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What is the rationale for having licenses? At least with a lot of other regulations the government can offer some sort of well-intentioned rationale (even if in practice the consequences turn out opposite to the intentions). I can't work out what the intended benefit of taxi licenses is supposed to be.
Why is the minicab business licensed in this fashion? The answer is surprising: Organized Crime.If you watch the film Goodfellas - The main character gets involved with the mob through their control of the local minicab business.Organized criminals invariably wind up taking over the minicab businesses of any city where there is a completely unregulated taxicab market. They form up into gangs in order to enforce control of the work. They routinely stake out a set location - A train station for instance - And then trash the vehicles of anyone who is not part of their gang - or simply do what they do in Goodfellas in the form of burning down their competitors' garage.The taxicab business is easy to enter - Cars are cheap, it requires not education beyond a driving license, a yellow paintjob is not hard, and there is no restriction upon the rates charged, so the instant that you find a new source of business, *crazy pricing* takes over and no one makes any money - Hence the need for the enforcers who secure the business for a cut of the profits. Nightclub doormen are another example - Anyone can set up in the door security business, and they then control who gets to deal drugs in the club for a cut of the profits.A final example is the Gladiators that tout for photographs in front of the Colluseum in Rome. (You pay to have your photo taken with a "Gladiator.") They form gangs and beat up anyone in a costume that they don't recognize on their patch, and they gather around and threaten tourists who refuse to pay them.Hence, that is why licenses are needed - It costs $150,000 to get one, and the market can clearly only support about 350 vehicles.So there actually IS a well intentioned rationale: To tell the likes of the "Institute Of Justice" to fuck off. You either find the money to enter the business and BEHAVE YOURSELF, because you're $150000 in hock, or you basically find another business.In this instance, unregulated competition actually just leads to criminal activity that the city then pays to police. Which do you want?
Right, so you're basing your reasoning on a movie.Carry on.
Try reading the middle paragraphs.The taxicab business is like nightclub security in that it requires no education, resources or money to enter. Because ANYONE can enter it, it rapidly becomes a race to the bottom in terms of pricing and markets. It winds up in the control of organized crime - routinely - because of the need to make the newcomers get lost. You evidently have never worked a minimum wage job where you are literally stood in a public place touting for business. This is not far off of being a prostitute, an occupation that is a similar exercise in free market economics, that, well, does have a few problems associated with it. It is why brothels and madams are tolerated by liberal states but streetwalking is not.If you want to pay for the policing when these fuckers start burning down each other's businesses and murdering each other that is fine, but I got the impression that you hated paying the taxes to fund things like that. A completely unregulated market in this instance leads basically to it. Every time.The fact that you have to find 150,000 dollars to get a job as fucking minicab driver is the city's way of telling you to get lost, unless by some miracle you can do it. Whereupon you then can. If you want to go to medical school, it costs $500,000 minimum, if you want to be an airline pilot it is about half that. Law school, god knows. You can't get those jobs without money, so why not this one?I have no idea as to the economics of doing this, but the argument in the city's case is you have to find the money upfront. This eliminates twats, timewasters and criminals.This is because they don't want huge numbers of unlicensed idiots driving around the streets touting for business, with consequent gang shootings, fights at the airport and complaints about meter fixing that always exist because fiddling the meters is the only way that you can make money: By definition, your product is no different to anyone else's, so you have to find wealthy out of towners to rip off. Which if you go to a place like Paris, you quickly will find that they do.The question you ought to ask is "are the public being fleeced?" Do people in Milwaulkee pay extortionate rates for the local services? There is no evidence for that from the film. You would think that there would be if these people could find ANY evidence of it, as it illustrates price fixing of a sort that I assume is what underlies your concern about this subject.You tell me: Why should anyone care? Why the hell does a educated man want to be a minicab driver anyway? Because he is backed by a pack of "no win no fee" lawyers, working what sounds like a Washington lobbying agency. Do you think that any of them have ever worked a real job?
Jesus wept."This eliminates twats, timewasters and criminals."Criminals will either ignore the rules because, you know, they're criminals, or steal the money from someone else. Because they're, you know, criminals.And as for all this violent crime that's just going surge to the forefront, what do we pay the police for?"A completely unregulated market in this instance leads basically to it. Every time."Really? Show me a completely unregulated market."Why the hell does a educated man want to be a minicab driver anyway?"Beneath you, is it?
"Criminals will either ignore the rules because, you know, they're criminals, or steal the money from someone else. Because they're, you know, criminals."Anonymity is what organized crime works upon."And as for all this violent crime that's just going surge to the forefront, what do we pay the police for?"I thought that you hated the police. I can say with reasonable certainty that you don't like paying money to the government to fund institutions like them."Show me a completely unregulated market."Try these people. It is a completely free market. Notice how the police are too busy screwing money out of people to enforce the law: http://reason.com/archives/2006/03/01/why-poor-countries-are-poor"Beneath you, is it?"What the hell do I have to do with it? Why does HE want to be a minicab driver? Not me, HIM, why are these people funding his case?
I'm baffled: you tell me that we need more regulation and then as part of your justification you present an article that simply points out how damaging regulation can be."Why does HE want to be a minicab driver?"Clearly, there is an awful lot of money to be had in the business.
I said NO such thing. (Are you even reading these posts? Each one has seen you either misinterpret or misunderstand something that is written clearly enough.) The regulations are fine as they ARE. Please show me in my own words where I ask for more of them."Clearly, there is an awful lot of money to be had in the business."Quite - So what - As in:"....The question you ought to ask is "are the public being fleeced?" Do people in Milwaulkee pay extortionate rates for the local services? There is no evidence for that from the film. You would think that there would be if these people could find ANY evidence of it, as it illustrates price fixing of a sort that I assume is what underlies your concern about this subject."So: find 150,000 dollars, almost in the fashion of a deposit. Then you can work here. Otherwise, tough. I am sure that you have things that you want to do in life. They all require money. This is what he wants to do but he resents having to pay for it. Fuck him.There are big problems if you liberalize the requirement, as the barrier to entry is actually so low in this case that it then attracts crime. Do we all have to then pay, via policing, for him to have his job?Thanks a lot.
"The regulations are fine as they ARE. Please show me in my own words where I ask for more of them."You're quite correct, but my argument is still valid if I rephrase it to correct that:You tell me that we need regulation and then as part of your justification you present an article that simply points out how damaging regulation can be.
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