San Francisco is quickly turning into one of the best lessons of what life is like under the rule of the extreme left. This is a city where the streets are littered with needles and human feces, where illegal immigrants can’t murder tourists without being convicted, and where, instead of addressing these very serious, community-destroying problems, the city’s Democrats want to force companies to stop feeding their employees.
The problem San Francisco’s supervisors are trying to solve is a real one: Because so many tech companies in the area provide free lunches to their workers, the city’s restaurants largely stand empty during the daytime hours. This problem has inspired restaurant owners like Ryan Corridor to complain about unfair competition.
“We see thousands of employees in a block radius that don’t go out to lunch and don’t go out in support of restaurants every day, because they don’t have to,” Corridor told CBS.
That’s a really remarkable statement when you think about it. Because they don’t HAVE TO? Gee, Ryan, we’re pretty sure no one HAS TO eat at your restaurant, regardless of whether or not Twitter is opening up the cafeteria to their employees. Ever heard of brown bagging it? Even taking that out of the equation (because we’re sure that many of these workers will choose to eat at local restaurants if they can no longer get a meal at work), why in the hell is it the city’s job to make it so people “have to” eat at your restaurant? This is liberalism at its core, though, so we can’t say we’re surprised.
“You can’t compete with free. Free food is a wonderful amenity but doesn’t do anything to extend the community around it,” Gwyneth Borden, a local restaurant lobbyist, recently said in an open letter.
That may be true, and we don’t have a problem with local restaurant owners making a stink about it. We don’t blame them for being upset. Wage a PR campaign. Get the community involved. Put public pressure on these companies. Offer deals that will attract people to your restaurants. Try to set up catering deals with the tech places you’re “competing” with. But at the end of the day, the situation is what it is. The idea that the city should FORCE these companies to stop serving food to their employees is an insane violation of freedom and a bizarre bit of interference into the free market.
Alas, it’s San Francisco, so they’re gung ho about it. The city’s supervisors have introduced a bill that would make it illegal for new businesses to offer free lunch to their employees. And while the measure would not affect currently-existing companies, we’ll just note that top-down, socialist legislation like this has a tendency to fester and grow as time goes on.
The bill’s sponsor, Ahsha Safai, told the San Francisco Chronicle: “We don’t want employees biking or driving into their office, staying there all day long and going home. This is about getting people out of their office, interacting with the community and adding to the vibrancy of the community.”
And if you don’t do it on your own, we’re going to force you to do it. Community spirit at its best.