NYC Trade Group Wants to Ban "Ugly" Food Carts

In New York City, an organization of Midtown businesses wants to ban food carts because they're "ugly." The 34th Street Partnership has called upon New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg "to be a little more discriminatory" about which street vendors should operate. The head of the partnership, Dan Biederman, explains why these food carts should be removed:

The problem is really simple: the food vendors, with about five exceptions, are the ugliest collection of miserable-looking vehicles we've ever seen.

In addition, Biederman blasts food cart vendors for being "slobs:"

They are unsightly, and not particularly good citizens. They litter. They violate the rules frequently.The fact that these are humble vendors doesn’t give them the license to be slobs.

Of course, aesthetics are subjective and vary from person to person. There is no reason why the state should enforce Biederman and his partnership's taste over anyone else's. In fact, mobile food vendors have been on display in an avant-garde museum in Germany, demonstrating that food carts might even have artistic merit.

While littering could be a problem, banning all food carts in Midtown is a very draconian response. Not to mention silly. Pedestrians litter, but no one's agitating to ban them.

Furthermore, many food cart owners are usually from a lower-class background or have recently immigrated to the United States. So driving these vendors out of Midtown would hurt the 99 percent. Since street vending has lower start-up costs than opening a brick and mortar restaurant, it provides for more opportunities to earn a decent living. The Street Vendor Project, an advocacy group for New York mobile merchants, even manages a Pushcart Fund, which raises seed money for future mobile entrepreneurs.

According to Matthew Shapiro, an attorney for the Street Vendor Project:

It's a little bit crazy to call vendors ugly and take them away from the neighborhood. They can't afford to invest in their businesses and make them look better because they're always getting slammed with fines.

The New York City government has set the legal number of licenses too low. So a black market has emerged in street vending licenses, with some selling for as much as $12,000. Or vendors just risk breaking the law and enduring a fine of up to $1,000. Indeed, a recent Institute for Justice report found that 10,000 jobs could be created in New York City just by granting licenses to vendors on the waiting list.

Me on occupational licensing. Reason.tv on food carts:

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  • Joe M||

    Brick and mortar businesses othering food carts? I'm shocked!

  • Just protecting property value||

    Gambol Lockdown.

    Food Cart Lockdown.

    What's the difference?

  • ||

    Shut the fuck up Rather.

  • Joe M||

    Why do you bother? Just ignore.

  • ||

    If you call her out, it tends to run her off the thread.

  • John has to project his anger.||

    It's the way of Right Wing Authoritarians (RWA).

    High RWAs tend to feel more endangered in a potentially threatening situation
    than most people do, and often respond aggressively.

    The Authoritarians
    Bob Altemeyer
    Associate Professor
    Department of Psychology
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Canada
    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

  • ||

    Poor rather. It is really hard when people call you out and recognize you. You need to invent a new troll. And it might be a white before people realize it is you.

    And as I said in the other thread. Pretending to be an angry dickless liberal beta male has got to take its toll after a while. I know you understand the character well. But maybe you should challenge yourself. Stretch out a bit. Be someone else for a while.

  • dickless beta in Kansas||

    Tell me more how you're feeling about yourself, John.

  • ||

    Bravo Rather. The truth always hurts these types of internet tough guys. I am glad it is a character and not a real person. I would have to feel sorry for him if I thought he was real.

  • Mariam||

    Hello, we need a honest,hand working and trusted person as a personal assistant to handle some errand on a part time job. Get back to me if you are interested... It part time job that does not affect your present job. Thanks Mariam

  • Jason Godesky||

    I would apply, but my only prior experience was seven years ago when I completed a 3 month intership with a medicine man at a local indian reservation.

  • Jason Godesky||

    It was supposed to be six months. But he got tired of listening to my whining and kicked my ass and threw me off the reservation.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    "In New York City, an organization of Midtown businesses wants to ban food carts because they're 'ugly.'"

    And I'm sure none of these Midtown businesses are restaurants trying to shut down competition, right?

  • Food under lock and key||

    "In [America], an organization of ["free-market capitalist"] businesses wants to ban [Non-State hunting and gathering] because they're '[whatever].'"

    Yep.

    Indians "...were wolves and beasts who deserved nothing from the whites but 'total ruin.'" ~George Washington

    "...pursue [Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach." ~Thomas Jefferson

  • ||

    STFU Rather. Invent a new troll or you are getting the Lonewacko treatment.

  • ^angry and dickless in Kansas^||

    STFU John. Invent a new troll or you are getting the rectal treatment.

  • ||

    STFU Rather. You have gone past the point of boring.

  • dickless beta in Kansas||

    “The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.”

    ~Ayn Rand

  • ||

    Rather, you can play the role of boring, smug dickless liberal beta male all you want. But you could do so much better.

  • United Nations||

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  • ||

    Rather,

    Stop posting other people's names and email addresses. Reason will ban you for that.

  • 655321||

    No they won't. She is a case in point.

  • sarcasmic||

    Indeed, a recent Institute for Justice report found that 10,000 jobs could be created in New York City just by granting licenses to vendors on the waiting list.

    The problem is that those aren't the right kind of jobs.

    They aren't manufacturing goods to offset the trade imbalance, and they don't require high power college degrees.

    Therefor they are unworthy.

  • ||

    Not to mention they don't pay union dues.

  • Matrix||

    that should be grounds for execution.

  • ||

    Pedestrians litter, but no one's agitating to ban them.

    Bloomberg probably envies his Singapore counterpart in this regard.

  • POLI POLIS POLICE POLITICS||

    For the love of money POLIS property values is the root of all evil POLICe enforcement.

    That's the way the POLI roll!

    Land enTITLEment Zoning is POLIcy.
    • First "Gambol Lockdown."
    • Then "Zoning Lockdown."

    "Civilization originates with aggression abroad and repression at home." ~Stanley Diamond

    (Polis is often translated as "city-state.")

  • KDN||

    NYC already has precedent for this with their rules regarding newsstands. I won't be at all surprised to see this go through.

    Street meat is one of the few great things about NYC. I wish there were more of them.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They also reduce restaurant overcrowding and make the streets smell much nicer. If we're talking aesthetics, don't those things count too?

  • GILMORE||

    Ugly?

    If "ugly" was a reason to remove something from the streets of Manhattan, population density would be slashed by 65%, and Al Qaeda would be credited as pioneering urban-renewal-experts.

    This is just straight up "daylight mafia"/vested interests throwing their weight around because they don't like competition.

    One major advantage of these pushcarts in the midtown area is that most lunch places jack up prices for *everything*; there's a booming business in $12-15 sandwiches, $10 soup, etc. When people are mostly eating at their desk, they don't mind a taco or falafel from a truck rather than get ripped off every day.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If Bloomberg wants to be useful, instead of salt and transfats, he should ban the ugly stick.

  • KDN||

    Completely correct. The carts are awesome and cheap, and the local salad and healthy "sandwich" places want to protect their margins. I'm might have hit every cart from 38th and 7th to 58th and 3rd in my 4 years working there. So much better than going to Pax for another $8 salad.

  • Trail of Tears||

    Bows and arrows are awesome and cheap. But the capitalists want to protect their margins.

    "No other culture in history has ever put food under lock and key—and putting it there is the cornerstone of your economy, because if the food wasn’t under lock and key, who would work? ~Daniel Quinn

  • Jason Godesky||

    Life is so hard without free cheeseburgers.

  • No other culture?????||

    My dog gets pretty angry if I go near his food bowl while he is eating. I think it is a pretty natural thing to defend sources of food.

  • Dogs don't...||

    ...abstractly claim vast areas of the earth's surface (capital) well beyond the needs of their survival, and then engage in rent-seeking (the "free" market") behavior, charging others of their species just to live on their "property."

    See the difference? No? You might be a Fibertarian.

  • Ever been in the front lawn||

    of a house where a dog owner lives? No? Well they tend to bark a lot. From the dog's perspective you are invading its "property". Do they "charge" others for its use? Not in a human sense, but then they don't have opposable thumbs ....

  • The Mad Titan||

    ...abstractly claim vast areas of the earth's surface (capital) well beyond the needs of their survival,... charging others of their species just to live on their "property."

    Um, that's pretty much exactly what they do.

    They mare large swaths of territory and claim any hunting that other animals have done, leaving what they don't eat.

    Do you not know ANYTHING about ANYTHING you discuss? Because I doubt you could have picked a worse example and you were completely wrong.

  • GILMORE||

    Trail of Tears|3.6.12 @ 1:06PM|#

    PLEASE ACCEPT THESE SMALLPOX-RIDDEN BLANKETS

    fuckstick

  • anon||

    The problem is really simple: the food vendors, with about five exceptions, are the ugliest collection of miserable-looking vehicles we've ever seen.

    I have no doubt that these 5 vendors just happen to do a lot of business with the partnership.

  • sarcasmic||

    Crony capitalism at its finest.

  • All capitalism is cronyism.||

    Prove me wrong when you can demonstrate your "unknown ideal" in reality.

  • ||

    WAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • Need your diaper changed?||

  • Jason Godesky||

    I do. Can I go out and gambol now?

  • The burden of proof||

    is on the person making a claim.

  • All capitalism is cronyism.||

    Can't demonstrate your "unknown ideal" in reality?

  • Perpetual Motion Machines=hoax||

    Yeah, the burden of proof is on the person making a claim.

    Yep.

  • ???||

    Apparently you do not understand logic.

    I can claim purple goats on venus control the stock market. I can claim that - no validity should be given to this claim unless I have some actual evidence.

  • Correcting Fibertards||

    Apparently YOU do not understand logic.

    You can claim "capitalism" is supposed to behave "thus and such." You can claim that - no validity should be given to your claim unless I have some actual evidence.

  • RE : CF||

    I can claim how capitalism" is supposed to behave by pointing to areas of society where it does behave such. Look at my post below regarding the computer industry. This Internet is another place I can point to. Industries that are young enough that the government has not YET significantly interfered are like that.

  • I can demonstrate||

    That to the extent that it actually exists it does work.

    Look at the computer industry which is that most free industry currently in existance.

    Don't like Micro$oft? An infinate number of Linux & GNU distros exist as alternatives. Even Apple has an operating system that makes sense if you happen to be a graphic artist.

  • Poor Demonstration||

    Just because prisoners can trade cigarettes in prison doesn't mean they are not in a prison.

  • RE : Prisoners and Cigarettes||

    "Just because prisoners can trade cigarettes in prison doesn't mean they are not in a prison."

    True, but that is the area of life where they are the most free, the most able to act like human beings.

  • Fine then.||

    Just don't tell me the prison is necessary for their freedom.

  • I don't||

    "Just don't tell me the prison is necessary for their freedom."

    I do not claim that government is necessary for our freedom.

  • The Mad Titan||

    "Just because prisoners can trade cigarettes in prison doesn't mean they are not in a prison."

    No, it means they are engaging in capitalism.

    Agreed, yours was a "Poor Demonstration".

  • adam||

    Can we ban Dan Biederman? I find him ugly.
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepa.....TAIL2.html

  • ||

    LEECHES

  • ||

    many food cart owners are usually from a lower-class background or have recently immigrated to the United States. So driving these vendors out of Midtown would hurt the 99 percent.

    Let them eat cake.

    From a tastefully decorated bona fide restaurant run by the delightfully chic wife of a Wall Street banker who needed a hobby.

  • ||

    With a proper executive chef with a CIA degree and experience working for Christian Constant or some other reputable chef.

  • sticks||

    Pedestrians litter, but no one's agitating to ban them

    Speak for yourself.

  • Vendor Van D'Or||

    the food vendors, with about five exceptions, are the ugliest collection of miserable-looking vehicles we've ever seen.

    Of course, next to Dan Biederman they look good!

  • ||

    has called upon New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg "to be a little more discriminatory"

    Is that possible?

  • Nike online||

    It's how I get bait.QBStimPL4

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