This is an issue that comes up from time to time in various Amish settlements and I can see both sides of the issue. For newbies here I'll break it down:
CENTRAL ISSUE: The Old Order Amish don't own automobiles, but as their culture has become less insular and agrarian they have an increasing need for speed, whether that's running into town to get lumber, going to the doctor, or even the grocery. On something like the latter, this is partly a societal change, As more local Mom & Pop grocery stores get squashed by the Wal-Mart's of the world, small groceries get pushed away from "horse and buggy country", requiring an Amish person to either travel long distance by horse-drawn buggy or to hire a non-Amish driver, or taxi, to transport them. No, not the classic rude New York checker cab with a meter, but locals who just sort of hang out their shingle and offer to transport Amish for a fee in their cars. There are non-Amish people who make it their full-time jobs transporting the Amish in the larger settlements. Occasionally, the state sticks its nose in this business by requiring additional insurance, licensing, etc for the drivers and that is what is happening now in Pennsylvania.
CONS: It's more government when we need less (please don't make assumptions about my political views, you'd probably be wrong:), more fees, more regulations
PROS: I have personally seen a lot of non-Amish drivers charge exorbitant fees for their services. The hope is that the free-market would sort of sort this out on its own and that lower-priced reasonable drivers would win the Amish business, but that is not always the case.
SOLUTIONS: What do you think? I don't think a nice neighbor who just offers to transport an Amish person into town maybe in exchange for some gas money needs to be regulated,but maybe there some "mild" regulation and registration of the full-time Amish taxis. What do you think?
Unfortunately, I do think there needs to be some sort of regulation in place. As a teenager, I overheard another teenager joking about driving the Amish around. I wouldn't want him to drive anything of mine around let alone people. Then again, thinking about my reasons as to why I think there should be some sort of regulation involved I do believe most big city taxi drivers commit a lot of the same offenses.
I can see both sides, I know people who drive Amish. Also my cousin's financee had a taxi business that he had to close because the insurance was too high. When you go from a personal passenger car to a fee-for-ride, that changes the whole licensening and insurance situation. Unfortunately the state has to be involved because of driver licensing, car inspection and licensing. Do you have enough seat belts and car seats for the kids?
I think it's a shame when you can no longer be a good neighbor without the government getting involved. I also think it is a huge sin to see what has become of Lancaster, PA. It used to be such a nice community with huge farms and now it is like every other town all strip malls, Walmarts and Bob Evans Restaurants. How many new stores and restaurants do we need? We all only have so much money to spend and we are going to shop at the stores with the best prices.
The Amish have been hiring local drivers for decades with no issues, so why is this local business being targeted now? The Amish are not stupid and they certainly are savvy about money, so why do people assume that the Amish cannot figure out what is a fair price. I find it disturbing that well intending people would like to call in more government intrusion simply because they feel the Amish are incapable of making wise decisions without Big Brother breathing down their backs. THe only reason the government tries to get involved is when they smell revenue.
Why shouldnt the government get their share most of the morons who hall amish dont report their earnings to the govt anyway, some hall amish and still get their SS SSI and welfare to!!! GETEM UNCLE SAM