Friday, July 11, 2014

(Related update): NYC spare room cronyism

Related update:  Actually, this isn't really an update to the post below per se, but rather an invitation to listen to Russ Roberts's latest edition of EconTalk.  The topic is the growth of the emerging person-to-person sharing protocols in the form of Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and others.  As always, the hour long podcast is interesting and educational and, also as always, well worth your time.  Here's the link, and here's the description of the podcast:
Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the sharing economy--companies like Uber, AirBnB, FlightApp, and DogVacay that let people share their houses, cars, or other assets with strangers in exchange for money. These companies dramatically increase the use of resources that would otherwise be idle and disrupt existing services such as hotels and taxis. Topics discussed include the regulatory response to these companies, the politics of that response, and the significance of these new products. The conversation closes with the potential impact of Uber combining with driverless cars to change the automobile industry and cities.
Original post (11/6/13):  The title of this post refers to the actions of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on behalf of those firms and organizations that want to stop the growing success of AirBnB in its tracks.  AirBnB is an innovative method of hooking up visitors to NYC who want a cheap, overnight stay with those residents in the city willing to rent their spare rooms out.  From an informative post by Ilya Sharpiro at Cato-@-Liberty:
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, however, is challenging the entrepreneurial innovation—probably under pressure from special interests who would like the government to stifle their competition. This is crony capitalism as usual. As we’ve seen here in DC, established businesses like brick and mortar restaurants and taxicab drivers use their connections to government to squeeze out competition like food trucks and the Uber personal car service that challenge the status quo.
The article also contains a video of Shapiro on Fox News discussing this recent example of government cronyism overreach trying to stifle entrepreneurial innovation.