Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Perfect Storm

I saw this story over at Breitbart TV. They concentrate on a landmark burger joint being shut down after fifty (50) years due to the counters being too high, but it's more than that.
SACRAMENTO— So long sizzle; Ford’s Real Hamburgers is finished.
The recession has been hard on the Land Park landmark.
“We scrimped and saved and cut down the staff. I’m down to 6 employees. But…” said owner Hank Vereschzagin.
Let's start right there.  In a bad economy, the burger joints usually do business through the roof.  This is due to folks lowering their elitist pallet and concentrating on the meal...not the wine list.   But, thanks to the cost of fuel (closing refineries, refusal of the EPA to allow drilling on government owned land, and off shore drilling moratoriums disguised as five year studies) transportation of food products, vegetables, and meats are much more costly. 

Additionally, inflation rates, also, add to food costs, and will continue to do so into the future since our current Federal Government in bent on running up the deficit and debt to record highs and continuously printing more money to accomodate.

Then, of course, there are the federal laws requiring farmers to grow corn for ethanol and not feed.  This, not only, removes a significant amount of field corn from the market, it takes away land usage to grow other vegetables.  Supply and demand is the name of the game.  If there is a low supply, and a high demand, the prices go up.

As the prices go up, the cost of operating a burger stand goes through the roof.  Hence, Ford's Real Hamburger's problem.  

Then came along Attorney Scott Johnson.

But then came the lawsuit. The allegation is that Ford’s is out of compliance with the ADA – the American’s with Disabilities Act.
And in truth, Ford’s is out of compliance. Go rolling up to the Ford’s bathroom in a wheelchair, and you won’t get in. There’s not enough room.
Counter's too high...bathroom too small.  According to the ADA, accomodations must be made for the handicapped, and Attorney Scott Johnson makes a living out of suing businesses into compliance.  That's all he does...sue for ramps, sue for handlebars on the toilet stalls, sue for lower counters.
“I’ve been coming here 21 years,” said jerry Silvia. Silvia is paralyzed from the chest down, but that did stop him from making Ford’s a favorite.
1/3 pounder with fries is his regular order.
Ford’s owners say the lawsuit they are facing for their ADA problems was brought by Scott Johnson, a local attorney who makes a living by bringing these types of cases – often on his own behalf.
He didn’t respond by news time to our request to talk with him about this story, but he did speak to FOX40 in February when he was suing a diner in Pollock Pines.
“Being a quadriplegic,” Johnson said of himself during that interview, “there’s nothing I can do about that. But these businesses that have structural barriers to access, that’s frustrating.”
Jerry Silvia said he doesn’t feel like Johnson is working on his behalf.
“No. He’s strictly crusading on his own behalf,” Silvia said.
And there you have it.  A fifty (50) year old landmark goes out of business because an incompetent California and Federal government, and a lawyer bent on making everyone suffer if he has to.

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