Wednesday, October 06, 2004

People Who Sell Glass Houses...

A southeast Michigan woman faces up to 10 years in prison for the simple act of street commerce. Yuolanda Taylor of St. Joseph found herself in the middle a police riot in June - amid rioters lacking in suitable projectiles for hurling at the cops - and decided to make a figurative killing by selling rocks to members of the melee for as much as $5 each. She decided to retire from the scene with a profit of $70 after being hit by one of her products herself, but that was doubtless just bad luck. She's charged with inciting a riot, despite the fact that she was merely servicing the needs of individuals who themselves happened to be rioting. One bright point though; with her history of combining the felonious conduct of others with a capitalist impulse she's sure to dominate the trade on black market prison cigarettes.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Flagging Down Economic Liberty

Recent business news out of Florida has taught us a valuable lesson: don't try giving your customers a price break, especially if you operate a car service in Hillsborough County. Daniel Steiner of DSL Transport Service was giving customers limousine rides for less than the mandated minimum price of $40 a ride. He figured he could still make enough on his short trips charging less. Unfortunately, as the County's Public Transportation Commission informed him, this was not a decision the law permitted him to make. One counterargument posed by taxi operators has it that limo services should have to stick to the regulations just like they do - if the limo drivers can set their own prices and terms of service, it'll hurt the taxi drivers who still have so many rules to follow. The idea that they should be deregulated as well hasn't seemed to occur to anyone involved - with the possible exception of Mr. Steiner's lawyers from the Pacific Legal Foundation (make your tax-deductible contribution now!).