Crony capitalism ends when immigrants try to become the cronies?

The NYT did an interesting analysis of the declining fortunes of government cronies (holders of NYC taxi medallions).

But the methods stripped immigrant families of their life savings, crushed drivers under debt they could not repay and engulfed an industry that has long defined New York. More than 950 medallion owners have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Times analysis of court records. Thousands more are barely hanging on.

It turns out that as soon as the assets had been sold to recent immigrants, politicians decided that the profits of the cronies did not need to be carefully protected (in this case against Uber and Lyft, though even without them it would have been tough to keep the medallion price bubble inflating).

Of course Donald Trump is at least partly to blame, according to the NYT! No article on malfeasance would be complete without his name appearing.

4 thoughts on “Crony capitalism ends when immigrants try to become the cronies?

  1. It’s not that different from how Monsanto was shielded for many years by the establishment (including Clarence Thomas, a former employee who refused to recuse himself when a case of theirs landed in front of him). As soon as a non-US company (chump?) bought them, the flood gates of litigation opened wide.

    So does this mean you are revising your opposition to immigration, since this is clearly a benefit?

  2. It’s interesting to compare with a 17th century form of “crony capitalism”. As Charles I sought to rule without a Parliament, the challenge was to raise money without explicit taxation. One of the ways he gained infamy with his subjects was by selling monopolies, such as the highly unpopular soap monopoly.

    Charles’s reign ended when his head was separated from his body, and over the ensuing two centuries, economic liberalism reached its high water mark against economic coercion. Astonishing to reflect that 200 years ago liberalising trade was a popular and progressive cause!

    That tide is very much on the ebb as cartels and labour unions can now virtually write their own laws. If one way of looking at civilisation is that it’s the condition where coercion of the weak by the strong is prevented, then hasn’t the western world set course towards a new Dark Age?

  3. Sounds like a planted article. My guess is taxi medallions were largely owned by the affluent like Michael Cohen, who seemed to have owned a bunch of them and largely financed on a non recourse basis by specialized financial institutions now on the hook and probably on the road to bankruptcy. Bill deBlasio (our next prez.) tried mightily to keep Uber out as a favor to his fat cat donors but the popular will prevailed.

  4. We like immigrants: they made the post-Inca America great again. Therefore the subject of immigrants must be a part of any dispute, public or otherwise.. And before that, it was the children, as in: sucks to be you but would you do it for the children?

    The New York Times knows all that: they are an intellectual descendant of after all.

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