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POLITICS

Regulations protect entrenched businesses — and the New York Times is ON IT

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Entrenched interests use regulation to keep out new competitors and protect existing business models — and the New York Times is on it!

The Gray Lady is on a streak of good articles noting how big government accrues to the benefit of the special interests. After two days of in-depth pieces on state-level subsidies, the Times comes out with an item on how local governments are trying to protect their cabbie industry from the threat of consumer choice.

These two paragraphs capture the heart of the story:

Regulators say new laws are required to protect consumers from being harmed by such apps. But Uber, aside from the hurricane troubles, is generally adored by customers who say they are willing to pay extra to summon a ride without much wait, especially in cities where cabs are scarce….

To Mr. Kalanick, the rules being proposed by Mr. Daus’s committee are a classic example of regulators trying to stifle innovation. He says those making the rules are more interested in protecting the taxi and limousine businesses than in helping consumers. And he says Uber’s strategy of marching into new cities without asking permission is necessary.

As with food truck regulation pushed by brick-and-mortar restaurants, industry efforts to regulate Uber out of existence have the salutary effect of demonstrating to urban liberals the true nature of much government regulation.

As an Examiner editorial put it during a recent fight in DC over Uber regulation:  ”How do you turn a D.C. liberal into a libertarian for a day? Threaten to regulate his limousine service.”

 Lest our urban liberal friends leave thinking these are the only cases of regulations that protect incumbent businesses, here are a few more examples:
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