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The South Los Angelos City Council is not satisfied with the culinary choices of the people of South Los Angelos. While consumers have been voting one way with their wallets, the City Council has voted to use government force to override their preferences.

How many fast food eateries does one area really need? The Los Angeles City Council thinks South Los Angeles and South East Los Angeles need new choices as these regions face an over-concentration of such restaurants.

“This is not an attempt to control people as to what they can put into their mouths. This is an attempt to diversify their food options,” said councilmember Jan Perry.

Perry’s new plan bans new so-called “stand alone” fast food restaurants opening within half a mile of existing restaurants.

This is an argument straight out of Orwell’s Ministry of Plenty. Government does not offer diversity; markets do. Compare the diversity you see in any private industry, such as automobiles or cell phones, with that in more heavily regulated sectors, such as education and mail delivery.

Are we really supposed to believe that, in exercising control over the availability of goods, they are not attempting to influence how those goods are consumed? Please, councilmember Perry, you’ll have to do better than that. Of course you are trying to control what people eat.

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I’ve avoided this topic in recent weeks because it’s too depressing, but this story is too outrageous to ignore. The County of Los Angeles has 199 bureaucrats who “earned” more than $250,000 last year. According to Census Bureau data for 2008, the median household income in the county was 55,000, Here’s a blurb from the L.A.Times about incomes of the bureaucratic gilded class.

Nearly 200 Los Angeles County employees earned more than a quarter of a million dollars in 2009, according to a list of the county’s top earners released late Monday in response to a Public Records Act request from The Times.

The highest earners list was dominated by physicians and other medical personnel, but also included county firefighters and a handful of top sheriff’s employees. Some of the best-known names on the list belong to elected officials — although none of the five county supervisors, who make $178,789 a year, qualified.

…The Times requested the base salary, overtime and “other earnings” for county employees whose total annual pay exceeded $250,000. “Other earnings” can include bonuses for special skills or responsibilities or unused benefits cashed out as taxable income, among other things.

…Overtime played a big role, with only 65 people making the list on base salary alone. Thirty workers made more than $80,000 in overtime. Twenty-two of them work for the county Fire Department, four work for public hospitals, two were psychiatrists for the Mental Health Department, and two were physician specialists for the Sheriff’s Department.

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