The city of San Francisco is known for its left-wing
politics, so one of the latest stories out of the city should not surprise us
There is an iPhone app called MonkeyParking and it was
designed to allow people to essentially auction off a parking space before
leaving. If your car is in a
parking spot and you are ready to leave, you can set the location of your spot
on the app. Then people will bid
on your spot and the highest bidder will get your parking spot, and you will
get the money.
Of course, this is the free market in action, with voluntary
individuals coming together for a mutually beneficial agreement. Therefore, city officials can’t allow
this to go on.
The city attorney, Dennis Herrera, has shut down
MonkeyParking’s operations in San Francisco by threatening a lawsuit if it
continues. He cited a provision in
the police code that prohibits buying, selling, or leasing public on-street
It is interesting that the free market is always trying to
solve problems, especially created by the government in the first place. San Francisco has strict zoning laws
and it should not be surprising that the government is not operating
efficiently when it comes to managing the streets and the parking on the
As with so much in life, this comes down to supply and demand. When there is a lack of supply and a
heavy demand, such as the parking situation in San Francisco, then the only way
to fix this is by having higher prices.
It doesn’t matter if it involves houses, water, labor, or parking
spaces. In order for the market to
clear, prices need to go up.
MonkeyParking was an innovation that helped solve this
problem. It was a free market
solution to a government problem.
But now the government is exacerbating the problem by banning the use of
This app allowed people who really wanted or needed a
parking spot to get it. They just
had to pay a higher price. But it
was obviously worth it to these people.
Maybe someone had a business meeting he had to get to. Maybe someone had an appointment at the
doctor. Maybe someone was late for
So who is the city attorney protecting here? I suppose it is the people who don’t
want to pay as much for parking, even though they have trouble finding a spot
anyway. This is an app that was
beneficial for people who desperately needed parking. It was also beneficial for someone leaving his parking spot
to get a few extra bucks.
This app was an attempt to help solve the supply and demand
problem of parking spaces. It was
serving to more efficiently allocate a resource in short supply. Unfortunately, some people,
particularly San Francisco politicians, don’t want to hear about
economics. They think it is
insensitive. They want you to see
the human side. But the human side
is that there are a lot of people driving around, wasting time, looking for a
place to park their car.
San Francisco may be a beautiful city to some, but the
politicians there, along with the people electing them, could use a lesson in