Occasionally I'll get people who have no knowledge of the business telling me how to improve it. This always involves their misunderstanding of the free market.
Owning a taxi was just about the best job I ever had. I was an independent contractor and worked whatever hours and days I wanted. That meant a lot.
The biggest problem today is immigrants, who've collapsed wages. I would kick all of them straight out of the United States.
Owning a taxi used to be a middle-class job. Not anymore.
When I first started I met an older man named Al, who started driving in the '50s. He told me when he first started he thought, "Where has this job been all my life?" I knew what he meant. I had a blast.
The taxi companies, of course, were corrupt. All taxi companies are corrupt. It's the nature of the business. One owner I worked for avoided prison by ratting out his partner since they were the two biggest bookies in the city. His partner went to prison. He went free.
I get people telling me all taxis need to go completely free market. To a large degree, yes. But not totally. The free market is not some magic that works in all places and at all times.
In the city I worked there were airport taxi companies that were the only ones that could sit at the airport. Other taxis had to deadhead back to other places. It was very inefficient and wasted a lot of gas and time.
Finally lawsuits busted that open, so non-airport taxis can now sit at the airport. That's a good use of the free market.
Downtown at the big hotels was a different story. The taxis that sat there were called "dummies," because they had no radios and just sat in line at the hotels. This caused big problems.
Since the hotels generally had one to three places for taxis, other taxis would line up ten deep, taking metered parking places. On hot days the drivers would sit on sidewalks in chairs. There were fights and arguments. That's what a completely free market did.
Finally the cops, because of complaints from hotels and citizens, said, no more. Only taxis were allowed in the assigned places. One to three at every downtown hotel. So the others cruise and try to steap other taxi's rides (this is called "scooping").
The taxi business has been destroyed by immigrants. Again, it is no longer a middle-class job because of this, because of the collapse of wages. Just as bad, many immigrants are sexual perverts and harass the woman. I used to know a Russian who put a mirror in his car so he could look up women's dresses. And one Nigerian drove a woman around and wouldn't let her out of his car. Fortunately both got fired but should have never been hired in the first place. They shouldn't have been in the U.S. in the first place.
Busting taxi companies wide open is a good deal if you got rid of the immigrants.
The reason Uber and Lyft are doing so well is because those who call them know they are going to get an American driver and not some smelly psycho immigrant who can't speak English and gargles with garlic. (By the way, John Nash and his wife were killed in a wreck by an immigrant driver.)
I used to have a cellphone on me which was against the rules because you could get regular riders who would call you directly. Sometimes I cleared $100 a day just from them calling me.
If I had my way I would open up taxis completely to the free market - and it would work only because of advanced technology. Cell phones and computers. And I would kick every immigrant out of country.
I'm going to repeat the only way taxi companies can be busted wide open is because of advanced technology. Otherwise it would be just as it was in the past - corrupt companies using the government to pass laws to protect their turf and enrich the companies at the expense of the drivers.
This is what technology does - puts the inefficent, the stupid and the smelly out of business. It improves service.
it's the deluded who think open borders and immigrantion are free market. Wages go down and crime goes up. That's not "free market." That's the wealthy trying to enrich themelves at the expense of everyone else.
But there is always a way around these problems. There always will be.
Personally I'd love to see every large taxi company go out of business. They're only in business because of laws protecting them.