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Friday, December 10, 2010

First Happy Meals, Now South LA Bans All New Fast Food Restaurant, Killing Jobs in Low-Income Neighborhood

They should really change California from the Golden State to the Nanny State. First, the San Francisco City Council tried to ban happy meals. Now, in all of their infinite wisdom, the Los Angeles City Council has restricted any new fast-food restaurants from opening, if they are too close to an existing fast-food joint:

New stand-alone fast food restaurants have been banned from setting up shop in South Los Angeles, due to rising health concerns by the city council.

How many fast food eateries does one area really need? The Los Angeles City Council thinks South Los Angeles and South East Los Angeles need new choices as these regions face an over-concentration of such restaurants.

"This is not an attempt to control people as to what they can put into their mouths. This is an attempt to diversify their food options," said councilmember Jan Perry.

Perry's new plan bans new so-called "stand alone" fast food restaurants opening within half a mile of existing restaurants.

Such stand-alone establishments are on their own property, but those same restaurants are OK if they're a part of a strip mall, according to the new rules.
"Give a grocery store and a housing combination a chance to come in," Perry said.
The city says around 72 percent of restaurants in South L.A. are fast food establishments, which is much higher than West L.A. and countywide averages which range in the 40s.

This is not going to do anything to diversify their dietary options. The existence of fast-food restaurants don’t stop other restaurants that may have a healthier menu, grocery stores, or housing combination from coming into the area. What Perry doesn’t seem to understand that healthier menues also carry a higher pricetag. That is the reason why they aren’t coming into the low-income South LA area. Most people can’t afford to pay the higher prices that higher-end restaurants would bring. So, even on the basic principle that this ban is based on is very wrong and it will not produce the results that they are desiring.

Now, let’s look at the unintended consequences of the ban. If the forbid new restaurants from opening that want to come into the poor areas of the city, won’t they also be blocking new jobs that would come with those new businesses? They may be low paying jobs, but I’m sure that most of those that are struggling to make ends meat in South LA would love to be able to make a few extra dollars to feed their kids or buy them shoes, medicine, etc. Why would they take away any job oppurtunities away from their people, given the high unemployment and high deficits in California? This is really incomprehensible, especially since they are taking away these job oppurtunities from those who probably need it the most, the poor.

H/T to HotAir's Ed Morrissey

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