For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she's made about $50. To Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it's a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.
In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.
Of course, most blogs will never make any serious money, but then, most people who start a blog aren't in it for money. But think of all the other ways you might be able to earn an income (and having such options will become critical as this economic depression widens and deepens) if not for all the roadblocks (such as licensing laws) that the state puts up to make it difficult if not impossible.