This was shared by a reader and I thought it was too fantastic not to post.
Uber has been fun to watch. And even though the company did hire a crony of its own recently to deal with urban politicians looking to shake down the company, Uber is still a very good free market story. It’s busting up government sponsored taxi regimes in cities all over the world and generally providing a much higher quality product than the old taxi companies were. It’s putting the heat on politicians and transit unions. (When the BART workers struck last year it was Uber and similar services which came to the rescue of commuters.) It is creating value.
As we have noted for a while, the Ultimate Crony Capitalist state, China, is seeing very rough waters economically. A massive property bubble (and bust) fueled by Keynesian shortsightedness, not unlike the one we experienced here a few years ago, but much bigger is gripping the country. The Chinese dream is “maturing.” For the first time since emerging from the insanity of Mao the PRC is experiencing real economic pain.
Boy is it good to have a spouse in the Senate. Even better if one is in the commercial real estate business like Richard Blum, Diane Feinstien’s husband, is.
Seems Mr. Blum’s company CBRE just happens to be the sole real estate agent for a batch of now defunct post offices Congress has authorized the sale of. As we reported before many of these old post offices sit on prime real estate.
Monopolies are usually, almost without exception, instituted by governments. When on occasion a monopoly occurs in a free market (and it can) it is usually very short lived unless that firm can co-opt the government to create a regulatory “moat” around that firm to protect it from competitors. In short monopoly is basically a problem created by governments.
India has long been mired in socialism. Bureaucracy ran and continues to run through the country’s massive system of governance. As I understand it, to get anything done in India for many years the paperwork had to be done in triplicate and processed a half dozen times. And then one got a new pile of paperwork.
But times are changing. India has opened up quite a bit over the last 2 decades, and it looks like even more light will be shining into the economy soon.
It’s hard to start a business. It takes skill, capital, tolerance of risk, and just good old hard work. Layer the red tape on top of all the things a business owner must contend with in the marketplace these days and it’s not surprising that we are losing more businesses than we are creating as an economy.
Of course some people who clearly do not understand what makes a market, nor why the market mechanism drives down costs and increases quality of life for everyday people will argue that markets are evil because, well, because they’ve been told all their lives that markets are evil.
It’s amazing but even now many people refuse to see this rather obvious fact. Government and big business like each other. For the most part they aren’t rivals. GM, Goldman Sachs, GE, Boeing, JPMorgan, Monsanto, Walmart, Chrysler, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, CVS, AT&T, Northrup Grumman and many other giant companies are partners (to a significant degree) with the US government.
Because that’s where the money is. Specifically taxpayer money.