mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
Blue Model Spasms
Why Dining Out Has Gotten So Expensive
Features Icon
show comments
  • Blackbeard

    Don’t forget the costs of those sustainable, non-GMO, organic, fair trade ingredients.

    • Kevin

      It does cost that much to print “GMO-free” or “Organic” on the menu.

      You don’t seriously think they are consistently actually using those ingredients, do you?

      • JR

        I like reading it on my menu. That way i know when I’m signaling virtue.
        In my long and checkered career, I once worked as a “boy” in a local deli. There I learned that the difference between tuna and fat free tuna is the label. After that, I’ve learned to have a healthy level of distrust of labels. It served me well….

    • Andrew Allison

      If it’s food, it’s organic.

      • ljgude


  • Maddog

    The City: Mistake

    “Cities are eating themselves; cosmopolitan bien pensants who obsess over every new gastronomical fad are advocating policies which make their own lifestyles unaffordable. Of course, Williamsburg graphic design artists and Murray Hill finance bros can probably afford to live in a city where restaurants have to charge $30 for a burger. And it’s possible that the high barrier to entry raises standards too. But those costs almost certainly suppress creativity. They undoubtedly make it so that people earning normal salaries will have a very hard time paying for a night on the town.”

    Growth boundaries, zoning, and other restrictive land use rules, combined with huge wage costs all drive the price of a restaurant meal to stratospheric levels.

    The results? Lost jobs, the poor are injured, with the poor attempting to provide for family injured the most . . .

    “Low-wager workers in Seattle were better off as a result of the higher minimum wage if they managed to keep their job or to keep working roughly the same number of hours. But the employment rate of low-wage workers in Seattle declined slightly, as did the hours worked, which would lead to lower total earnings.

    The early evidence from Seattle is that a higher minimum wage at the city level doesn’t raise total earnings by much, because low-skilled workers end up with fewer hours on the job.”

    We stand at the edge of a revolution, one where the restaurants of a city will exist in a large ring just outside the city limits. Cities seem intent in hollowing out their cores.

    I can’t say I am sorry to see them go, but really the better reformation would have been to ditch the regulations and remake the cities as primary zones of entertainment, and recreation, including restaurants. The cities seem intent on not allowing this to happen.

    Mark Sherman

  • Anthony

    “Along with the rise i concentration has come a decline in entrepreneurship (restaurateurs) as more markets become closed to new competitors…Many people have trouble accepting the reality of this tidal shift because it contradicts their received ideas about how the world works. But it makes sense once you escape cognitive capture by the master narrative…True free market thinkers, from Adam Smith to Henry Simons and the founding fathers of the Chicago School could easily tell us what is wrong with the way we have come to conceptualize the relationship between government rule and market rule.” – it’s not blue model governance per se.

    • Kevin


      The ” NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council” will almost certainly support more regulations to strangle loss cost startup competitors.

  • JR

    NYC also successfully got Air BnB out of the market. This is what happens when the government grows uncontrollably. The extent of regulatory capture in NYC is absolutely astounding.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Not to quibble over semantics, but it is hardly astounding. Actually it is precisely what one would expect. After all, that is the whole point of regulations in the blue model in the first place…

  • Angel Martin

    I feel sorry for the low income people that live there, but the self-inflicted problems of high cost liberal cities is pretty low on my priority list.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The low income people are the most reliable voting bloc for those that impose the regulations. They have nobody to blame but themselves…

      • Andrew Allison

        Ignorance is bliss. I share your view that the people who think the Democrats are their friends get the life they deserve.

        • f1b0nacc1

          If ignorance is bliss, why does Hillary always look so unhappy?

          • CosmotKat

            She is not ignorant of the fact that her corruption is now widely known and being endlessly discussed. Hence her unhappy disposition. It’s tough to keep track of all those lies.

          • Boritz

            Have you noticed that the posters that show Trump and Hillary together have him frowning and her smiling? See AMC Theaters election night for an example.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Hadn’t seen that, thanks for the tip…

          • Andrew Allison

            Unfortunately, she’s far from ignorant, witness her ability to survive 40 years of scandals, from Whitewater to selling State Department access and influence. We’ll see if she can get away with her blatantly criminal private email server next week. I guess Comey figured out that one of her first acts as President would be to fire him and he had nothing to lose.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I am not sure that she isn’t ignorant….she is ruthless, and utterly without scruples (check out Christopher Hitchen’s wonderful book “Nobody Left To Lie To” for a terrific recounting of her behavior during the 90s), but I don’t see the intellect or command of the facts. She is often well-prepared and briefed, and she has outstanding discipline, but that is an entirely different thing. However, we are quibbling about semantics….
            On the subject of Comey’s choice, I wonder if what he was really worried about (aside from the growing mutiny in his own ranks) was that in the event that some smoking gun *was* found during the Weiner investigation in a few months, then he would be in a very, very difficult position as it would have looked like he had covered up critical information to throw the election to HRC. Granted, he likely wouldn’t have been liable, but the Clintons have an uncomfortable tendency to arrange for others to take the fall for their misdeeds, and Comey would be an exceptionally good choice for that job.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service