Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Caveat Vendor

The NY Daily News finally got around to last week's vendor protest at City Hall. A couple of interesting points were made. First, the fact that there are 9,000 "personal licenses" but only 3,000 pushcart permits. According to the paper this means that "some 6,000 are selling without the required pushcart licenses..."

Well, not quite. You see there are many vendors with "personal licenses" who are working for someone who does have a pushcart license and the great likelihood is that a large number of licensed vendors are working as indentured servants for the owner of the pushcart. Not much romance in that story of possible exploitation.

In addition, the paper quotes some"community organizer" who says that the spike in fines and cart confiscation is related to "recent anti-immigrant, anti-minority hate that's been brewing." In Bloomberg's New York? What about in response to illegality?

It seems that these folks aren't content to call for the suspension of all immigration law, they also want to be given carte blanche to hawk their wares anywhere in the city-pedestrian safety and local store owners be damned. This is the sentiment behind the bill to "eliminate a city-imposed limit on the number of vendors issued licenses to sell goods."

Neighborhood store owners are the backbone of this city's economy. They deserve to be protected from freeloading predators who don't support the tax base. This is the battle ahead.