[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
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