Video: Nashville forces limo services to charge higher prices

posted at 1:36 pm on April 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Why would Nashville force limousine companies to nearly double their prices to consumers?  The Institute for Justice highlights the plight of independent limo operators who find themselves at the mercy of a partnership between city politicians and big limousine operators in Music City.  The Tennessee Livery Association, a trade group formed by the largest competitors in the field, pressed the Metropolitan City Council to pass a wide-ranging set of mandates that not only forces customers to either pay more or opt for taxi services rather than the more comfortable limo services, but also imposes onerous new costs onto smaller, independent operators.  The net effect will reduce demand for limo services and squeeze small businessmen like Ali Bokhari out of the market:

Until 2010, sedan and independent limo services were an affordable alternative to taxicabs.  A trip to the airport only cost $25.  But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of anti-competitive regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association—a trade group formed by expensive limousine companies.  These regulations force sedan and independent limo companies to increase their fares to $45 minimum.

The regulations also prohibit limo and sedan companies from using leased vehicles, require them to dispatch only from their place of business, require them to wait a minimum of 15 minutes before picking up a customer and forbid them from parking or waiting for customers at hotels or bars.  And, in January 2012, companies will have to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine.

These regulations have nothing to do with public safety.  Nashville could have limited its requirements to those regulations that are designed to genuinely protect the public’s health and safety, such as requiring insured and inspected vehicles, and driver background checks, but instead, Nashville is stooping to economic protectionism to put affordable car services out of business in favor of more expensive services that happen to have more political power.  Many Nashville residents who regularly use limos and sedans will be forced to spend twice as much money for exactly the same service and hard-working sedan drivers will be driven out of business.

Yeah, you know, that Ayn Rand was a nut, huh?  That Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog rule doesn’t happen in real life.  And government doesn’t partner with favored businesses in “trade associations” to destroy competition and innovation.  All that Atlas Shrugged nonsense is, like, totally unrealistic.

Until, that is, it happens to you, either as a businessman like Bokhari, or as consumers, as those who used to use the services of Bokhari and others at a fair price that satisfied everyone.  As in Atlas Shrugged, the intervention is supposedly to save consumers from danger, but in practice just eliminates upstarts that threaten the market position of the powerful — and makes those powerful even more reliant on interventionist government.

This kind of mercantilism doesn’t just happen on the federal level, and IJ is fighting to keep it from spreading on all levels.  Be sure to follow this case as it proceeds.


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Obama is not a socialist. Quit that meme.

He is a Chavez.

He’s for “social construct”, the Hobbes kind.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Internalize this, from now until Nov. 2012 – from the Henninger thread in the headlines

Obama.2011 has been something else—testy, petulant, impatient, arrogant and increasingly a divider.

Think this is bad? Ain’t seen nuttin yet. The real Øbama will emerge only after the 2012 election. A re-elected Øbama will double down on thuggery, bullying, divisiveness, lawlessness and power grabs.

petefrt on April 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 1:41 PM

The free market doesn’t work because……it isn’t free anymore.

cartooner on April 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Somebody needs to keep track of these “Atlas Shrugged” moments.

mankai on April 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I hope everyone will note that the minimum wage is basically the same thing.

Count to 10 on April 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Remember when we would laugh at the Soviet Union propping up bad industries to keep people employed?

Now we’re worse

Prediction: next year Dagney is number >5 name for girls

tomg51 on April 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM

<5

tomg51 on April 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

How the Ice in Your Drink is Imperiling the Planet

The EPA is going after your icemaker next…

tetriskid on April 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Well this makes sense. Because in a lousy economy, why wouldn’t you wanna make a luxury item like limo services MORE expensive?

Doughboy on April 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM

But what purpose did the ordinance ostensibly serve?

Abby Adams on April 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Ridiculous. This nation is screwed.

blatantblue on April 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

This is really annoying. My son is probably going to go to college in Nashville and the airport is pretty far from the campus. This is going to increase costs for everyone getting to the airport from downtown or points west of there.

rockmom on April 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Limos are evil. Everybody know that. Only rich people use Limos, so they are evil too.

AverageJoe on April 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Corporations and unions paying for government access to establish a monopoly, or a protected economic environment in which they can prosper. The little guy gets squeezed out and the free market be damned.

sharrukin on April 21, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Be interesting to know who on the Metropolitan County Council is getting “political contributions” from the Tennessee Livery Association.

GarandFan on April 21, 2011 at 1:55 PM

This is really annoying. My son is probably going to go to college in Nashville and the airport is pretty far from the campus. This is going to increase costs for everyone getting to the airport from downtown or points west of there.
rockmom on April 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

MTSU? I got one there.

Akzed on April 21, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Tip

Andrew Klavan: How to Behave During an Islamic Massacre

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/04/andrew-klavan-how-to-behave-during.html

Nearly Nobody on April 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

It seems like it’s going to be time to shrug very soon.

cpaulus on April 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I’d take out an ad….

‘Conversation to the Airport….$25.00′

problem solved.

Limerick on April 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I’d take out an ad….

‘Conversation to the Airport….$25.00′

problem solved.

Limerick on April 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Go gulching and barter for services. YOU are such a good one, Lim.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM

IJ is a great organization. Worth your consideration for support!

Pablo Snooze on April 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM

WTF ? Just, WTF ?!?!?!
*shrugs*

pambi on April 21, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Wow, the libs are really watching out for the middle class here aren’t they?

/s

karenhasfreedom on April 21, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Mr. Morrissey,
I enjoy and appreciate the Atlas Shrugged references…
it is important that people see the similarities…

mjbrooks3 on April 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM

NLRB is charging Boeing where they can build their plants.
Another Brilliant post by Mr. Morrissey

We’ve seen this Union thuggery applied to lemonade stands and Girl Scout cookies.

If this heat keeps up, make it a campaign issue. It’s relevant.

Kini on April 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

The common thread in these stories? Unions. Cause they suuuuuuuuuuuck.

laurakbarr on April 21, 2011 at 2:12 PM

They’ve done the same thing to farmers & ranchers.
Require all sorts of ‘facilities’ to deal with ‘spills’ & ‘contamination’ of ‘waterways’ etc.
These things do nothing for the environment.
All they do is put the small processor/producer/businessman out of business.
Then you end up with huge mega farms & livestock facilities bcs they are the only ones with:political clout
huge tons of cash in the forms of subsidies
Reduced competition bcs the govt put you out of business.

Badger40 on April 21, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Ever notice why there are no ebays or Amazons or Googles or Facebooks or Twitters coming out of Europe or Japan? This is why. Europe’s and Japan’s crony capitalism world makes it impossible for an upstart to succeed.

US used to be different. Build a better mouse trap, become rich. Not anymore. Now it’s build a better mousetrap, the owners of the other mousetrap companies send a check to Obama and your business is closed due to non-compliance with a regulation that was written by the legal department of your competitor.

angryed on April 21, 2011 at 2:15 PM

The EPA is going after your icemaker next…

tetriskid on April 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Gee I hope not..Since I got my newfangled ice maker I seem to have misplaced my very own icemaking recipe.

kringeesmom on April 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Oh & I forgot to mention selective enforcement of rules & laws.
For instance, we have almost eradicated leafy spurge from our property by using bugs for years & spray.
Last year our pick up broke down we use to spray with & we were trying to get the $$ to fix it.
The county weed board sent us threatening letters saying they were going to fine us thousands of dollars if we didn’t spray by X date. My husband explained the situatino to them.
They didn’t care.
None of our big farmer neighbors who have NEVER sprayed or done anything to contain their spurge problem were served such letters. (the spurge line stops at our property line & begins like a carpet onto theirs).

Badger40 on April 21, 2011 at 2:17 PM

The EPA is going after your icemaker next…

tetriskid on April 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM
Gee I hope not..Since I got my newfangled ice maker I seem to have misplaced my very own icemaking recipe.

kringeesmom on April 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM

They won’t be happy til we bring back ice houses.
Boy those were the good old days./

Badger40 on April 21, 2011 at 2:18 PM

From a Tea Party sign in Roanoke, VA: Atlas is pissed shrugging.

roopster217 on April 21, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Boy those were the good old days./

Badger40 on April 21, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Yep, pining for the good ol’days before vaccinations, electricity, refrigeration, and flush toilets.

Kini on April 21, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The City of Des Moines did just about they same thing years ago with taxi cabs. Des Moines now has ONE taxi cab Co. Lib’s call that pro-choice.

IowaWoman on April 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of anti-competitive Dog Eat Dog regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association

Straight out of Atlas Shrugged….

UltimateBob on April 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Yep, pining for the good ol’days before vaccinations, electricity, refrigeration, and flush toilets.

Kini on April 21, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Damn straight! Bcs I’ve got lots of time to live the hunter gatherer lifestyle.
Living with Mothe Gaia like a wild animal.

Badger40 on April 21, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Cripe

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Indeed Mankai

Ed, time for Atlas shrugged of the day (asotd)

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Ed, time for Atlas shrugged of the day (asotd)

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Oh my! That would be so great! Plesssssssssse ED Plesssssse. I love it, I love it, I love it!

IowaWoman on April 21, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Somebody needs to keep track of these “Atlas Shrugged” moments.

mankai on April 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM

What a sad state for the country, so soon afer AS was written as fiction…and the left deny this reality. Indeed, they are the grown ups in the room. See crr6.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 2:48 PM

When government allies closely with, and co-opts industry and labor unions to create and enforce socio-economic policy it’s called Corporatism. And Corporatism is at the heart of Fascist economic policy. Fascism and Communism are just two sides of the same coin of totalitarian Socialism. Mussolini, the creator of Fascism, was a committed Socialist — he hated capitalism, hated liberal democracy and felt that elites should run society. At the heart of Fascism’s economic system is Corporatism, in which the government controls society via the economy; and it controls the economy by co-opting and controlling industrialists (GE, GM) and Labor Unions (SEIU, AFL-CIO). That’s the road Obama has put us on.

EasyEight on April 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM

This is ridiculous. I hope the voters in Nashville are paying attention and will vote out the City Council members responsible for this crap. And I also hope that they can follow the money and find out whose pockets the TLA lined so that could get these regs passed.

AZCoyote on April 21, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Unfortunately, the City of Nashville (As well as Memphis and possibly Knoxville) are some very liberal bastions in an otherwise solidly red state.

Just remember, the Good Ol’ Boy network and Tennessee Waltz (the sting, not the dance) are a way of life in these parts.

Tennman on April 21, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Time to play the race card.

The city council of Nashville is seemingly obviously Racist! They are discriminating against Ali Bokhari a minority person just trying to make a living.

RJL on April 21, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Ed, time for Atlas shrugged of the day (asotd)

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Excellent! “Obamateurism of the Day” + “Shrug of the Day”

dominigan on April 21, 2011 at 3:53 PM

The EPA is going after your icemaker next…

tetriskid on April 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The problem with that is that freezers work more efficiently when they are full, so having your freezer full of ice cubes will be better for the environment and global warming.

Of course the eco-watermelons never let real science get in their way.

RJL on April 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM

THIS right here is a “conspiracy”, but of course … according to GoodLt, Crr6, Allahpundit, and many others … “conspiracies” don’t exist and are only to believed by nutjobs.

Nothing to see here. Ed’s obviously a conspiracy nut.

Gregor on April 21, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Corporatism.

Somewhere, Benito Musollini is smiling.

iurockhead on April 21, 2011 at 7:09 PM

It seems like it’s going to be time to shrug very soon.

cpaulus on April 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

The time is NOW if not YESTERDAY.

It’s time to stop asking who John Galt is.
It’s time to find a little of him in all of us.
It’s time to find a little of Patrick Henry in all of us.
(It’s been time to that for some time now actually!)
And a few others I can think of….

Chaz706 on April 21, 2011 at 8:11 PM

The common thread in these stories? Unions. Cause they suuuuuuuuuuuck.

laurakbarr on April 21, 2011 at 2:12 PM

What unions have anything to do with this?

The Tennessee Livery Association, a trade group formed by the largest competitors in the field

It’s a trade group, a guild of businessmen, not unlike the Chamber of Commerce, not unionized workers.

Anyone who really thinks that big businesses get big simply through pure free enterprise competition and no collusion nor lobbying nor behind the scenes deals is, well, mistaken.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 21, 2011 at 10:54 PM