Competition or Cartel Control? An Entrepreneur’s Fight for Fairness

How government uses its powers to regulate and license to act as a cartel for established businesses and to exclude new businesses

Artist, veteran, and entrepreneur Julie Crowe wishes to provide a female-friendly vehicle-for-hire service for students in the Bloomington-Normal community, but her attempts are thwarted by city officials who insist students have no need for her services. With the help of the Liberty Justice Center, Ms. Crowe fights back.

In Bloomington, Illinois we have just such a case. Julie Crowe had an idea for a business, one that seemed to be in demand in that college town. Crowe had the idea that she would start a driver-for-hire business, one where she would be sure to take passengers not to a single drop off and pick up spot but right to their door if they wanted.

Crowe also realized that the current licensed drivers were all men and some of the young female customers coming home from a night out or from shopping would be more comfortable with a female driver.

Crowe saw a niche that needed to be filled and wanted to give it a try. But the city fathers denied her permit. Why? Because all the other established driver-for-hire companies told the city they didn’t need any new competition!

This is a major problem and one reason why it is so hard to start new businesses in this country. All across the country cities, counties and states use their power to regulate and license to quash new startups instead of trying to help them thrive. Government stands in the way of business all too often.

Is there a need for government to have rules and regulations? Sure, in some cases public safety is a legitimate thing to worry about. But in most cases what we end up seeing is established businesses giving campaign cash to local politicians who then deny any new business startups claiming faux concerns over public safety. This way new businesses can’t get started and older, established businesses keep their monopoly.

The Liberty Justice Center has taken up her case and are looking into the legal remedies to open up the driver-for-hire business in Bloomington so that Julie Crowe can start her business.

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Posted by on February 29, 2012.
Filed under Big government, Business, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Democrats, Economics, Free Market Economy, Law, Liberals, Politicians, Politics.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • herddog505

    In effect, she wants to start a cab company.  OK; fair enough.

    1.  Does the government have a compelling reason to license such a business (or any business, for that matter)?

    2.  If yes, then what should be the licensing criteria?  How does one determine whether a wannabe cab driver is “professional” enough to warrant the government issuing a valuable piece of paper to that effect?

    3.  Would she somehow be in violation of the law if she simply posted fliers or other ads with a contact number and skipped the whole business license thing?  After all, college campuses are chock-a-block with ads for such goods and services as used furniture, tutoring, etc.

    The government’s excuse, of course, will be that it’s a matter of public safety: people have a right to know that their cab driver has – somehow – been vetted so that they can be sure that he / she won’t assault or rob them (other than by the meter, that is).  Is this a valid use of the government’s police power?

  • GarandFan

    Saw that close up about 30 years ago.  Guy got a permit and started a towing business.  Then he asked to be part of the local PD impound system.  It was shared by 3 other long established companies, one from the 1920′s, the others post WWII.  They were called on a rotational basis.  Well those 3 didn’t want the pie divided any more.  Kept pressure on the local city council to deny the guy any city business.  Since his tow lot met all the criteria, he finally took the city council to court.  Suddenly, magically, he had a contract.

  • GarandFan

    Saw that close up about 30 years ago.  Guy got a permit and started a towing business.  Then he asked to be part of the local PD impound system.  It was shared by 3 other long established companies, one from the 1920′s, the others post WWII.  They were called on a rotational basis.  Well those 3 didn’t want the pie divided any more.  Kept pressure on the local city council to deny the guy any city business.  Since his tow lot met all the criteria, he finally took the city council to court.  Suddenly, magically, he had a contract.

  • ackwired

    Good for her.  Fight for it!  As long as she has sufficient insurance and safe equipment, license her.  This is common.  Kind of a lower level example of how the corporatocracy works.  And of course it is easier to corrupt smaller governments (takes less money).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7YIUZMXOD5JGZZTCYMVA75KFU Shadow

    This story gives new meaning to the term “good ol’ boys network.”

    With all the regulations being place on citizens and business, this type of control is easy to exercise by those who want to protect friends and supporters.  IT doesn’t only happen on the local level.  Right Obama?  GE?  Buffet?  GM? 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Check in your own locality and see what is required to open a restaurant.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RVIS42ZJEXB6TWZQHYCZF247II Willis Forster

    If there is truly no need for her services, she will go bankrupt, and that is the only control needed. She does not need a bunch of politicians that have never run any business much less a cab company to protect her from failure. If she can not make a profit the public is not hurt, if she succeeds the public benefits from her service availability.