“If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.”
-The Duchess in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
If you’ve never owned or operated a business, it’s easy to imagine the myriad regulations, inspections and licenses required by the city and state as benevolent. But in the real world, they are nothing but an expensive, destructive burden on the productive class. What little good they purportedly do could easily be replicated by the private sector (e.g., Consumer Reports, Underwriter Labs, Zagat, Michelin, Ralph Nader…)
Alice’s Tea Cup, a popular Manhattan tea chain, is fighting back against the regulators. They’re suing the city for closing down their upper eastside location for over a week in March 2007, costing them a ton of lost business and damaging their reputation. The inspector’s cavalier attitude towards the business’s plight is telling:
One of the franchise managers, Michael Eisenberg, asked that the restaurant be reinspected immediately and was told by an inspector to “fax Mayor Bloomberg” with his complaints. The restaurant was forced to cancel existing reservations, including a 50-member bridal party.