So we’re done with 2008. As expected, this has been a tough year that brought us a worldwide economic downturn and many people who lost their job will remember it as one of the worst in their life. On the other hand we also had good news and lately I can feel a general sense of hope springing, at least in this part of the world. Who knows, are we in the middle of the avalanche effect and the real crisis has yet to come or have we reached the bottom already? We’ll see. Meanwhile I wish a wonderful 2009 everybody!
The World Bank has interesting data about how many cars we have. It looks like some countries had a huge increase in cars per 1000 people over the last few years.
Now we have 6 countries over the “1 car every 2 people” threshold: New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. The United States decreased their number of cars relative to population. Who is wealthier and who’s behind? Should we conclude that public transportation is a sign of really more advanced economies?
Ever tried to call a taxi on a rainy day in Firenze? Or even on sunny days at peak hour? It’s simply impossibile. You won’t find any on the street and both radio services (4242 and 4390) will tell you that no taxi is available. After wasting some time on the phone, you’ll end up taking a bus or a shower. Can you believe it? OK, Firenze is not a big city, but millions of tourists come to visit it every year! In a normal market economy this offer-demand problem would solve automatically, cause people would be encouraged to become taxi drivers and finally taxis would increase. Unfortunately Italy is not a normal market economy, and so far taxi licences were constrained by law. But they are no more! Yesterday our government finally abolished license constraints, liberalizing the market. Taxi drivers are upset but I don’t care. Go Bersani go!