By Jakob Puckett
Do you need to be protected from your own judgment? If you’re moving from one home to another, the state of Oregon thinks you do. The Oregon Department of Transportation thinks that you are not capable of finding a fair and reasonable price to pay a home moving business to move your furniture, so ODOT injected itself into the equation.
Home moving services have to painstakingly request permission from ODOT to determine what prices to charge, making it difficult for businesses to lower their prices or offer discounts.
Even when businesses want to offer a discount to veterans, senior citizens, or disadvantaged people, they are prohibited from showing such generosity under penalty of fines and business closure.
And why is this? ODOT thinks it knows what’s best for consumers and makes these decisions on its own, without much input from the businesses actually offering the services.
The person who suffers the most from this is you, because as long as ODOT gets to determine what a “fair and reasonable” price is, you are prevented from having options that would be offered in most other industries.
So when it comes to the regulation of the home moving industry, the situation is clear: It’s time for ODOT to leave the price-setting business, and move us in the right direction.
Jakob Puckett is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.