Thursday, February 22, 2007

Calorie Craziness

In today's NY Post the paper takes a look at the DOH calorie posting proposal and concludes that the rule, enacted last December and slated to take effect on July 1st, will create "chaos." Given the complexity of most menus and the desire of customers to, well, customize, the National Restaurant Association feels that "the department guidelines don't work"because "it's too complicated to list the calorie count of every item-or combination of items-on the menu itself."

The Post story appears, however, to be severely edited down of some key essential points (We're reminded of the old car commercial that asked a woman, "Where's the rest of your car, Toots?"). The sheer enormity of the compliance task is not really captured in this short piece, nor is the cost of compliance, that will potentially run into tens of millions of dollars for local eateries.

This issue also should be seen as a companion to our discussion of taxation. It is not simply high taxes that make NYC uncompetitive, it is the high cost of regulations. We need to reduce both the regulatory and the tax burdens on local businesses and link this effort to greater government efficiency. This will require, however, a greater sensitivity to entrepreneurism among our political class, something that even our businessman mayor lacks-except when it comes to the financial industry.