Tag Archives: business

Tim Harford

[S]ome companies have scarcity power and can set prices that are far above their true cost, which is where they would be in a competitive market. This is why economists believe there’s an important difference between being in favour of markets and being in favour of business, especially particular businesses. A politician who is in favour of markets believes in the importance of competition and wants to prevent businesses from getting too much scarcity power. A politician who’s too influenced by corporate lobbyists will do exactly the opposite.

Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist, London, 2006, p. 78

Ed Mirvish

Parking may be the best business in the world. I can’t think of a better one. You employ one person to simply sit there and take in cash. You provide no service, no goods, no nothing–except expensive space! I know all about it, since I’ve got enough lots of my own—which the city has always insisted I provide. So I know why businessmen love to own them. The lots make lots of money! But, much as I like to make a buck, I hate them.

Today, thank God, you can no longer by law put another street-level parking lot on King Street. But I firmly believe no parking lot should be allowed in any downtown area, period! They add nothing to any city but congestion, exhaust fumes, pollution, and smog.

Parking is a hugely profitable but ugly business.

Ed Mirvish, How to Build an Empire on an Orange Crate; or, 121 Lessons I Never Learned in School, Toronto, 1993, p. 192