"I'm from the government and I'm here to help"—Edition 5,243,682

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DC cabs

As a frequent rider in DC cabs, I'm nearly apoplectic! Two exceptionally stupid and mendacious DC City council members, Jim Graham and Muriel Bowser, want to impose a medallion system on DC taxis. Why? As the Washington Post notes:

Graham said the bill is aimed at protecting the market of District cabs. The council member said he is concerned that, without regulation, the city, which he said has more than 8,000 taxicab operators, will be overrun with taxis. Graham said that more than 300 additional taxicab operators are licensed annually. 

Just exactly why would DC residents want to have fewer taxis? If more drivers are entering the market doesn't that suggest strongly that supply has not yet equalled demand? In protest, a 1,000 taxi drivers went on strike against the bill. The Post reports:

Ali Tahmaseb, who has been driving a District cab for 26 years, fears that even with options the bill will hurt his livelihood. He shares [Dominion Cab driver Larry] Frankel's concerns and said that the rate to operate a taxi could go from about $30 a day to more than $100 a day if the bill is passed.

"This bill would enslave us," he said Tuesday while standing with other protesters.

The whole Post article detailing this sad example of deep economic ignorance can be found here.