Should one be free to drive a taxi in Miami? Apparently not. The city government of Miami controls the number of taxi cabs and, as of 2002, had decided that only 1,856 taxi licenses shall exist. When a license becomes available, it is sold via lottery. But to participate in the lottery one must pay the city a nonrefundable $400 fee, and if one wins one must pay an additional $15,000 for the license.
So what is the state of the right to earn a living in Miami?
A very good question, which Timothy Sandefur takes up in The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law. Sandefur is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm based in Sacramento, California.
Sandefur is also the author of To Pursue and Obtain Happiness and Safety, an excellent essay-length version of the themes expanded upon in his new book.
Sandefur spoke at Rockford College in 2009. Here is my interview with him based on his talk.
Count me a fan.