Friday, November 14, 2008

Bastiat's Candle Makers Live in Ontario

Headline: Online Carpooling Service Fined For Unregulated Transportation (via Slashdot)
...the web offers the ability to find other people traveling to the same general place you're heading and to set up a convenient carpool. It's good for the environment. It's good for traffic. It just makes a lot of sense. Unless, of course, you're a bus company and you're so afraid that people will use such a system rather than paying to take the bus.

A Petition

(Adapted from Bastiat's Economic Sophisms.)

From the drivers of buses and the producers of diesel fuel and generally of everyone connected with taxpayer funded transportation.

To the Honorable Members of an Ontario Court.


You are on the right road. You reject abstract theories and have little regard for the traveling public. You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of the humble driver of public transportation. You wish to free him from local competition, that is, to reserve the commuter's fare for a regulated industry.

We come to offer you a wonderful opportunity for applying your—what shall we call it? Your theory? No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. Your doctrine? Your system? Your principle? But you dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, and, as for principles, you deny that there are any in political economy; therefore we shall call it your practice—your practice without theory and without principle.

We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a local rival who apparently leverages technology so far superior to our own for the transportation of travelers that they are offering their service below our price; for the each traveler that uses this rival, our sales cease, all the travelers turn to them, and a branch of taxpayer subsidized Canadian transportation is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than PickupPal, is waging war on us so mercilessly that we suspect they are being stirred up against us by perfidious Barbados (excellent diplomacy nowadays!), particularly because they have for that haughty island a respect that they do not show for us.

Now go read the unadulterated version!

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