About four months from now, Americans will go through the sickly, depressing ritual of celebrating the liberties they no longer enjoy. This includes, among an almost infinite number of things now malum prohibitum (that is, illegal, a violation of some law or statute, but entailing no harm done) being free to hire someone to give them a ride at a price mutually agreeable and otherwise acceptable to both parties.
The government – that is, the busybodies-with-guns who are the government – consider this sort of peaceful, voluntary transaction between consenting adults, neither of them complaining, to be intolerable because it is not done according to the rules laid down by these busybodies-with-guns.
Hence, expensive, inefficient – but very legal – taxi service.
Along came Uber.
Precisely because government-approved taxi service sucks.
Instead of a government-approved car, and all the government-approved rest of it, the idea was that people without any special training, outfits or permission slips but who had a vehicle and were willing to drive people from A to B could do so and earn a buck thereby. Uber would serve as the middleman – providing the conduit (an app) via which the drivers and the riders could connect with one another.
This would be done more efficiently – less expensively – than Officially Approved Taxi service.
Uber has been accused of just about everything shy of employing John Wayne Gacy proteges in clown suits, handcuffs, and roofies in the glovebox.
They are not regulated! It is unsafe!
Except it isn't. As usual, the bleats of altruistic hysteria are really the very self-interested keening of dirty birdies whose well-feathered nests are in danger of being ruffled.
There is no evidence that riding in an Uber car is any more dangerous than riding in an Officially Approved Taxi. It is probably safer to ride in an Uber car, which is at least a modern car and not a late '90s vintage Ford Crown Vic with 478,000 miles on the clock. But that matters as much as the lack of evidence that a .02 increase in emissions of oxides of nitrogen from TDI-powered VWs is causing harm to people.
What matters is the challenge to the authority – the majesty – of the busybodies with guns. Who cannot abide being affronted.
Uber must be stomped.