Re: Let's hear it for buggy whip makers and elevator operators
You make a very important point: the monopolies - and the restrictions and regulations they entail - were created by the governments.
Too many people argue as though the monopolies are the creation of the taxi companies. They're not.
I am not saying taxis are great - they have problems galore - but much of the structure of the taxi systems in any given region are the product of the particular regulations imposed by the government.
In NSW, for example, there are rules that require all taxis to be backed by dispatch services which have their own restrictions and rules. The taxi industry simply couldn't operate like Uber - they're not allowed to. Indeed, there have been attempts at creating smart-phone applications of a similar nature but the government has told them they aren't allowed to do it.
The system is corrupt because it is run by a relatively small set of the big dispatch operators but that situation has come about because of the rules the government has set.
When/if those same governments allow Uber to operate alongside taxis but without any of the same rules, it is fundamentally unfair to the taxis drivers, who have had to jump through hoops and pay a lot of money to get the right to operate in that monopoly.
Taxi licenses had a value because the government set the number of them. If the government devalues them by, effectively, allowing anyone with a car to operate a taxi without a license then I think it is only far to compensate the owners.
Everyone who operates a taxi service should be under the same rules - either Uber are brought into line or existing drivers/owners have their regulations removed.