Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Uber-Huge Mistake

Uber, car, ride, London, taxi, regulation, waiting, Paul Jacob, Common Sense

Uber’s challenge to old-fashioned ride service — to the taxi industry — is at least twofold.

One, it shows government regulation to be counterproductive and kind of witless.

Two, it shows that innovation — particularly by decreasing transaction costs — can rapidly transform a market for the good of consumers.

Recently, politicians who play to special interests — in this case, to taxicab companies and taxi drivers — have made some spectacular blunders. Perhaps the best-known is Bernie Sanders, who claims to see severe “problems” with Uber’s online ride-sharing service, but whose campaign staff uses Uber for ride-sharing . . . and nothing else. Hah!

But the London transit regulators have made the biggest splash.

Their latest proposal? To require Uber drivers to wait five minutes before picking somebody up.

Evens the playing field, you see.

Uber is so much quicker to respond to the paying riders’ needs that taxicabs apparently cannot compete in Old London Town.

The folks at Uber publicized the expected company reaction: the regulation would be a “huge mistake.”

But really, it’s a HUGE ADMISSION.

It shows that Uber’s service is superior, and that government regulators are more interested in protecting providers (taxicabs) than customers (pedestrians seeking rides).

It also shows these regulations for what they really are: protectionism for special interests, not protection for the safety of consumers.

Remember what Frédéric Bastiat said about protectionism: it’s always about placing obstacles in front of some producers (and the market in general) to aid a select (literally privileged) group of producers, regardless of consumer wants and needs.

Hobbling Uber to save taxicabs! What’ll they think of next?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Printable PDF

Uber, car, ride, London, taxi, regulation, waiting, Paul Jacob, Common Sense


By: CS Admin


  1. JFB says:

    The Uber reaction is the tip of the nightmare iceburg of what “good intentions” have done to our economic structure. 
    True freedom, economic liberty and voluntary transactions are the definition of efficiency ant the maximal benefit to all. 
    Liberty does not require being granted permission. 

  2. Karen H says:

    Uber & Lyft allow for true entrepreneurship. You need a license & a late model car & be willing to drive.

    Try getting a taxi in NYC in rain or snow. It is a near impossible feat. But an Uber, they’re at your service. One of the biggest advantages is the no need for cash! (Yes, you may tip.) Tap the app. You know exactly where you car is & when it will arrive. Get in & go. No watching a meter praying if stuck in a traffic jam that you’ll have enough cash to pay a driver.

    These attempts by government to regulate the services to save a dying taxi industry is tantamount to web service providers being punished for the death of travel agencies. It’s all just stupid bureaucracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2020 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top