HART: Allow the Cartel cab companies and Uber to compete: The clear winner will be the consumer
The New York City Uber story unmasks the reality of the Democrats: politicians beholden not to the citizens’ best interests, but to their own. If your city makes it hard for Uber to do business, you have corrupt or corruptible politicians.
Until he was embarrassed by universal outrage and Tweets from Aston Kucher to Kate Upton, uber-liberal de Blasio nefariously tried to regulate Uber cars out of New York City. He took $550,000 in donations from the monopoly cab companies to spare them competition. He even put the head of his taxi campaign fundraising in charge of regulating taxis, which include Uber, confirming that the top priority of liberal Democrats is using their regulatory powers to serve themselves and their donors, not consumers.
De Blasio touches all the leftist bases. He married a black lesbian. She is reportedly no longer a lesbian but, suspiciously, she still drives a Subaru. They have a son who, unlike Obama’s lament, actually does “look like Trayvon.” De Blasio said he warned his son not to trust New York cops. But you know who he should warn his son about? Slimeballs who sell drugs and kill cops.
Mayor de Blasio is six foot seven — arguably too tall to govern. In his short tenure, he has lost the respect of the NYC Police (they turn their backs on him), crime is up, taxes are up, and regulations have increased. Now he is trying to run Uber out of town to advantage his donors in the cab cartel. If NYC liberals cared about people, they would have a subway train into Manhattan from LaGuardia or Kennedy Airports, or at least encourage cab sharing. They don’t. The only time a cab is "shared" in New York is when it breaks down and one New Yorker takes the hubcaps while another steals the tires.
The real estate donors got him to rid the city of horse-drawn carriages. Once the horses went missing, the falafel truck operators benefited because their cost of meat went down.
Instead of calling an expensive, fixed-rate, local cab company and hoping it does not send a felon in a 20-year-old, nasty car that he probably lives in, you can use your cellphone to e-hail an eager-to-please, Uber owner/operator of a nice car. There is no tipping or awkward curbside monetary exchange. You rate the driver afterward and Uber pays him or her. And Uber will go anywhere; they ain’t Yellow.
New York cabbies drive terribly, smell, and the taxis seem to lack shock absorbers. When I was in town during Fashion Week, my taxi driver kept introducing his new fragrance. The cab cartel owners pay money to de Blasio and politicians rather than investing in things that would benefit consumers, like air fresheners.
How could an honest politician oppose Uber? It represents the promise of America: ingenuity, opportunity, efficiency and innovation — all to the benefit of consumers. Liberals want no part of that. It creates jobs (usually minorities) and incubates entrepreneurs. And cabs are important for keeping drunk drivers off the road. I’ll never forget my first cab ride. I was drunk in college and took a taxi. I made it home safely, which was amazing since I had never driven a taxi before.
Governments like to dip their beaks everywhere. You can rent a car on Hotwire for $14 a day. Government taxes and fees can total about as much as the car rental charges, and for what? Government makes more per gallon on your gasoline (about 59 cents) than the "greedy" oil companies (8 cents).
The only thing "green" about liberals is the money they take from us for themselves. The impetus for what became the aggressive New York Police choking death of 350-pound Eric Garner was his selling of untaxed cigarettes. He was targeted because government wants its outrageous $5.85 tax per pack.
In short, things are expensive because they are government-regulated: cable, health care, energy, education, etc. Costs rise and value declines whenever the visible and sticky fingers of government are involved. When the "invisible hand" of the free market is allowed to operate unfettered, costs go down and value increases.
Limousine liberals like "Nanny" Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton (who doesn’t drive), and Mayor de Blasio are chauffeured around; they don't have to worry about cabs or their cost. They probably would not get picked up anyway, because cabbies tend to refuse rides to passengers who are likely to rob them.
Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.