February 19, 2009 11:21AM

Fighting for Economic Liberty

While assaults on economic liberty from the Bush-Obama administration continue in Washington, the Institute for Justice is taking on another fight for the right to earn a living, this time in Boston. Erroll Tyler wants to use state-of-the-art amphibious vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers in Kendall Square in Cambridge and tour historical sites along a fixed route in Boston and Cambridge. But the city won't issue him a sightseeing license, ostensibly because of a moratorium on such licenses instituted because of the disruptive Big Dig project -- which finally ended six years ago. Ironically, one of the sights Tyler would like to show to visitors is the USS Constitution.

The Institute for Justice has come to his aid, with a lawsuit in federal court and this video, featuring Cato senior fellow Randy Barnett, author of Restoring the Lost Constitution:

The Boston Globe asks, "What does it say about the climate for small businesses in Boston and Cambridge that a guy with a promising business plan needs to turn to out-of-state libertarians to protect his interests in federal court?"

One might also ask what it says about the liberals and conservatives in Massachusetts. Don't they want to help entrepreneurs?