The Coolest Thing About Uber

A letter I wrote the Wall Street Journal recently, criticizing the authoritarian flavor of one of its columns, was picked up by The Freeman. A slice:

Here’s what it takes to make Uber a success, apparently: Enter new markets without asking regulators for permission, then build enough of a customer base to make classifying the service as a traditional taxi company politically expensive for regulators. (emphasis added)

It’s clear from the context that Mr. Mims means this critically. Doesn’t he see that Uber has improved the quality of city ride services so much as to make taxi regulators superfluous? Why does he care about expense to the regulators when the public has so clearly benefited by having them out of the picture?

Unlike Mr. Mims, in preferring liberty to authority I think one of the coolest things about Uber is that they didn’t ask permission. Bravo, Uber! That’s the kind of subversion of impertinent abusive government regulation we need more of. Why should Americans, or anybody, have to ask permission to engage in voluntary, peaceful exchange?

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