Get Out of the Way! Uber’s Ride Into Politics

Get Out of the Way! Uber’s Ride Into Politics

Why is the government stiffing entrepreneurs and innovation? As America is still recovering from the recession, you would think that government would be doing all it can to promote entrepreneurs. The truth is this couldn’t be further from the truth for Uber. This remarkable, 21st century peer-to-peer ridesharing business has been the target of big business and its government cronies since its inception.

Uber hasn’t taken this lying down though. Having just recently hired David Plouffe, the innovative 2008 campaign manager for Obama, Uber has gone on the offensive to defend American innovation in our challenging economy. We’ve covered the legal difficulties businesses such as Uber and Lyft have had competing with cab companies before. But in a new twist to the story, GOP lawmakers have come out in defense of these new companies against established big business.

A petition in the RNC itself has gone as far as to launch a campaign to protect these new businesses. Former Republican Secretary of State for Kentucky, Trey Grayson, said:

It’s a way for the party to reinforce the message that here’s a private company serving a need — and the need is created because government regulation created poor services.” (Politico)

And this is really just common sense, constructive politics. Here we have innovative new businesses popping up and the Fed’s first reaction is to try and legislate and bully these new companies out of the market. For what reason? The intensely popular and professional taxi market? This is lobbying at its worst. If taxi services are so perfect in the U.S., then they shouldn’t mind competing in an open market now should they?

What is worst of all is that non-traditional businesses such as Uber and Lyft appeal to Millennials and Gen-Xers – those same people the White House claims so much concern over when trying to lower student loans. And yet, here we have government crushing the very jobs that will empower young people and get them back on their feet.

Sen. Rand Paul came out in a powerful show of support with these companies recently, speaking to a public crowd in San Francisco:

The crowd wants good service – you rate your Uber driver, your stay at a hotel,” he said. “As information becomes more widespread, maybe you need less and less government.” (NY Times)

To Paul, this controversy hits close to home because it is an example of a healthy market regulating and creating its own competition. Rather than needing government regulation to be healthy, all it needs is for government to get the heck out of the way and let it run. In a hilarious (or should that be sad?) aside, Jamie King recently confessed on Conan that she used Uber when she went into labor as a more prompt way to get to the hospital than using an ambulance service.

How’s that for a testimonial for entrepreneurs and innovation? Do you think government needs to step back and let the market recover by fostering competition and free market principles? Give us a tweet with your thoughts on Uber or let us know by commenting on Facebook.

Written by Mark Davis

(Photo courtesy of Marc Nozell, Flickr CC BY 2.0)



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