Not that hypocrisy is anything new to the Radical Left, but this kind takes a special kind of stupid.
On one hand, this crowd loathes anything remotely smacking of successful, independent entrepreneurship. Big business isn’t a noun for them, it’s a cuss-word. Worse (to them) than business itself is management. Accusations of greed, corruption, and dishonest gain run rampant. They say, if your business made you wealthy, you’re probably evil.
It’s almost that simple.
Of course, there are exceptions. If your business offers a product or service they favor, you still get to be “good’. If you made your money in Hollywood, or the music industry, for example, if you are a politician of the right stripe, or give generously to the “correct” social and political causes, you have nothing to fear.
This loathing took form and action when it boiled over into the “occupy movement’. Funny how the gazillionaires joining in with denouncing the “1%” were welcomed with open arms? No eyebrows were raised when entrepreneurs started selling occupy swag. That isn’t profiteering, just magnanimous support for the cause. Right? Sure it is.
In stark contrast to that is a deeply entrenched support for monopolies, and a distrust of open competition. The endgame of rules, regulations, and red tape of all varieties is the choking out of would-be upstarts. When a mom-and-pop bakery can’t even try a new recipe without providing a complete nutritional breakdown on the packaging, it stymies innovation, competition, and — eventually — the very survival of the little guy.
The news gives us an example of this principle in action. The problem? New technology is threatening to reinvent an old industry.
The radical left, usually calling the rest of us dinosaurs of a bygone era, ought to embrace this new trend. The way they speak so glowingly of technology and Science, it’s almost shocking that they oppose it. But they do.
The “dangerous” business concept is simple. Let ordinary people use their personal vehicles to provide a taxi service. Drivers are vetted for criminal records. The vehicle has to be a certain age. Money is handled by the dispatcher by credit card. It’s genius in its simplicity. No muss, no fuss.
And they hate it.
“Uber” is raising hackles. The complaint? It isn’t regulated enough. Licences. Cameras. Safety concerns. But the real problem might be something else entirely.
Ordinary people are doing business with each other. And (gasp!) they aren’t asking anyone’s permission to do so. They’re not seeking special taxi licenses. They aren’t filing permits.
It is the grown-up version of the lemonade stand, and the defenders of the status quo hate it. In my city, bylaw enforcement people are actually going undercover to catch these “wrongdoers” red-handed in this act of subversion. Stiff fines are being levied on individual operators. This is the pressing issue that needs solving, apparently.
Forget that cabbies in this city don’t own their own taxi permit plates. Those are owned by very wealthy individuals who rent them out to the actual hard-working cabbies. These cabbies hope to make enough in a day to pay for their overhead plus fares. Such licenses are rationed, there’s a finite number of them available from the city. How lucrative are they? Reports claim they’re being sold for as much as $300,000.
All these factors hit the bottom line of the taxi rider. Which is why the new guy’s fares are about 40% cheaper. That, and you don’t have to wait an hour and a half for a cab at peak hours.
Who wins with such new innovation?
The passenger wins. The independent operator wins. The team with the innovative business plan that solves a customer’s problem wins.
What’s not to like?
Well the cab company loses (its monopoly). Unionized cabbies in the old business model that are forbidden to participate lose. And the big government nanny-state loses power and control over something they once took for granted.
Maybe we can use some of our savings to send a sympathy card.