I have been following a news story since around March 6th, (2008) about a crackdown by city councilors in East Los Angeles prohibiting taco truck
owners from parking in one place for more than an hour. Fines up to $1,000 will be imposed on violators. The crackdown went into effect last Thursday
Here's a link to an NPR report: www.npr.org...
The crackdown was enacted (according to East LA's commissioners) because taco truck owners were parking their trucks in front of restaurants, and the
restaurant owners believed they were losing customers to the taco trucks because taco truck owners have a lower overhead and could charge lower
prices. So the restaurant owners were filing so many complaints, that the East LA commissioners decided to start enforcing this law (which has been on
the books for quite a few years). And the East LA commissioners also increased the fine up to $1,000 for violating the rule.
This is a very intriguing story to me, as it truly has many facets to it.
First of all, there is (obviously) the culture issue. Whenever race is involved, people are immediately incensed and all "up in arms" about the
issue. And history is replete with grievances against various cultures. Some cultures have such a deep-seated hatred that has built up over the course
of years, decades, and even centuries. For example, some of the Native Americans still act like their people were just forced along the trail of tears
yesterday, and that I am to blame for it.
Secondly, you have the small business issue. Now THIS is sticky, because more than one type of business is involved in this issue. The most prominent
type of business is the taco truck owners, who the law was written about. They make some interesting points when the talk about how they pay taxes,
have legitimate businesses and business concerns, and a license to vend their wares.
But what about the traditional restaurant owners who also pay taxes, have legitimate businesses and business concerns, and a license to vend THEIR
wares? What if the taco truck owners are in fact, taking away customers from their restaurants?
Another issue in this battle is the fact that taco truck owners are often open late into the night, whereas traditional restaurants are not.
What do the rest of you think about this though?
[edit on 19-5-2008 by livingtorch]