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Just wait until they’re your health care provider
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One of the things I point out regularly is government intrusion when and where it is unwarranted, unwanted and certainly unneeded. Obviously it is a target rich environment, but one that constantly teaches a valuable lesson about where governments at all levels seemingly end up.

Unfortunately it's the nature of the beast, and it is why wise people keep on constant eye and a tight rein on the institution. It seems that whenever a collection of those constituting a 'governing body' meet, their job eventually devolves into doing things which further justify their jobs (and they keeping them). That usually means finding more areas of your life in which to intrude.

For instance:
In the impoverished neighborhood of South Los Angeles, fast food is the easiest cuisine to find — and that's a problem for elected officials who see it as an unhealthy source of calories and cholesterol.

The City Council was poised to vote Tuesday on a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a swath of the city where a proliferation of such eateries goes hand-in-hand with obesity.

"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said.

The aim of the year-long moratorium, which was approved last week in committee, is to give the city time to try to attract restaurants that serve healthier food.
This is the old "camel's nose under the tent" scenario. They couch their intrusion into a neighborhood and an industry by saying their opinion about what food is or isn't acceptable is the only valid opinion and they will use their power to prevent legitimate businesses from locating in an area they've decided should a different type of cuisine.

Of course, there's an unintended consequence to be found here, something I'm sure they don't even realize. Should this pass, the existing fast-food restaurants would operate with no added competition and no incentive to change. Their business will protected by government decree.

But the Council's justification for such a moratorium is all about your health, of course. If you won't take care of yourself to their satisfaction, they will, through the force of their offices, make it happen by such radical measures as deciding what type of restaurant is best for your neighborhood, fatty, er, citizen.

The California Restaurant Association diplomatically calls this nonesene "misguided":
Fast food "is the only industry that wants to be in South L.A.," said association spokesman Andrew Casana. "Sit-down restaurants don't want to go in. If they did, they'd be there. This moratorium isn't going to help them relocate."
Amazingly simple, isn't it? If there was a demand for that type of a restaurant, it would be there by now. Because, you know, markets, when they're left to work, usually are very efficient at anticipating demand and, if there is a profit to be made, fulfilling it. If you've ever watched how the franchise brands such as Applebee's, O'Charley's or Outback, for instance, choose their sites, it is through a thing called a "market study".

No market for sit-down restaurants, no restaurants.

This ruling isn't going to change that reality. It is simply going to lock out businesses which may be willing to locate there, provide jobs and serve that community.
Rebeca Torres, a South Los Angeles mother of four, said she would welcome more dining choices, even if she had to pay a little more. "They should have better things for children," she said. "This fast-food really fattens them up."
And, of course, Ms. Torres apparently can't say no to her children in a fast-food joint. What in the world makes anyone think that if there's a "sit-down" restaurant with "better choices" that she and her children are going to choose any of them (or that she'd actually make them choose healtier choices if they were available)?

This is another, in a long line of indicators of the depths to which governments at all levels feel entitled go in deciding how to manage your life. And that is precisely what this amounts too.
But public health officials say obesity has reached epidemic proportions in low-income areas such as South Los Angeles and diet is the key reason.
Of course their answer is always more restrictions, more regulations and more intrusion into the choices of your life. Why? Because that's what they do.

Now, consider one more very important point: this is being done in the name of your health without government actually having control over your health care. Imagine, if you will, what choices will be severely limited or eliminated if that ever was to come under their control.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Course, you know, they could just slap a fast food sin tax on it all, and it would stop people from eating that kind of food, just like it stops people from buying alcohol and tobacco!

Wouldn’t that be cool? Then guys like Myth could complain about the unfair tax burden on the poor because they eat more fast food than the rich.

Written By: looker
URL: http://
The aim of the year-long moratorium, which was approved last week in committee, is to give the city time to try to attract restaurants that serve healthier food.
South LA is described as an "impoverished neighborhood" and a "low-income area." Yet Ms. Torres not only complains, in the article, of the fast-food joints fattening up her four kids, she also wishes for better restaurants to come and provide her and her brood "more dining choices."

Does McDonald’s accept food stamps? WIC? Will Appleby’s and Outback when they move into South LA?

How is it that impoverished, low-income people patronize restaurants to the extent that they get fat? And how is it that government determines the solution to this, um, widespread problem is — Ta Da! — a better class of restaurant for the poor? And the closer to their front doors the better!
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Rebeca Torres, a South Los Angeles mother of four, said she would welcome more dining choices, even if she had to pay a little more.
Tell you what you do, Ms. Torres. You go to the grocery store. You buy a couple of loaves of bread, some lunchmeat, some lettuce and tomatoes, maybe even a jar of pickles. You buy a bag of apples, or oranges, or couple of bunches of bananas. You now have healthy lunches for all four of your children for a week and for a fraction of the price it would cost at Mickey D’s, nevermind Wendy’s.

Problem solved.
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Yeah, im not sure how bringing more expensive restaurants into an impoverished area helps people to not eat fast food. Besides, were the places so busy they were opening up clone franchises across the street from each other? What new fast food places are needed? Surely they ave already become quite common in the area.

And yes, ms torres could quite easily just buy healthy from the grocery store, i dont think people understand that sometimes a place like applebee’s can be just as bad for you as mcdonalds.
Written By: josh b
URL: http://

Spot on. People think NOTHING of paying around $7.00 for combo meals at fast food joints. So when Mrs. Torres is paying $20-$30 for her 4 children to eat at McDonalds, she could easily afford to pickup stuff at the grocery to make a less fattening meal.

Mrs. Torres sounds like a lousy or lazy mother to me.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
How many countries do you think would love to have the problem of obesity in their low-income neighborhoods? This is probably incomprehensible to most people in the world.
Our streets may not be paved in gold anymore, but they do seem to be paved in high-calory foodstuffs.

I am sure there is a great pent-up demand for healthy, ’quality food’ such as lobster newburg, steak dianne, crab imperial, fettucine alfredo, perhaps a nice Caesar salad or Chateaubriand done tableside, etc. in south LA. For desert perhaps a nice bananas Foster (another tableside favorite) done with low-fat ice cream.
And don’t forget a nice 15% (min.) tip if you plan on staying in the ’hood.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
As to the government being you health care provider, this comest mind:
The headline at was, “Oregon Offers Terminal Patients Doctor-Assisted Suicide Instead Of Medical Care”. The link is href=”,2933,392962,00.html. The bottom line is that Oregon doesn’t cover life-prolonging treatment unless there is better than a 5 percent chance it will help the patients live for five more years — but it covers doctor-assisted suicide, defining it as a means of providing comfort, no different from hospice care or pain medication. So the state of Oregon, when providing your health care, can determine if you have the “right” to live.

The Canadian national health plan has been taken to the Supreme Court of Canada and previously illegal private medical care is now allowed. In some European countries there are denial of service policies to contain costs. Denial or restriction of treatment is described in report at in the paragraph entitled, Denial or Restriction of Treatment. The report offers a good examination of different European programs and recommendations for the U.S.
Written By: AMR
URL: http://

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