Posts tagged ‘Indiana State Fair’

Restraint of Trade

Private actors are often accused of collusion to restrain trade and decrease competition, and certainly there are a number of examples of this in history.  However, all such private arrangements are usually doomed, in part because the incentive for certain parties to cheat are high in such arrangements.  And the parties to such agreements have no control over new or outside competitors entering the fray.

The only stable restraints of trade and competition are therefore enforced by the government, who can use police and prisons to enforce such rules.  That is why successful businesses who are tired of fighting off upstart competitors run to the government for help.

But the government does not like competition with its own services (e.g. Federal bans on intracity mail delivery competition). Here is a good example:

"Drivers attending the Indiana State Fair or a major sporting event downtown may sometimes opt to grab a parking spot in someone's yard rather than pay higher prices in a parking lot, but some city officials think people who provide parking spots should get a permit first. City leaders are proposing that residents pay a $75 fee (per event) if they want to turn their yards into parking lots."

Does anyone think there is a burning safety issue here?  The goal is to kill competition with publicly operated parking garages.  My guess is that someone figured out the average revenue of a private home offering front lawn parking, added $5, and made that the registration fee.