But the intentions were good

What is a vampire (vam-pahyuh r) you ask?  According to Dictionary.com, a vampire is:

  • a preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.
  • (in Eastern European folklore) a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaled or burned.
  • a person who preys ruthlessly upon others; extortionist.

2 key characteristics of vampires are the inability to see their reflection in a mirror and their aversion to light, photo-sensitivity.

Spartacus is not sure about other Cats out there, but this sounds a lot like the ABC to him.  Consider for example this latest piece of quality journalism:

How taxi licences collapsed in value, destroying lives and livelihoods

Now it is absolutely true that the value of taxi licences has been severely affected by the technological disruption of companies like Uber.  It is also absolutely true that people, honest and honourable people have been very, very badly affected by this disruption.  But what is also true is this calamity is a textbook case of government and regulatory failure.

It was government policy to artificially create a monopoly for taxi licences.  It was government policy to ratchet up barriers to entry and to implement a plethora of useless and idiotic requirements on the industry (does anyone remember the perspex boxes that were mandatory for the purpose of protecting drivers).  It was government policy that distorted a product that should be for the benefit of customers and made it for the benefit of large taxi licence owners and their service providers (inc Mr 10%, or Mr 11% inc GST).  And it was government policy that artificially inflated the value of taxi licences which were then deflated by the real world of innovation and competition meeting customer needs.

It is a sad story all around.  But no-one from the regulatory industrial complex seems to have paid the price?  Are the transport bureaucrats who designed and maintained this now broken system losing their homes or livelihoods?  Spartacus suspects not.

But the point of this story is not about the transport bureaucrats, but rather about the ABC journalists who seem to have no problem using their government powers to similarly destroy of the livelhood of other non-government media workers and investors.  And also having just highlighted one of the more obvious and egregious examples of government retail policy failure, they seem to have no problem in advocating for the government to keep meddling in other industries from energy to finance to health to retail to property.

Perhaps the victims of taxi regulation failures should feel better in the knowledge that the intentions were good.  The outcomes terrible, but the intentions were good.  And the sympathy from the ABC should also sooth, as the ABC continues to advocate for similar government driven industrial destruction elsewhere.

There are clearly no mirrors in the ABC offices.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at eyamspartacus.wordpress.com

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to But the intentions were good

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    Regulation of Uber is the next step because “fairness”. Will Canberra follow this example?

    Man Starts ‘Amish Uber’ Ride Service With His Horse And Buggy (6 Aug)

    Low CO2 emissions, quiet and friendly (unless the horse bites you). Maybe they should replace comcars by horses and buggies too. At least then the horse could enjoy a chaff bag while waiting for Ms Husar.

  2. Paul W Parker

    As am often reminded The road to hell is paved with good intentions…

    .

  3. Low CO2 emissions, quiet and friendly (unless the horse bites you). Maybe they should replace comcars by horses and buggies too. At least then the horse could enjoy a chaff bag while waiting for Ms Husar.

    Sorry Bruce. Not sure about the low CO2 from this option. Are you are accounting for the flatulence that is emitted by the horses? What about the loss of abatement from the trees cut down to make the buggy and whip? And the cow flatulence from the leather production necessary to fit out the equipment?

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Spartacus – I’m sure that one of these could be adapted for the duty. Then the methane can be used in a gas turbine power plant to correct for intermittent renewable energy. Win-win!

  5. thefrolickingmole

    But what is also true is this calamity is a textbook case of government and regulatory failure.

    Government created “value” by restricting the availability of a wanted product.
    Free market wrecked “value” it by delivering a product people wanted.

    Im sure theres a lesson there somewhere for regulators and bansturbators everywhere but am also sure they will avoid it like said vampire avoids garlic.

  6. Habib

    If there were any they would’ve immediately shattered when one of the harpy horrors that haunt it stopped in front to re-apply their slap with a trowel. No sympathy for taxi license holders, or anyone else that puts money into an obvious crony capitalist monopoly that relies on government indulgence. The difference between this and using state-provided slave labour is a matter of degree. They should join their state mates in the trebuchet sling. They are equally our enemy.

  7. H B Bear

    Taxi plate owners losing money? Just a minute … I’ll get my tiny violin.

  8. H B Bear

    As soon as Macquarie Bank started to amass taxi plate licences you know the rent seekers were bottom feeding. Hopefully they will have lost money but I suspect they have already offloaded them onto some suckers – probably a few immigrant Ponzi people entering under a business visa or something.

  9. mareeS

    Haha, the final sentence rounded it off nicely.

    Further on Uber, our daughter uses it to go home to her place after our weekly lunch and a few sips of wine. She is young and pretty,but after a near miss with a driver MOME appearance, I always check out the drivers now before allowing her into the vehicle, looking them straight in the eyes.

    At least taxi drivers are registered and have ID, even if they are way more expensive than Uber.

  10. Taxi plate owners losing money? Just a minute … I’ll get my tiny violin.

    We are all exposed loss from government caprice and folly. Changes to negative gearing. Changes to superannuation. Capital gains tax.

    There but for the grace of god go us all.

    Consider for a moment your house value. An asset which is artificially inflated in value due to regulatory decisions to contain supply (eg height restrictions, approval processes) and to provide cheap money for own home investment (no capital gains tax, preferential regulatory capital risk weighting, sloppy monetary policy). What would you say if your local council lifted all development constraints?

  11. As soon as Macquarie Bank started to amass taxi plate licences you know the rent seekers were bottom feeding.

    Macquarie took a bath on their taxi venture.

  12. H B Bear

    Macquarie took a bath on their taxi venture.

    Excellent. Although I s’pose they just jacked up the tolls on their roads and airports to cover it.

  13. H B Bear

    We are all exposed loss from government caprice and folly.

    While people continue to vote for the Uniparty and shout for the government to “do something” when things don’t work out there will be more and more regulations that exposes people to exactly the regulatory risk you are describing.

    Taxi plates are one of the most egregious examples but I didn’t hear plate owners calling for more licences to be issued to improve customer service for decades while they enjoyed massive capital gains on their own plates. Fvck them all.

  14. Tim Neilson

    What would you say if your local council lifted all development constraints?

    The People’s Republic of Yarra seem to have done just that, judging by the number of 12 storey towers that have been approved to be built between my house and the sun.

    Except the “heritage listing” on my nondescript 1980’s townhouse. Apparently if I built upwards that would destroy the ambience of the nearby Victorian terraces that will soon share the shadows with my place.

  15. Habib

    What would you say if your local council lifted all development constraints?

    “About fucking time, but still too little too late. Ready! Aim! Fire!”

  16. What would you say if your local council lifted all development constraints?

    No constraints in my council. If you pay enough councilors
    The free market at work.

  17. RacerX

    “real world of innovation and competition meeting customer needs”

    Is that what you call it when you enter a market that others didn’t because of the regulation, I don’t call that innovation. In the past those with nice cars couldn’t even get paid to do weddings or formals when requested due to the regulation. It wouldn’t have taken innovation to break the law and provide the service just big pockets to defend ourselves if caught, those big pockets were the only difference between Uber and others who already had demand for their transport services.

  18. wal1957

    How taxi licences collapsed in value, destroying lives and livelihoods

    The Qld Government effectively paved the way for Uber by paying taxi plate owners ‘compensation’.
    So, effectively the Govt (we the taxpayer), paid for Ubers entry into the market.
    Another Labor cluster F#@k!

    For those of you saying stuff the taxi plate owners…. hmmmm

    I know there are businesses and families with multiple taxi plates but…

    Think about the little guy out there. He might have borrowed $300-$400k, mortgaged the house to buy his business, ( the taxi plate). Along comes Uber, the govt folds, and the little guy gets $100k compensation!
    The taxi plate would be lucky to be worth half of what he paid for it!
    As I said before, it is another Labor govt clusterf#@k!

    As Spartacus has mentioned in a previous reply at 12:19 we are at the mercy of imbeciles in parliament.
    No matter how hard we try, they will endeavour to F#@k us all over somehow.

  19. NB

    I have seen the future on my ABC, and it is great. The quiz show, ABC production Think Tank (6 Aug, 2018), took me there.
    In this magical land the questions and side comments (in a single episode) are about racism and civil rights; national parks; White House (bad); folksy music (Steely Dan gets a mention); Aboriginal landscape appreciation; Marx (of course, did you expect less?); Irish (good); Scottish (good – the caber toss, very folksy); Welsh (they have a flag! (which I guess means Britain can be broken up)); Menzies the ‘naff’ cricket lover (English-related therefore bad, obviously. Hawke tarred with the same brush, and ‘naff’ presented in triplicate just to make sure); female author, topic, and title of a novel; Gaugin (bad of course – as he was a colonialist and exploited the native population, I learned); earth atmosphere with passing reference to carbon dioxide (oddly subtle); coffee (important to the latte set); female film director; huge fine for trivial offence (god bless the government?); Banjo Patterson; female actress; Barack Obama’s favourite TV shows (so folksy I could weep); alternative name for the Great Barrier Reef (oh, but the Aborigines were there waaaay first, I learned); folk-history as beer; and the word ‘homage’ (in French) just for good measure.
    I feel so folksy and PC I could go to heaven, or to a food queue listening to JJJ.

  20. wal1957

    Re my post at 4:33

    My compensation figure was incorrect. According to “The Brisbane Times”…Taxi licence holders were paid compensation of $20k per licence. In some parts of the state licence values have dropped by up to 78% from their 2014 value.

    Pity the poor bugger who bought a licence in 2013…

  21. Habib

    Wal, they voluntarily invested in a state monopoly that was one of the most egregious examples of crony capitalism. Fuck them.

  22. Clint

    But without taxis to drive what excuse will the major parties have to keep flooding this country with unneeded immigrants

  23. Marko

    When I drove a taxi in Sydney I reckon about three hours of my shift went towards paying the blood-sucking, rent-seeking parasite that owned the taxi plate that I was compelled to lease. Schadenfrude barely begins to describe the feeling I had when uber saw that these slave owners got their just desserts.

  24. John Constantine

    The Taxi Ponzi is dead.

    Long Live the Property Ponzi.

  25. Roger W

    “But the intentions were good.”
    Does anything else matter these days?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.