Sunday, 2 March 2014

Rent-seeking at work...

****

From New York:

This week, New York held an auction for individual yellow-cab medallions, the rare and wonderful permits that give drivers the right to operate a taxi and pick up street hails. Winning bidders paid as much as $965,000 for the latest batch of medallions.

That's right folks, you pay nearly a million dollars for the right to drive a cab in New York. This suggests that not only are there not enough taxis but that, as a result, the price of a taxi fare is higher.

And the winner? The City Council that has assumed the power to say whether you can take someone from A to B for a fee.

....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty much like Bradford then, only the scale is different.

Great opportunity to get rid of the UK's bizarre two-class of rides, treat all 'car & driver for hire' the same and let market-forces sort out the volumes and locations. A good Conservative should go for that.

geonomist said...

Good point. Yet rent-seeking is not only the newer versions performed by taxicab owners and big businesses. Those extractions pale beside the classic seeking — and winning — of rents spent for land.

To halt the classic rent-winners, it’s not a matter of government quitting subsidizing insiders and leniently enforcing rights. It’s a matter of government being proactive and using its power of charging fees or levying taxes, or even of instituting dues, to redirect our spending for land from sellers and lenders into the public treasury then out again as dividends to everyone. That’d stymy the classic rent-seekers, whittle them down to size, making it much easier to halt the neo-rent-seekers and repeal corporate welfare and regulatory favoritism.

It’d also help greatly if people could see government as steward rather than as Santa Claus. More at progress.org.