Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Food truck operators benefit from partisan desire to dump on Rahm

At first glance, it doesn’t make much sense that the conservative millionaire brothers who operate Koch Industries and fund many ideologue causes would care about the fate of food trucks – those mobile restaurants of sorts that have been the target of city regulatory efforts.
Those lines are what bothers restaurant owners, who see them as lost customers

Then again, it makes total sense. Not because the Koch brothers care about the notion of encouraging mini-businesses of sorts or about supporting the desire to eat anything from them.
Kochs want to aggravate Dem Emanuel

BUT THE FACT is that Chicago city government has been involved in an intense effort to impose so many regulations against food truck operators. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday about the significant fines imposed on operators to the point where some are being driven out of the mobile food-serving business.

Which I’m sure, to the Koch perspective, probably puts the concept of regulations on these food servers as some sort of cause they should fight against. Or more likely, something they should support because any effort to overturn the regulations would come across as a defeat for a “liberal-leaning” city like Chicago.
Food trucks these days can extend from high-end edibles...

In short, the Koch brothers would like to be able to tell a prominent-Democratic city like Chicago how it should operate. The same motivation held by the foundation controlled by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who also has contributed money to the cause of fighting for food trucks in Chicago.

Which, to me, falls in the category of someone who should be told to mind their own business. But that’s just me ranting. And this is also an example of partisan politics bringing together interests that normally wouldn’t give a second-glance at each other.
... to something resembling a basic sandwich

CAN ANYONE SERIOUSLY envision a Koch eating anything from a food truck? I can’t! How vehemently would they fight if similar food trucks tried operating in their hometown of Wichita, Kan.?

To be specific, the Koch brothers are providing financial support to the Institute for Justice. Based in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. (the Republican-leaning part of the D.C. metro area), the group is behind the lawsuit that seeks to challenge Chicago’s regulatory efforts against food trucks.
Some restaurants are in the food truck business

Particularly the rule that says the trucks cannot operate within 200 feet of an established restaurant. And also rules limiting the amount of time that a truck can stay parked at any one location.

Let’s be honest. These rules were passed by local politicos who were motivated by the political influence of the restaurant industry, which hates the idea of these food trucks because they’re mobile and cutting into their business.

JUST ENVISION HOW a restaurant owner feels when he sees people lined up at a food truck waiting to get something to eat, rather than coming into his restaurant and spending time at one of his tables.

It’s a loss of money. I know some people are more than willing to support the food truck operators just based on the premise that the city’s rules are an example of hard-core politicking by the restaurant lobby.

Although is it really any better for public policy to be influenced by the desires of a special interest (which is certainly the way I view the Koch brothers who use their millions to fund any ideological cause they agree with) whose only motivation is to wreck havoc with the city’s regulatory efforts.
Food trucks have come a long way since the last century

Personally, I don’t see any problem with the idea of regulatory efforts against food truck operators. There certainly are enough rules that restaurants themselves have to comply with. And when it comes to the idea of food service, you can’t be too cautious.

BUT IT DOES create an odd setting to see Kochs aligned with food trucks, since much of the reason those types of businesses are thriving is that they’re making efforts to appeal to a certain young, urban type who view the idea of ordering a taco with Korean-influenced stuffings (or whatever unique edible offering they have in stock) as further evidence of their sophistication.

Certainly not the kind of people who’d be inclined to back the Kochs on any of their preferred causes. But then again, if we were just talking about a truck with a grill with a fry cook slapping together a quickie egg or two, I doubt there’d be any appeal.

My own thoughts about these food trucks is that I don’t seek them out, largely because the ones that are supposedly “hip” and trendy charge way too much (consider $7 for a taco, like I saw at one truck on Sunday) for their food.

Which is why I expect this political fight is one that eventually will end on its own as the fad fades away. Those young people will get older, quit eating such stuff, and the new generation of young people will wonder how the old geezer-types ever thought it was fun to consume such stuff.


EDITOR’S NOTE: A website devoted to the concept of letting people know where, at any given moment, they can find a food truck offering up something to eat.

No comments: