Posted by: crudbasher | September 17, 2013

When Innovation is Stifled

Have you ever heard of Uber? It’s sort of a taxi service but it works with an app on your phone. You can summon a car in certain cities and they will take you to where you want to go. You even pay on your phone app. 

They are doing all of this for less costs than a regular taxi so they are making inroads into the taxi market. Naturally the taxi companies don’t like this so they are doing what other companies do when threatened; they are improving their product. Nah, just kidding, they are actually buying politicians and having them make rules preventing Uber from operating.

From the Washington Post

THE D.C. Taxicab Commission has promulgated rules that threaten to make it harder for Uber and other car-dispatch enterprises to offer new services. Consumers are clamoring for attractive transportation alternatives, but that seems to be of little consequence to an agency fixated on protecting city cabs from competition.

I remember back a few years to when the government passes a law essentially banning conventional light bulbs. One of the biggest makers of the alternate products is GE, which is a massive contributor to political campaigns. I think their CEO was actually one of the president’s economic advisors. 

As you are aware, educational content such as Textbooks are very big business. What will happen if people come up with cheaper alternatives? Will the system allow them or just pass rules preventing their usage. Of course you could argue that since each school system has their own curriculum some could try out alternatives. Oh wait, no they are using Common Core now. I imagine you would have to get alternatives approved by the government. How hard can that process be? </sarcasm>

Economics will win out here eventually. It always does.




  1. […] sum total of individuals doing what is in their own self interest. Government can interfere (see When Innovation is Stifled ) but in the end Economics wins every time. It will be interesting to watch the rapid changes […]

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