Thursday, July 28, 2011

IJ Challenges Atlanta's Street Vending Monopoly



A new lawsuit was  filed today by The Institute for Justice (IJ) to challenge Atlanta's unconstitutional vending monopoly on behalf of two Atlanta street vendors (see video above and go here and here for full background information, excerpts appear below).

"Should the city of Atlanta be allowed to create a single street vending monopoly that forces existing vendors to start paying up to $20,000 in rent and fees every year? That is the question to be answered by a major lawsuit filed today by the Institute for Justice - a national civil liberties law firm - and two well-known Atlanta vending entrepreneurs: Larry Miller and Stanley Hambrick.

Practiced since ancient times, street vending is more popular than ever. The Economist magazine predicted that this year “some of the best food Americans eat may come from a food truck.” For generations, street vending has been a classic way for entrepreneurs to provide for themselves and their families while creating jobs and satisfying customer demands.

But two years ago, Atlanta handed over all public-property vending to a single company—the first program of its kind in the country. Now that company wants to throw Larry Miller and Stanley Hambrick out of the spots they have worked for over a decade to build kiosks that rent for almost $20,000 a year. If it succeeds, Larry and Stanley’s businesses will be destroyed.

To protect the economic liberty of all Georgians, Larry and Stanley have joined with the Institute for Justice to challenge Atlanta’s vending monopoly. This lawsuit, filed today in the Superior Court for Fulton County, Georgia, is the second case in the Institute’s National Street Vending Initiative. It argues that Atlanta lacks the power to grant an exclusive vending franchise and that its actions violate the Georgia constitution. A victory will not only free Atlanta’s vending community; it will make other cities think twice before entering into similarly anticompetitive arrangements."

8 Comments:

At 7/28/2011 11:23 AM, Blogger Innovation rules said...

Wow.

Just wow.

If there was a life and death contest to create a free market, government would have no idea how to go about it, much less what role they should play.

 
At 7/28/2011 11:23 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I applaud Dr. Perry's concern with the barriers micro-businesses face.

The most repressive governments in the USA are your local and state governments, who drive push-cart vendors, jitneys, food trucks, recreational drug sellers, scalpers, hookers, barbers etc out of business.

You can't even sell hot dogs in your front lawn in Los Angeles.

Add to that, licensing of any number of professions, to keep the supply limited, such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, who know what.

 
At 7/28/2011 11:48 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Very slickly produced video, loved the 3-D text inserts, don't think I've seen those before. One nitpick, the quotes from the lawyers in these IJ videos always seem very canned and fake, particularly compared to the victims.

 
At 7/28/2011 11:52 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Re licensing:

The State of California licenses chiropractors. Insurers pay for visits to chiropractors.

They are quacks.

 
At 7/28/2011 4:31 PM, Blogger The Regan's said...

This article is one sided. Where is the opposing opinion? There is no information as to why the city made this change.

 
At 7/28/2011 5:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"This article is one sided. Where is the opposing opinion? There is no information as to why the city made this change."

Does it matter? Can you think of a legitimate reason for city government to hand monopoly power to one company in this manner?

 
At 7/29/2011 2:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Another case of black on black crime it seems...

 
At 7/30/2011 3:57 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I struggle to think of a business a poor unemployed person can start without incurring license and legal fees they do not have.

The notion of class warfare is woefully incorrect. We were always and ever will be in a war between freedom and an ever threatening bureaucratic state.

Go Larry and Stanley! I am surprised the significant minority population in Atlanta is putting up with this. People can not create their own jobs!

 

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