Drooling on the Pillow

Monday, March 28, 2005

Jersey City's Business Curfew 

Jersey City's response to a recent spike in violent crime is innovative. Instead of more intensive policing in the crime-ridden areas the City Council thought about the problem. "Why are these guys holding up all these bodegas and fast food places?" The answer was obvious. The criminals were looking for money and stuff. The solution was equally obvious. Close down the bodegas and fast food places. That's where all the money and stuff is. All over the city frustrated criminals returned home to work on household projects.

Over the weekend a business curfew went into effect over 135 blocks of the city where all businesses, except bars and pharmacies, have to shut down between 11pm and 5am. This shortens the shifts of thousands of minimum wage earners and slices off the margin for many struggling small businesses. It's so dumb it's breathtaking.

Thriving businesses are the single most critical element in the health of a neighborhood. I'm not saying these businesses are thriving, but I can say that they are thriving less today than they were on Friday.

It's not the job of the police to remove the low hanging fruit, but to defend it.
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