City Of Aspen Jails Cab Driver For Charging His Customers Too Little
In Aspen, Colorado a man was put in jail for 15 days for operating an unlicensed taxi service. But the real problem wasn’t that his service was unsafe or fraudulent or anything like that. It’s that in Aspen, to become a licensed taxi service you have to agree to a minimum fare rate. The cab cartel in Aspen has made it illegal to charge below a certain level for cab rides. This guy refused to go along with that price fixing (he only asked for free-will contributions), and so he went to jail for his trouble.
Except, now he’s out of jail and giving rides in his cab again. Only now his company is a non-profit called “Free Rides for People Who Need Them Inc.” The fares still come from donations.
Donations to the company will be used to maintain Sullivan’s white Kia minivan and to pay for vehicle insurance, according to a “sponsorship agreement” between Sullivan and the nonprofit that accompanies the certificate of incorporation.
Sullivan cannot draw a salary or receive any compensation for his time, the agreement states. “It allows me to operate and give my friends a free ride home, but I don’t look at it as a victory,” Sullivan said Thursday of his new arrangement.
We can’t have any unfair competition.
The State of Minnesota is, right now, having a debate over burdensome occupational licensing requirements. I think that’s a debate the entire nation needs to have. Whereas such policies are sold on the notion that they protect consumers from the unqualified and/or unscrupulous, more often they act (as we see in this case from Aspen) as protectionist policies intended to smother competition.Tags: big government, monopolies