Category Archives: Capture of regulation

Regulation of Lodging by the Market Process

Does the lodging industry—hotels and such—need government regulation? I don’t think so, and I’m more convinced than before after listening yesterday to a fascinating EconTalk conversation (http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/09/nathan_blecharc.html) between host Russ Roberts and Nathan Blecharczyck, a founder of the lodging service AirBnB. Blecharczyck explains that every AirBnB customer rates every property in which she stays, forContinue Reading

The Need to Regulate Destructive Regulation

Here is a letter to the Wall Street Journal today: To the Editor: The legal hassling you describe of ride-sharing services such as Sidecar, Uber, and Lyft (“Ride-Sharing Services Face Legal Threat From San Francisco, Los Angeles,” Sep. 25, 2014) is farcical. What should be shut down is not the ride services, but the regulations and taxicabContinue Reading

No Public Service Here

Here is a letter to the Baltimore Sun: To the editor: By its decision to regulate Uber as a “common carrier” (“Uber is ‘common carrier,’ commission rules,” Thursday, August 7), the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) stands athwart the tide of technology and history. Allowed to stand, the ruling would harm Marylanders. Why restrict Uber’s freedomContinue Reading

St. Louis Government Regulators v. Uber and St. Louisians

Here is a letter to the St. Louis Business Journal: To the Editor: I have been following the contest in St. Louis between Uber and St. Louisian riders, on the one hand, and the forces of darkness, repression, and crony capitalism on the other. I object to the title and first paragraph of your reportContinue Reading

Who’s Anti-competitive?

Here’s a letter to the Baltimore Sun: To the editor, The Annapolis mayor’s and taxicab companies’ justifications for regulating Uber conflict with the facts (“Annapolis gives Uber a warning,” July 15, 2014). The mayor “insists that [Uber be] regulated…like…taxicabs…to keep our citizens and visitors safe.” But Uber already checks its drivers’ backgrounds and requires they beContinue Reading

Let’s Free City Ride Services

The Freeman online has published a piece I wrote suggesting that instead of subjecting Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services to burdensome taxi regulations, local governments should instead stop burdening taxis with regulations. A slice: If we had free markets for city ride services, that would be the whole story so far. The preferred rideContinue Reading

Let Market Forces Regulate Occupations

Yesterday presented me two articles on occupational licensing, one unsatisfying, the other very satisfying indeed. The first was “Why License a Florist,” a New York Times op-ed. Here are the first paragraphs: IN Minnesota, more classroom time is required to become a cosmetologist than to become a lawyer. Becoming a manicurist takes double the number ofContinue Reading

Free the Taxicabs

Here is a letter to The Baltimore Sun: April 25, 2014 To the Editor: The ominous word “loom” in the title of today’s article on possible regulation of services such as Uber and Lyft (“Rules Loom for Car Service,” p. 1,) is well chosen. It would be a sad loss to Maryland riders and drivers alikeContinue Reading

Let Market Forces Regulate – High-Speed Trading

Government regulation does not work as well as regulation by market forces. Government regulators have neither adequate knowledge nor good incentives to regulate effectively. The regulated parties always try, often successfully, to capture the regulatory process or game the system to their own advantage. Profit and loss in a system of private ownership and free exchange,Continue Reading

Should the State License Occupations At All?

An entertaining, all-but-unbelievable article about a Texas lawsuit being litigated by the inestimable Institute for Justice brings to mind one of my favorite passages from The Wealth of Nations. The article’s title suggests the infection in American jurisprudence that IJ is out to cure: “Should government rules have to make sense? Texas argues no in eyebrowsContinue Reading

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