December 9. 2015
After decades of basking in the sunlight of a government sustained monopoly, the cab industry is facing that oh-so-terrible and daunting task of competition. The taxi monopoly was a direct result of strict government regulations severely increasing the cost-of-entry to the market.
With the advent of the shared economy came a business model that took the transportation industry by storm. Uber’s entirely new business model circumvented the hellish snake-pit of bureaucracy and successfully brought us a competing service at much higher value.
The city cabs thus find themselves in a predicament. As a result of being accustomed to a bubble wrapped monopoly, they have never developed the necessary skills to compete in a free market. Uber has successfully decimated their business. This wasn’t done through force and coercion. It was done by offering a better service. If we – the customers, hadn’t voluntarily decided to use Uber, this issue would never have arose. The simple truth is, Uber offered us better value, and we took it.
So, what brilliant move have the cab drivers come up with to win back our wallets?
The City of Toronto Taxi drivers have taken to the streets today in mass protest http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/12/09/taxi-drivers-protest-against-uberx.html of – capitalism.
That’s right. Competition is too hard, so the drivers are calling for John Tory, the city mayor, to step in and have the full force of government come down on Uber. The city taxis are driving up and down city hall in efforts to worsen city traffic, drawing attention to their noble cause.
Now, the grievances of the cab drivers are understandable. As a result of restrictive government regulations, they are still shackled by the chains of government and have to compete with a firm that’s relatively free of regulatory pressure.
However, this imbalance in the market is a problem caused by government. The solution to this problem – and what the cab company ought to be fighting for, is the deregulation of their industry.
They should not be protesting to have Uber squashed, this does them no favor. No potential customer is looking at this situation and thinking – “yeah, let’s have less competition in transportation, let’s have lower quality services at a higher price and absolutely, let’s stifle private enterprise and economic growth”.
Customers want choice, they want better value. The way to get these things, is through a free market system where companies can freely compete with one another for our business.
In the words of Ronald Reagan – “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem”.