If You’re Making Money the State Wants a Piece of the Action

It goes without saying, if you run a successful business the state will eventually show up at your door and demand a piece of the action. Operators of the popular pedal pubs in Minneapolis are learning this lesson. In regards to the pedal pubs:

“They aren’t regulated at all now,” said Grant Wilson, manager of Licenses and Consumer Services in Minneapolis. Representatives from the pedal-pub industry (two companies are currently operating in Minneapolis) and city staff started meeting several months ago after City Hall began hearing complaints.

They’re not regulated at all?! Somebody call a bureaucracy, there’s a business that has managed to escape any state regulation! Wilson’s claim is false as pedal pubs have several regulations affect them, including a regulation that the person steering the pub must be sober. What Wilson really meant to say is that the city of Minneapolis isn’t collecting any regular fees from the operators of pedal pubs. In laymen’s terms the city mafia isn’t getting a piece of the action. It’s pretty easy to see that this case is entirely about expropriation as Wilson had to dig pretty deep to find some justification for the city to implement additional regulations:

“The main complaint is that people, after a tour, became loud,” Wilson said.

There were also complaints about pedal pub riders parking in residential neighborhoods and piddling on the bushes.

Being loud, parking in residential neighborhoods, and pissing on bushes are the biggest complaints regarding pedal pubs? It sounds like they’re less obtrusive than traditional bars that usually generate all of those complains as well as complains about fighting. Looking at the proposed regulations and comparing them to the listed complains further reinforced the fact that this entire exercise is about expropriation:

The new regulations will require licenses for the company and the drivers, inspections of the vehicles and $2 million worth of insurance. The license fees are the same as those now charged for a pedicab, which carries two or three passengers but does not serve alcohol.

Drivers will pay $59 for an annual license. The company will pay $98 for a license and another $135 for an annual inspection of each vehicle.

There is also a provision for a $500 administrative fine, which can be assessed if the pedal pub company does not comply with the new ordinance. That fine would double for the second violation and tops out at $2,000.

You have to admire how the state can take complains of noise, parking in residential neighborhoods, and pissing on bushes and turn them into yearly vehicle inspections. I’m not sure how any of those complains apply to the upkeep of the actual pedal pubs but, as I said, these new requirements have nothing to do with complains and everything to do with expropriation. If you want to do business on the mafia’s turf you have to buy “protection.”