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Food Trucks Embody Capitalism; Not Destroy Business

So let me get this straight. The Tea Party believes in small business and less government intervention. Yet, their poster boy in Buffalo, Carl Paladino, is doing everything in his power to shut down local food trucks. Why? Simple. Money. Paladino is one of Western New York’s biggest land barons, and built his billion dollar empire as a landlord. These roving food trucks could hurt local restaurants who rely on brick and mortar. Brick and mortar that is owned and rented by Carl Paladino of course. So Carl is doing his darnedest to paint the food truck operators as job killers so they don’t put his clients out of business, and take money out of his pocket.

Food truck operators are calling the latest plan from Entrepreneurs for a Better Buffalo  ”protectionist” , claiming the group is trying to keep the food trucks off busy streets like Elmwood and Delaware, and limiting them to cross streets. The Food Truck operators have agreed to stay at least 100 feet from local restaurants, and that should be more than enough. After all, isn’t this just Capitalism?

Last September Paladino demanded that Buffalo Place stop issuing permits to Food Trucks because they are “unfairly competing with tenants in buildings who pay good rent and taxes.” He said the food trucks unfairly compete with his tenants who are “paying huge taxes” to be there.The food truck operators have relatively low start up-costs, but just because they found a way to reduce costs doesn’t mean they should be punished.

And who says the Food Truck operators don’t pay taxes? They have to get a health permit, and they have to maintain their trucks and get insurance. There are plenty of costs associated with food trucks. One cost they don’t have is rent. Which is likely why they have brought Carl’s ire.

It’s just another example of Buffalo’s antiquated thinking. Major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have food trucks on every corner, and still the restaurants flourish. It’s not the food trucks killing the economy. It’s just another consumer choice. I say let the free market dictate the winner. Isn’t that what the Tea Party would want Carl?

Buffalo’s Food Truck Operators, like Lloyd’s Tacos, are innovative pioneers. Something that is sorely lacking from Buffalo’s so-called “entrepreneurs” . Lloyd’s was recently named one of the best food trucks in the country, and built its business in an unconvential way using nothing but word of mouth and twitter to gather loyal customers. It stood out by being different, and brought great food to a city that is lacking in choices. If it’s truly a free market, then why destroy competition rather than reward it.

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