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December 17, 2015 | Commercial Observer | Bob Knakal

This morning on my walk to work, I stopped by the film developing shop to drop off my roll of 36 photos I took this weekend, walked into the video rental store to return the movies I rented last week and visited the typewriter store to see if I could get a replacement ribbon for my Underwood.

You must now be thinking that I cut and pasted the intro to this column from one I wrote in the 1980s. (Although it would have had to be a literal cut-and-paste job involving scissors and rubber cement.) While advances in technology have made several things obsolete, supply and demand within a free market system dictates what survives and what doesn’t. However, public policy can artificially alter this supply/demand dynamic. Lobbying groups often impact public policy, and unions are among the most powerful lobbying groups in New York. Perhaps if the film developing business or typewriter manufacturers had powerful union representation, these businesses might still be prevalent all over the city. It is this union influence that...

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