"Here's my taxi question. If a person is law-abiding, has a driver's license, has a car or van that has passed safety inspection, and has adequate liability insurance, is there any consumer-oriented reason he should not be able to become a taxicab owner/operator? Put another way: If you wish to hire the services of such a person, what right does a third party have to prevent that exchange?
Many cities have granted monopoly power to taxi companies -- the right to prevent entry by others. Sometimes this monopoly takes the form of exclusive government-granted rights to particular individuals to provide taxi services. In other cases, the number of licenses is fixed, and a prospective taxi owner must purchase a license from an existing owner. In New York City, such a license is called a taxi medallion. Individual medallions have sold for as high as $700,000 and corporate medallions as high as $1 million. In other cities -- such as Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston -- taxi licenses have sold for anywhere between $300,000 and $700,000. These are prices for a license to own and operate a single vehicle as a taxi."
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