Score one more for government control, corruption, and general silliness. New York’s TLC threw down the glove a while ago on the “Uber” application which allows taxi and “black car” drivers to arrange rides over the Internet. This isn’t the first time TLC has acted all crazy and stuff. Wait, wrong TLC. Oh well — the sentence two previous to this one applies even without the link.
You can’t fight City Hall — after all, this is the same commission which magically decided to replace every taxi in New York with Japanese minivans assembled in Mexico that didn’t actually exist at the time of the decision, and nobody said nothing, yo. No surprise, then, that Uber is leaving Gotham like Batman riding that bomb out to the ocean in the last Dark Knight film.
New York Governor David A. Patterson (D) is joining a number of other states in promoting the use of freeway speed cameras as a way to address his state’s massive $7.4 billion budget shortfall. Patterson’s budget proposal, released yesterday, includes a plan to deploy fifty photo radar vans to generate $96 million in net profit for the general fund by 2012.
“The mistakes of the past — squandering surpluses, papering over deficits, relying on irresponsible fiscal gimmicks to finance unsustainable spending increases — have led us to a financial breaking point,” Patterson wrote. “There are no more easy answers…. The only way we can emerge from this crisis is through shared sacrifice.”
Though New York’s new “Empire Gold” license plates aren’t opening the same constitutional can of worms as South Carolina’s recently-rejected “I Believe” plates, they’re still generating some feisty political opposition. By next April, every licensed vehicle in the state will have to switch to the new plates, at $25 a pop. That’s ten bucks more per plate than the previous models, and keeping your previous number or vanity plate will cost an additional $20. The switch is estimated to raise $129m for the state, which is currently facing a $5b budget shortfall. But according to Newsday, some 57,000 New Yorkers have signed a petition at nonewplates.com, expressing their displeasure with the new plates and their fees. Best of all, the new plates will mean new jobs for 120 inmates in New York’s penal system. The inmates will be paid 42 cents per hour to produce the plates.