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Law /Rights /Governance
Travis Kalanick's Uber helps city dwellers get rides on demand in luxury cars, and he wants to launch a cheaper service, one closer in price to taxis. But Washington, D.C., Councilmember Mary Cheh proposed a law that would have imposed a price floor on such services -- and effectively prohibited the new service.
So Kalanick fought back: He called on customers to email the D.C. Council -- and one council member said he got 5,000 emails about the issue.
As the SEC produces yet more regulations, the New York Times gives us a striking quote:
One man’s loophole is another man’s livelihood.
The speaker is Bart Chilton, a Democrat on the SEC who advocates regulation and opposed this regulation for having, in a Times blogger's words, "loopholes wide enough for Wall Street to exploit."
Here comes the government, like some red-white-and-blue monster, crushing people’s livelihoods and aspirations almost without noticing: a typical political horror story.
It's "hard to find another social group persecuted on such a large scale" as businessmen, says Boris Titov. Ayn Rand, of course, called big-business men "America's Persecuted Minority," but as bad as things were for American businessmen in her time, and as much worse as they are today, Titov is ombudsman for business rights in a country where things are even worse: Over the past decade, he tells the BBC, "Russia has imprisoned nearly three million entrepreneurs, many unjustly."
A deaf person and two deaf-advocacy organizations are suing Netflix for making movies available for instant online viewing without providing closed captioning. Failure to provide captions -- which may cost hundreds of dollars per movie -- is a form of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, they argue. (H/T Walter Olson.)