Let’s Free City Ride Services

The Freeman online has published a piece I wrote suggesting that instead of subjecting Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services to burdensome taxi regulations, local governments should instead stop burdening taxis with regulations. A slice:

If we had free markets for city ride services, that would be the whole story so far. The preferred ride services—Uber and imitators—would thrive, and older, clumsier ways of connecting riders with cars would gradually disappear. (The story would not end there; people are ingenious, and surely some innovation will sooner or later supplant Uber.)

But we don’t have free markets for city ride services. Legislators and government bureaucrats have political authority to intervene in these markets. And the taxicab companies, whose profits—and even existence—are being threatened, are trying to use this authority to block or impede the creative destruction that is doing so much to improve the lives of city dwellers.

Note this well: The government’s authority to interfere in the business of city ride services, an authority ostensibly and officially meant to protect the public from inferior ride services, is being used in practice to impede public access to superior ride services.

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