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Endangering Lives to Protect Government Cartels


Some French tourists “mistakenly” got into an “unlicensed” taxi after arriving at JFK Airport, so New York police chased the van for several miles, putting the lives of everyone in danger before the driver crashed the van. The AP dispatch makes it sound as though the police were heroes and the van driver was a villain:

Plainclothes police recognized the man who enticed the tourists, Ian McFarland, as a repeat offender previously arrested for corralling passengers into unlicensed cars. A Port Authority officer reached inside the van to try and grab the keys, but the driver, Khaalif Preacher, sped off with the tourists inside, knocking the officer to the ground, Kelly said.

Port Authority police sped after the van, which snaked through residential streets and traveled about seven miles through two boroughs before it crashed through a gate at a U.S. Postal Service facility in the East New York section of Brooklyn.

The tourists said they screamed and prayed during the chase.

“I was scared,” Paris resident Esther-Ethy Mamane, 26, said Wednesday at a news conference. Mamane and her mother, Claudie, traveled to New York to attend a religious seminar. She said she tried to keep the other passengers inside the van calm during the chaos.

In other words, protecting state-run transportation cartels was so important that the authorities were willing to sacrifice individual lives. No doubt, the media is going to make the police into heroes, but as far as I am concerned the real villains are the ones who would endanger others just to prevent poor people from earning a decent living.

Bill Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

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