First Amendment Right Costs $300 in Philadelphia

Michael Augustine

Over the last decade I have come to the realization that “Freedom in America is not Free.” Ever since 9/11, the rights and privileges of American citizens have come under scrutiny from the government. There is no sense of privacy anymore and government leaders believe that increased federal regulation provisions are the answer to issues plaguing the government and its people.

If you believe that government intervention into the problems facing America today is the correct and only solution, then, I completely respect your opinion on this matter. I personally believe that government intervention is leading to the “suspension and/or removal” of our rights and freedoms and civil liberties. America was built on the concept of “free enterprise.” America is a country that was created “by the people,” and “for the people.” Allowing the government to intervene on certain matters certainly violates this concept. Just ask the residents of Philadelphia who’s favorite past-time or business function involves going on the internet and creating and maintaining a blog.

Philadelphia bloggers got a surprise in their mail recently when their city government asked them to purchase a “business privilege license” at the price of $300. While it is required that all Pennsylvania business owners file for ownership right to their business with the Pennsylvania Department of State, what about those folks who blog for fun and without any intention of monetary gain? That is a question one fellow blogger Marylin Bess had to answer.

“The real kick in the pants is that I don’t even have a full-time job, so for the city to tell me to pony up $300 for a business privilege license, pay wage tax, business privilege tax, net profits tax on a handful of money is outrageous,” Bess says.

Bloggers would also have to find the money to hire their own accountants. This, my friends is the perfect way to end a dream and destroy what fun we have as American citizens as a result of government intervention. Perhaps this is a way for struggling cities to recoup funds from mismanaged governmental budget operations which put our country into the debt that it has in the first place. Don’t blame the American people for government mistakes, take responsibility and blame yourself Uncle Sam!

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