Politicians are grappling with how to approach the ride-hailing app and the “on-demand economy,” also referred to as the “sharing economy.” In her economic policy speech Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seemed to distance herself from Uber, focusing instead on the implications for the labor market and the risks faced by drivers who aren’t shielded by benefits and job security.
“This ‘on demand’ or so-called ‘gig economy’ is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation, but it’s also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future,” she said.
Jeb Bush gave the popular ride-hailing service its latest GOP plug on Monday, announcing plans to request an Uber this week during a visit to San Francisco, where he’ll speak about the power of disruptive technology. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz also have heaped praise on the company, which is battling local authorities and taxi commissions across the country. Cruz has even said he wants to emulate Uber and become his own “disruptive app” for politics.
Romm adds how sharing services such as Lyft, Uber, and Airbnb are the perfect way for Republicans to showcase conservative principles to groups that are currently considered locks for Democrats (emphasis mine):
For the GOP’s hopefuls, Uber offers a perfect political backdrop. It allows them to link their brands with a hip service that’s popular with millennials. It dovetails with the Republican argument against big government standing in the way of innovation. And it gives them an opportunity to court Silicon Valley’s powerful tech industry, which is increasingly donating to national officeholders.
“Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are naturally supported by Republicans as they are real life examples of the appropriate government role in a free market where two parties should be allowed to transact business without the government messing it up,” said Gary Shapiro, the president of the Consumer Electronics Association, which counts Uber as a member and supported Mitt Romney in 2012.
The party hasn’t just rallied support for the company; it’s used Uber as a vehicle to boost its election coffers. An online petition available on the GOP’s main website names the ride-hailing service and seeks support to “stop liberal bureaucrats from putting up roadblocks to innovation and free enterprise” before asking visitors to contribute to the Republican National Committee for “2016 and beyond.”
Forget this rallying support and boosting coffers. This is exactly the delivery device that the GOP can use show young people why the policies of the radical left are designed to hurt them and turn them against the Democrats. They’ve already gotten a taste when an elitist snob started telling them what they could and couldn’t eat for lunch. The GOP can point out how the grandparents leading the Democratic party’s field must have fond memories of their own parents’ tales from the Great Depression, since they think that legislation from that era should be used today to clamp down on the internet, and all of the job opportunities that come with it being allowed to grow freely.
And of course, there is the sharing economy. However much our aspiring Socialist presidential candidates claim they are trying to protect workers, the only workers they are trying to protect are the ones who either directly or via a union have paid proper tribute to their election campaigns. Any good leftist would rather see a young person unemployed and dependent on government assistance to ensure that they vote correctly rather than let them strike out on their own and get a distaste for the bureaucratic strangulation that the left adores, or worse still, succeed and abandon leftist values of victimhood and resentment.
Or to lay out the case to a young person recently graduated or is soon to, ask them what they plan to do with their life? Maybe they have a great idea to start their own business? Or more likely they want to someday have their own business but want to get a few years of experience and/or some mentoring from someone who has gone the entrepreneurial route? That doesn’t happen if the only job a new graduate can get is serving coffee at Starbucks. Or worse, the grad can’t get a job and is home and unemployed because the would-be entrepreneurs who would have been hiring were otherwise cut off and are already taking those barista jobs.
And if the idea of being able to strike out on their own and build prosperous lives for themselves isn’t enough for some who haven’t grown up enough yet, we can appeal to their religious views and explain how sharing services help the environment by pushing the need for fewer cars and buildings.
Clinton and Sanders – enemies of the environment. Someone should notify all of the green groups that are financing their campaigns.
Cross posted from Brother Bob;s Blog