Buggy Whip Manufacturers Sue Ford Over Lost Revenues

Via Reason and the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Four taxi drivers are suing Uber and seeking class-action status, alleging they’ve seen up to a 40 percent dip in business since the ride-hailing service began operating in violation of local regulations.

  • Mike Powers

    Buggy-whip manufacturer complaining about his competitors:

    "[I]t is irritating to try to run a business in compliance with the law and
    to find yourself undercut by folks who are avoiding the more expensive
    parts of the law. Years ago there used to be a couple of non-profits
    who competed against me running campgrounds. They were really for
    profit - they just paid their president a large salary rather than
    dividends - but used the non-profit status** as a dodge to try to accept
    volunteer labor. Eventually, they were stopped by several courts from
    doing so."

  • Earl Wertheimer

    Except that most of these laws were created to restrict competition. The city colludes with the Taxi association to restrict the number of taxi licenses. The Taxi association now has an asset (license) that escalates in value depending on population growth, etc... Their monopoly on taxi service enables them to benefit from the higher taxi fares for decades. The original taxi association owners now hold licenses that are no longer obtainable from the city and in some cases are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Now they are crying because the government they colluded with is no longer willing to support their monopoly.

    Not-for-profit status is an entirely different scam.

    The solution in both cases is not to enforce the law, but to eliminate the monopoly or remove the not-for-profit status.

  • bigmaq1980

    "Not-for-profit status is an entirely different scam." Absolutely correct. Not an apples to apples comparison whatsoever.

  • Craig Loehle

    There was a famous old satire from France I believe where the candle makers were complaining about unfair competition from the sun, but you don't find out it is the sun until the end.
    Indeed governments often do try to protect buggy-whip makers. The "unfair" button in humans is easily pushed and we don't like change.

  • rst1317

    What sadly entertains me more isn't this sort of buggy whip vs Ford situation but a lot of Progressive blogs /and comments that touch on Uber. They'll rail against Uber for not paying benefits, living wage, "forcing" drivers to pay for the car ( aka use their own vehicle ). They seem to have no clue that almost all of the taxi industry has worked that way since the 1970s.