Texas BBQ v. California regulation

In a country setting some 20 miles on the other side of town of  Austin Texas, resides a barbecue restaurant called the “Salt Lick”, in Driftwood Texas.  As Halfway to Concord is primarily a publication dedicated to local and State politics, one would ask why such an establishment as the Salt Lick is being discussed in a web site such as this? The reason is, the Salt Lick is an institution that could never be allowed to exist California because of regulations that strangle business in the “Golden State.”

The Salt Lick is world famous establishment is beloved by the millions of people who have come there in the past forty years. What makes this place so special?  The BBQ for one thing.

Cooked in a huge pit ten feet across, thousands of meals are served each week.  Even though the place accommodates several hundred patrons at one time, one must patiently wait in their court yard to waited upon. This is no problem as folks actually talk and converse with strangers before they are seated.

As examples:

Patrons are encouraged to bring their own ice chests with the brews of their choice. (at least a 12 pack is encouraged)  In California the ABC would be raiding the place and no doubt issue citations to the restaurant  and its patrons alike.

Families are not carded for proof of age when older minors are drinking beer. Prevailing opinion is that the State of Texas should stay away from Families and let them determine what is best for their siblings.

The parking lots look like a coral and are probably not up to the standards of the American’s with Disabilities Act.

I am certain, were the Salt Lick in California they would be closed down on “spare the Air Day” as open pit barbecue burns wood that flavor brisket ribs, chicken, and other delicacies, would not be tolerated. (And no, nothing is served for the organic or vegetarian crowd!)

If Spare the Air Day did not close down the Salt Lick, then some geek from the health department would do so as the tasty country cooking going on no doubt breaks some obscure regulations in California.

Although the above example of the operations of the Salt Lick might seem a little exaggerated, it shows the contrast of how California laws stifle business as compared to Texas. Looking at the tax structures of the two States, California  has higher taxes than Texas with respect to sales, income, corporate, and property.   It is no coincidence, that Texas is thriving with a balanced state budget while California is mired in debt totaling several billion dollars.

There is also mounting evidence that while California becomes more obsessed  in making sure those who run prosperous business entities pay more taxes, well paying jobs continue their exodus to areas including Texas that have a more business friendly environment for the entreprenurial crowd.

In contrast to this, the State of California is offering their constituents a “Hobson’s Choice” between Propositions 30 and 38 to avoid fiscal calamity. Ironically, neither Of these proposals  does anything to change the bureaucratic, over regulated governmental structure that has largely contributed to the fiscal mess where California has resided for the past two decades.

The election November 6th is no exception to this trend.  Unlike California,  Texan’s are not being asked to shell out more money for sales taxes or higher assessments to those make over $ 250,000 per year.   In contrast their roads and freeways are in good condition and when they make additions, they build extensions to reduce costs when  later improvements are made.

In addition,  Texas government employee groups do not dominate the agenda in elections. This contrasts with California where Police, Prison Guards, fire fighters, teachers, and other public employees spare with corporations and lobbyists for political power. who is to say if unregulated life in Texas is superior to California where governmental obstructionism is a way of life.

I doubt seriously if Texans, who allow passengers to drink beer if they are not driving, would concern themselves with the issues of Proposition 37 with food labeling. No, I don’t think the good old boys worry about the lives of chickens or the plight of ducks who are being force fed corn to make pate..  And of course proposition 32 would not be on the ballet in Texas because there are not enough members of labor unions to worry  about  if their dues are being spent for political purposes.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, Texan’s continue their pilgrimage to the Salt Lick where tradition and tasty BBQ seems to outweigh the concerns of the politically correct agenda’s that oversee citizenry of California.  Yet despite my love for deregulation and hate  for “Big Brother” breathing  down my neck, it is still hard for me to pack up my bags and move to “Cowboy Country”.

But I will admit the thought has crossed my mind!

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  1. O.Ladd says

    I will admit the folks in Texas seem to know a thing or two about serving BBQ and special interests, but the State Lej (as it is known there), remains a circus of big oil and big chemical clowns, keeping the state tightly in their grip and in their pockets.
    I suspect CA could easily fall in this trap, but the simple differences in population make that unlikely. Mind you CA does, to some degree, have their own cabal of lobbyists with State Senators panting for their attention, reserving their best “special” tricks for their masters, but I can’t help thinking we are light years ahead of Texas in trying to build a reasonable system of good government and social responsibility. Don’t let any ol’ Billy Bob tell ya’ different…