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In Monrovia Night, Commercial Drivers Hike Transport Fares

Mr Editor,

Why is the Ministry of Transportation throwing a temper tantrum over commercial drivers raising fares? Don’t these commercial drivers have private property RIGHTS over their properties (buses, taxis, trucks)?? Of course they do! (Re “In Monrovia Night, Commercial Drivers Hike Transport Fares”, Daily Observer Online)

But in the aforementioned article, the Ministry of Transportation issued a stern warning to commercial drivers (private property owners)  against hiking the fares for use of their PRIVATE property (taxis, buses, etc)

Really, Mr. Minister of Transportation (Tornorlah Varpilah)? Really?? Zankpah die, kpelle man (Varpilah) na put on shoes!

For decades, the hypocrites in the Liberian government have jacked-up prices of passports, alien registration fees, motor vehicle registration fees, business registration fees, cold water for corrupt police officers, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor’s hairdresser salary, etc without any regard for the Liberian people!!

But when private property owners (commercial drivers) raise transportation fares in response to a government ban on motorbikes, all hell breaks loose!

Why such hypocrisy?

Basic economics tell us that when you restrict the supply of anything, prices will rise as a result.  But yet when the gasbags in our government restrict the supply of motorbike taxis (pehn-pehn) to certain areas, it comes as a BIG surprise to them that transportation fares rise!

Hey Minister Tornorlah, this is not a trick question, but what do you think will happen to transportation fares when the government impose restrictions on the main mode of transportation (pehn-pehn) in Monrovia??

[Jeopardy! wait music plays while Minister Tornalah is thinking…♫ ♫♫…♫♫♫…♫♫♫]

[He’s scratching his head!} ♫♫♫

[OMG,  he’s scratching his head….. ewww!] ♫♫♫

Ok,ok, cut the music off ! No need to take Minister Tornalah to task… I guess he skipped his econs 101 class, at Cuttington, to chase Kpelle women!

Anyway, here’s the correct answer: By restricting pehn-pehn (the supply side), prices will rise. But prices are not the problem, they (prices) are symptoms of the problem.  The problem is supply and demand!

In other words, when you restrict (decrease) the supply of anything, prices will rise and when you increase the supply of anything, prices will drop! This is not rocket science. It’s basic economics! – the law of supply and demand !!

But it’s hard for an economically illiterate like Minister Tornolah to grasp such fundamental law in economics!

Therefore the government will continue to harass and impose restrictions on Liberia’s main mode of transportation (pehn-pehn) at all cost……But some of those costs are economically disastrous to our economically disadvantaged people, you know:

1) Hundreds of poor commuters will be forced to walk to work 2) Thousands of poor children will be forced to walk to school 3) High Youth unemployment will get higher 4) Crime will increase in other areas of the city and 5) Poor children will starve for food because their parents cannot make an honest living!

So it’s time to hold the current administration morally culpable for the devastating effects of this ban (pehn-pehn restriction) on market women, on school children, on yanna boys, on law-abiding pehn-pehn boys, on working people, people struggling to earn an honest living, and on young Liberians looking for jobs!


Martin Scott,

Atlanta, Georgia

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