By over regulating Uber bureaucrats are impeding progress for future generations

Creative disruption is constantly dismantling the establishment. Innovation has improved the quality of life for humans since the begging of civilization and will continue to do so.

We’ve seen audiotapes replaced by CDs, which were replaced by mp3s. We’ve watched the internet boom and bust and boom again, making a billionaire out of a 23-year-old college dropout. We can connect with each other today in ways that were unfathomable ten years ago. Smartphones and their applications have made life infinitely more convenient.

Businesses live and die by their ability to adapt to a dynamic marketplace. The only real impediment to the progress of business has been government.

In suburban America, residents all own cars and rarely take cabs. Upon visiting a city like Chicago or San Francisco, a suburbanite is instantly overwhelmed. And then came along Uber.

It sounded ideal: hailing a Towncar (as opposed to packing four people in a Prius) with the click of a button on your phone. Payment is completed through a credit card already on file, and customers can actually rate their drivers. As a customer, you know that Uber is taking a cut, but you’re happy to pay a little extra for a lot more convenience.

Uber exists as a mechanism to streamline processes, making urban transportation more convenient for every party involved. Uber has even used market forces to protect the public (a novel concept!) because consumers know more about a driver because of information available about each driver on the app.

Enter the regulators.

The International Association of Transportation Regulators is considering a series of measures that would effectively shut Uber down.   This fall Washington, D.C. officials proposed new regulations that are anti-competitive, to say the least, and that Uber says would “shutdown Uber’s business in the District and limit transportation options” for the consumers. These regulations were put on hold only after D.C. Council was “bombarded” with constituent complaints. The Public Utility Commission of California issued $20,000 and a cease-and-desist order to Uber and two similar companies for operating without a permit (a permit for what, exactly? Efficiency?).

Critics of Uber are ostensibly attempting to “protect the public,” but are actually just safeguarding their own power and the monopolies/oligopolies of urban transportation. As Uber founder Travis Kalanick put it, the regulators are essentially telling consumers shouldn’t be able to get a taxi in under thirty minutes, and any attempt to facilitate quicker car service should be illegal.

Another beef regulators have with Uber, is that the company charged more for rides in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as an incentive to keep drivers out on the street. Regulators believe Uber owes New Yorkers an apology for giving New Yorkers a transportation option in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This criticism is especially humorous given that D.C. mayor Vincent Gray allowed taxi cab drivers to levy an emergency rate increase during the storm for the same exact reasons that Uber is being attacked for.

Regulators always convince themselves that they are protecting the public from evil capitalists, but they rarely do. Bureaucrats become more concerned with maintaining their own power, which necessarily means capitulating to entrenched interests, than doing what is in the best interest of the public. This stifles innovation, entrepreneurship and capitalism itself.

The unionized ran taxis services have been operating inefficiently for years, and attempts to streamline urban transportation should not be met with contempt. Uber’s creative disruption is improving life. This notion, that modern regulators are unable impeding progress for future generations, including ours, should both scare and motivate young Americans into taking action.

Comments

Polititainment

Kimmel: Stoner idea or gov. expenditure?
Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R – Okla.) fifth annual “Wastebook” was released Wednesday and some of the federally funded projects are so outrageous that they can be hard to believe. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel had the same thought and offered his audience a quiz. He read the name of a project, some real and some […]
Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

O'Reilly v Stewart on 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart had one goal in bringing Bill O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening: "I want you to admit that there is such a thing as white privilege."

White House

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]
Obama reveals his favorite Supreme Court decision

President Obama dished on his favorite Supreme Court decision during his presidency, and it wasn’t either of his interviewer’s top guesses.

Congress

CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers to snoop
Despite a number of growing foreign and domestic threats over the summer, the CIA admitted that they had been using their resources to spy on elected officials in the Senate. Now, insiders are alleging that it’s not just what they did that is the problem, but how they went about it. A new piece by the […]
Republicans say they will reform the IRS

Republicans are talking about reforming the IRS if they gain the majority in the Senate next month, but seem to be treading with caution on making any specific promises.

'Wastebook' finds $25B in 'unnecessary' spending
Monkey gambling, synchronized swimming sea monkeys, and mountain lions on treadmills, oh my! Sen. Tom Coburn (R – Okla.) released his fifth and final “Wastebook” Wednesday, chronicling $25 billion tax dollars spent on 100  “silly, unnecessary, and low priority projects” this year. His findings are absolutely astonishing. Coburn, who is retiring this year, is not letting his fellow […]
Dems target Republicans as extremists on ed issues

Democrats this election cycle are working hard to paint their Republican opponents as wild extremists who would slash all funding for student loans.

Udall struggles to think of his favorite books

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) seemed a bit rattled in his recent interview with ABC 7 News.