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Should government be able to stop fast food restaurants from opening?

Posted: January 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm   /   by

Are fast food restaurants providing a service that people want or “preying on communities”?

Maryland’s Prince George’s County has the highest obesity rates in the Washington, D.C. area. Now the county council is considering a bill that would give it zoning authority to keep new fast food eateries out of its jurisdiction.

But is tackling obesity as easy as keeping cheeseburgers and fries out of people’s hands?

The author of the bill, Karen Toles, thinks so and tells Reason she’s just trying to hold fast-food restaurants accountable for “preying” on her constituents. The Center for Consumer Freedom’s Justin Wilson says the bill violates the rights of customers and businessmen and argues that “obesity is far more complicated than blaming…one single industry.”

The bill’s worst enemy maybe Prince George’s itself: The county recently loaned $300,000 to a local businessman so he could open up two new Little Caesars pizza restaurants.

The bill is scheduled for a vote later this year.

Christopher Cook
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Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.
Christopher Cook
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Should government be able to stop fast food restaurants from opening?