Policy Digest: Regulatory State Edition

Not too long ago, Steven Greenhut wrote an unusually good piece for U-T San Diego, criticizing employers in California’s construction industry for lobbying for a regulatory crack down on its lower-cost competition. He correctly points out the futility of their approach: “[B]y lobbying for new rules on others rather than for less red tape for everyone, they have lost any right to seriously complain about any additional regulations future Legislatures impose on them.”

California’s construction industry is not alone in this respect: California’s taxi industry has, unfortunately, also embraced the same self-destructive policy. SFGate: “For much of the past two years, the taxi industry has focused on complaining,” demanding that ride-sharing companies should “face the same regulations they do.”

Now, while some industries deserve criticism for demanding government controls, the City of Los Angeles certainly deserves our praise for — believe it or not — taking baby steps toward more freedom. As the Los Angeles Times reports: “Other U.S. cities, including Chicago, Houston and Seattle, have moved to impose controls on ride-sharing firms, requiring driver training, insurance policies and vehicle inspections. Los Angeles is the first major city to pursue the opposite strategy: easing regulations for legacy cab operations.”