Third, precisely because economics is counterintuitive as first blush, and because it requires discipline to reason through, various vested interests can cloud the public discourse to agitate for special privileges. Of course, economists understand this problem and have since at least the time of Adam Smith. Political processes tend to concentrate benefits on the well-organized and well-informed, and disperse the costs on the unorganized and ill-informed. This is why despite centuries of economic thinking that has agitated against special privileges of any type, vested interests have been able to garner protections from government against the rigors of competitive pressures both foreign and domestic. But, consumers benefit greatly from access to open markets both foreign and domestic. Economic theory really does speak unequivocally on this down through the ages, but vested interests confuse the discourse.
Less competition also means less innovation. Licensed taxi operators provided the same low-quality, high-cost service for decades until unlicensed ride-sharing services came along. Customers flocked to Uber and Lyft. Prices fell and quality improved. Most people loved it; cab companies hated it.