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Milton Friedman – 1: City of San Francisco – 0

The nice thing about Classic Economics is that it timeless.  The bad thing about some politicians is that they are clueless.  The late great economist Milton Friedman lived in San Francisco, evidently without imparting any wisdom to the City Fathers, from Investor’s Business Daily [1]:

Economics: Free-market economist Milton Friedman once famously observed that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Now San Francisco’s uber-liberal government might just make free lunches illegal.

Friedman, who lived in San Francisco until his death at 94, was explaining the fact that nothing is cost-free — especially government regulations, mandates, benefits, economic interventions. They all come with side effects, even if they aren’t obvious.

[…]

Which is why many restaurants have shut their doors. Yelp found far more closing than opening in San Francisco over the second half of last year — after the minimum climbed to $14 an hour.

So, what is San Francisco doing in response to help the city’s struggling restaurant business?

Two members of its board of supervisors introduced legislation that would try to force workers to eat out for lunch. How? By banning any more companies from offering free lunches to workers — existing free lunch providers like Google, Twitter, et al., would be exempt — and outlawing in-house cafeterias in new office buildings.

Yes, going out of a modern glass enclosed fortress to carefully tread over the human feces and discarded needles sounds like a winning plan to me.  What say you?