The New York City Council has voted to restrict the number of ride-hail vehicles and to establish pay rules for Uber drivers.
In other words, New York has turned Uber into the cab system.
Now, if the cab system were all that great, would Uber have sprung up in the first place? Of course not. Uber offered an alternative to the hyper-regulated, overpriced and impaired cab system in New York City. Not just in New York, but at cities and towns throughout the country. That’s why Uber turned into a major success story, one of the few economic innovations of the Obama years.
Now that’s all over, at least in New York City. Other cities — nearly all of them run by socialists like New York’s mayor — can be expected to follow suit.
If you asked most people if they agree Uber should be regulated, or should it remain unregulated, I’m willing to bet that a majority will say, “Regulated, of course”. What business doesn’t face regulation in America, right? Regulation is automatically and always a good thing, most of us blindly insist.
But if you asked these same people whether higher prices and longer wait times for Uber passengers is a good idea, they’d reply, “Of course not.”
This is why America is in so much trouble.
We’ve become so socialized (pun intended) to the idea that government regulation will inevitably be part of every industry that we can no longer make the connection between the existence of these regulations and the harm they cause.
Advocates of ruining Uber talk about congestion and poor pay for drivers. Excuse me? What about the congestion created by more people driving their cars instead of enjoying the convenience of a free market based, technology-driven rider system? Roads are a mess, they say. Well, roads are the responsibility of the city. If they’re a mess, that’s not Uber’s fault. Maybe we should consider privatization of the roads. Or maybe New York should get a better mayor and council. But don’t blame the mess of the streets on a private company. That’s the city’s responsibility.
And then we’re told of depressed and even suicidal taxi drivers. As if a successful company is to blame for the fact that others are beaten by the competition. So does this mean that back when automobiles came on the scene, we should have considered the clinical depression and suicides of horse and buggy makers and limited the number of cars? Actually, today’s wild-eyed environmentalists and p.c. loonies would probably say yes.
If you really have compassion for the taxi drivers, then you’d deregulate them — NOT regulate Uber.
New York’s impairment of Uber and Lyft will do nothing to improve the lives of anyone. But it will ruin the efforts, success and independent jobs created by successful companies meeting the needs and demands of customers.
Thank you for that, Comrade de Blasio. You, and the economically illiterate fools who keep electing people like you.
Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1, and see “Michael Hurd” on MeWe.