Regulating behaviour: You can’t suck and blow (or can you?)

An old law professor of mine said you can’t suck and blow at the same time. 

Turns out you can.

The councillors that so strenuously object to Uber have many arguments that, on their face, sound compelling.  People do not know the drivers, the cars may not be insured, the cars may not be adequately maintained.  We are faced with the possibility of incompetent drivers with soon-to-fail brakes and bad transmissions ferrying people around the city, but not knowing where they are going.

But now comes the “you can’t suck and blow” issue.  These same councillors are more than prepared to have people carpool with perfect strangers in unlicensed, unmaintained, uncertified cars, with no questions asked regarding insurance.  Not only are they prepared to deal with such behaviours, they are prepared to encourage them with special HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes for carpoolers only.  They’ve dedicated websites, advertisements, and all manner of support to carpooling, but deny the same benefits to Uber.

tax levy bureaucracy-1016176_1920The same issue arises interestingly with some politicians who deal with taxing authorities.  All the evidence to support the reduction in cigarette smoking correlated to tax increases is compelling.  A similar group argues compellingly that increasing gasoline taxes is a good thing because it will reduce fuel consumption and encourage conservation.

But again we have the “you can’t suck and blow” issue.  The same people who argue so passionately for higher cigarette taxes, higher gasoline taxes, and coincidentally, higher liquor and booze taxes see no problem whatsoever in levying higher income tax.  The apparent disincentives that are so compelling with dealing with cigarettes, booze, and driving fall by the wayside when we are dealing with income.  These same politicians who can argue so passionately for cigarette reduction and conservation by increasing cigarette taxes and gasoline taxes see no illogic in increasing income taxes and expecting no reduction in the level of economic activity.

It turns out, contrary to my old law professor’s advice; you can “suck and blow at the same time”.


3 thoughts on “Regulating behaviour: You can’t suck and blow (or can you?)

  1. steven

    Agreed, has Calgary city counsel used the Uber service? it is cheaper and of higher quality than the legacy car services. They should be replacing the current rules with forcing taxi’s to maintain 4.5 star service rating or be removed from the road like Uber done to its drivers.

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