Thursday, June 29, 2006

Somali Mafia paralyzes Minneapolis!

So says Katie today in a column titled Newcomer fights city’s taxi cartel and may triumph. According to Katie and her economic freedom holy man Nick Dranias, the only solution to finding a cab for a blind Hispanic woman at K Mart on Lake Street is to throw out the entire licensing system for Minneapolis cabs. A perfect social Darwinist hunter gatherer solution!

The raison d’être for the numerical limitation of cab licenses in the city of Minneapolis is, of course, as Katie describes it:
Defenders of Minneapolis' limit say that it ensures a living wage for drivers and a viable business for cab company owners, and also minimizes traffic congestion and pollution.

But Dranias says:
"Minneapolis has an outmoded system of regulating cabs," says Nick Dranias, an institute staff attorney. "But current cab companies love it, because it inflates their profits and keeps competitors out."

Dranias sums up the problem this way: Minneapolis arbitrarily caps regular taxi licenses at 343, creating a government-sanctioned cartel.

A cartel? OPEC is a cartel. The Minneapolis cab licensing system may need some adjustment, but it is hysterical rhetoric to call it a cartel. To people like Katie and Dranias, government can’t do anything that is truly in the public interest, perhaps with the exception of invading Iraq and spending us into oblivion.

And running a cab in Minneapolis is obviously so lucrative; that’s why the Somali drivers have apparently cornered the market. No wonder everyone wants in!

Spotty says don’t discount the pollution and congestion concern. In Spot’s suburb, virtually anybody can be licensed to haul trash. Spot’s collection day is Monday, and the clunking and crashing of a literal battalion of garbage trucks starts at 7:30 AM, and maneuvers are not finished until afternoon. Does Spot enjoy cheap garbage collection? Take a guess.

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