Archive for the ‘to’ Category
For generations, street vending has been a classic way to succeed with only a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed. It is a path that cities should encourage, particularly in these tough economic times. But rather than fostering entrepreneurship and opportunity, Atlanta is doing its best to smother it.
Larry Miller and Stanley Hambrick own two well-known vending businesses outside the Atlanta Braves stadium. Their businesses create jobs, offer inexpensive snacks and souvenirs to visitors, and make the sidewalks safer by keeping an eye out for fans who need help. But two years ago, Atlanta handed over all public-property vending to a single company—the first program of its kind in the country. Now that company wants to throw Larry and Stanley out of the spots they have worked for decades to build kiosks that rent for almost $20,000 a year. If it does so, Larry and Stanley’s businesses will be destroyed.
Unfortunately, many American cities put up roadblocks that keep would-be vendors from climbing that ladder. In Streets of Dreams, the Institute for Justice reviewed vending laws in America’s 50 largest cities. It found that of those 50 cities, 45 have one or more anticompetitive restrictions on vending. Atlanta has some of the most onerous burdens in the country, and the monopoly Atlanta has created has cost vendors their jobs and threatens to kill vending as a way for ordinary Atlantans to succeed.
To protect the economic liberty of all Georgians, Larry and Stanley have joined with the Institute for Justice to challenge Atlanta’s vending monopoly. This lawsuit, filed on July 28, 2011 in the Superior Court for Fulton County, Georgia, is the second case in the Institute’s National Street Vending Initiative. It argues that Atlanta lacks the power to grant an exclusive vending franchise and that its actions violate the Georgia constitution. A victory will not only free Atlanta’s vending community; it will make other cities think twice before entering into similarly anti-competitive arrangements.
Should the city of El Paso, Texas, have been allowed to turn itself into a No-Vending Zone in order to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from competition?
See how the Institute for Justice protected the right to earn an honest living for El Paso’s Mobile Vendors.
Speaking at Monday’s signing ceremony for the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act”– a law that will subsidize and regulate what children eat before school, at lunch, after school, and during summer vacations in federally funded school-based feeding programs — First Lady Michelle Obama said of deciding what American children should eat: “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.”
How can Americans create private sector jobs?The solution to America’s jobs problem lies not with budget-busting federally mandated “stimulus” programs.Instead, what is needed are specific reforms that wouldn’t cost taxpayers, would create a broader tax base for cash-strapped cities and states, and would provide opportunity for millions of Americans who worry where their next paycheck is coming from.As demonstrated by a series of eight new reports issued in October 2010 by the Virginia-based Institute for Justice, one of the principal obstacles to creating new jobs and entrepreneurial activity in cities across the country is the complex maze of regulations cities and states impose on small businesses. IJ’s “city study” reports are filled with real-world examples of specific restrictions that often make it impossible for entrepreneurs to create jobs for themselves, let alone for others.Chip Mellor, the president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, said, “If the nation is looking to the federal government to create jobs in America, it is looking in the wrong place. If we want to grow our economy, we must remove government-imposed barriers to honest enterprise at the city and state levels. Remove those barriers, and you will see a return to the optimism and opportunity that are hallmarks of the American Dream.”IJ’s eight reports document how irrational and anti-competitive regulations block entrepreneurship. More often than not, these government-imposed restrictions on economic liberty are put in place at the behest of existing businesses that are not shy about using government force to keep out competition. The Institute for Justice’s city studies examine regulations imposed on a wide range of occupations in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.