But wait: The Ocasio-Cortez campaign has since spent an estimated $4,000 on 160 Uber ridesand $2,500 on more than 90 rides with a service called Juno, according to FEC data reviewed by Fox News. So, when it comes to political grandstanding, there's one standard; when it comes to getting places quickly and affordably, there's another.
Ocasio-Cortez followed up her tweet about the cabbie's suicide with another on March 22, in which she argued that the city government must change "Uber laws" and address "the [cab] medallion crisis. Part of me wonders if the city should compensate medallion owners in some way, since their Uber rollout essentially penalized yellow cabs who followed licensing rules.”
Asked whether there was any way to “apply pressure” so that “someone pays attention” to the tumbling value of cab medallions, Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying: “Yes. Drivers must organize to apply pressure on the city…. Sadly, some of these suicides have been committed in a way to shed light on the issue (one happened in his cab, with a note, in front of City Hall).”
That was in March. Then came Ocasio's primary victory.
The FEC documents detailing the Ocasio-Cortez campaign’s $6,500 worth of ride-sharing expenditures date between April and June. Spending reports from July and August won't become available until the end of September.As I've said before, I don't normally set a great deal of store by hypocrisy. It may be a human failing, but that's between the person doing the failing and his or her Lord. It tells us nothing about whether the principle in question is true or not.
But this one has huge public-policy implications. Society and the economy have moved on from the previous business model, the one based on outrageously expensive taxi medallions. Capital flows to where it's going to be most efficiently used. Uber and Lyft drivers freely choose to drive under the arrangement offered by those companies, and are for the most part happy - as are the riders, witness one New York Congressional campaign. Government needs to leave them alone.
And someone needs to inform Ms. Ocasio-Cortez that no one has a right to a particular kind of livelihood. It's one of those things, like health care or "clean" air and water, that it is impossible by definition to have a right to.
And I'm also not interested in revisiting Uber's history and recent remaking of its corporate culture. This stuff happens in a world where organizations reflect the fallen nature of those comprising them. The fact is that there is a market for what it's offering.
I will touch upon, however, the vulgarity of bringing a particular taxi driver's suicide into it.