Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Digs at the Gig Economy

Uber, Lyft, sharing, economy, HIllary, Bernie, illustration

In Texas’s progressive enclave of Austin, the government has regulated Uber and Lyft out of the city.

Massachusset’s uber*-progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren cautions that the “much-touted virtues”of the “gig economy” that these services represent are actually dark signs of the times, providing workers a false “step in a losing effort to build some economic security in a world where all the benefits are floating to the top 10 percent.”

Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, is also no fan. Why? These services are not regulated.

Sanders’s charge that these person-to-person (P2P) ride-sharing services are “unregulated” is of course the opposite of the truth. They are self-regulated for safety and efficiency in ways that taxi services never were. How much extra value did governments add, with their regulations of the taxicab industry? They just reduced competition and made cabs more expensive.

P2P online cooperation is revolutionary. And “progressives” are stuck in the past, itching to suppress that revolution. “Initially,” writes Jared Meyer in the July issue of Reason, “hostility mostly came from state and municipal governments, at the behest of local special interests.” But as the services became more popular, opposition shifted. To the national Democrats like Sanders, Warren and . . . Hillary Clinton. She promises to “crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages.”

Par for the course: the Internet provides more opportunity than ever, and all some progressives see are the old socialist fears of “exploitation” and “greed” . . . while they greedily suck up to unions and special interests.

The bright side, Meyer argues, is that they are on the losing side.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


*I guess the pun here is intended. Or not. You choose, P2P style.

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Uber, Lyft, sharing, economy, HIllary, Bernie, illustration


By: CS Admin


  1. Lynn Atherton Bloxham says:

    Great article! Might I add?
    Supposedly many conservatives and standard Republicans are also opposed to P2P for the same reason as Bernie…unregulated. My take is that these P2P enterprises are the forerunners of an increasing number of innovative methods to circumvent the stifling heavy hand of the bureaucracy. Like it or not (I love it) the old crony system is getting great competition. The old business as usual (favoritism, bribery, protectionism) is failing and the perpetrators of the crony system just do not “get” it; the new paradigm is superior.

    Oh My! the sky is the limit. Remember when the sky was going to fall because At&T was broken up. Most people’s wildest imaging could not conceive of what is easily available world wide today.

    • Brian Wright says:

      Yes, good points, Lynn. I was going to mention that government corruption along these lines is not a monopoly of the leftists. Establishment corrupt pols of any affiliation are natural feeders at the public trough. [But what Paul is pointing out is refreshing, namely that the progressives and liberals, who are supposedly interested in making life easy for us ‘little people’ turn a blind eye and deaf ear to market solutions.

  2. Doesn’t look like the progressives are losing, not in my eyes anyhow.

  3. Pat says:

    It’s way too early to say the libs are on the losing side. Give them time. They’ll figure out a way to control the gig economy and make a profit off it…for themselves, of course. On its face, the gig economy looks like the essence of entrepreneurship. The progs who have destroyed the manufacturing economy should be applauding individual incentive.

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