Sunday, May 27, 2007

Forget OPEC, What About The Taxi Cartels?


George Will explains in today's Washington Post what an immigrant can teach Americans about capitalism, rent-seeking and democracy, as taxi driver Luis Paucar tackles a twisted sense of entitlement in Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The campaign to deny Luis Paucar his right to economic liberty illustrates the ingenuity people will invest in concocting perverse arguments for novel entitlements. This city's taxi cartel is offering an audacious new rationalization for corporate welfare, asserting a right -- a constitutional right, in perpetuity -- to revenues it would have received if Minneapolis' City Council had not ended the cartel that never should have existed.

Paucar, 37, embodies the best qualities of American immigrants. He is a splendidly self-sufficient entrepreneur. And he is wielding American principles against some Americans who, in their decadent addiction to government assistance, are trying to litigate themselves to prosperity at the expense of Paucar and the public.

Read the rest of the article here, George Will deserves another Pulitzer Prize for this one.

The Institute for Justice (IJ) is representing Luis Paucar, and filed documents in U.S. Federal Court to join with the city of Minneapolis to defend the city’s free-market reforms that removed a cap on the number of taxis allowed to operate within city limits, read more about it here.

The Minnesota chapter of IJ already has four economic liberty victories under its belt despite being just two years old. The group recently published a 21-page paper titled "
The Land Of 10,000 Lakes Drowns Entrepreneurs in Regulations," which exposed the shocking state of economic liberty in Minnesota, including the taxi industry in Minneapolis.

For a chart of average NYC taxi medallion prices over time through 2006
click here, and for 2007 prices click here ($418,000 to $550,000 PER medallion, for ONE taxi license).

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