Car Dealer Franchise Laws:

One major problem currently faced by automakers is that they are stuck in economically irrational permanent contracts with franchised auto dealers. These arrangements were not created by bargaining, but by legislative fiat. My father Jerry Kopel explains the problem in Colorado, and a new bill which would make the problem even worse. The column originally ran in the Colorado Statesman, Colorado's weekly political newspaper.

My father served 22 years in the Colorado House of Representatives, representing northeast Denver. One of the most liberal members of the legislature, he was (and is) a strong champion of consumer rights. Among other things, he was the lead sponsor of Colorado's adoption of the Uniform Consumer Credit Code. As a consumer advocate, he observed how professional licensing is frequently used as a tool to exclude competition, rather than to guarantee professional quality. Accordingly, he sponsored the first Sunset law in the nation, requiring that professional licensing boards automatically expire after a period of years, unless they are renewed by an affirmative act of the legislature.