Wednesday, June 6, 2012

KC's Impending All-Star Week Taxi Strike

Once again we see the fallout of over regulation.  Kansas City, MO will soon host the MLB All-Star game, but players and attendees alike may find getting around the city extremely difficult if local cab drivers have their say.

Cab driver's are asking a federal judge to declare KC's taxi cab ordinance unconstitutional.  The ordinance in questions limits the number of cab companies serving the area to nine.  What that means for area drivers is that they can never hope to become their own owner/operators and their potential for career advancement is severely limited.

Right now, cab drivers, who typically own their own vehicles, must purchase a permit from one of these nine companies to operate for $13,520.  The permit costs those same companies just $375 to obtain from the city.  Drivers are then at the mercy of these cab companies for fairs, often having to wait hours between fares.

Drivers warn that if the law is not over turned they will go on strike during All Star week.


smoore123 said...

Great example of incumbent firms abusing the system to keep out competition.

Anonymous said...

So its the firms abusing the system, not the bought and paid for Democrat politicians who created the regulations that are preventing new taxi company startups?

The problem is not the businesses that are doing what they can to protect their own interests, its the government that has the power that can be so easily wielded by corrupt politicians.

Take away the power of the government to set these arbitrary rules on business and you take away the power of "incumbent firms" to corrupt it.

smoore123 said...

9:19PM Anonymous,

I wasn't trying to make a political point by somehow blaming big business over politicians. In fact I totally agree with your last sentence.

I would add that the job of a profit maximizing firm is to avoid competition at all cost and one of the ways they do this is by getting government to impose regulatory burdens on rivals. My research on the topic leads me to the conclusion that this happens at all levels of government and across party lines. I was glad to see a post on this because issues like this and others (restrictive zoning, parking minimums, occupational licensing) are often neglected by free market activists.

It sounds like for you this is simply just one more issue to pound Democrats on rather than a principled stand on the free market.

James said...

In this case, the politicians in question are Democrats. In cases where taxi permits/badges are an issue in other cities, they are typically in major cities, which 99 times out of 100 are Democrats. Having said that, I have been very vocal on this blog about AT&T and their undo influence on all state governments and the federal government. I have also criticized heavily Republicans like McCain whose had more former AT&T lobbyists working in his staff than any other legislator.

I totally agree, politicians of all parties are easily corrupted.