There is no ‘free’ lemonade
In giving drink away, girls ignore rules of economics — and sum up what’s wrong with U.S.
July 5, 2010
BY TERRY SAVAGE Sun-Times Columnist
This column is a true story — every word of it. And I think it very appropriate to consider around the Fourth of July, Independence Day spirit.
After you read this, you’re gonna wonder why she would brag about it.
Then my brother asked how much each item cost.
“Oh, no,” they replied in unison, “they’re all free!”
Ah, kids. Even rich ones living in the same neighborhood as finance tubedork Terry Savage. They dig adults because their parents are so wonderful. They just wanna be nice to them, so you get a free lemonade stand in a quiet, affluent neighborhood.
I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: “But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I’m really thirsty!”
His fiancee smiled and commented, “Isn’t that cute. They have the spirit of giving.”
. . 3 . . 2. . 1 . .
That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.
“No!” I exclaimed from the back seat. “That’s not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They’re giving away their parents’ things — the lemonade, cups, candy. It’s not theirs to give.”
You can’t give me lemonade, it isn’t ethical. You’re carrying loans against your inventory. Time for their parents to foreclose.
“You must charge something for the lemonade,” I explained. “That’s the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs — how much the lemonade costs, and the cups — and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money.”
Stupid fucking kids, listen to limo-mommy Terry Savage. There’s no point in running a lemonade stand outside of optimizing your margins.