Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 16)

Restrictions on Home Businesses Make Operating One Practically Illegal 

The city of Portland requires home based start-ups to jump through a myriad of hoops to operate. For instance, home based businesses can only receive 8 clients per day, can only have one company vehicle, and can only have one employee who is not a resident and only if they do not accept on site customers. Furthermore, they are prohibited from operating a dispatch service or selling retail goods and proprietors who accept customers have to submit to a city building inspection. While many of these regulations may have been well intended to reduce nuisances in residential areas, most of them are unenforceable (whose counting the clients) and these one size fits all rules rarely account for variations in circumstances. Larger lots may be able to accommodate more cars than others without spilling out into the street and impeding traffic. Some home businesses may not be able to stay solvent with only 8 clients a day, while others may be profitable receiving only 7 clients a day. The rest of the restrictions on home businesses fall within the same general category of assuming one set of rules is adequate for all possible home businesses. 

In regard to moral law, consenting parties should be free to transact unless part of the cost is imposed on a non-consenting third party (e.g. pollution). When negative externalities are probable the principle of subsidiarity should be applied and the issue of preventing nuisances should be left up to the judgement of HOAs and NAs. In this way, unique solutions can be reached that would otherwise be left to the purview of government violence. 

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