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

Valderrama speaks on immigration action
Actor Wilmer Valderrama spent this Thanksgiving thankful for President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which essentially gave amnesty to about 5 million illegal immigrants. And a special thank you to our president @BarackObama for giving millions of families hope this year.. The first step of many to come. — Wilmer Valderrama (@WValderrama) November 28, 2014 Valderrama […]
Billy Joel: Obama smoking story 'untrue'

After a report emerged from a source for The Hill newspaper that Joel on a trip to Washington, D.C., claimed that he recently smoked a cigarette with President Obama, the musician is now denying the story.

Pharrell: Brown's actions 'bully-ish'

Musician Pharrell Williams said in a recent Ebony magazine interview that President Obama "should have gone down" to Ferguson to address the situation.

Billy Joel smoked with Obama

According to one of The Hill's sources, Obama invited Billy Joel to have a cigarette with him when the musician made a recent trip to the White House.

Beckham's catch = Obama's executive act

You know it is.

White House

For first time in Obama’s presidency, majority of Americans believe things are going ‘well’
For the first time since President Obama took office, a majority of Americans believe things are “going well.” A new CNN/ORC International poll released Friday found that for the first time since 2007, a majority Americans say things in the country are going “well.” About 52 percent of poll respondents answered positively on that question. Last November […]
White House claims Obama is ‘not a media critic’

The White House doesn’t really seem to have a problem contradicting itself, so maybe this latest whopper shouldn’t surprise us.

Obama uses turkey pardoning to joke about his executive action on immigration
This is one executive action President Obama is sure won’t ruffle Republicans’ feathers. In fact, he’s so sure of that fact that he decided to make a joke during the annual turkey pardoning referencing his unprecedented use of executive action to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. “I’m here to announce what I’m sure will […]
Poll: Americans split on Obama’s immigration order
Americans are sharply split on their reaction to President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration that will essentially give amnesty to about five million undocumented immigrants,according to a new poll. The latest Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday found that 45 percent of voters support the president’s move, while 48 percent opposes it. Support for […]
Eric Holder stresses that federal investigations in Ferguson are not over

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Monday night assuring rioters that the Justice Department still has two investigations to complete in Ferguson.

Congress

Pelosi and Obama versus Schumer and America

This is like one of those times a member of a professional wrestling posse turns heel on national television and sets off the drama.

Rand blames 'politicians,' drug war in Ferguson

Sen. Rand Paul’s Time op-ed on Ferguson Tuesday blamed politicians for creating “a culture of violence” through the War on Drugs, and urged Ferguson protesters to “channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change.”

Why are House Members exempt from ethics training?
Two U.S. representatives are questioning a curious practice on the Hill that exempts House Members from ethics training. But it doesn’t look like they are getting much support from their colleagues that enjoy this perk. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Scott Rigell (R-Va.), are urging congressional leaders to end the House exemption on the annual ethics […]
Paul calls for formal declaration of war on ISIS

Sen. Rand Paul wants Congress to formally declare war against ISIS.

The fallout from Boehner not owning a dog

President Obama's offer to smooth over an immigration reform compromise with Speaker John Boehner has turned out to be a case of barking up the nonexistent tree.