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December 11, 2010
LA bans new fast food restaurants in poorest area of the city
Apparently, the Los Angeles city council doesn't believe that poor people are capable of making intelligent choices when it comes to their diet. And of course, any such ban will eliminate potential entry level jobs in an area of the city that needs all of those jobs they can squeeze in.
But the kind of paternalism demonstrated here is just mind boggling. Ed Morrissey:
"This is not an attempt to control what food people put in their mouths," LA city council member Jan Perry insists, but of course the new ban on new fast-food restaurants in South LA is exactly that. Perry just wants to "diversify their food options," but apparently doesn't trust residents to do that for themselves and so wants to limit their options - presumably to higher-priced restaurants that may or may not open in their neighborhoods. After all, it's not as though there is a shortage of leasing space in these parts of America's #2 city. Nor will this help the already-high unemployment in these low-income neighborhoods, as the ban will prevent a steady source of part-time work for students:God save us from liberals with good intentions.
What, there aren't any high-priced French restaurants in South LA? Sacre bleu! That might have something to do with the high unemployment and low incomes in the area. Perry complains that 72% of the restaurants in the area are fast food compared to West LA's concentration being in the mid-40s, but the obvious explanation is that higher income areas can support higher-priced restaurants. If Olive Garden could make a profit in South LA, they'd already be there. The issue isn't that fast-food restaurants are hogging the commercial space, but that other establishments aren't moving into the area.