August 10, 2012

"The right to work for a living in the common occupations of the community is of the very essence of the personal freedom and opportunity that the Constitution was designed to protect."

Wrote the federal judge who struck down Utah's requirement that you need a cosmetology license to work as a hair braider.

This is a sharply libertarian result, so I find it amusing to see NPR and Matthew Yglesias celebrating the decision. Why would liberals love a decision second-guessing the legislature's judgment about the extent of government regulation in the economic realm? Click on the links and see if you too are amused.

107 comments:

Andy R. said...

It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation.

rubymudpuppy said...

No, it is not.

Virgil Hilts said...

Andy R - if the suit fits, wear it.

But this is why a lot of us now declare libertarian. Both houses of Utah legislature heavily controlled by Republicans (almost 80%). So much for the party of small government.

Chip S. said...

Why is this decision being hailed by NPR? I'd hazard the guess that multicultidiversitarianism overrides their distrust of libertarianism.

From the comments at the NPR link, the case apparently was aided by the libertarianInstitute for Justice.

Marshal said...

They cheer because they perceive it as restricting a protected victim group. Suggest eliminating accounting certification and I suspect you'll get a different result.

Chip Ahoy said...
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Andy R. said...

It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation.

No, it is not.


Well, I've got evidence of liberals cheering the end of an unnecessary regulation. What's your counter-evidence? Besides the caricature of liberals you have in your head.

D. said...

"It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation."

this affected a black chick so proggtards are ok with getting rid of this reg.

Revenant said...

It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation.

True. They like regulation because crony capitalism is extremely lucrative for politicians.

I kid, sort of. Mostly they have just never had to deal with the way government regulation works, or were self-centered enough to think their personal red-tape nightmare was some sort of anomaly.

They don't see that regulation always benefits big business at the expense of smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. They don't see that each new regulation they pass to prevent "bad people" from doing "bad things" makes it that much more difficult for good people to get anything done. They don't see that they are making it easier for the rich to stay rich and harder for the poor and middle class to improve their lot.

They think properity is achieved through bureaucracy. They're wrong.

Eric said...

What does this mean going forward? In CA we have these kinds of licensing schemes for virtually any occupation you can think of. Would they all go away or did the court find some way to narrow the ruling down to just this case?

Michael said...

Liberals are astonishingly ignorant of business, economics, finance. Other than rich lefty bankers, of course, who game the system with glee and with ease.

Eric said...

Liberals are astonishingly ignorant of business, economics, finance.

Oh, I dunno. They seem to be pretty good at saving money. Harry Reid has never pulled down a bigger salary than about $140k and yet somehow his net worth is over ten million dollars. That's some good money management.

Michael said...

You need a license to braid hair, paint toenails, cut hair, sell real estate,,design interiors. For starters.

Michael said...

Eric. Reid had a magic real estate deal worth about ten times the magic commodity trade of H Clinton. This is known as graft, not business.

Eric said...

Sigh. I've never been able to write satire.

Craig Howard said...

Well, I've got evidence of liberals cheering the end of an unnecessary regulation. What's your counter-evidence? Besides the caricature of liberals you have in your head.

You just reinforced the caricature of liberals I have in my head by not producing the evidence unprompted.

Coketown said...

Andy R. and Matt Yglesias are cheering this decision because the thought of sassy black women braiding hair makes them wet. It must be a gay liberal thing. It certainly isn't because, as Andy R. asserts, liberals are against unnecessary regulation. They played no part in this instance of obvious deregulation, and I doubt he could name a single other regulation, in any industry, he'd be happy to have repealed.

Sorry, but the idea that liberals are sensible in their incessant push for regulating every facet of the economy is laughable. Whatever happened to Obama's "line-by-line" promise, anyway?

chickelit said...

I'm amused at the thought of whether the hairbraider pays to have her hair straightened. Maybe she does it herself at home with an irony.

Coketown said...

This is also a glorious opportunity for Andy to have his hair braided so he can ditch the stupid ballcap.

rubymudpuppy said...

"Well, I've got evidence of liberals cheering the end of an unnecessary regulation. What's your counter-evidence? Besides the caricature of liberals you have in your head."

You and other retards cheer because she is a black. Fuck off racist!

garage mahal said...

20 comments in. Who says conservatives aren't obsessed with race?

"this affected a black chick so proggtards are ok with getting rid of this reg."

"Andy R. and Matt Yglesias are cheering this decision because the thought of sassy black women braiding hair makes them wet"

"You and other retards cheer because she is a black. Fuck off racist!"

campy said...

Of course liberals cheer this decision. The regulation was written by Mormons.

rubymudpuppy said...

You don't understand their snarks.

Who said I speak for them, dumbass?

Go look under rocks for evil Koch brothers or whatever your hobby is.

Coketown said...

20 comments in. Who says conservatives aren't obsessed with race?

Neither side is obsessed with race. Both sides are obsessed with the other side's obsession with race. If that weren't true neither of us would have brought it up.

And I'm sure your first thought was, "What's a black woman doing in Utah?!" Racist.

chickelit said...

Coketown said...
This is also a glorious opportunity for Andy to have his hair braided so he can ditch the stupid ballcap.

Isn't it called corn hoeing or corn rowing? I forget.

Coketown said...

Isn't it called corn hoeing or corn rowing? I forget.

On him it's just called fabulous.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The only thing liberals like more than regulation for regulation's sake is watching judges pull emanations from their penumbras.

As much as I dislike such regulations, they hardly rise to the level of a 14th amendment civil rights violation. If people don't like such regulations, change your state government, or change your state.

Now if these were federal regulations, that would be a different matter.

Eustace Chilke said...

NPR cheers this decision because the license requirement restricted black hair stylists. Duh.

The same reasoning could strike down whole forests of license and other regulations. But, you know.... We've always been at war with Eastasia. No need to fear logical consistency.

John Lynch said...
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edutcher said...

Actually, a hair-braider can run into some interesting scalp conditions.

Andy R. said...

It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation.

No, they also like them because they can always impose a fee along with the kick they get out of forcing somebody to do it their way.

John Lynch said...

What about cabs?

Original Mike said...

"Why would liberals love a decision second-guessing the legislature's judgment about the extent of government regulation in the economic realm?"

Occam's Razor says it's because liberals are stupid.

The Crack Emcee said...

Here's a story more typical of Utah, if that one gives you cooties.

Happens almost every day, rarely makes the national news.

Probably why everyone thinks Mormons are so "nice"....

rhhardin said...

The point of the regulation is to get bribes, rather than the reverse.

TomHynes said...

In California, I am a licensed attorney, real estate broker, electrician, and animal trapper. I am equally competent in all professions and my income from each is equal. I fully support the decision.

traditionalguy said...

Licensing every human commercial activity as a learned profession is a trick played since the late 1950s to get money for relatives and supporters of the politicians and shutting out the working poor from competing with the middle class who vote.

Then the Depression hit 3 years ago, and did they ease up on the corrupt system? No, they raised the rents for being in business and fines for getting caught.

This courageous Judge blew the whistle on the whole system. The low grade local government thieves were stealing from the poor under a pretense of stopping dangers to customers. They are about to find that all of their slow cooked frogs just jumped out of the boiling kettle designed for robbing the poor.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

You can always count on Althouse to incite racism amongst her racist commenters. KKKlassy.

Methadras said...

Andy R. said...

It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation.


No it isn't. First example? Urkel's EPA. Want more besides the white sauce overload you seek?

traditionalguy said...

Frankly, who gives a damn what race the working poor are a blend of?

Get off their backs and pay your own real estate taxes for local government salaries and benefits and pensions.

The NPR is a voice for the upper class. They see good in a Judge allowing poor skilled workers to live from their labor without being shaken down and raped into poverty by the middleclass politicians.

AprilApple said...

Liberals do like regulation for the sake of regulation. It's not silly, it's reality.

Seven Machos said...

What about cabs?

John Lynch -- I don't know where you come down on the issue but I think it's obvious that taxis can and should be heavily regulated by municipalities if not states. When you get in a car with someone, you subject yourself to all kinds of risk -- robbery, rape, murder, a terrible wreck, etc., etc.

Taxi regulation is a perfect example of why libertarianism can be just as pie-in-the-sky as the worst aspects of socialism.

elkh1 said...

"Why would liberals love a decision second-guessing the legislature's judgment?"

Because it's the Utah legislature. If it were California, they would complain about judicial over reach.
Where are the complaints about domestic drone-spying? military deaths in Afghanistan? Oh, what happens to Gitmo? Seems they are preparing to do some "civil war" thing too when they lost the White House.

AprilApple said...

I tried to start a small venue business. The local liberal control freak government forced me to jump through so many hoops and face so many taxes and fees that I had no choice but to scrap the whole thing. Plus, I did the math. Liberals don't like it when small businesses make a little money. Looking at the new tax bracket for venues, my bottom line turned into zilch. Liberals detest any sort of trickle up/down/sideways economics. All my friends who were hoping to hop in with related services, were left cold too. Liberals layer so many taxes , fees and regulations - they smother opportunity. It's not just a big government problem; it's a small government problem.

As we know from on high, Lord Obama sayeth that profit is bad.

I bow.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

This blog entry is terrifically stupid. Liberalism is NOT the same thing as democracy. It embraced the latter insofar as it challenged the divine right of kings, and libertarianism is nothing more than an extreme offshoot of liberalism in its original form. What the hell do you think the original Latin root behind both words, "liber", means?

Why do you find such ignorance worthy of so much pride?

AprilApple said...

If the left are starting to wake up to the fact that their control freak behavior is killing this nation, killing jobs, killing ingenuity and personal creativity, killing innovation, and killing our independent spirit... "you didn't build that" pro-government at every turn bullshit - Well, that's a start.

They can still go F themselves.

traditionalguy said...

Hi Ritmo. We have missed your sharp analysis.

The regulation of dangerous activities such as cars for hire running on public streets, or learned professions such as medical and legal professions seems traditional and adjusted to experience.

But making every other commercial act of a service provider retricted and taxed crosses a line for me. What should the answer be?

AprilApple said...

Libertarians and Liberals are usually polar opposites.

The modern liberal (not to be confused with the classical liberal) desire an all-encompassing government that exists to help the common good, craddle to grave.

Libertarians want no part of that.

Original Mike said...

"It's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation."

Of course liberals don't like regulation for the sake of regulation. Nice straw man there, Hatman. Liberals like regulation because they "know" the right way to live. They're doing us all a favor by mandating right thinking.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Who is John Locke? Was liberalism really invented by Bolshevists in 1917? Is regulation for its own sake its over-riding goal?

These and many other intriguing questions will be asked and presumptuously answered (or their foregone conclusions ignored) next week, this week and every week on THE ALTHOUSE BLOG!

wyo sis said...

I'm not sure I'm amused exactly. but I am glad common sense prevailed for whatever reason.

Those braids just look painful, I wouldn't want to get them, but to each his or her own.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I dunno, but thanks for your welcome TradGuy. Good to see you too.

I guess the answer to that question will always tend to be up for debate. Personally, I'd think sharp objects near someone's head would be as potentially dangerous as hiring a driver - and equally worthy therefore of regulation, but maybe that's just me. And then other libertarians/liberals would say, hey, someone just wants to make a buck or two cutting someone's hair - not a very lucrative or generally dangerous occupation. Have some sympathy for the poor barbers and let them run a shop out of their kitchen when in dire straits and with minimal hassle if need be.

I can definitely see a less lucrative occupation making a better case for less financially onerous restrictions as compared a much more lucrative occupation.

chickelit said...

Interesting mix tonight: Ritmo, Machos, and special guest, ZPS.

Too bad I'll have to miss out. I'll check the damage in the morning.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, whatever, Chick Literature. If he goes hog wild on the usual tangents then the point on ideologies sharing the same root liber still stands.

April Apple brings up the obvious point, but its wrong. The only reason the libertarian made common cause with the conservative is because one said that private actors should be able to abuse you in any way they see fit and the other just looked the other way, ignored that problem, and said, "Hey, at least it's not the government doing the abusing!"

Liberals want no part of that.

But then the libertarians saw that conservatives could install their own private sector bullies in the government, too. And it shocked and horrified them.

The rest of that story could be told by Ron Paul. Or Yglesias. But you won't hear it from most of the crowd here, unfortunately.

wef said...

Can some mature adult and I exchange a little weed for some dollars now?

Synova said...

Most likely it's just that some things are so egregiously silly that even hard core liberals have to admit it.

Someone had a similar issue on the east coast not too long ago. They wanted to do a minnow pedi (honest to gawd, you put your feet in a bucket of little fish that nibbled on you.)

I don't know how that ever worked out. And if the courts came to a different conclusion was it because there is a difference in the threat to public health or because the expensive, imported, and entirely ridiculous fish in a bucket involved pampered spa-going white ladies?

AprilApple said...

The collective left assume everyone is guilty and abusive, until you hand them their bribe.

Paul said...

Now I can see for such complex occupations as lawyers or doctors you need a license and pass a exam (such as a bar exam) but hair braider? Or even a barber?

The governments do that so as to GET MORE MONEY out of people. It's legal rippoff, just like 'asset forfeiture' laws.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The collective left assume everyone is guilty and abusive, until you hand them their bribe.

Hey everyone! April Apple just completely ignored some salient points and came up with another cliched and caricatured foregone conclusion of her own! Give her some applause. It must have taken quite a bit of work to do this, on her part.

For my part, allow me to come up with a cliche as thoughtless as hers, for those whom she would thoughtlessly defend:

The collective right assume everyone is inferior to you, until they acquire as much or more power than you have.

Cliches are what make life fun, right? They are what keep things running smoothly without having to do all that tedious thinking and observing. Stereotype is certainly an easier way to experience life, for those of us who find the alternative SO DAMN HARD!

/End satire.

Synova said...

"Taxi regulation is a perfect example of why libertarianism can be just as pie-in-the-sky as the worst aspects of socialism."

On the other hand, while in quaint foreign countries we think it's just fun to hire a shiny little motorcycle with a side-car and toot around like the locals do.

Quite honestly... I hired trikes or hopped on the jeepneys just like anyone else and I never thought... I wonder if the driver ever took driving lessons? I wonder if this vehicle has ever been inspected? I wonder if my little sidecar is going to break off and send me rolling uncontrollably down the hill, like in a movie? Where are the seat belts?

The Libertarian take on this stuff isn't pie in the sky at all. Not a bit. Just hire someone who's certified by a private agency known to be reliable. "Our drivers are graduates of Acme Safe Drivers advance course! Our cars are inspected and approved by Top Gear Cab Cert!"

It's not as though the government is accountable if their regulations fail to protect you. If Top Gear Cab Cert screws up they go out of business.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

To say nothing of those bicycle-powered rickshaws that became all the rage as of late...

Also, Synova brings up a good point. A private certifying agency is superior to the government regulating something because private actors can never be bribed. And their lack of accountability to formal decisions by the public at large is a huge plus. Markets are much less fallible than democracies.

Just ask Moody's.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Or the newest kid on the block to be picked on.. The Fed.

Completely authoritative autonomous body, not beholden to that nasty government oversight thang!

Rick Perry, are you listening?

Lance said...

The decision didn't second guess the legislation or the legislature; it corrected the decision of the regulators to apply the legislation to hairbraiders.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

What needs to happen is the state needs to limit the amount of people in any profession, just like New York City does its taxi cabs.

Paying $1,000,000 for the honor of being able to drive a cab in NYC makes perfect sense and should be applied everywhere in all aspects of a life for everyone, as not being employed deserves false scarcity also and our Government is the one to deliver it!

Entrenched interests are what made America great. I only wish we would have prevented Apple from existing, as well as Cisco, by creating barriers of entry so extreme as to cause feelings of hopelessness amongst their creators.

This would make the world safer as more scarcity always equals less strife.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Obamacare was pithy and not excessive, plus passed in 100% absolute complete transparency, and contains not one single iota anywhere that anyone could ever in million-plus-one-years call other than germane to saving lives.

They were making you safe and free from regulation on those pages.

They were trying to help you because they care for you and your family.

n.n said...

Left-wing ideology is not constructed on principles but on contrary positions. Their sole ambition is to exploit fractures wherever they may exist in order to advance their political, social, and economic standing. In Utah, their position would necessarily oppose the conservative majority's position.

It is this selective response which permits them to enjoy a philosophical paradox. It is this selective response, which permits them to reject creation as an article of faith, while promoting evolution (with respect to origin) as a competing article of faith, while simultaneously rejecting evolutionary principles.

Anyway, this is simply a matter of competing interests, and how the Left operates to gain an advantage.

Chip Ahoy said...

If you ever need some money, here's what you do.

Get yourself some flour tortillas, the real big kind that are thin and flat. And get some filling and make some burritos.

They can be the stupidest burritos ever. They do not have to be excellent burritos. Don't worry about your burritos being too stupid to sell. Just make them so you would eat one and if anyone goes, "Hey, this burrito is really stupid, " then you can say something like, "Oh, apologies. My retarded little brother makes them. Tim. Tiny Tim. His leg is broke too. He does the best he can. Would you like your $5.00 back?" And they'll usually say no.

I imagine.

But before it gets to that, you make a bunch of burritos, say, 50 or maybe 30 or maybe 10 or maybe just 2 and roll them up in aluminum foil and put them in a cooler and take them around to places where people are working, like hairdressing places, and all the little shops around where you are, in and out and up and down the sidewalks, in and out, in and out, going,"Hello! Does anybody care for a burrito?" in and out in and out until they're all sold or until lunch is passed. And if any are left over then eat them or whatever, I don't know what, just try to sell them all. And don't give up so easily.

DCS said...

It's pretty obvious why NPR is excited: look at her skin color. If the cosmetologist were white, they never would have reported on the case. it's not libertarianism, is multi-culturalism.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

(CNSNews.com) - Thanks to an Obamacare regulation that took effect on Aug. 1, health care plans in Oregon will now be required to provide free sterilizations to 15- year-old girls even if the parents of those girls do not consent to the procedure.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized the regulation earlier this year.

It says that all health care plans in the United States--except those provided by actual houses of worship organized under the section of the Internal Revenue Code reserved for churches per se--must provide coverage, without cost-sharing, for sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives to “all women with reproductive capacity.”

Seven Machos said...

Synova -- Other countries have licensing. Even poor ones. Perhaps especially poor ones because, as has been pointed out here, licensing schemes are very often rife with corruption and kickbacks.

If you were a bookie taking bets on whether countries where bike-drawn carriages are common have licensing schemes for those carriages, for example, I would bet that those countries do have such schemes.

bgates said...

When you get in a car with someone, you subject yourself to all kinds of risk

That's why municipalities should have a medallion system to control the number and qualifications of guys who pick up their dates instead of meeting them at the restaurant, and carpooling soccer moms.

I don't want to hear any libertarian moaning about "but she's my fiancee, I've been driving her around for a year and a half". It's bad enough the State doesn't enforce its legitimate interest in the safety of dating women and the success of marriages by appointing a panel of experts to select your dates for you. Don't think we're going to grandfather you in to the system.

Which reminds me, we should also license the ability of grandfathers to drive kids and their friends to the mall or wherever.

somefeller said...
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somefeller said...

Sorry Althouse, I clicked the links and didn't see anything particularly amusing. I also didn't see the sort of race-baiting commentary that some of the commenters here are engaged in. The stories at the links are pretty straightforward discussions of the merits of the case, and the Matt Yglesias piece has a good, essentially libertarian discussion of how publicly available reviews can perform better than licensing requirements to alert the public about quality service providers. As Andy said above, it's a silly caricature that liberals like regulation for the sake of regulation, and that's what's being implied here.

Also, with regard to government regulation of the economic sphere and its interplay with issues of race, I find it rather amusing to see that you are getting into such topics for discussion. I can recall one time where discussion of such issues caused you to break into tears.

Seven Machos said...

Feller -- You don't think it's racist that NPR is strangely libertarian and only strangely libertarian when the rights of minority small business owners who deal almost exclusively with minority customers is involved?

Synova said...

"If you were a bookie taking bets on whether countries where bike-drawn carriages are common have licensing schemes for those carriages, for example, I would bet that those countries do have such schemes."

Yes, but surely you're not arguing that they have anything to do with safety.

The organized graft and kick-backs are actually sort of proof against your premise, aren't they?

somefeller said...

Feller -- You don't think it's racist that NPR is strangely libertarian and only strangely libertarian when the rights of minority small business owners who deal almost exclusively with minority customers is involved?

I don't think it's racist because I'm not going on the assumption that NPR or Yglesias (and the Yglesias piece is more substantive) is basing their opinion on the case because of race. I think it's a caricature to assume that liberals will automatically support economic regulation unless they are acting on some sort of racial guilt complex. In fact, I'm willing to bet that more highly-educated liberals, like Yglesias or the NPR target market, are quite familiar with libertarian ideas (mild libertarianism is the ideology of choice among much of the upper middle class that the Yglesias/NPR crowd is familiar with) and are more receptive to them than, for example, Mike Huckabee-esque social conservatives who like big government when it supports their pet projects. So when they see laws like this one, they think they are pointless and support their repeal, either via legislative or judicial action.

Synova said...

I also ate food from street vendors who most certainly weren't licensed. But you watched them cook it (and what "it" was, was taken on faith, though the chicken intestines on a stick were sort of obvious, and I skipped those) on the little charcoal grills and could be sure they were hot enough to kill germs, though no one could watch the Lumpia Lady because she brought her food in a basket on a bicycle.

Do you know what we get sick from?

Organic spinach. Regulated, certified, organized and overseen.

Seven Machos said...

but surely you're not arguing that they have anything to do with safety

I most definitely am arguing that the licensing schemes are about safety. It's bureaucrats running the things, here and there and everywhere, and keeping the tourists and the locals who cab around safe is the primary concern. What you are doing is saying that because the schemes are or can be corrupted, the concept of regulating cabs itself is no good.

Corruption is part of life. You will never stamp it out; you can only mitigate it through good moral systems and good political systems. A taxi free-for-all would very quickly denigrate into a protection racket even if, somehow, miraculously, no taxi passengers got killed and raped and robbed.

Synova said...

I don't think they're racist, somefeller, I just think that if it was a rich white lady who wanted to add a minnow foot-bath to her day spa they'd have a different opinion.

And I hope it doesn't need to be said... I'm glad that this lady won her suit. It was the right thing.

Synova said...

Oh, and... thanks for the straw man, Ritmo.

My old ones were getting tatty.

Seven Machos said...

Feller -- Yglesias and Huckabee are politically exactly the same. Only their definitions of valuable pet big government projects differ.

And are you really suggesting that latte-drinking NPR listeners are lite libertarians? Really? You mean the kind of libertarians who want to force everyone to buy health insurance and raise everyone's taxes and make welfare rules more lax? You mean those kinds of libertarians?

Left-liberalism is nothing more than a taste issue for you. It's an aesthetic. That's what I think. But you are in league with NPR listeners by the truckload in that regard, certainly.

Revenant said...

Taxi regulation is a perfect example of why libertarianism can be just as pie-in-the-sky as the worst aspects of socialism.

I'm pretty sure that was meant as a joke?

Seven Machos said...

Synova -- I disagree about the food carts as well. My guess is that you need a license to operate those food carts -- particularly if you are in an area where there are other food carts.

Seven Machos said...

Put the gloves on, Rev. Let's go 15.

It would be absurd for any municipality not to regulate taxicabs. And the first time someone gets raped, or robbed, or killed, or mutilated in a wreck, the city that doesn't regulate will rightly get roped into a civil lawsuit for gross negligence for failing to regulate such an obviously dangerous enterprise.

somefeller said...

Feller -- Yglesias and Huckabee are politically exactly the same. Only their definitions of valuable pet big government projects differ.

Those definitions are pretty important and I'd suggest they are differences of kind rather than degree. And Yglesias has been accused by some more leftie types (read his comments section!) as being more of an East Coast libertarian than the sort of labor-socialist-nothing's too good for the working class sort of guy that they would prefer him to be.

And are you really suggesting that latte-drinking NPR listeners are lite libertarians? Really? You mean the kind of libertarians who want to force everyone to buy health insurance and raise everyone's taxes and make welfare rules more lax? You mean those kinds of libertarians?

No, but I am suggesting that they aren't unfamiliar with libertarian ideas and they may have more respect for them than you or others here are willing to give them credit for. That's part of their social milieu and they are influenced by it whether they want to agree with it or not.

Left-liberalism is nothing more than a taste issue for you. It's an aesthetic. That's what I think. But you are in league with NPR listeners by the truckload in that regard, certainly.

Well, I have been accused of being something of an aesthete in the past and I think I have good taste. Thank you for noticing. Though I prefer Sirius XM or my own music collection to NPR.

Seven Machos said...

Though I prefer Sirius XM or my own music collection to NPR.

I myself have not listened to the radio virtually at all since I was able to put my music on my phone and plug it into my car. It's a great time to be alive.

The left is much better at aesthetics overall, by the way. No question about that.

Synova said...

"What you are doing is saying that because the schemes are or can be corrupted, the concept of regulating cabs itself is no good."

I'm not meaning to say that.

I think that what I said was that regulation isn't fool proof and shouldn't be seen to be fool proof, and that there are other systems that could reasonably supply equivalent assurances (also not fool proof, in spite of Ritmo's straw creations.)

Part of the reason that we need our assurances to come from government and haven't developed private certifying networks, is because we've gone the government route so that's what we've got.

I don't think it would work to simply deregulate cabs, and there may be good reason for a city not to allow a free-for-all, though if there were too many cabs wouldn't you take a known and trusted company instead of a cab driven by a skanky guy driving a beater? Call a service you know and trust?

Heck, technology these days is such that visual verification and recording that this particular cab is legitimately certified and this particular driver has verified qualifications and back-ground checks wouldn't take more than a few seconds.

We might be stuck with what we've got, because that's the road we started down, but there's nothing inherently necessary about doing it that way.

Hair dressers display their State License so that customers know they're legit. Why can't they display a safety and training certification from an Association of Cosmetologists just as easily?

Am I really not an adult person who can check that sort of thing myself?

And if I chose to let my cousin Becky give me a perm and all my hair falls out, is that really a tragedy requiring the State to save me from myself?

Synova said...

Seven, you're assuming food carts and you're assuming a tourist area.

I'm talking dark dirt street with a little charcoal grill in front of someone's house. Yes, in an area Americans are likely to walk... on their way home or to some skanky clubs.

No, this is not usually the case. It's actually particularly self-regulating because no one is entirely anonymous in the community. People are generally careful about making people who know them and where they live, sick.

somefeller said...

It's a great time to be alive.

Yes, it is, for many reasons. Those who say otherwise for political reasons of any stripe (as opposed to those who say otherwise for intensely personal reasons) should be shunned. And with that I close.

Well - one more thing. The breaking news is that sources say Romney will name Paul Ryan as his running mate tomorrow. Most interesting.

Revenant said...

Put the gloves on, Rev. Let's go 15.

You've made the usual mistake of assuming that the statement "black market solutions are dangerous" means that the law is creating safety. The reality is that the law, by creating the black market, created the danger in the first place. Gypsy cabs are dangerous not because the act of paying or bribing a bureaucrat makes you a better driver, but because gypsy cabs are by definition all driven by criminals. If you have two groups, and group one is 100% criminals and group two is the usual mix of criminals and normal people, guess which group is safer to get in a car with? Add it up, it all spells "duh".

Now, I guess you might say "well, what will stop criminals from driving cabs if there's no licensing"? The answer is "the same thing that stops them now". Which is to say, nothing at all. The licensing scheme stops only law-abiding drivers from driving cabs. A person who is planning to rape or rob you is obviously not going to draw the line at "oh, but I might get a ticket". This is the same mentality that says a ban on concealed carry would have stopped the Aurora theater shooting.

So that pretty much leaves the argument that giving a driver a license somehow makes him a safer person to drive with. Given that most taxi licensing schemes require no special training or classes -- just the fee to the government -- I'd say you have your work cut out for you if you plan to make that particular argument. :)

Seven Machos said...

if there were too many cabs wouldn't you take a known and trusted company instead of a cab driven by a skanky guy driving a beater? Call a service you know and trust?

I lean libertarian, and I find much regulation abhorrent. Certainly, barbers don't need to be regulated beyond a basic business license.

However, lots of business need stringent regulation and the taxi industry is one of them. Here's just one big reason: many people who take cabs are from out of town. They take a cab from the airport, for example. How will they know who to trust?

Next time you are at a major airport, pay attention in the baggage area and you will likely see signs or hear some PA voice tell you not to take cabs that don't have X, Y, and Z licenses and branding.

Part of the reason for all the licensing is a racket to keep prices artificially high, sure. But another part is to keep people from getting killed and raped in the back of cabs.

PoNyman said...

To be fair to Yglesias, he does have a history of being moderately anti-regulation. NPR on the other hand...

Revenant said...

Also, Seven, you can't sue a city for failing to regulate something. Not unless there is a state or federal law requiring them to regulate it.

Which is why being raped by the pool boy doesn't let you sue the state for failure to regulate pool boys (who are, incidentally, not licensed, at least in California).

Seven Machos said...

Given that most taxi licensing schemes require no special training or classes -- just the fee to the government -- I'd say you have your work cut out for you if you plan to make that particular argument.

This just isn't true. There are serious background checks for criminal records and bad driving records.

As always, Rev, like that old bat said, check your premises. You will find that one of them is false. ;]

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- You can sue anybody for anything. The question is whether you will win. And for that you need to find the right law or cause of action. There are many.

Synova said...

"Next time you are at a major airport, pay attention in the baggage area and you will likely see signs or hear some PA voice tell you not to take cabs that don't have X, Y, and Z licenses and branding."

But...

What's to keep the airport from doing the exact same thing and list X, Y, and Z licenses and branding from private certification companies?

Assuming that was the system we had.

People who travel from out of town research and book their Hotels; wouldn't Hotels also have a motivation to advise which certification to trust when getting a cab?

Assuming that was the system we had.

This seems fairly straight forward to me as a functional alternative system of consumer protection.

What I generally can't get my mind around is explanations of how private security companies could replace police with a web of interconnected reciprocity agreements.

My brain pretty much turns into a noodle at that point.

Revenant said...

This just isn't true. There are serious background checks for criminal records and bad driving records.

See, now you're just making stuff up. That's boring. I'd talk to garage mahal if I wanted that.

Eh, moving on.

Synova said...

"Well - one more thing. The breaking news is that sources say Romney will name Paul Ryan as his running mate tomorrow. Most interesting."

So he's going to double-down on finances and the economy then.

If Ryan ends up being VP, I bet that the first thing he does isn't going to be buying a puppy to combat the loneliness of the office.

Revenant said...

You can sue anybody for anything. The question is whether you will win. And for that you need to find the right law or cause of action

If you mean "file a lawsuit", sure. If you mean "actually have the court take it seriously", that'd be a "no".

Which is why, for example, nobody has sued Justin Bieber for having stupid hair -- and why you can't sue a city for not regulating your rapist's industry.

And that pretty much exhausts my interest in you for this week. :)

Seven Machos said...

Synova -- At one point above, I was going to go into private accreditation for colleges, and how the accreditors suck because their criteria suck (e.g., too much emphasis on diversity). I didn't, because the point I wanted to make was too complex.

I bring it up now because to observe that it's one thing to have to pay out the nose for a substandard education that was made substandard partly of our accreditation practices. It's also one thing to get the runs because you ate pollo malo on the way home from the cantina.

However, it's another thing altogether that you got raped and hacked to pieces in the back of a cab.

And that, in a nutshell, is my stance on regulation.

Aaron said...

Yglesias has consistently decried licensing regulations that only serve to protect cartels Ann.

http://hive.slate.com/hive/10-rules-starting-small-business/article/licensed-to-decorate
http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/02/07/199848/wsj-on-the-license-behemoth/
http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/02/09/199873/without-licensing-how-will-we-know-which-blogs-to-read/

Palladian said...

Which is why being raped by the pool boy doesn't let you sue the state for failure to regulate pool boys

Why would one sue?! For many of us, sex with the pool boy usually costs extra!

MarkW said...

"Yglesias has consistently decried licensing regulations that only serve to protect cartels Ann."

Yes he has. But in doing so, he has been something of a lone voice among progressive pundits--to the extent he has run a risk of being kicked out of the club.

Still, if the liberals here want to believe that that this is has always been the standard progressive position, and want to join up in opposing unnecessary state occupational licensing that restricts the freedom of workers and raises costs to consumers...Great!

Tank said...

Putting aside the racial aspect of this, if you like this result, consider contributing to the Institute for Justice, a libertarian litigation outfit. One of the few places you can make a difference for freedom with your charity $$$$.

Chip Ahoy said...

Where did all this talk of cabbies gone wild come from, was there a rash cabbie scam murders somewhere, or are you just talking common sense?

I've heard of people being stopped by pretend cops and ending up being hurt, so then warnings about fake cops at night on not so busy roads. But I always thought the medallion thing for cabs in the cities is a racket. I only knew about them from a sitcom.

Chip Ahoy said...

At the hospital the helping nuse guy called a cab and one came and I got in. Nice cab. Everything spotless. Could have ate off the floor. Black driver. Fer'ner. Accent. Looked muslim, I don't know, just did. I got the impression a dog hair would not be appreciated AT ALL even a hair from a service dog. No. This was a spotless cab. I remarked, "Your cab is spotless." The portion of coal black face that I could see in the rearview mirror turned into pure white teeth.

But it was the wrong cab. He was supposed to go across the street and my cab was coming right up. I had to get out.

The next cab I got into was a garbage pail, same company. No matter, I was only going seven blocks anyway. No wait, I don't know how many blocks, the fare was seven dollars. I had a twenty and it's all his because I was so happy to be home and out of that miserable car. The car became the container of misery for the whole episode that came before it. Now in my rearview mirror.

I puzzled over the difference between those two cabs from the same company. Foreign driver spotless, American driver ghetto. I still do.

Rusty said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
To say nothing of those bicycle-powered rickshaws that became all the rage as of late...

Also, Synova brings up a good point. A private certifying agency is superior to the government regulating something because private actors can never be bribed. And their lack of accountability to formal decisions by the public at large is a huge plus. Markets are much less fallible than democracies.



By and large regulations are written to protect an industry.

The regulations that the FAA imposes on the airlines are written by the airlines. Originally by the major airlines to keep small competitors out of the markest. The same goes for the FDA. The original rules were easy for the major players to comply with because they already doing those things. They wanted to keep small players out of the market.
Industries do not make any money by killing their customers. it is in their interests to have regulations.
The EPA does not do any safety reasearch itself. If a municipality determines that an amount of e.coli of .002 ppb is acceptable and unlikely to cause disease because they've tested it and it has caused no problems. The EPA simply takes those results and demands that they be cut in half-.001 ppb. Most of what the EPA does is arbitrary.

Disclaimer; I don't know what the acceptable level of e.coli is in a municipal water source, but I understand that all municipal water sources through out the country have some level female hormones in it.

Regulation for public health is, I think, a good thing as long as it isn't used to secure a monopoly in some industry.
It is in Yellow Cabs interest to have a burdonsome and expesive licensing scheme.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

That was sarcasm, Rusty - but I think the big elephant in the room here, to spell it out, is that Moody's, a private agency in the business of rating bonds, was thought to have severely underestimated the volatility of the toxic assets that crashed the economy. The fact that they were getting paid by the companies packaging those assets (and by anyone they evaluate) raises major conflict of interest issues.

It's interesting that for all the talk of private markets and their supposed superiority, basic economic issues like moral hazard elude some of these types completely.