Thursday, May 5, 2011

Anyone have an efficiency of government explanation?

Miami Beach towing wars drag city into political mess - Miami Beach - "Tremont’s troubles began two years ago when owner Edwin “Junior” Gonzalez sold his lot to developer Scott Robins, who’d just brokered a deal with city commissioners to build a 458-space garage with $13 million in public funds — $8.5 million of which was allocated to buying out Tremont."

Public choice economics must have a role in the interpretation of government action. One implication of the dueling towing companies is tow trucks regularly race down residential streets at I guess 50 MPH. The tows must be on a first come first serve basis where a call comes out from the police who find a car with unpaid tickets, parked in a residential zone etc. and the trucks of the two companies race to it.

What is the ideal institutional structure for identification of cars to be towed, towing, and storing the cars?
What should the government do?
Can ID cars to be towed, but might allow towing with verifiable photo evidence and a quick, fair appeal process (likely too much to hope for).
How many private firms should be involved? I'm guessing no limit. Allow companies to submit rates and choose the cheapest controlling for damage and safety performance.
How should prices be determined? Towing can be by auction as explained above. The city could also arrange for storage at multiple tow accessible lots and tell trucks to leave the car at the closest. Prepayment prior to taking the car could be made by voice or internet. Keys could be left with the attendant.

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