Taxi medallion markets collapse across America

There are no winners here:

Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates the city's taxi industry, had sold newly-created medallions for wheel-chair accessible taxis for $80,000 each. The bargain price came after the authority put the medallions on the market last fall, with an initial asking price of $475,000, but received no bids. [...]

Uber's labor practices are deplorable, and the company uses rhetoric about "disrupting inefficient markets" as cover for some really evil behavior. But the reason the rhetoric rings so true is that municipal taxi licensing is a disaster, and it's one that was deliberately made and continued for decades thanks to the great wealth the dysfunction brought to a tiny minority, who made so much that they were able to set some of their gains aside to lobby to make things stay the same.

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5 Responses:

  1. Jordan Kraemer says:

    Pretty much sums up capitalism: "...thanks to the great wealth the dysfunction brought to a tiny minority, who made so much that they were able to set some of their gains aside to lobby to make things stay the same."

    • James says:

      Capitalism often exists apart from regulatory capture, just not for very long.

    • Bill says:

      Sadly, it's common enough it has a name: regulatory capture.

      Not sure how that sums up capitalism, however.

  2. nooj says:

    So, a medallion which cost $70,000 in 2007, went up to $357,000 in 2013, and is now worth $80,000. Sounds like an emergency to me.

    "There's zero market," said Goodbar, who also owns 59 medallions. "In my case, a buyer would have to come to the table with about $220,000 in cash per medallion, because there isn't any financing available."

    That's because assholes like Goodbar can't believe they might be worth less than $220,000.

  3. Mike says:

    Asian chicks in Asia on Instagram 100% agree:

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