A. One Million Dollars, according to National Review Online:
Since 1980, New York’s taxi medallions — essentially the license to drive a cab in the Big Apple — have appreciated nearly 2,000 percent, according to one estimate. Prices rose on average 8 percent annually for 30 years, dipping significantly only once — right after 9/11, calculates economist Ilan Kolet, a writer for Bloomberg.
Medallions have a better rate of return than Class A Berkshire Hathaway shares because New York tightly controls the number of medallions — and hence the number of taxis — permitted on city streets. In 1937, that number was 13,566, and it’s hovered around there ever since. Medallions cost ten bucks in 1937 (roughly $160 in today’s dollars). Last year, two sold for $1 million each. Government-imposed scarcity and inefficiency created that value, nothing else.
And there you have it. Cabbies won't pick you up? You need to look like you've got a tip coming with you.
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