Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"It's not fair. If they want to compete, they should make a better lunch so the kids will want to eat in the cafeteria"

Drop the Pizza or I'll shoot! Simply Horrifying!

About 20 students were already lined up yesterday across the street from Cleveland High School in Seattle when Eugene Barbu pulled up in a blue van marked simply "Hot Pizza."

Soon, from the back of the van, he was handing out personal-sized pizzas, cheese bread sticks and cans of sodas, until he was left holding a wad of cash the kids had handed him for their daily fix of carbs and sugar.

Barbu says he's just trying to get by. Critics say he and a handful of vendors who sell pizza and other snacks near schools from vans and trucks are not only undermining school officials' efforts to get kids to eat better, but also threatening the jobs of cafeteria workers.

This, it turns out, is both a competition for job security and a skirmish in the war against teenage obesity.

Citing the growing girth of Seattle's schoolchildren, City Council members voted yesterday to bar all kinds of mobile vendors from within 1,000 feet of schools.

The vendors have been allowed to sell within 200 feet. Their most vocal critic has been David Westberg, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 609, which represents Seattle Public Schools' cafeteria workers.

[..] "If 16 kids go off campus, somebody's mother loses health insurance," he said.
I'm speechless. Thankfully Jay and Drizzten aren't.

Update: Despite this and this, I wish I were in Austin right now.

Update #2: Murray Rothbard, quoted by Drizzten:
The rights of children, even more than those of parents, have been systematically invaded by the state. Compulsory school attendance laws, endemic in the United States since the turn of this century, force children either into public schools or into private schools officially approved by the state.[20] Supposedly “humanitarian” child labor laws have systematically forcibly prevented children from entering the labor force, thereby privileging their adult competitors. Forcibly prevented from working and earning a living, and forced into schools which they often dislike or are not suited for, children often become “truants,” a charge used by the state to corral them into penal institutions in the name of “reform” schools, where children are in effect imprisoned for actions or non-actions that would never be considered “crimes” if committed by adults.

[20]On compulsory education in the United States, see William F. Rickenbacker, ed., The Twelve-Year Sentence (LaSalle, Ill.: Open Court, 1974).

-Murray Rothbard, in The Ethics of Liberty


Kateland, aka TZH said...

How short sited of them not to realize that a child can easily walk a 1,000 feet. Let's just ban all mobile vendors - and while we are at it, let us get to the root cause and ban food too! Though I do think I will give the boys permission to leave school and walk a 1,000 feet so they can have pizza for lunch.

MapMaster said...

Far sightedness is never a virtue of the planners, except for their own starry-eyed utopian visions. Hopefully, they will end up creating a generation of anti-authoritarians — I guess the alternative is that they will create a generation that embraces having power over others. **Shudder**

Gus said...

Comes the revolution,every 16 kids will provide health insurance for somebody like this.