Let’s start with what we don’t mean by this statement. We are not advocating for the wild wild west. We don’t agree with an uber-libertarian philosophy that contends that all regulation is bad. We’re not advocating for a return to the 19th century.
In fact, we’re advocating to move our regulatory framework into the 21st century. It needs to be modernized. And what we mean most when we say modernized is simplfying it and making it easier to understand and comply with.
A perfect example of a poor regulatory system that cries out for modernization is what has transpired in DC and globally with the taxicab industry and Uber. The regulatory regime that manages the taxicab industry in the District is decades old — created before the internet and smart phones. It is in no way prepared for the technological innovations yet to come.
The system of minutely mandating every inch of what a taxi must look like and every moment of a cabbie’s day was built for a bygone era and it’s rendered the taxicab fleet uncompetitive. Taxi regulation desperately needs an overhaul. Taxicab owners and drivers need to freed from the straitjacket that inhibits their ability to innovate and create value for their customers.
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What does that new regulatory framework look like? We’re not sure, we’re not regulatory experts, but we’ll bet it’s going to be simpler and less burdensome.
The taxicab/Uber drama is but one example of a regulatory system that adds unnecessary costs, puts burdens on commerce, is a drag on economic growth and one that ultimately benefits no one.
“Less but better” — Dieter Rams