Article from Reason by Steven Greenhut.

Real capitalism is a tough sport where entrepreneurs risk their capital in hopes of winning customers.

The “crony” version of it involves politicians rigging the rules to assure that the “right” people are winners. We see this ugly process on high-profile national issues, such as when Donald Trump promotes tariffs to boost steel makers at the expense of companies that use steel products. But most of this nonsense proceeds quietly in legislative committees, without garnering any headlines or vocal opposition.

One awful but illustrative example popped up recently in the California state Capitol. Assembly Bill 2246, by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, apparently is part of a national effort by rental-car companies to snuff out a burgeoning industry that just happens to be threatening its business model. The bill would redefine “personal vehicle sharing” companies as “car rental companies”—and then slam them with reams of new regulations. Similar measures have been proposed in Idaho, New Hampshire, Maryland and Maine.

Rental-car companies are facing the same challenges as other established business models in this internet and app-based age. Capitalism—the real sort—is defined by “creative destruction,” as economist Joseph Schumpeter called it. New companies are free to offer better products and services that appeal to customers. This is creative as new ideas flourish and consumers get a broader choice and lower prices thanks to competition. But it’s also destructive. Complacent old companies suddenly are forced to improve their offerings or shut their doors. The consumer is king.

Read the entire article at Reason.