This post at the Pretense of Knowledge blog points to New York Times article that is yet another (frustrating) demonstration of how government leads to more government.
In this case, the initial government interference includes the complex zoning requirements, large fees for business permits and long turnaround times for the city to approve new businesses. All these create costs that make investors less likely to try to open a new business there.
Over time this creates a problem as the city doesn’t have many small and unique shops. But, rather than just fixing the barriers to entry caused by the previous government actions, they just propose another action to make it appear like they are trying to solve the problem. In this case, the mayor proposes $1.5 million to help fund small businesses.
The video below does a nice job of illustrating the frustrating planning requirements. I recommend watching it.
In the video, the aspiring business owner wants to open a simple ice cream shop in a vacant location. She’s not asking for money. Why not make it easy for her to give it a go?
They have a hard time determining how to classify her ice cream shop (full service or fast food?) and tangle over whether her employees will be able to deliver the food to the table (if delivered to the table it’s full service). That doesn’t sound like a city that is serious about attracting new and unique businesses.