Little Nathan’s Hotdogs

Holland, Michigan is in the center of a minor kerfuffle about a hot dog vendor, 13-year old Nathan Duszynski. In shutting down his stand, the city government has earned the scorn of local commentators and national media alike. E.g. one bigcat writes

evidently these downtown restaurants’ food isn’t that good, if they’re intimidated by a kid with a hotdog cart. get a life losers, if you need to be protected from a hotdog cart, you need to reevaluate your menu and your prices. if you can’t compete, try a different career. if you need to rely on no compete clauses to keep business, you probably shouldn’t be there.

A stevenw1969 frames it in terms of free enterprise violated:

Regulation strangles the free market, competition is healthy for a free market. If you have a good product it will sell and people will frequently buy your product. Anyone with half a brain can see that local government put those rules in place to choke the little guy from getting started. That’s called progressive-ism and is the cancer that has destroyed our free market.

Today, Garrett Ellison adds more of the human dimension. Around the country collections are now being taken to support the Duszynski family. As it is, they have entered some rough times

The family entered a homeless shelter last week, following their attempt to set Nathan up selling hot dogs in downtown Holland. Duszynski has become something of a local celebrity after his cart was shut down by zoning officials 10 minutes after he opened.
Duszynski, 13, worked odd jobs to help buy the cart, which the family was relying on to provide them some supplemental income on top of about $1,300 in monthly disability payments.

And there’s the problem: a family with severe medical problems needs to get by on $1300/month? The desire to give a helping hand is certainly honorable, but  giving money to the kid misses the core problem of little we expect the family to live on. The Duszynski’s get help, but what about the Smiths? While the individual story captures the heart we miss the larger problem that scores of others in our community also face. This indifference to the poor among us, particularly by would-be political leaders is all to our shame.


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