Striking a Blow for Economic Liberty

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 20, 2012

Megan McArdle points out that the taxi service Uber is doing a great job catering to the needs of Washington, DC residents. Because no good deed goes unpunished, Uber is now drawing the ire of the DC taxi commission over issues that are at best trivial, and at worst insult human intelligence.

What this story highlights is the fact that economic freedom and the right to make a living remain very much under attack thanks to the activities of politicians colluding with businesspeople who want to maintain a monopoly. In this case, Uber is hated by DC taxi drivers, so the taxi drivers work with the taxi commission to target it for harassment and (they clearly hope) extinction. This is amazingly appalling behavior; it shows just how small people can be, and it impacts consumer choice and satisfaction in the process.

I think national politicians could do a whole lot worse than to highlight these stories. It would be nice if the media could highlight them as well. That way, perhaps actors like DC cab drivers and the DC taxi commission could be shamed into ending their efforts to persecute Uber. And perhaps other efforts to interfere with economic liberty might be undermined and defeated.

In the meantime, according to the story, it appears that the Institute for Justice has taken notice of the case. I can’t find anything here indicating that IJ is now actively fighting on Uber’s behalf in DC, but here’s hoping that they are, or that they will soon.

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