Public Health

NYC's Grease Trap Gestapo Now Friendlier and More Accessible

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sausage scarf not permitted by food safety regs

New York City is quietly streamlining the permitting process for opening a new restaurant. In the bad old days:

A new restaurant may have to contend with as many as 11 city agencies, often with conflicting requirements; secure 30 permits, registrations, licenses and certificates; and pass 23 inspections. And it will still have to go to the state for a liquor license.

And then, miraculously, someone had this realization:

"We still need to make sure the grease trap is in the right place and that the street cafe doesn't encroach on pedestrians," [Stephen Goldsmith, the deputy mayor for operations,] said. "But it has to be our responsibility to bring those together at a single point of entry."

Whether or not you think the city government really does need to concern itself with grease trap placement and refrigerator light bulb sheathing, the notion that it is the responsibility to government to make itself comprehensible and accessible to citizens is a pleasingly radical one in the world of government licensing.

Because we're talking about New York City government here, they couldn't quite bring themselves to actually simplify the rules. Instead, they created a dedicated team of people—the New Business Acceleration Team—to bring all the existing B.S. under one roof. And even that half-measure seems to be paying off for eaters and entrepreneurs:

The acceleration team…has helped open about 200 restaurants. On average, the restaurants opened 10 weeks faster than they had planned. Mario Batali's sprawling emporium Eataly opened 15 weeks earlier than it normally would have.

To take these lessons beyond the world of New York restaurants Bloomberg will soon shut down for excessive salt content, check out our 2006 feature on What Detroit Can Learn from Bangalore.

NEXT: Further Adventures in Zero Tolerance

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  1. I once watched a city argue that an ice machine in a wine shop that had to get a license as a bar to allow tastings constitutes a kitchen, and a kitchen requires a grease trap. The people making the argument somehow kept a straight face.

    1. I wonder if that’s why the DLC I used to shop at had to get rid of their wine-chilling bath. (Probably was because of people violating the “wine bottles only” rule, an eminently sensible restriction to place on a tub of cold water….)

  2. Why the Mario Batali non sequitur?

    1. It’s the fatty sausage.

  3. so because NYC’s regulations are onerous, they’re comparable to the GESTAPO?

    Libertarians – supplying you with your daily dose of shrill insane hyperbole in the morning

    1. SOMALIA!

      That is all.

      1. Is Somalia the new Godwin?

        1. It’s an easy, one-word method of identifying the ignorance of the speaker.

          What’s interesting about leftists harping on Somalia as an example of what rampant libertarianism will get you (like that’s at all what’s happening there) is that many of them are unaware that the previous government of Somalia was a communist one.

          1. I am NOT ignorant! Fuck you!

            1. stop ghost posting and write something real ya douche

              1. I should go first.

                1. Edwin = Edward + Godwin? Yikes.

                  1. I never mentioned Somalia, moron

                    1. At least I’m safe inside my mind…

          2. For a libertarian perspective on Somalia: Stateless in Somalia, by Benjamin Powell

    2. I’d imagine most of the things concerning the German State Police are and always have been routine anyway.

    3. Well, it looks like you’re okay with NYC, Edwin…

      1. So because I realize that calling inspection agencies “gestapo” is insane, it must mean I agree with said regulations? WTF is wrong with you? Where did you get that? Why does everything have to be all the way with you guys?
        If your philosophy leads you to believe that someone being reasonable must be some kind of giant monster then there is something wrong with your philosophy. You’d think you’d take the hint, but you nerdo douche fucks NEED to believe in this shit to deal with your deep-seated antipathy towards people. It’s not that you’re an asshole and everyone hates you and you can’t get laid, no, it’s all the government! Those are the bad people!

        1. Wow, Edwin… how do I find a way to emulate your unswerving, blind trust in the state?

          1. …antipathy towards *all* people – just the ones who abuse power.

            1. …those who support unnecessary layers of bureaucracy…

              1. like I said, recognizing that it’s nothing near gestapo-like doesn’t mean I support it
                READING FAIL

              2. People who thinly veil their own authoritarian tendencies by attempting to sound reasonable when discussing abuses of power and layers of bureaucracy.

          2. Hyperbole, distraction

            I don’t have blind faith in the state, I just don’t flip out about it

            1. …if you’re not upset about it, then on some level you must be okay with it.

              1. bullshit false dichotomy

            2. You just flip out at libertarians.

              Gotcha.

              1. …it’s like Edwin has nothing better to do, constructive or otherwise.

    4. Grease Trap Gestapo

      There’s a literary term for what this is. Iambic Pentameter, or tongue twister, or something.

      1. alliteration?

        1. That’s it. I was too lazy to look it up.

        2. “Alliteration is so pedestrian.”

          1. All the cool kids do assonance, any way.

    5. Onerous? How about fascist and oppressive??

      If you are the one who can’t open up a business and can’t make a living due to fascist rules, I think you might consider them Gestapo-like.

      1. anybody that can afford to open a restaurant can afford to pay those fees and deal with those inspections. It can easily take $200,000 to open a restaurant, and that’s on the low end. And that ain’t because of inspections and fees.

        Is it really “fascist”? How about you fucking calm the fuck down and be reasonable. If you don’t like it, say you don’t like it. Don’t be a psycho.

        1. Good advice. Try following it yourself.

          1. I’m not in the restaurant business and do not intend to be anytime soon

            1. Though I have to deal with construction and house-building regulations all the time and I manage not to freak out about that

              1. Really? So do I. You obviously have never built anything in the entire Northeast, except maybe NH. Or, you work for a corporate builder like Ryan, or you are a subcontractor working a under a general contractor who deals with all of the bullshit.

                True story:

                Real estate broker, custom builder, and landlord, for over 40 years, Mr N, has a rental house that needed a new roof. Instead of hiring a roofing contractor, he decided to save some money by hiring the workers himself. Mr N has a builder’s license. He goes to City Hall to get a roofing permit. The girl informs him that he does not have a “Home Improvement Contractor’s License”. Mr N tells her that he has a builder’s license. She tells him, that it’s a residential property and his builder’s license does not apply. So, he takes the other route. He tells her that he owns the property, and in NJ an owner can perform the work without a permit. She agrees, but tells him that he is not the owner of the property, the property belongs to company X. (Mr N owns company X.) That’s when the yelling starts. The supervisor hears it and recognizes Mr N, and gives him the permit, finally.

                There’s two other stories just as ridiculous, one involving fire safety regs on an existing building, and another regarding zoning on a lot that he wanted to build a duplex on, instead of a single-family home. Meanwhile, corporate builders like Ryan pay off the local politicians for their permits, and Joe-Six-Pack contractors continue to undercut the “honest” contractor.

                You do not have a fucking clue what you are talking about.

                1. perform the work without a permit [license].

                  1. another story… i own a historic house that was converted into five apartments in the 1930s. recently my PUC decided it was alright for the local water company to enforce a decades old law that backflow devices must be installed on the water main coming into my building. seems that the magical cutoff on apartments is three units or more. nothing to do with what are the supposed avenues of the supposed contaminated water, (water heaters, hose bibs, sinks that have faucets that still reach to the top level of the sink, etc.). apparently this cross-contamination happens ALL THE TIME. yet, i cannot, for the life of me, find ONE of these events that happen all the time on the internet ANYWHERE. $450 for the backflow preventer, and $125/yr for a plumber hook up his dirty equipment in my dirt floor basement test the device that supposedly is good for fifty years(according to the man from the water company). oh, and did i mention the PUC is an appointed not elected position.
                    …they have the money, they can afford it… FA-Q

                    1. you own a historic house, collecting rent on 5 apartments in it… and you’re complaining about $575? Fuck you. You see why everybody calls libertarians white-bred, entitled elitist fuck off jerks? Because they are.
                      You’re a shmuck for not having a backflow preventer. Who the fuck doesn’t have a backflow preventer?

                      And pour some fucking slab in the basement you shitty uncaring fuck. Have some fucking pride in your property(ies). Eventually it could be finished into something.

                2. I build in South Jersey. I generally don’t hacve problems like that. You know why? Because I’m not a fucking asshole who yells just because he runs into a problem at the TWP Constr. Departmnent. You’d be amazed what not being a fucking asshole who thinks that he owns all his property by divine right (which really amounts to a toddler’s screaming “MINE!”) gets you. That, and having lawyer for whenever necessary. That’s what they’re there for.

                  Oh, and nice job picking an anecdote where the guy was able to do his work how he wanted just fine.

                  1. “a fucking asshole who thinks that he owns all his property”

                    NOW we’re getting somewhere:

                    Edwin has a problem with property rights.

            2. “anybody that can afford to open a restaurant can afford to pay those fees and deal with those inspections”

              is quickly followed by:

              “I’m not in the restaurant business and do not intend to be anytime soon”

              Well, at least he admits he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. That’s helpful.

              1. I know that renting out or buying the restaurant space, buying all the equipment, moving it, improving the space, and hiring all the workers is many orders of magnitude more work and money than the fees and inspections

                1. you fuckasses try to make it like the government can do whatever the hell it wants to anybody. But that’s bullshit. Our country and common law in general from the ground up has very strong private property protections. You little entitled jagaloons, screaming “MINE! MINE!” like little toddlers get pissed when the government puts even tiny roadbumps to using your property, and so you try to frame it like they’re giant monsters. But it’s all bullshit. Sometimes the restrictions are many and onerous but a competent business owner can get through them fine.
                  Worst that happens is you might need a lawyer sometimes. My company’s only needed one once or twice – frankly I can’t even remember once. The only thning I can remember out of 25+ years of business was once a height-restriction issue, and even then we only needed one of our engineers to write a letter. We get more trouble legally from our few customers here and there who try to screw us over.

                  1. New in town?

                  2. you fuckasses try to make it like the government can do whatever the hell it wants to anybody.

                    Who’s going to stop it?

                    1. Lawyers enforcing your common law and constitutional protections. It’s not all “the government”. The legislature is not the same as the executive is not the same as the judicial. Try fucking reading about it some time.

                      My experience has been that towns here in New Jersey don’t even try shenanigans that they know won’t fly in court in the first place. And when they do, they’re willing to settle.

                    2. My experience has been that towns here in New Jersey governments don’t even try shenanigans that they know won’t fly in court in the first place if they think you can afford to defend yourself, otherwise you’re fucked.

                      ftfy

                    3. if you’re in one of these regulated industries, it’s a pretty sure bet you can afford a lawyer

                      by the way, notice how you keep moving the goalposts as I demolish every one of your “points” (I’m loathe to call them that)

                    4. —“if you’re in one of these regulated industries, it’s a pretty sure bet you can afford a lawyer”—

                      Which industry is not regulated? Serious question. Construction, retail, manufacturing, medical services? All regulated.

                      And the other end of your argument, “you can afford a lawyer”? So now you shouldn’t be going into business if you can’t afford a lawyer to deal with all of the bureaucratic bullshit? And you know what people can afford.

                      What I am hearing is that you know just what it takes to deal with any business issue that comes up, regardless of when or where. You may live in a town in New Jersey that actually tries to make it easier for business, I don’t know. But I do know that here where I live and do business, and in the places that my suppliers and customers operate, it is an almost never-ending bunch of hoops that we must jump through, seemingly on the whim of a bureaucrat.

                    5. I meant the industries we’ve been talking about, that are more directly regulated – construction and food service

                      and yes, if you’re in those industries then you can afford a lawyer when necessary. In other words, they’re not the gestapo just because there’re some regulations.

                    6. “by the way, notice how you keep moving the goalposts as I demolish every one of your “points” (I’m loathe to call them that)”

                      What points have you demolished again? I’ve read over the comments and the only thing that you have pointed out is that fees and inspections are a small part of opening or running a business in relation to the everyday expenses. That is true, but as I pointed out, inconsequential. Yes, regulations that empower and benefit some people over others are bad. There are compliance costs that come into effect too. Maybe a restaurant wouldn’t take 200,000 grand to open if an entrepreneur were more free to decide how they run their business. I think that entrepreneurs are in a position to decide what is necessary to run their own business.

                    7. Edwin is Espi?

                    8. as I demolish every one of your “points”

                      I believe you confuse having the last word with winning an argument.

                  3. “You little entitled jagaloons, screaming “MINE! MINE!” like little toddlers get pissed when the government puts even tiny roadbumps to using your property, and so you try to frame it like they’re giant monsters. But it’s all bullshit. Sometimes the restrictions are many and onerous but a competent business owner can get through them fine.”

                    Um, if it is MY property, than it should be MY property. THat seems like a pretty reasonable opinion to hold. Why is that a bad opinion? Why does that make me “like a toddler?”

                    Sure, a competent business owner COULD handle the rules, regs, and fees, but they shouldn’t have to. That’s the point. WHen the government comes into my life, I don’t rationalize by saying, “Oh all they want is X, so that’s ok.” My response is to ask, “What the fuck does the government want with me? I though this was my property and my business?” If a customer or a business I work with has a complaint or grievance, let’s discuss it, but your default position shouldn’t be “quit your whining you little toddler!”

                2. “I know that renting out or buying the restaurant space, buying all the equipment, moving it, improving the space, and hiring all the workers is many orders of magnitude more work and money than the fees and inspections”

                  Even if normal expenses are 99% of overall costs, that 1% can still cause damage. Besides, the regulations tend to hurt NEW businesses the most, thus decreasing competition. Yes, large existing businesses can usually afford to absorb regulatory costs, but smaller, newer businesses are at a disadvantage.

        2. So since I’m appalled by routine government corruption and extortion, I’m a psycho?

          Stop being a sheep.

          30 permits/licenses/registrations, 23 inspections AND a high-priced liquor license??? Just to exercise your basic right to earn a living??? What would you call that? A nuisance?? No, it’s fascist.

          I do understand the aversion to inappropriate Nazi/Gestapo references – it does trivialize their crimes against humanity.

          1. I’m not being a sheep, you’re being a fucking psycho

            running a restaurant isn’t “making a living”, it’s making out like a bandit if you’re in NYC.

            It’s not fascist. Fascists force-fed castor oil to their enemies to give them painful diarhoea deaths, and rounded up jews and worked them to death. This is NOTHING like that. If you think that, you have serious problems.

            I’ve dealt with government regulation before and it isn’t that big a deal compared to running a business.

            1. Really? If you don’t comply, you get fined. If you do not pay the fine, they come after you with guns, shackle you, and take you to jail. How’s that different?

              1. —“How’s that different?”—

                No castor oil?

              2. “how’s that different?”

                You can leave this country anytime you want to, and you have 50 states to choose from. And there is no enforcement of anything once you’re out of a jurisdiction. Government doesn’t use coercion, it uses GEOGRAPHICALLY required compliance, which you idiots completely agree with. Unless of course, you think HOAs don’t have the right to levy their fees?

            2. I’ve dealt with government regulation before and it isn’t that big a deal compared to running a business

              Bullshit. The government can shut down your business for whatever reason with a stroke of the pen. A mistake in business management is forgivable, unless it is a mistake involving the government.

              1. no it can’t. Libertarian fail.

              2. I’ve found the business world much less forgiving than the township construction departments

            3. running a restaurant isn’t “making a living”, it’s making out like a bandit if you’re in NYC.

              Edwin, sometimes it’s better to remain silent and have everyone think of you a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it.

              I really doubt that you have successfully ran anything, including your own life, ever.

              1. Edwin probably gets all his knowledge about NYC from Woody Allen movies and Seinfeld reruns.

              2. the kinds of restaurants in NYC that only “make a living” take significantly less inspections, etc. to open

                even a mildly successful full-on restaurant that serves drinks and everything makes shitloads of money in NYC. Maybe it can’t afford a super-nice east side manhattan apartment, but that’s a matter of the owners’ tastes, not the profit of the restaurant. He could easily live in the crappier parts of NYC just like everybody else

                1. Edwin’s class envy is showing.

                  1. all you guys can do is spin what the other guy is saying. BNothing I’ve said even remotely implies any kind of class envy. It’s all perfectly reasonable. You guys just can’t stand being reasonable instead of fucking spazzoids. I’ve said nothing that’s that extreme in any direction. Alls I’ve said is that government regulation != fascism.

                    Libertarian fail

                    1. You consider yourself to be reasonable?

                      Seriously?

                      Wow. I mean… wow.

                    2. yeah. I get pissed at libertarians for being the height of unreasonableness. But I get along just fine with all the normal folks. Remember, libertarians are like 1% of the population. Everybody else is far too reasonable and understands the basic limitations of “philosophy” in their bones and so don’t think in such absolutes.

                    3. Libertarians have principles.

                      It seems your definition of “reasonable” is to compromise one’s principles.

                      If that is indeed your definition, then I proudly declare myself to be un-fucking-reasonable to the MAX!

                      Stick that up your ass and fart.

                    4. No, libertarians have demonstrably false “principles” and don’t seem to understand that “logic” has severe limitations
                      http://world.std.com/~mhuben/skept/logic.html

                      so the only real “principle” or “consistency” is just anti-government rambling

                    5. Yeah, when are libertarians going to realize that reason and logic can only go so far? When are they going to get enlightened and embrace the power of bullshit like Edwin?

                    6. no no no, you have it backwards. When you piss and moan about “force” and compare the government to the mafia, but at the same time completely believe in property rights (which involve force), and ignore that you can actually LEAVE countries and their governments, THAT’S bullshit.

                      Discussing things in terms of choice, repercussions, goals, and what is/isn’t reasonable concessions to society is being reasonable and real.

                    7. YOu can leave the country? Wow, great argument. Especially considering that you really can’t in most cases. The only countries that I could move to are those that are so war torn that they have bigger problems to worry about than immigration. Sadly, open borders does not really exist in this world.

                      “Discussing things in terms of choice, repercussions, goals, and what is/isn’t reasonable concessions to society is being reasonable and real.”

                      We are talking about goals and repercussions. The goals and repercussions of regulation usually involves favoritism, corporatism, and waste. All that you have done is try to downplay the effects of the regulations and bitch about people who don’t want to just bend over and take it in order to be “reasonable.” In fact, you probably win the award for whiniest little bitch on the message boards today.

                    8. yes, it is a great argument, becuase it shows that what you guys claim directly contradicts the reality of the situation. Governments do not demand money with the threat of force. They demand money on a periodic basis for the amount of time you’ve BEEN IN THE COUNTRY for that period. Once you leave you’re in the clear. And most countries have no laws against leaving. You are free to go to any country. So it’s not like the mafia. And it isn’t the same as theft.

                      You jagaloons would consider HOA fees as just or reasonable. Well, they work essentially the same way. If you’re in the jurisdiction of the HOA, you get levied fees. And if the HOA used force against you to enforce it’s “property rights”, you guys would see that as just. It’s roughly the same thing.

                      The point is that you don’t get to live like you’re the only person in the world no matter where you are. It’s part of living in society. Even the property rights that you guys subscribe to are part of that. Property rights are not a voluntary system (if they are to actually exit in the real world).

                    9. Comparing the government to an HOA is nonsense. The government has far more power to utilize actual violence in achieving its goals for one. Secondly, the relationship with government is not contractual as is the relationship with the HOA. The government just arbitrarily does things. An HOA has to recognize that it needs people to move into its neighborhoods. Government regulatory bodies don’t give a fuck if everybody gets up and leaves. The effectiveness of an HOA can be measured by profits and losses. The effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of government regulatory bodies is a lot more difficult to determine.

                    10. “yes, it is a great argument, becuase it shows that what you guys claim directly contradicts the reality of the situation. Governments do not demand money with the threat of force. They demand money on a periodic basis for the amount of time you’ve BEEN IN THE COUNTRY for that period. Once you leave you’re in the clear. And most countries have no laws against leaving. You are free to go to any country. So it’s not like the mafia. And it isn’t the same as theft.”

                      Are you drunk? You cannot just go to another country whenever you feel like. Try it. I could go to Japan for about 3 months before they’d expel me. I could go to some European countries for as much as a year before they sent me packing. Where are these countries that anybody can go to whenever they want?

                      Governments clearly do demand money with the threat of force. Try not paying your taxes for a while.

                      “They demand money on a periodic basis for the amount of time you’ve BEEN IN THE COUNTRY for that period. ”

                      Sooooo, they aren’t using violence, because they only demand money on a “periodic basis?” I’m confused. I don’t care how “periodic” it is, it is force by any definition. What the hell is your point here?

                      The difference between the government and an HOA is that the HOA and the residents sign a complex contract when they take residence. I have yet to sign any contract with the government that gives them any control over my property.

                      I like how in your head property rights are just an arbitrary thing. This tells me that you don’t understand the first thing about property rights.

                      THere are only 3 ways to obtain property: produce it yourself, trade for it with another voluntary participant, or steal it or use violence. Nothing arbitrary there.

                      It makes a difference how the property is obtained/controlled. Trust me. The governments job is supposed to be to prevent theft and violence.

                    11. my, my, is it possible to have a discussion without showing all of us your amazing extended vocabulary…
                      guess i’ll just slink off because i am no match for Edwin…
                      oh yeah just a thought, 80% of backflow in residences are caused by hose bibs which i don’t have.

                2. “the kinds of restaurants in NYC that only “make a living” take significantly less inspections, etc. to open”

                  How would you know? You’ve already admitted it’s not your line of work. The only conclusion I can draw is that you’re making shit up.

                  “even a mildly successful full-on restaurant that serves drinks and everything makes shitloads of money in NYC.”

                  The two-thirds of restaurants that fail within one year of opening aren’t making “shitloads of money”. Also, one person’s “shitloads of money” is another person’s “decent living”. Any New Yorker would understand that, but you obviously aren’t one or it would be immediately obvious that 18,500 or so of our 19,000 restaurants are not the sort that are pulling in “shitloads of money” or are able to casually toss hundreds of thousands of dollars at bureaucrats in order to stay afloat.

            4. running a restaurant isn’t “making a living”, it’s making out like a bandit if you’re in NYC.

              You sir, are a fucking idiot. With that one sentence you have erased any credibility you may have had on subject you address for the remainder of your ill-informed little life.

    6. 1) I hate to break it to you but in contemporary usage, when someone uses the word “Gestapo” in a context like this, they don’t mean the individual or organization is literally a Nazi but rather that the target is exercising government power in an unjust and usually petty manner.

      I know, I know, the kids are always playing with the language but do try to keep up.

      2) As Hayek documented, the rise of totalitarian states is preceded by non-violent, idealist who invest more and more power in the state in a naive attempt to improve the world through centralized microregulation of everyday life. This creates A) an expectation and acceptance by citizens of state micromanagement and B) a vast apparatus of the state which authoritarians can then easily hijack to create a totalitarian state.

      Heck, even in America, such microregulation has long been used by corrupt political machines to maintain dominance by using its regulatory power to punish political enemies and reward friends.

      1. fascism had very violent rhetoric and was outright violent from early on

        Just because the government is doing things you don’t like doesn’t mean there’s some dictatorship looming around the corner. Communists would say the same thing about corporate power. You’re all equally crazy unreasonable jerks. Stop being such a fucking psycho ascetic.

        1. So you’re finally admitting to being a Communist.

          That explains a lot.

          1. You have serious reading comprehension problems

            1. You have some serious penis envy.

              1. witness the nerdo douche fuck libertarian. When thoroughly shown to be full of shit, slinks into the corner and pathetically slings snark.

                1. Just following your example.

                2. “When thoroughly shown to be full of shit, slinks into the corner and pathetically slings snark.”

                  Yep, you’ve demonstrated that very well. You do it in virtually every anti-not-Edwin’s-philosophy post.

            2. You have some serious reading comprehension problems. Shannon never said that the Nazi’s weren’t violent from the beginning. She simply pointed out what Hayek said about the Nazi’s being preceded by non-violent government proponents.

              FUcking moron fail har har har!

        2. “doesn’t mean there’s some dictatorship looming around the corner”

          What a trusting soul you are, Edwin.

      2. I hate to break it to you but in contemporary usage, when someone uses the word “Gestapo” in a context like this, they don’t mean the individual or organization is literally a Nazi but rather that the target is exercising government power in an unjust and usually petty manner.

        And as I pointed out above, it’s a very easy standard to meet, given that probably 99% of what the German State Police ever did is routine stuff that involves no such unjust exercises.

  4. Oh, Molto Mario.

    From a fun article, and worthwhile book (link below):

    “I love this guy,” the security man said. “Just lookin’ at him makes me hungry.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/archi…..act_buford

    1. I can’t help but feel that evening was wasted on the author.

      1. I would have also thought so, but Buford wound up quitting his editorial position at the New Yorker and wound up working on Batali’s kitchen line.

        Book link:

        http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Adv…..1400041201

        He also wrote a kick-ass (there’s really no other word for it) book about soccer hooliganism called “Among The Thugs,” which is actually a better book than “Heat.”

        Good stuff, all.

  5. they created a dedicated team of people?the New Business Acceleration Team?to bring all the existing B.S. under one roof.

    This sounds like they have centralized the previously chaotic process of collecting and distributing bribes. But that could never happen.

    By April of 2013, America, under the benevolent stewardship of President Bloomberg, will be a libertarian corporatist paradise. Third-world kleptocrats will retire here in droves, bringing their expertise and NGO money.

    1. I’m thinking “Dept of Homeland Security”.

      GW – “There, all the BS under one roof. What could go wrong?”

  6. Wow, Eataly looks awesome. I’m definitely going to check it out. Judging by the menues it looks very reasonable for a Batali joint. Has anyone been?

    I have to say, one of my best eating experiences was at Mario’s Osteria Mozza in LA. They have a pasta sampler with paired wines which was superb.

  7. they created a dedicated team of people?the New Business Acceleration Team?to bring all the existing B.S. under one roof.

    To the statist, more bureaucracy is always the solution to too much bureaucracy.

    1. OK, clearly that’s not what the situation is here. They’re trying to STREAMLINE the process, i.e. LESSEN the bureaucracy. You’d think libertarians would like less bureaucracy…

      1. Yes, in Newsspeak, adding another agency to Rule Them All is “lessening the bureaucracy”. Genius!

      2. …you truly believe there’s something altruistic and benevolent going on there, don’t you?

        1. distraction, hyperbole, misframing

          Did I say anything abouty benevolence?
          They’re trying to streamline the process. Get rid of the situation where you have to contact all the different bureaues separately and file all the forms separately. Make it all closer to just one process. You haven’t shown where there will be MORE bureaucracy
          And clearly it’s in their best interest to do so. It lowers the paperwork they have to deal with (more work is something they don’t want – fees, yes, work, no), and subsequeently lowers their chances of lawsuits, which is an issue if bureaucracies lose too much paperwork and actually impede business.

          1. What are you, simple?

            More bureaucrats = more bureaucracy.

            They need to hire workers to run the new agency. Will they be firing anyone from the other agencies? I doubt it. Just because there is someone there to hold your hand through the process, doesn’t lessen the bureaucracy.

            And I’m glad you brought up lawsuits, because that’s all these regulations are; a giveaway to the insurance companies. The government is doing the job that the liability insurance companies should be doing, only with taxpayer money.

            1. The government is doing the job that the liability insurance companies should be doing, only with taxpayer money.

              Actually, liability insurance companies DO do this job – it’s always in their financial interest to do it. The fact that the city doesn’t trust them to do it is another matter.

            2. Yeah, it sounds like they might fire some people. If there is one office, that means at the very least fewer secretaries.
              In the future it may even mean fewer inspectors, if they try to consolidate those jobs.

              Dumbass

              1. Government does not fire people unless there’s a media shit-storm, and even then it is pulling teeth.

                Sometimes that have a stated policy of not filling vacated positions, but even then they usually get a waiver.

                At least you finally signed your post with your real name, Dumbass.

                1. Secretaries aren’t part of that, they don’t have unions. They’re often part time workers. And they’re fired easily

                  1. The proof will be in the pudding. Until I see some actual references to actual jobs numbers, I’m not going to say that they are increasing or decreasing bureaucracy. They might be smart enough to dispense with the unnecessary bureaucracy, but we don’t know that. My guess will be that the overall amount of bureaucracy will increase, especially since they will cite the new ease of compliance as an excuse to increase the number of regulations rather than decrease them. Let’s wait and see.

              2. Well, government inspectors are just wasting time duplicating the job that insurance company inspectors do, so… why do we need them again?

      3. Making something more user-friendly makes things more complicated (internally) and more of a resource hog. (Just ask any software developer.) So, Edwin, how is creating/adding another layer to the process making the bureaucracy less? Less is more…more is less?

        1. Let’s do some math:

          As far as I can tell the team is made up of 5 full time employees and supervisors from relevant departments (let’s say 8 FTEs at US$120k a year). The NBAT has been around since March or 9 months, implying US$720k of expense (US$120*8*9/12).

          To date it has helped 200 restaurants open an average of 10 weeks ahead of expectations. Assuming the average restaurant in NYC has US$1m of equity with an expected 15% ROE, this is roughly equivalent of US$5.8m of economic savings (200*10/52*US$1m*0.15).

          Therefore net we have about US$5m of economic savings to date. Looks like from an economic perspective the bureaucracy of doing business was unequivocally lightened.

          Thanks for coming out.

          1. The point that you are missing is that bureaucracy cuts both ways, both in terms of internal government expense, but more importantly, the expense it imposes externally. Sure the NBAT costs the government a little more, but it decreases the bureaucratic burden on restaurateurs.

          2. So if I am a billionaire and decide to open 200 restaurants in NYC I can expect 15% return on the total equity in one year. Ha!

            Your assumptions suck, but they do back up your argument nicely, odd.

            1. Ok changing the assumptions: 9 FTEs at NBAT making US$200k a year.

              Avg equity in a NYC restaurant US$500k with an absurdly low 7.5% expected ROE.

              Savings from NBAT = US$92k

              Not nearly as much – but my new assumptions are absurdly off the mark.

              1. I agree that removing all (or most of) the regulations would be preferable to NBAT, but to say that NBAT doesn’t lessen the economic/bureaucratic burden to open a restaurant in NYC is just foolish.

              2. Are the return on investment figures average over the life of the restaurant, and are attrition rates figured in?

                1. The ROE is lifetime. I don’t know what you mean by attrition rates.

                  1. The ROE is after leverage – so 15% is probably on the mid to low end (10-25% is what most partners would expect on a leveraged return). This also means that as avg equity declines we’d expect the ROE to increase, which makes a 7.5% ROE on US$500k of equity even more out there.

                  2. I think what he means by attrition is that you’re assuming that all of the 200 restaurants will survive. I seem to vaguely recall some statistic that most restaurants fail.

                    1. The high failure rate is why I would expect high IRRs across the industry.

        2. Less is more…more is less?

          Deregulation is what you call it when you create less new regulation when compared to the previous administration.

          A drastic pay cut is what happens when you receive a 5% increase in pay after requesting an 10% raise.

          Slowing down is when you slightly lower the pressure on the accelerator causing your velocity to increase at a lower rate.

          Does that clear your confusion?

  8. The article failed to mention the high cost of a liquor license – usually at least $100,000 but probably much more in NYC. This extortion racket is probably a serious impediment to business. How is the new bureaucracy going to help with that?

    Oh yeah, I also heard that people need a “cabaret license” if there is dancing and who knows what else? How much do these cost?

    Reason should do an article on the actual cost (including all the examples of government extortion) of opening up a business. The right to make a living is getting pretty expensive these days.

    1. Shit. In NJ, a liquor license will run you $300,000 in rural Cumberland County, and $1.3 million in suburban Camden County, and that’s for a bar. I know, I priced them out when I was thinking about buying a bar. That put an end to that, real quick.

      I imagine they’re even more for a liquor store.

    2. This guy covers it:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

    3. Thats nothing in MT a liquor license can get upwards of $500K, but in MT you can only buy a combined gambling/liquor license if you want the hard stuff. i mean i know booze and losing money go hand in hand but really…

    4. Well, according to Edwin, anyone opening a liquor store is rich enough to toss around $100K like it’s pocket change.

      1. Except I never said that, and that’s not what the situation is.

        Again, the only arguments you guys seem to have is misframing what the other guy is saying

        1. Your exact words were “anybody that can afford to open a restaurant can afford to pay those fees and deal with those inspections”. So I transferred the idea to liquor stores on the assumption you’d do the same.

      2. Also according to Edwin, $100K is a minor fraction of the $200K that (he estimates) it costs to open up a restaurant.

        My guess is Edwin can afford to buy a calculator, I mean, they actually are cheap.

        1. I never said that that specific fee wasn’t excessive, all I said was that inspection agencies aren’t the Gestapo, and business owners most certainly can pretty easily pay most fees and deal with inspections.

          Want to know my opinion on the $100k fee? Too bad. We can’t have a reasonable discussion until you start being reasonable. Calling everything the Gestapo isn’t reasonable.

          1. You know nothing about being reasonable, Edwin. You froth at the mouth at virtually every libertarianish-flavored argument, so go fuck yourself until you start practicing what you preach.

    5. I considered trying to turn my homebrewing hobby into a business until I discovered the permits and licenses cost more than the equipment investment.

      And people want the government to do more to help the economy?

      Do they treat liver cirrhosis with scotch?

      1. I once had an alcohol still for the (very small scale) production of motor fuel. If one is producing fewer than 5000 gallons per year (I was aiming for 50 gallons), one can get an experimental distillery permit from the BATF. It took almost 2 years of repeated inspections, visits, and interviews and cost several thousand dollars. Despite being required to denature (by adding kerosene or other chemicals) immediately upon production, and being forbidden to sell or give the stuff away, and being forbidden from using it anywhere but on the property listed in the permit application, I was still required to post a surety bond (cash only) in the amount of the tax that would have been levied upon my target production had I been distilling for human consumption. Distilling over 5000 gallons per year requires a manufacturing permit, a much more onerous application process. So yeah, fuck off slavers.

    6. Actually, a NYC liquor license goes for about $4,000 every 3 years, according to their site. Not a big deterrent, but still… what is it for?

  9. They’re trying to STREAMLINE the process, i.e. LESSEN the bureaucracy.

    We’ve always been at war with Eastasia red tape.

  10. Edwin builds houses? I think I have a new theory for the real estate crisis.

  11. running a restaurant isn’t “making a living”, it’s making out like a bandit if you’re in NYC.

    Ummm, yeah…

  12. C’mon Brooks, you just cut the check for the initial capital, sit on your ass, and count the credit card receipts. Piece of cake. You never see failed restaurants in NY.

  13. From the NY State Liquor Authority home page:

    Effective July 1, 2010 the electronic fingerprinting fee has been decreased from $106 to $105.75.

    Our masters are so awesome! Yippee!

  14. They ought to shut down Bloomberg for excess bullshit content.

  15. To date it has helped 200 restaurants open an average of 10 weeks ahead of expectations. Assuming the average restaurant in NYC has US$1m of equity with an expected 15% ROE, this is roughly equivalent of US$5.8m of economic savings (200*10/52*US$1m*0.15).

    So you actually think restaurants “make” money from Day One? How quaint. If you’re fantastically lucky (or possibly even good), you *might* begin to generate positive cash flow in a relatively short time.

    I don’t recall anything in the article about any reductions in the cost of compliance.

    Generally speaking, this sort of handholding and brush clearing is done by private consultants who formerly worked in the government bureaucracy. I assume it to be true in NYC. The striking thing is that the city has apparently stepped in to provide this service to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford or justify the services of a hotshot consultant. Maybe Bloomberg wants to punish them for free-riding on his rollercoaster.

  16. So Edwin’s the newest of the moron trolls. Wonderful.

  17. The viewpoint of Edwin is staggering, basically if people do not like the rules, then they can leave the country ! You actually are Gestapo like, and that is no hyperbole.

    But since you belong to the other 99%, as you have said here, you belong to the reasonable. As we all know, being reasonable is all about following whatever the majority thinks, history clearly shows it.

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