Parking Entitlements

Via @DonaldShoup comes this article about city employees losing their "free parking" privileges in San Francisco.
For years, government employees have enjoyed nonenforcement of parking policies around public facilities such as the Hall of Justice, and workers from city departments have been able to park for free by crafting informal agency placards that were intentionally overlooked by the SFMTA’s parking enforcement division.
I imagine some people are asking, who cares about whether city vehicles pay for parking? What difference does it make whether the city pays itself to park its own vehicles?

(from Flickr user ryascolot)

The situation is fairly similar to a restaurant owner who brings his family into the restaurant for dinner every night, and who hands out free drinks to his friends every weekend. If the restaurant is successful, the owner might be able to get away with this. But most restaurants are notorious for their razor-thin margins. Just because he owns the place doesn't mean there isn't a cost to the owner when he doesn't pay for the food or drinks.

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