May 14, 2010

Tyranny by Zoning

Suppose someone proposed a national policy requiring payday loan shysters to elect, by secret ballot, one representative annually. Said representative would be publicly horse whipped as a gesture of disapproval of the slimy business.

Okay. I would oppose it, but it would be a damned close call. The market justifies all sorts of bottom-feeding by the clever who prowl schools of suckers. That doesn't mean we have to like it, only that we keep our controlling mitts to ourselves.

Such elementary reasoning is beyond the Des Moines city council creatures who decided it is their business to control that business. Through the zoning laws, and here I append one of the four exclamation points I permit myself annually. !

Any zoning regulation is Constitutionally questionable, but used for things like banning a nuclear reactor next door to your neighborhood cathedral it probably can be drafted to a point of general acceptability.

Zoning decrees to stifle perfectly legal operations which happen to offend official sensibilities are just Pelosi pleasers, carrying all of the good sense of the current Congressional stampede to control every aspect of the banking and credit card rackets.

And about those official sensibilities. We're referring here to that sensibility which permits the office holder to go before his voters and bleat that he has ended "predatory lending. "

What he has done, of course, is eliminate one kind of credit, sending the only citizens likely to use it into the alleys where Vito gives you the loan and sends a couple of baseball bats around to collect the vig.

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