Cab Drivers Union Says Chicago Taxi Industry Near Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture

By Jeff Schuhrke of In These Times

In addition to repaying loans on their medallions, taxi operators also have to pay thousands of dollars each year in city expenses, like the ground transportation tax and medallion license renewal fee—expenses that rideshare drivers are not subject to. (Cab Drivers United/ Twitter)  

Ghana-born John Aikins has been a cab driver in Chicago for two decades. About 15 years ago, he decided to go into business for himself by taking out a loan with his wife to purchase a medallion—a city-issued license to operate a taxi—for $70,000. Paying it off within a few years thanks to a steady stream of passengers, they took out loan for a second medallion five years ago, using the first as collateral. Watching his medallions appreciate in value over the years, Aikins planned to eventually sell or lease them to other drivers, a common practice in the industry. “I hoped it would be my retirement investment, and I had planned to retire this year,” Aikins told In These Times.

But with the introduction of Uber and other rideshare companies to the city—which can operate without the expensive, city-issued medallions—Aikins has seen his clientele plummet over the past three years, making it increasingly hard to keep up with his medallion loan payments.

Across the city, the number of taxi rides dropped from 2.29 million in January 2014 to 1.1 million in January 2017, according to a report released recently by Cab Drivers United, AFSCME Local 2500 (CDU).

As a result, the average monthly income per medallion has fallen by $2,000 during the same time.

“Getting to the end of last year, things had changed so drastically,” Aikins said. “We just couldn’t make it.” After recently receiving a notice of foreclosure on his medallions, his retirement plans are now on hold.

Aikins is hardly alone. In the past three years, more than 1,300 taxi medallions in the city have either been surrendered to the city or put into foreclosure status, while another 100 or so are facing repossession through lawsuits by lenders, according to the CDU report.

This foreclosure crisis is hurting small family businesses most of all, CDU contends. Of the 6,999 taxi medallions in the city, 39 percent belong to small owner/operators, like Aikins, who own four or fewer medallions.

“Because of the misconception that the taxi industry is just big fleets, the fact that thousands of small businesses are disproportionately being hurt by this crisis is too often overlooked,” said Tracey Abman, associate director of AFSCME Council 31. “The taxi industry is really about providing decent, full-time jobs—or was—for drivers.”

In addition to repaying loans on their medallions, taxi operators also have to pay thousands of dollars each year in city expenses, like the ground transportation tax and medallion license renewal fee—expenses that rideshare drivers are not subject to.

CDU says the number of rideshare vehicles in Chicago now exceeds 227,000, while 42 percent of the city’s taxis didn’t pick up a single passenger this March. The union stresses that the decline of the taxi industry is a loss for the broader public. Unlike most rideshare vehicles, taxis serve people without bank accounts by accepting cash, and they also have more stringent requirements on providing access to people with disabilities.

Aikins says he doesn’t fault the rideshare industry for his current predicament, but instead blames the city.

“We are so saddled with rules and taxes and renewal fees, and the city hasn’t done anything to relieve us,” he said. “It looks like they are just waiting for us to die off.”

Last summer, the City Council was poised to pass new regulations on rideshare companies, which CDU hoped would help create fairer competition. The original ordinance would have required fingerprint background checks on rideshare drivers and would have mandated that at least 5 percent of all rideshare vehicles be wheelchair-accessible—rules comparable to those imposed on the taxi industry.

After the last-minute intervention of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, however, a watered-down version of the ordinance was passed that removed the original provisions on fingerprinting and wheelchair accessibility. While the final version requires rideshare drivers to obtain special chauffeur licenses, it allows them to complete the necessary training online instead of through the expensive in-person classes taxi drivers must attend.

Critics have accused Emanuel of being biased in favor of rideshare companies, particularly Uber. His brother Ari—a Hollywood agent and the inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s character on HBO’s Entourage—is an Uber investor. Also, the mayor’s former chief of staff became an Uber executive not long after passage of last year’s ordinance. Earlier this year, Emanuel’s Obama administration colleague and former Uber executive David Plouffe was fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics after it was revealed he illegally lobbied the mayor on behalf of the rideshare giant in 2015.

With no help from the city, Aikins turned to Cab Drivers United for assistance after receiving his foreclosure notice. Formed in 2014, CDU is a non-traditional union in that it does not bargain contracts, since labor laws classify taxi drivers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” Made up of hundreds of dues-paying members and a network of thousands of activists, CDU provides educational workshops for drivers, connects them to legal services and organizes them to pressure lawmakers for fairer treatment.

Furqan Mohammed, a private attorney whose firm partners with CDU, said he has talked with over 100 owner/operators like Aikins facing foreclosure in recent months.

“Some of these drivers will owe upwards of $250,000 on these medallions, yet the underlying asset is worth maybe $50,000 if you can even find a willing buyer,” he said.

With CDU’s help, Aikins contacted an attorney who recently helped him file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in an effort to save his livelihood. Mohammed said his law firm is assisting many owner/operators to restructure their medallion loans, but he called it only a “temporary solution.”

Longer-term, CDU is calling on the city to ease the financial burdens of taxi drivers, including eliminating the medallion license renewal fee and waiving the ground transportation tax for struggling owner/operators.

The ground transportation tax—paid once every two years—is due at the end of June. Aikins said the tax for two years is about $2,000.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “The city knows we don’t have the money.”

“If the city were to create a hardship waiver for the ground transportation tax literally in the next few weeks, that would send a signal to these small owner/operators that the city does care about them and is prepared to work on a more comprehensive package for reform,” AFSCME’s Abman said.

“If relief is not provided [in the coming weeks] we will see much more decimation of the industry,” she warned. “Time is of the essence.”

The full report from Cab Drivers Union

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tmosley's picture

WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE NIGGERS FROM GHANA!!??

RAT005's picture

When I lived in Chicago I always said: Friends don't let friends ride cabs.

 

JackT's picture

Olde Timey Jobs at hot again. Cabbies are next, just give it some time:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-old-timey-jobs-are-hot-again-1496754001

Tarzan's picture

Uber did it, and they're obviously Russians.....

Tarzan's picture

The wife and I just left Chicago last week.  We rode transit for three days exploring the city.  As far as I could tell people don't take cabs, they ride the blue line, or take Uber.  The Transit system isn't over crowded, there are no lines of people looking for a ride. There are Uber and Lyft drivers driving by everywhere you look.

The Taxi industry isn't paying attention, they didn't change with the times.  Someone moved their cheese, and they sat in the corner waiting on someone to return it.  Now they're starving!

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Article title: Cab Drivers Union Says Chicago Taxi Industry Near Collapse

My response: Let's see, we just saw the headline: "Illinois State Official: We Are In Massive Crisis Mode, This Is Not A False Alarm"

So, since Chicago is in IL,  the "article title" makes perfect sense to me. How about you?

ILLINOIS --- LAND of OBAMA and his FELLOW DESPOTS! LINCOLN must be turning over in his grave!!!

kbohip's picture

Exactly, and you know every "Mohammed" and "Ghana born taxi driver" happily voted for every Democrat that came down the pike.  Especially Obama's butt buddy Rham!  Sorry my brown skinned friends, but you've just learned the most important lesson of all regarding politicians.  They only care about the color of the money in your wallet, not the pigment in your skin.  You hopped into bed with a whore and now you're complaining that she's blowing another man right in front of you.  Live and learn.

therealestg9's picture

This is a classic application of chaos theory. When people first play by the rules and get a profitable income stream (like the taxi drivers), because hunans are greedy by nature, they then rely on the government to enact protections for their money stream. Well the problem is that chaos theory says that nature (or in this case the free market) always finds a way. Enter Uber and Lyft who through their smart thinking found a way to bypass all the regulations and deliver a more efficient product to the market. It is also siimilar to what we are going to face as a nation in general. The more you over-regulate, the more you are ignoring the prospect of chaos. Our country has exploited millions from over-regulation and perpetual debt. when nature decides to take its revenge by a "black swan" event, it will not be pretty. I fear that we are already in the prelude to it right now.

Hugh G. Rection's picture

This is along the lines of my first thoughts. The way to level the field isn't to impose more regulations on Uber, it is for the city to interfere less with the cabbies trying to make a living. But in Illinois, or seemingly anywhere in America, the idea seems to be the opposite; more administrators, more taxes, more regulation. 

 

Saratoga's picture

Correct. REmove all medallion and other regulations and fees. PERIOD.

Hal n back's picture

Problem is chicago is out of cash too. Everybody fighting for the same dollars. Drastic change needed in govt

oncemore's picture

You say lyft and uber and smart business?

I say jews bribe.

Yesterday ZH published an article about income in those app business.

Seems to be from350 to 450 at lyft and uber.

If those drivers do not cheat, they just ruin their car, waste their time for such small income and high risk, think accident damages, this is just cheat of a big internet scale.

I do not advocate for any cab driver in Chicago. 

I say, that to do a business lyft, uber are doing is at the expense of somebody, in this case uber driver and cab driver.

Chief of Chicago is a greedy jew, chief of uber is a greedy jew, who bribes the first jew, hence we have to face it, or eliminatethem.

oncemore's picture

You say lyft and uber and smart business?

I say jews bribe.

Yesterday ZH published an article about income in those app business.

Seems to be from350 to 450 at lyft and uber.

If those drivers do not cheat, they just ruin their car, waste their time for such small income and high risk, think accident damages, this is just cheat of a big internet scale.

I do not advocate for any cab driver in Chicago. 

I say, that to do a business lyft, uber are doing is at the expense of somebody, in this case uber driver and cab driver.

Chief of Chicago is a greedy jew, chief of uber is a greedy jew, who bribes the first jew, hence we have to face it, or eliminatethem.

malek's picture

"found a way to bypass all the regulations"

Uh, you really believe the city is not just incapable but legally unable to put similar regulations on Uber/Lyft/co?

You still have to learn a lot about probable deniability and how to find the likely real truth behind it.

Also playing by the rules is not the same as playing by unjust rules.

EmeraldWI's picture

We need 21st century public transportation.

 

Full Court Lugenpresse's picture

I have little love for the mystery meats driving foul-smelling cabs around Chicago, but I gotta admit I hate Uber too. Their whole business model is just based on selling illegal gypsy cab rides, while using connections with major city governments (like with Rahm Emanuel, as the story describes) to get around the laws and undercut local cab drivers. Very sleazy. It's easy to compete and win marketshare when your only major competitors are hamstrung by a million costs and regulations that don't apply to you.

animalspirit's picture

> your only major competitors are hamstrung by a million costs and regulations that don't apply to you.

Agreed.

Level the playing field.

Eliminate those regulations that are responsible for those "millions costs" (including the $2,000 semi-annual ground transportation tax).

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

What? Uber and Lyft are breaking the back of the artificial state-imposed monopolies. The State is literally telling people that they can't use "their" vehicle to earn income in this manner unless they pay their "protection money".

If Uber and Lyft are illegal, then they are definitely moral. Fuck these rent seeking cab companies. Uber & Lyft are voluntary enterprises that connect willing people with organization they need to improve their incomes. Is it necessarily the best income in the world? No. But to many people using these services, it's the best they feel that they are able to. That's the glory of free markets. People are voluntarily risen higher than they would have been otherwise.

Uber & Lyft win. Customers win. Drivers win. I have no pity for the city governments or their pet cab companies.

garypaul's picture

Some really good comments on this thread, but not yours. You've got it backwards. They are rent-seeking. Who does the work and who sits on the app? Hello? Have you heard that Uber is losing money, even with all the advantages it currently has? The model doesn't really work since it relies on exploiting the drivers and evading regulations. Not all regulations are evil, you blathering anarchist.

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

Bullshit. Rent seeking is when entities seeks anti-competitive favors from The State. Lyft and Uber are the antithesis of that. Taxi Medallions create an artificial scarcity in transportation services. It limits access to services both directly in supply and indirectly by driving the price up. It's a coercive activity reliant on State violence.

Lyft and Uber circumvent these immoral and inefficient restrictions. Nobody participates with Lyft or Uber unless they choose to. These services are 100% voluntary for drivers and customers. Nobody is being exploited, because they all choose to come to the table, and they can all choose to stay--or not.

PTR's picture

I take public transit (and hence spend time waiting on corners.)  Since 2008, I've seen the decline in taxis with my own eyes.

To top it off, there's more ride share cars than there ever were taxis.

 

PS - f*ck the monopoly of medallions.

IntTheLight's picture

Cab companies hurt themselves. Extremely smelly drivers. Rude drivers. Complaints about drivers lead nowhere and since many are foreign and violent, you don't want to file a complaint that includes your home address.

Korprit_Phlunkie's picture

If only he was from Kenya then he would have a chance.

drendebe10's picture

Uh, u can call for transportation w an app on ur phone, u can trck urrides path 2 u while giving u the name,car & li ense plate, u get into a newer CLEAN vehicle, the driver is pleasant, u don't have to deal w monet & u get an emailed a receipt.  He/, id rather call a cab that takes up to a half hr to show up, get in a dirty smelly worn vehicle dtiven by who knows who then pay for a fare that often leaves u wondering if u have been ripped off & u have to tip the driver.  Yah. I guess I'll rake a cab.

Ram Man's picture

How about writing that in English?

Budnacho's picture

Im sure more taxes will fix it...

yogibear's picture

Taxes are always the solution of the Illinois democrats.

Chicago is libtard capital of the midwest.

withglee's picture

In addition to repaying loans on their medallions, taxi operators also have to pay thousands of dollars each year in city expenses, like the ground transportation tax and medallion license renewal fee—expenses that rideshare drivers are not subject to. (Cab Drivers United/ Twitter)

What's not to love about government?

What a voracious appetite that parasite has.

Fixing it is a huge problem now that more than 1/2 the population works for the government or is dependent on it. 3/4th of the fruits of your labor go to governments with you never seeing it. These are just examples of the invisible fleecing being made visible by plain ole competition.

Iterative secession. Let that larger half have their own space ... and be out of mine.

2banana's picture

The irony.

The cab drivers union supported democrats 99.9%-0.1% in their donations in every city election.

Pay to play.

 

Well, you got played.

 

 

Sanity Bear's picture

Can't find a single reason to have pity on someone who

a) doesn't even need to be in this country
b) after arriving in this country, buys into a literally fascist cartel - AKA subsidizes force and violence used against US citizens; and
c) plans to make it rich off what is essentially a Ponzi scheme based on said cartelization

Go back to Ghana, bro. You'll probably be able to retire comfortably there on whatever little you got now, and I'm sure you'll get used to dodging machetes or whatever the popular sport is there today.

IntTheLight's picture

That's what struck me. Why are we importing people from Ghana?

withglee's picture

The cab drivers union supported democrats 99.9%-0.1% in their donations in every city election.

This is not a party problem. Both parties report to the same puppeteer. It's all theater ... the Harlem Globe Trotters and the Washington Generals.

Iterative secession. Let those who think government is the solution to anything have that government solution ... in their space ... and be out of my space.

Mazzy's picture

Get rid of the Medallions and the problem auto-corrects.  More people could become cab drivers (they are ANYWAY and Uber/Lyft are just manifestations of that; in Baltimore & Annapolis we've always had hundreds of "gypsy cab" drivers and fees are low because of it) and real price discovery could occur.  With real price discovery more users would be willing to take a cab ride.  I'll rent a car before I pay for a cab, it's cheaper anyway considering that I do a good bit of driving while traveling.

 

 

 

 

Endgame Napoleon's picture

The rideshare drivers do have costs, including the requirement to have a newer car, gasoline and wear-and-tear on their vehicles, with a MUCH lower profit than the cabbies had.

Many rideshare drivers make enough money to supplement unearned income from their parents. They are often young, mostly male students, working that gig for extra pocket money. Or, they are males supplementing spousal income.

Tyler listed the average rideshare income: $500/month that make you hollar will not enable you to repay a $70,000 tax medallion loan, like that cabbie was able to do in the past, plus covering his own household expenses.

A similar, sad situation is going to unfold soon in the over-regulated (on the consumer side) insurance industry. The state-imposed licensing expenses are not nearly as hefty as the cabbies' expenses, although every expense is relative to location and cash flow.

Even knowing this and other incredibly rigged things about this industry, I still felt compelled -- like a fool -- to renew my licenses again this year in case I ever use them again, paying the state more money and taking more tests.

The salaried jobs ALL or mostly go to unlicensed mom bullies whose spousal income or womb-based income from welfare/taxfare enables them to accept rock-bottom pay. Unlicensed moms get a ton of absenteeism privileges from crony-parent employers to make up for the low pay.

Straight-commission gigs are available to those who pay the state and jump through the licensing hoops. These are pyramid sales opportunites, with 10 or more people taking a cut in each small commission amount. These self-employed, 1099-contract employees pay twice as much SS tax as the salaried, frequently absentee, unlicensed bully-clique moms in the corporate offices, call centers and in many small sales offices as well.

When the automated sales agents and the automated back-office robots take over, the people who are going to lose the most are those who invested in franchises, betting on the solvency of the industry by using their home equity.

So much of this--like so much of everything in this economy--depends on income gained via sex and reproduction. Divorced mommas who get houses due to failed marriages, or two-earner couples, can use that house collateral to borrow money for franchises, paying big, Yuge companies that have money to advertise in the SuperBowl fees galore, in addition to $50,000 to $100,000 or more for established books of business. Some companies just charge $10,000, setting up a bunch of hybrid, independent-contractor/franchise-owner employees in larger offices, charging them rent, etc.

A few of these mommas and other parent-franchise owners with womb-based income from divorce or two household incomes are go getters, the kind that will actually work hard, calling their a***s off all day to generate sales to replace all of those policies that fall off the books.

You have to sell two to make progress when a policy falls off the books, but when you let your crony-momma staff take off all the time, citing baby, more policies fall off the books due to paying customers who are inconvenienced.

Some of these franchise buyers just coast on the daily, warm lead that the company provides in exchange for a Yuge franchise fee, and some have their kids in the office all the time, telling female staff to do craft projects with kids on the floor, rather than setting a tone that rewards servicing the customers with energy to retain business and cold calling to generate more.

It is all absurd -- the entire industry, with its bully-momma absenteeism cliques, its back-office gangs with their baby-mommy-look-alike-bulletin-board-decorating contests, to the slacker and hardworking, struggling franchise owners, placed on every corner and pitted against each other.

They often just shift around accounts, rather than really generating new business. But, nonetheless, I do feel sorry for the ones who will owe all that money for nothing. I mean really for nothing. I paid a business loan on a small, art-related shop and had a little money left in the bank when just voluntarily deciding to do something else.

My ex and I lived on the sales we generated, with no unearned or outside income, like the cab guys. But we were not run out by automation before the debt was paid. That would be awful and is a government-created issue, not that gig-style, pocket-money jobs are any kind of a substitute for jobs that actually finance household bills. You can call these "businesses" or "jobs," dealing with the semantic issue, but it is really an income issue for people who lack unearned income streams.

A teenage babysitter or a kid with a lemonade stand is employed as well, but his or her parents pay the bills. If your gig does not pay a full range of household bills, you should not even be listed as employed in the FAKE EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS. For one thing, in many gig and low-wage industries, government is, in effect, propping up the bulk of the workforce with welfare/taxfare money and rigging the jobs for those with access to welfare, while charging those who have no access to welfare/taxfare licensing fees to access the FAKE JOBS.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

The rideshare drivers do have costs, including the requirement to have a newer car, gasoline and wear-and-tear on their vehicles, with a MUCH lower profit than the cabbies had.

Many rideshare drivers make enough money to supplement unearned income from their parents. They are often young, mostly male students, working that gig for extra pocket money. Or, they are males supplementing spousal income.

Tyler listed the average rideshare income: $500/month that make you hollar will not enable you to repay a $70,000 tax medallion loan, like that cabbie was able to do in the past, plus covering his own household expenses.

A similar, sad situation is going to unfold soon in the over-regulated (on the consumer side) insurance industry. The state-imposed licensing expenses are not nearly as hefty as the cabbies' expenses, although every expense is relative to location and cash flow.

Even knowing this and other incredibly rigged things about this industry, I still felt compelled -- like a fool -- to renew my licenses again this year in case I ever use them again, paying the state more money and taking more tests.

The salaried jobs ALL or mostly go to unlicensed mom bullies whose spousal income or womb-based income from welfare/taxfare enables them to accept rock-bottom pay. Unlicensed moms get a ton of absenteeism privileges from crony-parent employers to make up for the low pay.

Straight-commission gigs are available to those who pay the state and jump through the licensing hoops. These are pyramid sales opportunites, with 10 or more people taking a cut in each small commission amount. These self-employed, 1099-contract employees pay twice as much SS tax as the salaried, frequently absentee, unlicensed bully-clique moms in the corporate offices, call centers and in many small sales offices as well.

When the automated sales agents and the automated back-office robots take over, the people who are going to lose the most are those who invested in franchises, betting on the solvency of the industry by using their home equity.

So much of this--like so much of everything in this economy--depends on income gained via sex and reproduction. Divorced mommas who get houses due to failed marriages, or two-earner couples, can use that house collateral to borrow money for franchises, paying big, Yuge companies that have money to advertise in the SuperBowl fees galore, in addition to $50,000 to $100,000 or more for established books of business. Some companies just charge $10,000, setting up a bunch of hybrid, independent-contractor/franchise-owner employees in larger offices, charging them rent, etc.

A few of these mommas and other parent-franchise owners with womb-based income from divorce or two household incomes are go getters, the kind that will actually work hard, calling their a***s off all day to generate sales to replace all of those policies that fall off the books.

You have to sell two to make progress when a policy falls off the books, but when you let your crony-momma staff take off all the time, citing baby, more policies fall off the books due to paying customers who are inconvenienced.

Some of these franchise buyers just coast on the daily, warm lead that the company provides in exchange for a Yuge franchise fee, and some have their kids in the office all the time, telling female staff to do craft projects with kids on the floor, rather than setting a tone that rewards servicing the customers with energy to retain business and cold calling to generate more.

It is all absurd -- the entire industry, with its bully-momma absenteeism cliques, its back-office gangs with their baby-mommy-look-alike-bulletin-board-decorating contests, to the slacker and hardworking, struggling franchise owners, placed on every corner and pitted against each other.

They often just shift around accounts, rather than really generating new business. But, nonetheless, I do feel sorry for the ones who will owe all that money for nothing. I mean really for nothing. I paid a business loan on a small, art-related shop and had a little money left in the bank when just voluntarily deciding to do something else.

My ex and I lived on the sales we generated, with no unearned or outside income, like the cab guys. But we were not run out by automation before the debt was paid. That would be awful and is a government-created issue, not that gig-style, pocket-money jobs are any kind of a substitute for jobs that actually finance household bills. You can call these "businesses" or "jobs," dealing with the semantic issue, but it is really an income issue for people who lack unearned income streams.

A teenage babysitter or a kid with a lemonade stand is employed as well, but his or her parents pay the bills. If your gig does not pay a full range of household bills, you should not even be listed as employed in the FAKE employment statistics. For one thing, in many gig and low-wage industries, government is, in effect, propping up the bulk of the workforce with welfare/taxfare money and rigging the jobs for those with access to welfare, while charging those who have no access to welfare/taxfare licensing fees to access the FAKE JOBS.

withglee's picture

A similar, sad situation is going to unfold soon in the over-regulated (on the consumer side) insurance industry.

Regulation never works. That "over-regulated" insurance industry is a government protected industry.

I'll give you two cases in point:

Case 1: I have two vehicles, both old but mechanically functional and safe. I self insure for collision. I am forced by government to provide liability insurance.  Now look at how they rate that insurance. For my first vehicle I pay "X" amount of annual premium. When I add the other vehicle I pay "2X" amount ... even though I can only drive one vehicle at a time. But the vehicle is not liable ... I am. However, the insurance lobby and the government lobby see the vehicle as liable. It is openly wrong ... and it is non-negotiable

Case 2: I have a rent house (used to be my residence) which has a loan balance below the cost of lot itself. The terms of the loan were that I "must" purchase replacement cost insurance on that property until the loan is paid in full. The rates went up regularly to the point I ran the numbers. I found the cost of the insurance actuarially meant they saw a 50% probability of those improvements being totally destroyed over the 30 year period of the loan. My experience being that not a single house had been destroyed within 1/2 mile of mine in the 30 years I owned it, I knew I was being cheated.

So I cancelled the insurance and self-insured. The insurance lobby / bank lobby / government regulation lobby has made that impossible. I "must" sign their contract if I want to "create the money" to purchase that house. And even though they have zero risk of their so-called loan defaulting because the improvements are destroyed (the loan balance is less than the lot value), I don't have the option to tell them to go pound sand.

Well I told them to do that anyway trusting that a jury will see the invalidity of that part of the contract ... and they are getting screwed in the same way. That was over two years ago. They (Wells Fargo) bought (from themselves) insurance at my expense as the contract says they can. Had they not done that, The loan would be paid off by now. As it is, it still has two years to go.

I have kept two sets of books. I have paid them according to their books but will sue them for release of lien according to my books. We'll see what happens. I predict a "lose lose" outcome in my case, but it will set an example.

And by the way, in that two years 17 houses would have actuarially been destroyed based on the premium charged. Number actually destroyed = zero. Number actually destroyed in the 28 years of the loan ... zero.

Government is an abuser ... not a protector. They are a troublemaker.

Iterative secession. Then let those who think government is the solution to anything, let them have it in their space ... and let me not be in that space.

 

MoreFreedom's picture

Govenrment shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers in commerce, which is what the Taxi Medallion program is.  Those who got the medallions first are the winners, along with the politicians who set them up (who got lots of campaign cash to set them up). 

It's good to see freedom winning against government monopolies that shouldn't exist.  Government's job is to protect us from others who'd harm us, and the taxi medallion program (like most all government "regulations"/administrative laws that apply to business) is the government getting into bed with people who want to harm us.  It's a perversion of the purpose of government.

 

withglee's picture

Government's job is to protect us from others who'd harm us, and the taxi medallion program (like most all government "regulations"/administrative laws that apply to business) is the government getting into bed with people who want to harm us.  It's a perversion of the purpose of government.

Actually, I think government is just a parasite. It doesn't have a job. It is a job.

Responsibility begins with the individual. The individual "must" deal with issues that are in the individual's domain. Democracy comes in when the issue is out of the individual's domain. When this is evident, democratic groups consisting of no more than 50 people can organize to deal with this the issue in a larger domain. And if it still can't be dealt with there, then those 50 people can select a person to represent them in the next lower level.

With a "truly democratic process" (i.e. one where democracy can actually function and not turn into a propaganda driven ugly contest), the population on all of Earth can be represented in just 6 layers of hierarchy.

We need to stop thinking of government as the go-to problem solver. They are the problem in the first place. If you find yourself settling on a government solution to any problem, you are still looking for a solution. Never opt for a government solution. You can only make the problem worse.

2banana's picture

Chicago...unions...near collapse....

Those words just have a magical ring to them.

 

Can't wait until we can put "public" in that melody

Dubaibanker's picture

What about Uber and Zip cars? They should have replaced a lot of taxis....?

montresor's picture

Chimpago is broke.. Right on time.  Going broke trying to skim other cabbies huh? How innovative..

Salsa Verde's picture

Chicago is the heart of Democrat ideology, the center of their form of intellectualism; how could anything possibly falter under their Utopian guidance?

2banana's picture

A retirement based on a monopoly and gouging the public with expensive and substandard service...

Who does he think he is - a public union worker?

+++

"they took out loan for a second medallion five years ago, using the first as collateral. Watching his medallions appreciate in value over the years, Aikins planned to eventually sell or lease them to other drivers, a common practice in the industry. “I hoped it would be my retirement investment, and I had planned to retire this year,”

max2205's picture

He must be at least 30

any_mouse's picture

He speculated Medallions would always go up in value.
He bought a Medallion on margin. Paid it off, good.
Then he used the first medallion to buy another.
Now both medallions are dropping in value as the franchise evaporates.
Next he jumps out a window.

Enabled by a moneylender who will now own two useless Medallions.

Like REO houses that do not have buyers.

No bid.

The City interfered in the contract between buyers/riders and sellers/drivers.

A Labor Union grew big feeding off the drivers.

City officials prospered from contributions.

Now watch the roaches scurry around in the light.

Corruption at every level of Government. Pervasive, persistent, pernicious politicians.

Md4's picture

Good summation.

Government grown on handouts on the one hand, and a myriad of fees and taxes to pay for it (and it doesn't; hence deficits and debt) on the other, is how we've been living.

Now, with middle class income gone, along with the spending and funding of all the crap games, Ellen Whaa cries "crisis".

No bucks...no Buck Rogers.

Disposable middle class income was the bag on the hag.

me123me's picture

Another liberal socialist entity going down the tubes. 

aloha_snakbar's picture

Best thing that could happen to Chicongo is Lake Michigan swallows the entire city, whole...