People often mistake the United States for a free market economy, it’s not. The United States economy can best be described as fascist, where the difference between private business and the state is practically nonexistent.
This protection racket often targets individuals who want to start businesses that require very little initial capital, such as food carts:
In Holland, Michigan, a 13-year-old entrepreneur thought he would be able to sell hot dogs and financially help his disabled parents with the purchase of a food cart. Unfortunately, city zoning officials have shut down his business, based on an ordinance that prohibits competition to brick-and-mortar restaurants from mobile food vendors.
Why don’t teenagers have jobs anymore? Because every time they attempt to get a job or show some entrepreneurial spirit they’re blocked by the state. Established businesses don’t want to compete with teenagers who have very low expenses (they generally live at home and don’t have to pay food, water, electricity, or cable bills) and are usually very skilled at operating on small budgets. In a free market the established businesses would have to suck it up and deal with the fact teenagers could open shop and provide goods and services to customers. In the fascist economy of the United States an established business need only petition the state and ask it to prohibit competition in some way.