Most people cling to the feel-good view that regulations protect consumers. A few grumpy economists (and some others) point out that most regulations also limit competition and choice -- with the effect that prices are high and quality low.
When it comes to taxicab service, many of us spend more getting to and from airports than flying between them. The airlines compete and the taxis are regulated. Oh yes, the regs are there to protect us.
Todays' LA Times includes "Taxicabs Take L.A. for a Ride ... Sting operation finds that 'scenic routes' and potentially rigged meters inflated costs half the time ..."
Deregulation and more competition, anyone? Government failure, anyone? Naw!