Vivek Narain on Life

The musings of a man preparing for a mission

Archive for July, 2008

Los Angeles City Council Fights Fast Food – Completely Misses the Point

Posted by viveknarain on July 30, 2008

For most people, the choice between eating at McDonald’s or a sit down restaurant that features delicious and full meals is a no brainier. Fast food is a tantalizing treat, but you’d be a fool to deprive yourself of fresh food, nutrients and a great atmosphere to enjoy your meal in.

But do only fools choose fast food? Maybe not. Fast food relies on consumers that only have two dollars in their pockets and realize that with a few more nickels they could buy some cheeseburgers. Fast food relies on the hardworking individuals located at the bottom of America’s steep economic ladder, people who may have to skimp on food for a few months because of an unexpected increase in gas prices.

So rather than address the issue of poverty and why people choose fast food for their meal options, The Los Angeles City Council has approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a low-income area of the city. The fear of using the word “poverty” has led to an ignorant state within the city council. It is easy to blame the byproducts of poverty, rather than address the true culprit.

What happens next? Does L.A. close down Marshall’s and Ross because they generally sell sizes larger than XL, which clearly promote obesity? Does L.A. also shut down used car dealerships that are flowing with SUVs because their size is perfect for low-income obese individuals?

If the restaurant industry can figure it out, why can’t our politicians?

Advertisements

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bush lifts executive ban on offshore drilling, assumes America hates the ocean

Posted by viveknarain on July 16, 2008

Yesterday, President George Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling, a decision that is less about oil output and more about politics. Bush said, “The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress,” which coincidently is composed of a Democratic majority.

The executive order Bush decided to remove is the same ban that his father enforced to ensure the growth and preservation of American coastal waters and tourist economies. The present day Bush is looking for relief from high gas prices, but drilling in ocean waters wouldn’t bring us what we need. Even White House officials have said, “There is no quick fix,” in regards to the gas situation. This begs the question, whose interests are being served by Bush’s latest environment murdering decision?

So what happens if congress agrees with Bush and the ban is removed? It might knock off a few bucks from the price of gas barrels, but at what expense? We all saw the precedence that the Valdez case set. We saw how tax-abiding citizens lost their livelihoods because of the damage caused by an oil spill off the Alaskan coast, only to be awarded $55,000. Now is your livelihood worth more than $55,000 (the payout victims received) after 19 years? It better be, or you’re getting royally screwed (by that oil drill of course). You can bet oil drilling off of our coastline will do a lot more damage than the Valdez spill.

If oil prices go down, it won’t be due to offshore drilling, but because of key market factors like a strengthening dollar and a reformed American financial system. Combine this with continued development of alternative energy sources (Tesla and Chevy Volt!) and we end up with an unnecessary and disgusting permanent decoration gracing American coasts like a puss-filled zit exploding during a high school senior portrait.

When was the last time you heard about anyone drilling out of a problem? That sounds like Shredder from the Ninja Turtles… and we all know the outcome of that.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »