Dear Alibi ,
[RE: Punch Line, “Food For Thought,” April 20-26]
Once again, Mayor Griego (sic) is preaching his religion of socialism—“Thou shalt worship Government as The One True God, and I am its prophet”—as the “solution” to a perceived “problem” here in Albuquerque. This week, it’s the lack of an “international” dining scene.
First, Mayor Griego needs to put down The Communist Manifesto long enough to skim through the “Restaurant” section of the Yellow Pages, and he’ll see plenty of ethnic restaurants—Arabic, Cajun, Chinese, Cuban, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Native American, Persian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, not to mention various styles of American (that does still count, right?).
But since Eric the Red sees this “lack” of “international” restaurants as a “problem,” what does he propose as a solution? Simple—provide a bit of subsidies, tax breaks and regulatory relief to those kinds of places that he supports to give them a leg up on the competition. As for the “lack” of a “decent transit system” to get people to these places, that’s the easy part—simply throw a few more million at SunTran. Someday it will break even, and maybe even show a profit, right?
I, as a libertarian, have a simpler, less expensive, fairer solution: Relax the tax and regulatory burdens across the board for eateries of all types, and let the scene grow on its own, as it has been doing despite the existing burdens of the state. Then maybe Eric the Red can quit playing mayor, open his own restaurant and show the world how it’s done.
As for Ethiopian cuisine, that’s an easy one, too—show up and sign up for the Ethiopian Communist Party. Then you get to eat. Refuse to do that, and maybe they’ll let you eat. If they don’t decide to use you for target practice with their AK-47s first.
Chair, Bernalillo County Libertarian Party