Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Parable

Imagine an alternate Britain in which the number of licensed taxi drivers is limited to 10000. People wait years, decades even, to get a taxi licence. The process is horribly bureaucratic and costly.

Taxi rides are hugely expensive because of the low number of taxis allowed. Only the rich can afford them. There are a large number of illegal taxis, which are costly and dangerous.

A politician proposes allowing more taxi drivers. They are hounded out of office by the popular press.

"Allowing more taxi drivers will push down taxi drivers' wages! Why should we make existing taxi drivers worse off just so the rich can have cheaper taxi rides?"

"The real problem is illegal taxi drivers! We need to clamp down on illegal taxis, not allow more legal ones!"

"If we allow more taxis, some of those drivers will commit crimes! If anything, we don't vet taxi drivers thoroughly enough!"

"We already have enough taxis to pick up most of the people who want a taxi. Why do we need more?"

Does anyone think we should cap the number of licensed taxis and minicabs?

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