Freedom Flix

Can the Government Make Entrepreneurs Do Useless Things For No Reason?

 

 

Verlin Stoll is a 27-year-old entrepreneurial dynamo who owns Crescent Tide funeral home in Saint Paul, Minn. Verlin has built a successful business because he offers low-cost funerals while providing high-quality service. His business is also one of the only funeral homes that benefits low-income families who cannot afford the high prices of the big funeral-home companies. Verlin wants to expand his business, hire new employees and continue to offer the lowest prices in the Twin Cities, but Minnesota refuses to let Verlin build a second funeral home unless he builds a $30,000 embalming room that he will never use. Minnesota's law is irrational. Embalming is never required just because someone passes away and the state does not even require funeral homes to do their own embalming. In fact, it is perfectly legal to outsource embalming to a third-party embalmer. Minnesota's largest funeral chain has 17 locations with 17 embalming rooms, but actually uses only one of those rooms. Why is Minnesota forcing Verlin to waste $30,000 on a useless embalming room as a condition of expanding his thriving business? So that the big, full-amenity funeral-home businesses can benefit from a law that drives up prices for consumers and operating expenses for competitors such as Verlin.

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Freedom Flix

The Institute for Justice is always looking for new ways to promote the message of freedom. To that end, IJ produced the following videos in-house to tell the stories of our clients and their fight for individual liberty.

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   The Forfeiture Machine Turns Cops into Robbers (3:50)
The most terrifying place in Philadelphia is Courtroom 478 in City Hall. This is where property owners enter Philadelphia’s Civil Forfeiture Machine.
   The Fight for Braiding Freedom (5:35)
Since the advent of hair braiding more than 5,000 years ago, it has been a simple and safe practice that government has no business regulating. African-style hair braiding uses no dyes or chemicals, and it is safe for braiders to perform.
   Food Trucks and Carts Are Just as Clean as Restaurants (1:07)
Research compares food-safety inspection scores of food trucks, food carts and restaurants in seven major American cities—and finds that street eats are safe eats. www.ij.org/vending
   Licensed Dentist Attacked for Charging Too Little (2:23)
When is it illegal for a licensed dentist in Arkansas to clean teeth? When he also happens to be a licensed orthodontist.
   Gov't grabs elderly man's home; won't give reason (4:10)
New Jersey’s CRDA is trying to use eminent domain to seize Charlie Birnbaum's property as part of a “mixed-use development” project. The trouble is that CRDA has no concrete plans to do anything in particular with it.
   Gov't to Citizens: Want Free Speech? Take a number. (1:15)
Can the gov't pass a law saying that only the first 12 people to vote in an election get to vote for every office, or that only the first 12 people who arrive at church get to stay for the entire sermon?
   Ariz. Supreme Court Declares Edu. Choice Program Constitutional (2:04)
The Arizona Supreme Court announced today that it will not review a unanimous Court of Appeals' decision that declared Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program passes constitutional muster.
   Gov't Says "Naaayyyy" to Horse Massage (1:59)
The Ariz. State Veterinary Medical Examining Board wants to throw entrepreneurs who massage animals without a veterinary license into jail and fine them $3,500 per violation.
   Let Kids Escape Failing North Carolina Schools (3:09)
IJ has intervened to defend North Carolina's Opportunity Scholarship Program for low income parents like Cynthia Perry.
   The Top 6 Craziest Things Cops Spent Forfeiture Money On (1:07)
Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property suspected of involvement in criminal activity.
   Behind the Scenes of the Caswell Forfeiture Victory (5:58)
Last January, a federal court in Massachusetts dismissed a civil forfeiture action against the Motel Caswell, a family-run motel in Tewksbury, handing a complete victory to owners Russell and Patricia Caswell.
   Little American Dream Factory: Chicago Bureaucrats Put the Brakes on an Innovative Business (5:02)
The story of Zina Murray, her innovative business, and how Chicago killed it along with the dreams of fifteen other entrepreneurs.
   City Forces Homeowners to Destroy Veggie Garden (0:51)
May the government prohibit you from peacefully and productively using your own property to feed your family?
   Raw Deal: Raw Milk Farmers Fight Censorship (3:15)
In Oregon, it is perfectly legal for farmers to sell raw—or unpasteurized—milk...so long as they don’t talk about it. If they do, they face huge fines and jail time.
   Half-baked: Gov't Restricts Homemade Cookie Sales (1:56)
Can the government arbitrarily restrict where home-baking entrepreneurs can sell their treats or how much they can sell?
   Terms of Engagement: More Constitution Less Government (1:39)
The Constitution was designed to limit government power and protect individuals from the tyranny of majorities and interest-group politics. But those protections are meaningless without judges who are fully committed to enforcing them, and America's judge
   Handcuffed hairbraider sues in federal court for right to teach (2:41)
Braiders Aren't Barbers: African Hairbraider Takes Texas to Federal Court Over Economic Liberty.
   Out of control Feds raid family grocery store’s checking account over innocent bank deposits (1:45)
Government bullies are taking the little guy's milk money.
   Gov’t Forces Businesses to Overcharge Customers (1:44)
It shouldn’t be illegal for businesses to give their customers a better deal.
   Sacramento's Sign Police vs. The First Amendment and Got Muscle Health Club (2:11)
The City of Sacramento bans businesses from using sandwich boards, banners and other portable signs and is now enforcing its ban against the owners of a small independent gym, Carl and Elizabeth Fears.

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