May 26, 2018
Are you headed on vacation this Memorial Day weekend? How sure are you that government isn’t going to get in the way of your plans? You better know before you go.
Let’s say you want to ditch your car and find an affordable way to fly. You heard that some innovative entrepreneurs started a new online flight-sharing website that makes private flights more affordable, and allows private pilots to share expenses. Sorry! You’re out of luck. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned the practice just as it was getting off the ground, forcing one major flight-sharing company to shut down.
OK, so now you’re flying a commercial airline, you arrive at your destination, you pick up your luggage, and you need to find a ride into town. You’re sick of taxis, so you want to take a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. In some cities and states, those services were banned when they were first launched. Though government (for the most part) finally caught up to consumer demand and opened the door to ride-sharing, protectionist regulations and costly fees still loom large, which could jeopardize those services.
Let’s assume you manage to find a way to your destination – a nice condo by the beach you found with a short-term rental website like Homeaway or Airbnb. Enjoy it while you can. Cities are cracking down on home-sharing with expensive fines, rules, and outright bans. Take Miami Beach, for example, where violating its short-term rental law can lead to fines of $20,000 or more.
In each of these examples, government is standing in the way of innovation and the sharing economy. And whether regulations purport to protect consumers or actually are in place to protect existing industries, the result is the same: consumers have less choice, innovators have less opportunity to create a better product, and society suffers as a result.
Jon Riches, Director of National Litigation for the Goldwater Institute joins with other experts on transportation, regulation, and the law to take a closer look at this issue in a new video series from the Federalist Society, which you can watch here. Riches explains that regulation thwarting innovation is all too common.
“So often throughout history, regulation has not kept up with innovation,” Riches says. “Just as the Model T was rolling off the assembly lines, regulators were banning the ‘running of horseless carriages,’ better known as cars. And in the world of general aviation, FAA regulation has not only failed to keep pace with innovation, it has killed it.”
The Goldwater Institute is working to keep government regulation in check. The Institute previously represented Flytenow, and today is challenging home-sharing regulations across the country, protecting individuals’ right to share their homes. It’s just one of the many ways that we work in capitols, courtrooms, and communities nationwide to help all Americans live freer, happier lives.
We at the Goldwater Institute hope you enjoy your Memorial Day, as we join in remembering the brave men and women who died while serving in our country’s armed forces, in defense of the freedoms we enjoy today.
Liberty in the News
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed “Right to Try,” a law that gives new hope to patients facing life-threatening illnesses. Under the legislation, those suffering from terminal illnesses can gain access to medication still being tested in clinical trials, while offering protection to doctors and pharmaceutical companies who come to patients’ aid. The bill will now go to President Trump for his signature.
California school teacher Rebecca Friedrichs took her fight against forced unionism all the way to the Supreme Court. With the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on a similar case in Janus v. AFSCME, Friedrichs spoke to the Goldwater Institute about her case, forced unionism, and how she hopes the Supreme Court will rule in Janus.
Why would restaurant workers oppose raising the minimum wage? Simply put, they fear that such a law would put them out of a job, while restaurant owners fear it would put them out of business. Read more on our In Defense of Liberty blog.