June 23, 2006
Fast food and land use laws ...
A New York City councilman wants to use zoning laws to restrict sharply the number of fast-food restaurants in Manhattan. Using land use laws to control the spread of chain restaurants is nothing new (see a New York story from 1985), but the current goal is different from most: The councilman wants to fight obesity, especially among young and poor people, who eat in disproportionate numbers at the fried food factories. Although I may applaud the goal, using land use laws to fight the nation's obesity problem seems to be using the wrong tool -- just as using school busing to try to create a more racially just society (meanwhile, there was not much far effort to integrate by housing) may have used the wrong tool to deal with a bedrock social problem.
June 23, 2006 | Permalink
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