Free Our Taxicabs

The cheery email I received last night from the Institute for Justice came at a perfect time.

This week I am finishing up my presentation to my principles of microeconomics classes on “The Economics of (Big) Government.” A main point is that government intervention is often, perhaps usually, used by special interest groups for their own advantage, at the expense of their would-be competitors and the general public. We need strict constraints on such intervention at the constitutional level: legislatures should not have the power to intervene in peaceful economic activity.

Well, the Milwaukee Circuit Court just reduced the power of the Milwaukee city government to intervene in that way. From the press release:

Today Judge Jane Carroll … struck down the city’s taxicab law that outlawed competition in the taxi market. The law, implemented by the city in 1991, caused the price of a taxi permit to rise from $85 to over $150,000…

“I now believe in the American judicial system,” said Milwaukee taxi driver and IJ client Ghaleb Ibrahim. “During the course of this lawsuit, I was fired because the owner of my cab did not like me standing up for my rights. Thanks to today’s ruling, I now have the freedom to own my own taxicab. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Read the Institute for Justice’s press release and rejoice. The merry band of litigators at IJ are heroes.

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One Response to Free Our Taxicabs

  1. Elan says:

    What I have never understood is why is it that taxicabs in the US are these beaten down fords and mercury’s? When I was in Israel almost all of the taxi cabs were mercedes benz’s?

    Is there some law in the US that says that the taxi has to be a certain brand because of things like “buy american”?

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