Small Business

Connecticut DOT Punches Competition, Consumers in the Face

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Rhode Island-based Coutu Bros. Movers will not be expanding into Connecticut next year because the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) is not satisfied that a new moving company would satisfy "public convenience and necessity." The DOT denied owner Bob Romano's application last spring, citing the "negative effect" a new business would have on two movers operating in the area Romano proposed to service.

From The Day:

Romano's original application had been opposed by two competitors, Atherton & Sons Moving & Storage in Pawcatuck and Barnes Moving & Storage in Mystic, whose owners cited a decline in their own businesses over the past few years. One of the businesses was planning to fight Romano's application again….

Romano said he spent more $6,000 to comply with DOT requirements and was shocked to learn that his initial application was denied by Connecticut hearing officer Sheldon Lubin, whereas Massachusetts approved his application for a license to do business in only 15 minutes.

…Several local officials, including former Republican state Sen. Pierce Connair, a Mystic real estate agent who had been prepared to lease office space in North Stonington to Coutu Movers, pointed out that the DOT decision seemed at odds with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's oft-stated promise that "Connecticut is open for business."

But DOT spokesman Judd Everhart said trying to paint the agency's decision as anti-business was a canard.

"The original denial was based on existing requirements, i.e., that the applicant must demonstrate that there is a need for additional household goods moving services in a specific geographical area of the state," Everhart said in an email. "It had nothing to do with Connecticut not being 'open for business' as the applicant claimed in the past."

Romano decided to cancel a rehearing scheduled for January after DOT staffers demanded additional financial information that was not part of the initial application process and after they lost paperwork. The staffers did successfully deposit the $177 application fee that was included in the same filing.

Take a spin through the Reason archives, where you can read about legal challenges to anti-competitive regulation of moving companies in Nevada and Kentucky and about the repeal of the same in Oregon and Missouri.

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  1. Sleaze argot? Fleas carpet? Ghee market? What’s that thingee called again?

    1. Pease pocket.

      1. Oh, I have it: Please suck it.

    2. Communism, straight up.

      1. No, Killaz, under a pure communist system, the moving companies would all be arms of the state, ie The People’s Household Goods Transfer and Storage Agency, Norwalk Division. This is crony capitalism, aka “managed competition”, aka cartelization.

        This is so going down in flames, just like the Louisiana funeral homes when they leaned on the casket-making monks.

        1. I mostly agree, but want to underline the ‘community good’ rhetoric that is being used to justify the cronyism.

      2. The Institute for Justice needs a bat-signal.

  2. “The original denial was based on existing requirements, i.e., that the applicant must demonstrate that there is a need for additional household goods moving services in a specific geographical area of the state,” Everhart said in an email. “It had nothing to do with Connecticut not being ‘open for business’ as the applicant claimed in the past.”

    What has to happen to you for you to see a difference between those two statements?

    1. He has to develop ful brain function. Not likely. I think Connecticut screens out high-IQ bureaucrats the way it does cops.

      1. *full brain function. Damn you Reason, making me post too quickly because I worry I’ll be timed out!

    2. You have to be an absolute scumbag bureaucrat. Or a rent-seeking business. Or a total asshole. Or JJ.

      Mystic is a really nice town, though.

      1. Oh yes. No hate for Mystic.

        1. That is to say, other than the fact they don’t know how to pronounce “Thames.”

          1. It’s pronounced “Spokane.”

            1. It’s pronounced “Throatwarbler Mangrove.”

          2. Look, we say it our way, the limeys say it their way. Both can be correct!

            1. It would be confusing if two rivers had the same name anyway.

          3. They know how, nicole. They just do it to annoy you.

        2. Mystic Pizza is terrible pizza, however. And it’s all Julia Roberts’ fault.

          1. Everything is Julia Roberts fault. I thought we established that.

            1. It is known.

          2. CONNECTICUT IS A ONE-PARTY STATE AND THAT PARTY IS SOCIALIST!!!

            1. JJ, man, you had the perfect opportunity for a CT one-party joke here and you fucking wasted it. IT’S THE PIZZA PARTY.

              1. JJ never knows how to capitalize on an opportunity.

                1. Sometimes he overly capitalizes. ;{)

              2. IT’S THE PIZZA PARTY.

                I don’t get it.

                1. We were talking about pizza. You have had, in your life, a pizza party, no? Epi, do we need to organize a pizza party for Jim? I’m starting to get sad.

                  1. JJ has only ever experienced rainbow parties, nicole. That’s probably not a reason to feel sad, but no, JJ has never had a pizza party. He thinks pizza is this.

                    1. You guys do know that “pizza party” is slang for reverse bukkake, right?

                    2. What the fuck is a pizza party? Is that just where you order pizza when people are over at your place? Because I’ve done that plenty of times.

                      What I have never done is gotten people together for the express purpose of eating pizza, which strikes me as strange, since pizza is not some kind of big deal that people need to gather for. It’s as quintessentially a proletarian food as hamburgers.

                    3. To hell with “What the fuck is a pizza party?”!

                      I want to know what “reverse bukkake” is … or do I?

                    4. Usually it’s when someone else orders pizza so you can have “fun” when you’re someplace you don’t really want to be, like at school. The whole class did well this quarter, pizza party! Or were you lucky enough not to go to government schools?

                      But what the fuck is reverse bukkake?

                    5. Reverse bukkake is a bunch of women squirting on one dude. I assume.

                    6. I like Killaz’ version better.

                    7. Mine, however, is technically much more accurate. And as we all know, technically correct is the best kind of correct.

                    8. Sigh, I know. What a shame.

                    9. No one wants to hear about the dream you had last night, NutraSweet.

                    10. SF only you would know that.

                    11. What is…no, nevermind, I don’t want to know. LA, LA, LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU…

                    12. Reverse bukkake? Reminds me of flick where a porn star spins around on her ass while shooting ping pong balls into the nuts of the guys in a circle around her. Or, is that something else?

            2. Connecticut is not a state, it is a rest area between states.

    3. “The defendant failed to demonstrate his innocence, and was therefore found guilty by default. It had nothing to do with the State being unjust.”

      1. “You say anything about that, and I’ll do you for treason!”

      2. Today, “pre-guilt” is all the rage — no accusations necessary!

  3. I’m speechless, but not surprised.

  4. Where’s Tony to tell us how regulation is for the public good and how libertarians exist just to defend and enrich corporations?

    1. That piece of shit can’t be bothered to have an opinion about things like this. He’ll just defer to “democracy” and “petty grievances”.

    2. Where’s Tulpa to tell us how it’s ok for the state to favor the pre-existing businesses because the state’s benefited more from their taxes?

  5. Business licensing schemes are among the most egregious violations of private property rights, freedom of association and the equal protection clause (post Citizens United). How they could possibly pass constitutional muster is beyond me. When will one of these companies, who have standing, take their case to the supreme court and end this madness?

    1. Sloopy, I forget to mention in the original begathon thread last week: It looks like the baby got your hair.

    2. I read in an ecenomics book that the single biggest factor that determines whether or not a profession requires a licence is the size of that profession’s lobby in the state legislature. The notion that these laws are intended to protect consumers has been thoroughly disproven. But it appears that in CT, the existing buisnesses just openly pay government thugs to keep competition out of state, and once again we’re the only ones that care.
      I don’t see how the political situation in this country can improve while the majorty of people are pitifully uninformed and not the slightest bit intrested in changing that. I also can’t fathom a way to get enough people to understand and care about the issues. It just seems like we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to turn this shit-show around.

      1. I also can’t fathom a way to get enough people to understand and care about the issues.

        People won’t understand until something directly affects them. It’s possible the “disaster” caused by “going over the fiscal cliff” might have some effect.

      2. It just seems like we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to turn this shit-show around.

        “Shit tectonics – do you know what happens what two shit plates collide? Shitquake!”

    3. Don’t forget freedom of speech, Sloopy. Though it looks like it never got to that stage.

  6. whereas Massachusetts approved his application for a license to do business in only 15 minutes.

    Good to know there are worse states out there.

    1. Yeah, this actually shocked me.

    2. Maybe they just greased the right bureaucrat’s pocket in Massholechussets. Did that cross your mind?

      1. Whatever are you suggesting?

        1. What’s that word again? Tribe? Blibe? Gribe? Imbibe? No, no…I think it’s shaft. Or is it daft? At any rate, I blame Taft. Because he was a Fattie.

        2. Please, Groovus, they’re “expediting fees.”

      2. If only licensing were this easy. I have several friends who have opened or have started trying to open bars or restaurants in the last year. I can tell you that not one of them would blink at being able to get all of their inspections done (fairly, pass or fail, just done at all) in a timely manner for a $5000 bribe.

        1. If only I could get my hair-braiding license…….

  7. You know, I almost wish I could kill competition in my business by just saying the new business would hurt my business. Then I remember I have to look at myself in the mirror and decide to just say screw it and mock bureaucrats openly for being completely and totally moronic.

    1. Hey, if I had no morals I would start a business building and taking apart shoddy barns on the same piece of land to sell “reclaimed wood” to hipsters.

      But I have morals.

      1. That doesn’t sound like a very sound business plan. Unless you plan on waiting 100 years or so between building and dismantling the barns.

        1. Wood doesn’t take that long to get ugly when fully exposed.

          1. Exposing your ugly wood to the elements could earn you some jail time.

            1. Put a bow on it; when arrested, claim you are a victim of the War on Christmas.

      2. That’s a poor plan. Just skip the whole “building” part and make little lean-tos out of them, like houses of cards. It would take a lot less effort.

  8. God damn it I need to stop reading reason today. I’m getting pissed off enough to start muttering profanity under my breath, and I don’t want my office-mates to think I’m crazy.

    1. If that gets your heart going, you’ll love these items —

      Warrren Buffett Employs Tax Avoidance Scheme to Avoid Taxes He Is Advocating Being Increased

      http://www.economicpolicyjourn…..dance.html

      Senate intern, a sex offender, faces deportation

      http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s…..2-14-18-16

      ICE agents in New Jersey notified superiors at the Homeland Security Department because they considered it a potentially high profile arrest, and DHS instructed them not to arrest Sanchez until after the November election, one U.S. official told the AP. ICE officials complained that the delay was inappropriate, but DHS directed them several times not to act, the official said.

      The cleanest, most transparent administration in this nation’s history, people!

      1. Madeleine Albright Bombs the Fuck out of a Country and Later Shamelessly Profits after the Rubble Clears.

        http://www.businessweek.com/ar…..te-telecom

        1. And I thought I heard the worst of the worst for the day. You clearly found something worse.

          Vanilla Porter tie can’t get here soon enough. Leinenliugel’s Snowdrift this week. Not bad, but a bit weak for a porter, and on the sweet side too, I prefer the Breckenridge I’ve been drinking the previous two weeks but the local store was out, yesterday 🙁

          1. In June, his body was found in his apartment in Kosovo’s capital city of Pristina, with 11 stab wounds. Authorities say he committed suicide.

            What the fucking fuck? I mean, I suppose it’s possible

            1. Meriwether Lewis shot himself in the chest, and when that wasn’t enough stabbed himself to complete the task, but I’m kind of doubtful here too.

      2. This reminds me, before the O’Bama admin I knew the mainstream media was corrupt, but I honestly never would have guessed that they were capable of the level of apologetics, issue ignoring, and pro-gov spinning that I’ve seen. This has me really wondering something.
        If you got them alone in a room with Obama himself, I wonder how many members of the MSM would honest to god suck his dick if he asked them to. I bet most of the females would, but I’m also willing to bet that alot of the men, some of whom have thought of themselves as straight their whole lives, just wouldn’t be able to say no.

      3. So you’re saying Sanchez is Dirty?

  9. But if anybody could just open any business anywhere it would be JUST LIKE SOMALIA!!!!

    1. Like Romney said… We can’t just have people opening banks out of their garages!!! The horror of a free market would be too much to contemplate….

  10. They are building an apartment high-rise across the street from my office. I guess it must be okay with all of the other apartment high-rise owners downtown.

  11. Surely there is one Republican legislator – maybe Rep. George Betts –
    who would hold hearings or do something to expose the scum in DOT?

  12. Why don’t they just add a moving division to the DOT? Stop all this messy market competition between the two protect incumbents, who are doing such a great job that their businesses are in decline.

    barf

  13. ” the applicant must demonstrate that there is a need for additional household goods moving services in a specific geographical area of the state”

    Does Chipotle have to demonstrate that there are sufficient empty stomachs in the area before they set up shop in CT too?

    1. No, this law appears to be specific to the moving industry. If it affected all industries it would be blatantly egregious and would have been struck down long ago.

      1. More blatantly egregious than it already is.

  14. Rhode Island-based Coutu Bros. Movers will not be expanding into Connecticut next year because the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) is not satisfied that a new moving company would satisfy “public convenience and necessity.”

    More and more I am convinced by things like the above that we need government to set clear rules on how to behave between each other and with the community, otherwise we would all sink into a hellhole of chaotic, laissez-fare activities where competition and customer satisfaction drive economic activity and society in general.

    I mean, Tim and Tony told me so, it must be true.

    All Hail Government!

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