Self-proclaimed pinko communist Bernie Sanders trashed Uber a few months ago as being “unregulated” and having all the “serious problems” that come with it.
They are, after all, an “illegitimate” taxi service that doesn’t pay all the fees that other “legitimate” taxi services have to pay. It’s not fair that ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft are proving themselves to be a more affordable alternative to the heavily regulated taxi industry. They’re only more affordable because they don’t have to do all the stuff that the government requires of everyone else. They should, but they “get away” with cheating the system. And as a result, taxicab unions are losing power, and the politicians that they own stand to lose. As the Daily Caller reported back in August:
Standing against companies like Uber is not too surprising for Sanders. He has made labor policy and union rights a fundamental aspect of his campaign. He has even been able to gain support from many union leaders who have been upset with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
As it turns out, Sanders is only paying lip service to the union lobby. He knows that since he’s using other people’s money to run his campaign, he’s got to scrimp and cut corners when he can. If he’s got to get around a city, he’s not going to want to pay a taxicab. He’ll want to use a cheaper and faster alternative:
According to research done by National Journal, 100 percent of Sanders’ spending on taxi and ride-sharing services was spent on Uber. Among 2016 presidential contenders, that’s a distinction Sanders shares with only Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and the defunct Scott Walker and Rick Perry campaigns.
It also puts him way ahead of Hillary Clinton, who only had 41 percent of her taxi costs go to Uber. Only Clinton and Mike Huckabee spent more than half of their taxi spending on traditional taxis rather than modern ride-sharing apps.
Lindsey Graham was the least Uber-happy candidate, with only 25 percent of his taxi expenses going to the company. Graham was also the only candidate to use Uber’s rival Lyft, with the company absorbing some 31 percent of his taxi spending.
Sanders might claim to hate Uber, but he’s still an über-socialist.
Full disclosure, I’ve never used Uber. I rode in a taxicab once years ago when I was in New York for my brother’s wedding. That’s the only experience I have using any kind of taxi service, whether “legitimate” or not.
I have a cousin who hates Uber, but not for any reason having to do with its being an unfair, unregulated competitor to traditional taxicabs. He just doesn’t like how the company is run. He much prefers Lyft.
And that’s what a free market is all about. Personal preferences. I get why the taxicab industry doesn’t like companies like Uber and Lyft. Their disdain for those companies has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to provide the best service at the best price. It has everything to do with wanting to maintain their power and monopoly in the market.
But the solution shouldn’t be to stifle competition by forcing all companies under hefty government regulations, so that taxis remain at the top. The solution is to get the government out of the industry altogether. But that’s easier said than done, since there’s so much money and power, and politics at stake.