White Meat’

  • disqus_6npiJ7fVP4

    Sell your virginity. I’d bet 10 grand you’d get the 4800 you need…