Most everyone believes that government is an essential institution, necessary to do what people cannot do on their own. And that sounds like a pretty good justification for the state. But it rarely describes what government actually does.
For instance, late last year Rachel Kennedy wanted to bring a Cuban food truck to North Kansas City, Missouri, a town of four square miles and 4500 people. The city agreed to allow the trucks to operate during lunch time and several other operators came too. What could possibly go wrong?
The restaurant owners might lobby to expel the food trucks, that’s what! Complained Monte Martello, a local Dairy Queen operator: “They bring the truck in, they compete against us for four hours, and then they drive away.”
Worse, Martello went on, “They don’t actually contribute to the community in any way.” All the food trucks do is provide hungry people with lunch! Asked city councilman Gene Bruns, “Why are we trying to rob our local businesses with vendors that come in from outside?” Once the protest got going city officials ran for cover.
Most Americans take for granted the opportunity to drive into a gas station, fuel their auto, and get back on the road. But not in New Jersey and Oregon. These two states ban self-service stations.
Earlier this year legislation was introduced into both states to end the prohibition. In Oregon the state house voted for repeal in rural counties. In New Jersey legislative leaders announced that members would not be allowed to cast a vote.