Fast Food Restrictions Fatten Up the Government

When you cut through the empty rhetorical support for slimming the fat off children, you get to the real issue: the reduction of freedom on multiple levels. How is a business supposed to operate when it can't renovate or expand without proving to the city it's a hardship case? Freedom flies away as the business owner and the private citizen's right to buy and sell and work are restricted.

If I've wanted Popeye's Chicken to move into my neighborhood and it can't because the city council said "no," the city council has interfered with my freedom of choice. No one is stopping "Jane's Healthy Choice Eatery" from moving in. This local government wants to dictate movement away from a taste for Popeye's independent of market forces. When these residences voted with their dollars for fast food, the LA council's position is they've voted wrong. They need to be escorted back to the voting booth and instructed how to vote. In the words of the progressives, "they need to be better educated."

Why pay attention to California? Because the state and its cities are trendsetters. By virtue of the state's size and population it often carries influence beyond its borders. This time it's not cars or clothing or who can get married. This time, it's to force changes in our personal food choices. Not only what we eat, but also what we sell, and whether we can expand our business to sell more of the food an advocacy group doesn't want you to eat.

New York City Council member Eric Gioia likes what's happening in Los Angeles. He's proposing the same thing there: "People are literally being poisoned by their diets -- LA's idea deserves serious consideration as we look for holistic solutions to a serious problem." The person-on-the-street comments that can be repeated in polite company are "leave us alone" and "don't they have bigger fish to fry?"

Now, the truth is we know most of our diets are lousy. We'd benefit from more veggies and fewer beef ribs. But that should be up to us, not some unit of government or advocates manipulating the power of government. The California trend is for the choices of a governor, a commissioner, or a council member to slap our hands and guide us to the "good choices." All for our own good, of course.

The more this spreads, the more it will mean one fewer body of freedoms in America.

It sets up a parody of a pleasant Sunday school song:

The government loves me, this I know

They pass rules that tell me so

Little ones to it belong

They are weak, but it is strong.

Yes, the government loves me,

Yes, the government loves me,

Yes, the government loves me,

The rules tell me so.