Blue Cities Declare War on Popular Services
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  • jeburke

    I don’t have any opinion about the substance of the particular issues facing these services in NYC and DC, but it strikes me that the regulations involved have little to do with the Blue Model. These cities, like virtually all other municipalities have been regulating rooming and lodging houses and imposing zoning restrictions on land use since they were founded. And who can operate what taxis under what circumstances have been the subjects of local laws and regs since the first horsedrawn hacks plied their trade on lower Broadway.

  • jeburke

    While I have no opinion about the merits of these particular issues, I think the problems faced by these companies are not attributable to the Blue Model, as I understand it. NYC, DC and virtually every other municipality have been regulating lodging and rooming houses and imposing restrictions on property uses through zoning since they were founded, and dictating who can operate what taxis under what circumstances since the first horsedrawn hacks plied their trade on lower Broadway.

    • Corlyss

      Perhaps but most of those laws are ways merely of advantaging the government’s constituents at the expense of both start ups and citizens. IT’s really an extension of patronage: the favored groups get the government to muscle in on what would be legitimate competition to exclude it. In return, money flows from the favored groups to the toadies in office. The incestuous relationship between the DC government and the Mayor’s pals in the hostel industry to provide housing for homeless people is a scandal about as rotten as they come. Of course, nothing is done about it.

      • jeburke

        I don’t doubt that laws and regs of all kinds, including these, are an endless source of potential patronage, corruption and unfair application, not to mention bad public policies. However, some municipal government functions long preceded the “blue model” and are among the local government activities that just about everyone would regard as necessary and legitimate. For example, running a fire department and promulgating a fire safety code are certainly legit. Smothering property owners and businesses in overzealous or nitpicking fire codes, though, is bad policy. And taking bribes in enforcing the code or requiring X material to generate business for a crony are corrupt.

  • dan

    “A legal system in which the average citizen can’t make sense of when or how he or she is doing something illegal is not only unfair but a serious detriment to quality of life.” –are you kidding? That has been the situation in the United States for years. Haven’t you seen comments that the average citizen commits two felonies, on average, every day? Possibly an exaggeration, but when laws are constantly added and almost never removed . . .

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