Portland – The Petri Dish of Progressivism Shows You Everything You Need To Know About Their Assault on Free Markets
As Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” Portland, Oregon, though, really is here to help. The problem is that the city hasn’t created laws to benefit Portlanders—it’s created them to benefit one specific industry, at the expense of every consumer in the area.
The Portland city council two years ago put in place regulations that force limousine and sedan services to charge a $50 minimum for rides to and from the airport, and at least 35 percent more than taxis for trips to any other destination. And these transportation companies cannot pick up customers until at least an hour after the customer calls for a ride.
Frank Dufray, administrator for Portland’s Private-for-Hire Transportation Program, which regulates both taxi and livery services, said the laws aren’t intended to help consumers or the city, but to protect market share for the taxi industry.
“The main thing is that you don’t want the Town cars to take all of the best fares, which are to the airport, and not leave any for the taxi industry,” he said. “That’s why there’s a minimum fare and a one-hour wait requirement.”
The Institute for Justice, the libertarian public-interest law firm, has just filed suit in federal court against the city. They succinctly summarize the issue at stake:
Can the government bar entrepreneurs from offering competitive prices, online discounts and prompt service merely to protect politically powerful insiders from competition?
That is the question the Institute for Justice (IJ) and its clients seek to answer though a federal lawsuit they have filed challenging Portland, Oregon’s anticompetitive limousine and sedan regulations.
Read More about their assault on Groupon