Price-fixing. Outrageous over-regulation. Small businesses attacked. Artificially increasing the cost of doing business. You have it all in Nashville, Tennessee.
Have you ever wanted to start your own limo service? Figure you can charge less than the over-priced big limo service companies? Well, in Nashville, Tennessee, you no longer have that option. That’s right, Nashville has decided the minimum you are allowed to charge your clients. Nashville has decided you have to start from your base of operations before you can pick up a client. Nashville has decided you cannot pick up a client less than 15 minutes after you drop off a previous client. Nashville has decided how old your car is allowed to be.
Price fixing. Anti-Free-Market. Over-burdensome over-regulation. Micro-managing business. Central planning. None of this is good for the economy, for business in general, for employment, for anything but special interests. It’s Big Government in bed with Big Business. It’s not capitalism. It’s not Free Market. It’s not freedom, or liberty, or self-determination.
Ed Morrissey has the sordid details.
Until 2010, sedan and independent limo services were an affordable alternative to taxicabs. A trip to the airport only cost $25. But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of anti-competitive regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association—a trade group formed by expensive limousine companies. These regulations force sedan and independent limo companies to increase their fares to $45 minimum.
The regulations also prohibit limo and sedan companies from using leased vehicles, require them to dispatch only from their place of business, require them to wait a minimum of 15 minutes before picking up a customer and forbid them from parking or waiting for customers at hotels or bars. And, in January 2012, companies will have to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine.
These regulations have nothing to do with public safety. Nashville could have limited its requirements to those regulations that are designed to genuinely protect the public’s health and safety, such as requiring insured and inspected vehicles, and driver background checks, but instead, Nashville is stooping to economic protectionism to put affordable car services out of business in favor of more expensive services that happen to have more political power. Many Nashville residents who regularly use limos and sedans will be forced to spend twice as much money for exactly the same service and hard-working sedan drivers will be driven out of business.
This is Liberalism/Progressivism/Socialism/Big Government run amok. It’s unAmerican. It’s immoral. It’s destroying jobs. It’s driving small business owners into bankruptcy. And it’s artificially driving up the costs to the consumers. But it’s exactly how Big Government works. And it’s disgusting and indefensible.