In 2008, we told you about L.A.'s allegedly temporary ban on new fast food eateries in its poorest neighborhoods:

In the impoversihed vocabulary of SoCal politics, it isn't a "ban," but rather a one-year "moratorium," which is the preferred method to introduce ever-stricter controls on what residents can do with their "private" property.

Fast forward to this month:

New stand-alone fast food restaurants have been banned from setting up shop in South Los Angeles, due to rising health concerns by the city council. [...]

"This is not an attempt to control people as to what they can put into their mouths. This is an attempt to diversify their food options," said councilmember Jan Perry.

Perry's new plan bans new so-called "stand alone" fast food restaurants opening within half a mile of existing restaurants.

I grew up 10 miles from what used to be called South-Central. My first (crappy!) job was at a McDonald's, one of roughly 5 trillion chain fast food joints within walking distance of my house. While it was crappy, it was a job, and it's how California high school kids learned about work and money in the 1980s. I cannot begin to tell you how infuriating each and every aspect of this story is to me.

The L.A Weekly points to some of the ordinance's landscaping requirements for any standalone fast-food joints that manage to get past the nannies:

    4. That parking for the Project is located at the rear or sides of the building, and partially screened from view from any public street by a minimum 36" tall decorative solid wall and/or dense vegetation of the same height.

    5. That a minimum of 7% of the total area of the surface parking lot is landscaped with planting materials and the project has a coordinated landscape plan that includes abundant trees and shrubs.

On a totally unrelated note, some unemployment numbers:

  9.8 percent: United States
12.4 percent: California
12.5 percent: Los Angeles County
14.3 percent: The city of Los Angeles

Top men are working on the problem, though:

Under a proposal adopted last week by the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, nearly a third of workers on city construction projects must be city residents. And 10 percent of those city residents must be disadvantaged, meaning they are poor, chronically unemployed or lack a high school diploma.

The goal is to reduce the city's unemployment rate and extend a hand to struggling city residents.

That oughtta do the trick.

I wrote about "the Democratic way of prohibition" in our April issue. South Park lampooned the ban in an episode from the same month.