October 17, 2007, - 3:30 pm

L.A.’s Fast Food Nannies: When Small Guv’mint is Big Government

By Debbie Schlussel
NEAT ‘N’ NASTY. That’s what you get when you scramble the letters of “NANNY STATE.” Yes, sometimes anagrams create the truest definition of them all.
In the case of the Los Angeles City Council, The Nanny State is now The Statist Nanny City. But it’s still NEAT ‘N’ NASTY.
You see, the Council wants to stop any new fast food chains from opening in the city. They want to institute a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in South L.A. until city planners can find ways to attract new healthy-fare restaurants.
That’s absurd. The market has decided. L.A. City Councilmembers South Los Angeles constituents have decided. And they want fast food.


Stop the Nanny Statists

They don’t want “healthy fare.” They want cheap, fast, and greasy. Despite the Morgan Spurlocks in their city government, Los Angelenos like to supersize it.
Councilmembers believe that a diet heavy on fast food is contributing to a rise in obesity in Los Angeles. Uh, no. People who can’t control their own impulses and are too lazy to go exercise their gluttony off is the reason for the rise in obesity. Shutting down restaurants and redlining areas of town to keep out fast food restaurants ain’t gonna solve that problem.
Aside from that, there’s the issue that fast food restaurants provide the best quantity of food at the lowest price, making it the most affordable nutrition for people in lower-income areas. What–you’re gonna send minimum-wage and welfare check consumers to Whole Foods a/k/a “Whole Paycheck” to buy organic Belgian Endive and bulghur wheat for dinner?!
For the record, I don’t eat at fast food restaurants. For the most part, they aren’t kosher. But I believe in the freedom of your right to choose where you eat, not my right to choose it for you. That’s the beauty of our country, where freedom and the marketplace are supposed to reign supreme. The marketplace decides what our choices are, not government nannies who intrude upon our lives and tell us how to live.

The proposal would halt the issuance of city zoning permits to new fast-food restaurants in the neighborhoods for at least one year and up to two years.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents one of two South L.A. districts, says she has not encountered significant opposition as her proposal goes before a council committee later this month. She says other cities will be watching.
“Other municipalities may want to emulate it if it leads to the inclusion of new . . . restaurants or grocery stores,” she says. [DS: G-d help us. Coming soon to your town.] . . .
“Dictating to other groups of people what they should eat or want to eat is about the most patronizing kind of activity I can imagine,” says Barry Glassner, professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, whose campus is located in South L.A. . . .
A study by the Los Angeles Times found that 45% of the 900 restaurants in South L.A. are fast-food chains or restaurants with minimal seating, compared with 16% of 2,200 restaurants in Los Angeles’ Westside. . . .
It should be no surprise fast food is popular, particularly in an area such as South L.A., says Kenneth Herbst, assistant professor at the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University and a specialist in food marketing.
“Many enjoy the taste fast-food offers, and taste is so important,” he says. “Fast foods often meet a price point with which many segments feel comfortable.” . . .
Takiia Rivers, 16, says she didn’t see what the fuss is about. “I don’t necessarily know that there are too many” fast-food restaurants, she said.
“No, it’s OK now,” said her friend, Mariela Sanchez, 17, carrying the last of her meal from Taco Bell. . . .
Just defining what constitutes fast food isn’t always clear. The proposal would exempt sit-down restaurants where servers take orders. And people’s idea of choice can differ, too.

Two years before a new fast food restaurant can open–because the City says so. Hello . . .? That’s Communism. It’s statism in its worst incarnation.
The only way you get healthier restaurants in town is if there is a market for it. And clearly there isn’t. You cannot legislate health and weight-loss
No-one needs the Los Angeles city council to play nanny. This is still a free country. Property owners should be able to sell or rent to whomever they want, greasy spoon or not.
Today, it’s about McDonald’s and Taco Hells. Tomorrow, it’s about conservative or Jews or Christians or doctors or some other equally arbitrary statist exclusion.
Time for NEAT ‘N’ NASTY–The NANNY STATE–to go bye-bye. Doesn’t Los Angeles have other more important problems . . . like crime, drugs, teenage pregnancies, etc.?
I guess they don’t have those probs in Los Angeles.

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17 Responses

Kinda reminds me of the temperance movement, that didn’t work either.
It’s like trying to tax cigarettes for health care, discouraging it’s use while at the same time using it to finance something for the public good. They look down their noses at it all but have no problem collecting taxes for any of it.

Cpilot on October 17, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Some states (Minnesota) are aready bitching about the fact that the tobacco tax revenues are drying up. That was the general idea behind the tobacco taxes, to get people to stop smoking, wasn’t it? (yeah right). Well if you google Jan Perry you will see for yourself she could stand to lose a few lbs. I, for one, am sick and tired of government making personal decisions for me that I’m quite capable of making myself. I live in Los Angeles (San Pedro) and the whole damn City and State are going down the Nanny road. Smokers and people who enjoy fast-food are easy targets for the Politicians. Why not have some guts and pick on the ones who can and do fight back. How about a “Sin” tax on condoms and other Adult products to finance the fight against AIDS and other STD’s? Why not you say? Because the Gay and Adult Industy Lobbyists are powerful and won’t stand for that shit. Where in the hell is the ACLU when their needed?

Rich B on October 17, 2007 at 7:00 pm

The government won’t stop until they can use MRI technology to read your mind (you think I’m kidding). Then when the muslims take over, it will be hell on earth. I hope people are becoming very radical, I don’t see it, though.

steve ventry on October 17, 2007 at 7:03 pm

“Where in the hell is the ACLU when their needed?”
Chowing on big macs.

Squirrel3D on October 17, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Steve, people ARE becoming more anti-government and pro Libertarian. It’s just that they’re not organized very well. We saw a great example of what can happen when Americans do speak up last Summer when the Shamnesty bill went down in flames. The idiots in Washington were getting ready to shove that one down our throats until Sessions and a few other Senators heard the voice of America. It can and will happen when people speak up. Politicians don’t give a shit about one voice. But… when thousands speak up, even they listen.

Rich B on October 17, 2007 at 7:24 pm

The person quoted here, Glassner, has written a great book about food and the food nannies:

justinl on October 17, 2007 at 8:18 pm

NEAT AND NASTY. That’s what you get when you scramble the letters of “NANNY STATE.”
. . . not exactly. There’s no place to get the ‘D’ and the ‘A’ to make AND. What you want is NEAT ‘N NASTY, which sounds cooler anyway.
San Francisco didn’t allow fast food till 1973. Nothing to do with nannyism — they were a famous restaurant town and wanted to protect that. First to open was a McDonalds on Market Street near New Montgomery. Others followed, but they didn’t seem to hurt the restaurant business any.

John West on October 17, 2007 at 9:36 pm

We can hope that this is just a California phenomenon. Somehow I cannot imagine the rest of the nation being crazy enough to fall for that sort of foolishness, although it is entirely believable in California. They don’t call it the land of fruits and nuts for nothing, ya’ know.

Dr. D on October 17, 2007 at 11:25 pm

To John West and everyone here. This isn’t just a Kalifornia phenomenom. It’s been happening all over the U.S. the last fifteen or twenty years with “Sin taxes”. I’m talking about tobacco taxes. It seemed that many/most people didn’t give a shit when it was only tobacco taxes since most people don’t smoke and don’t like the smell of cigarettes and cigars, but…. when it begins effecting them with taxes on other so-called risky behavior then all of a sudden it’s an issue. Now it’s trans-fat (New York) fast-food (L.A.) and who knows what else. It opens up a whole new can of worms. The issue here isn’t obesity or ETS (second-hand smoke). I’m talking about a Government attempt to regulate personal behavior and social engineering. Fifteen years ago all I heard was “it’s not my problem” when I bitched about sin taxes. Well, I’m here to tell you it is your problem, or it will be soon when the Nannies come after your hard earned dollars. Tobacco revenues are drying up because the smoking rates are declining so the greedy bastards in power have to come up with new sources of cash. I’ve had a website up for nine years about this and every prediction I have made concerning greedy government is coming to pass. It isn’t just the left coast. These kind of regulations are coming to a State near you and sooner than you think.

Rich B on October 18, 2007 at 2:16 am

Someone can write a whole book on the insanity and rife corruption that goes on in LA City Council. This fast food ban is only the tip of the Iceberg. Our wonderful City Council is also suing the people of LA for $30 million to pay for the Department of Water and Power Employees their inflated salaries and pension plans. Before every council meeting, they allow a few members of the public to comment to the council. Usually they are various sorts of Cracked out homeless people, mentally insane, and Communists. Fact is, when only 10% of the electorate actually votes in the council elections, it’s not even democracy anymore. LA City Government is a quasi-communist government that votes 14-0 on nearly 99% of the measures that are put to vote. There is so much dirt on everyone there that if anyone votes out of line, they will immediately be crushed politically by everyone else, and probably arrested and sent to jail for all their exposed corruptions. LA city council is a JOKE. In fact, volumes of books can be written on their corruption, especially our fantastic mayor Villaraigosa who has multiple girlfriends at any given moment, usually women in influential positons. i.e. the media. This banning of fast food is merely a false band-aid to a wothless set of politicians. As our mayor says, “GO GREEN!”

seikilos on October 18, 2007 at 2:21 am

Sorry John West. I meant Dr D in my reply. I don’t mean to come off like I’m trying to flame anyone. The issue of government control is really a sore spot with me.

Rich B on October 18, 2007 at 2:22 am

Seikilos is right. Ha ha. I watch the government channel here in L.A. and it’s a joke. The same five people are the only ones who ever seem to get a shot at addressing the idiots who run our city. The same old homeless guy always speaks and usually yells at all of them before they tell him “your five minutes are up”. It’s always the same shit. I live in the fifteenth district (San Pedro) and we’re stuck with Janice Hahn. She’s another case of a family feeding at the public trough for years and years. Villaragosa is an idiot and Bernard Parks is our version of Al Sharpton. I won’t even go into the other idiots in L.A. politics including the leading douche-bag, Maxine Waters (She is an embarassment to our Country) and Jackie Goldberg. It seems like all of them get voted out year after year and show up somewhere else in another political office. Now I read somewhere the the honorable Cynthia McKinney is planning to move to Kalifornia and run for office. Oh Lord! She’ll fit right in somewhere up north (San Francisco) being she’s a truther and hates her country.

Rich B on October 18, 2007 at 2:40 am

Another “Kalifornia phenomenon”: Transexual public schools:

Bill Petty on October 18, 2007 at 7:47 am

I can still remember the time when our mothers cooked healthy nutritional meals for the family, back when women where oppressed you know. Now, the nation can not survive without mother working. So lets blame the government.

Robert S. Trojan on October 18, 2007 at 9:14 am

Note also: Regulations like this serve the interests of *existing* fast-food resaturant owners by keeping out competition. This kind of incumbent-protection is a general feature of government regulation, regardless of how much liberals talk about “protecting the little guy.”
My parody, written in 2003, does seem to be coming true:

photoncourier.blogspot.com on October 18, 2007 at 10:32 am

Whew! I feel relieved that they are working on this very important fast food problem! Does this mean the crime,traffic,drug,illegal immigrant,and welfare problems in California has been fixed?

Chiefscotty24 on October 18, 2007 at 10:36 am

We are going to eat our bean sprouts and LIKE THEM!
Gosh darn that fiendish free market, giving people what they want! It’s crazy! It has to be stopped
(wait for it…)
For The Children.

Barry in CO on October 19, 2007 at 6:34 am

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