Monday, February 06, 2012

How liberalism damages the economy

The city of San Francisco has a lot of advantages, principally climate and beautiful geography. If you are a would-be business owner who wants to bring jobs and services to the city, SF's biggest disadvantage is the city government. The New York Times reviews one woman's effort to open an ice cream shop in beautiful San Francisco:
Ms. Pries said it took two years to open the restaurant, due largely to the city’s morass of permits, procedures and approvals required to start a small business. While waiting for permission to operate, she still had to pay rent and other costs, going deeper into debt each passing month without knowing for sure if she would ever be allowed to open.

“It’s just a huge risk,” she said, noting that the financing came from family and friends, not a bank. “At several points you wonder if you should just walk away and take the loss.”

Ms. Pries said she had to endure months of runaround and pay a lawyer to determine whether her location (a former grocery, vacant for years) was eligible to become a restaurant. There were permit fees of $20,000; a demand that she create a detailed map of all existing area businesses (the city didn’t have one); and an $11,000 charge just to turn on the water.

Hat tip: Instapundit and BoingBoing.

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