From The Daily Mail:
* Uber and other ride-sharing services will be allowed to operate legally [in Queensland]
* Taxis will be allowed to charge surge pricing and will receive $20,000
* QLD Premier announced a $100 million industry assistance package
* Queensland is the fourth Australian state to legalise ride-sharing apps
* The move is expected to anger anti ride-sharing app campaigners
The only reason why taxi licences had value was because they restricted supply, raised artificial barriers to entry, thus pushing up prices for passengers and destroying jobs etc. If the government realises its mistake and changes the rules, why on earth would they compensate the people who have unfairly benefitted in the past? The mind boggles.
For the benefit of Striebs, this is anathema to left-libertarians; such compensation is the opposite thereof, i.e. rent seeking and wasting taxpayer's money all rolled into one.
I can sort of see the "left wing" argument for subsidising particular activities if at least it increases output and employment or ensures security of supply (although on closer inspection, other factors usually outweigh the apparent gains), but such a subsidy achieves nothing, it does not increase the number of taxis or passenger journeys one iota and costs the taxpayer money so fails from a left-wing perspective as well as from a "libertarian" perspective.
Similarly, I support the "libertarian" case for removing barriers to entry and increasing competition, although this is usually not a left-wing cause (thus putting the lefties in a dilemma - do they want to restrict supply/boost incumbents' wages with permits; or increase supply with subsidies?)
Taxi driver bleating also reminds me of a terrible KLN: "But I paid for my house out of taxed income!" No you didn't, you paid for it out of the money you were saving on rent; by and large, taxi licence holders have collected more in extra income than they ever originally paid for their licences (bearing in mind they were originally issued for low or zero cost).
Thursday, 11 August 2016
From The Daily Mail: