November 11, 2012

MEGAN MCARDLE: DC Government vs. Market Competition, Round 7,894.

I think that DC needs a new regulation. All current councilmembers should have to register–and run–as Republicans in 2014. This would encourage political diversity in DC, creating a space for Republicans as well as Democrats to compete in our elections. It’s is a pro-competition initiative that would empower a currently disenfranchised minority and help the DC government build new ties to a party from which it is currently somewhat alienated.

What’s that you say? This regulation would effectively cause all current council members to lose their seats? Well, I don’t think I agree with that. A revitalized DC Republican party ticket might sweep the current polls. Just because Barack Obama carries 90% of the vote in DC doesn’t mean that a Republican can’t be competitive in our city. But even if you were right, I don’t think that’s a reason to oppose this legislation. I mean, sure, it’s sad for current council members who might like to serve another term, and, I dunno, run on the ticket of the party they actually vote like better. But isn’t that really a small price to pay for a more fair and transparent system that’s more finely tuned to the needs of DC voters?

Stop snorting. I don’t see why council members would oppose such a sensible rule, since after all, that’s how they think business should be regulated. Whether it’s car services or food trucks, the city likes to hamstring upstart competitors by enacting ostensibly neutral “sensible regulation” which just happens–who knew!–to have the side effect of putting those new entrants out of business. This is always done in the name of the consumer, even though the consumer has expressed no desire for many of the “benefits” provided by the new legislation, like . . . paper receipts, or taxis that are all the same color.

It’s like they’re corrupt tools of the established interests or something.