I lived in the Los Angeles
area during the notorious “Rodney King riots” in 1992. Not pretty. But what I recall most from that time is the response from the L.A. City Council when plans were being made for the rebuilding of South Central. As I remember, it was proposed that two specific types of business not
be allowed to rebuild: liquor stores and auto garages. Both, the Council declared, fostered violent behavior, and there were just too many of them in predominantly black South Central. “The market be damned. Mommy, sitting in her office in City Hall, knows what’s good for you.”
So here we go again.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. City Council now thinks South L.A.’s 700,000 residents are too fat. The Times cites a county Department of Health study that says “thirty percent of adults in South L.A. are obese, compared with 20.9% in the county overall… For children, the obesity rate was 29% in South L.A., compared with 23.3% in the country.”
So this fall, the City Council will consider an up to two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South L.A. Says Councilwoman Jan Perry, who proposed the ordinance in June, and whose district includes portions of South L.A.: “The people don’t want [fast-food restaurants], but when they don’t have any other options, they may gravitate to what’s there.”
Oh, those poor victims in South L.A., trapped in their cage of unhealthy eateries, too stupid to resist fast-food and pursue healthier eating habits! Sure, they like to hang out at KFC and Popeye’s. But that doesn’t matter. Let’s not give ’em what they want; let’s force a lifestyle on them that we wiser bureaucrats prefer.
To summarize Councilwoman Perry’s message: “Fuck you, South L.A.”
Labels: health, leftlibertarian, politics, regulation