Competition or Cartel Control? An Entrepreneur's Fight for Fairness

-By Warner Todd Huston

How government uses its powers to regulate and license to act as a cartel for established businesses and to exclude new businesses

Artist, veteran, and entrepreneur Julie Crowe wishes to provide a female-friendly vehicle-for-hire service for students in the Bloomington-Normal community, but her attempts are thwarted by city officials who insist students have no need for her services. With the help of the Liberty Justice Center, Ms. Crowe fights back.

In Bloomington, Illinois we have just such a case. Julie Crowe had an idea for a business, one that seemed to be in demand in that college town. Crowe had the idea that she would start a driver-for-hire business, one where she would be sure to take passengers not to a single drop off and pick up spot but right to their door if they wanted.

Crowe also realized that the current licensed drivers were all men and some of the young female customers coming home from a night out or from shopping would be more comfortable with a female driver.

Crowe saw a niche that needed to be filled and wanted to give it a try. But the city fathers denied her permit. Why? Because all the other established driver-for-hire companies told the city they didn't need any new competition!

This is a major problem and one reason why it is so hard to start new businesses in this country. All across the country cities, counties and states use their power to regulate and license to quash new startups instead of trying to help them thrive. Government stands in the way of business all too often.

Is there a need for government to have rules and regulations? Sure, in some cases public safety is a legitimate thing to worry about. But in most cases what we end up seeing is established businesses giving campaign cash to local politicians who then deny any new business startups claiming faux concerns over public safety. This way new businesses can't get started and older, established businesses keep their monopoly.

The Liberty Justice Center has taken up her case and are looking into the legal remedies to open up the driver-for-hire business in Bloomington so that Julie Crowe can start her business.

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