LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Food trailers peddling $1 tacos are a thing of the past in Gwinnett County after a crackdown on street vendors.
The new rules, which apply countywide, have "done away with some of the gypsy mentality that had become the norm," Commissioner Bert Nasuti said.
Commissioners also didn't want mobile food stands to siphon customers from businesses leasing space in shopping centers, Nasuti said. "I'm all for capitalism," he said. "But there's a right way and a wrong way."
Bureaucrats enacting anti-competitive measures on behalf of struggling food-court franchises is not surprising. After all, who can resist the siren song (La Cucaracha) of the roach coach? What caught my eye was the name selected by the County Council for their War on Tacos.
The move is part of a larger effort called Operation Fixing Broken Windows, aimed at creating a cleaner environment and spurring commerce.
I spit coffee onto the desk when I read this. I imagined some wise-ass suggesting "Broken Windows" and chuckling himself to sleep every night. Then, it occurred to me that the name was "Fixing Broken Windows", which makes the operation just as hysterical and ironic. Apparently, the "right way" to clean up the county is to snatch the entrepreneur's livelihood out from under him.
Hubris, irony, technocracy, nepotism - this short story's got it all! Too bad the humor comes at the expense of a bunch of little guys and gals who were pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.