Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Comrade Ocasio-Cortez can't stand the free market, but she'll sure avail herself of its fruits

Her innovation-hatred doesn't run so deep as to prevent her from hailing an Uber:

The Democratic Party’s socialist wunderkind has some explaining to do. 
On March 21, Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seized upon a yellow cab driver’s suicide in order to make a broader point about the economy. She blamed the death on ride-sharing companies like Uber, whose low prices and convenience have drawn many New Yorkers away from the yellow cabs they used to ride. 
“Yellow cab drivers are in financial ruin due to the unregulated expansion of Uber,” she tweeted. “What was a living wage job now pays under minimum. We need: To call Uber drivers what they are: employees, not contractors, fed jobs guarantee, prep for automation.”
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.



  1. Doing a ghost dance for the cabbies. Uber, et al generally work well and the proof's in the profitability and the testimony of their drivers & passengers. Keep on driving in the free world!

  2. The proof is indeed in the profitability.

    Ocasio-Cortez is pathetic, an unwitting caricature of ate-up leftism (isolated from all other factors, she's pretty hot, but one forgets that as soon as one starts familiarizing oneself with what she's about), but she's now all but certainly the next House member to represent her district.

  3. Read Laudato Si (On caring for our common home), then read the conservative objections and decide for yourself. Do you really think those opposing being more welcoming of gays and divorced Catholics are going to succeed in running this Pope off?

  4. You mean reread it? So dont read his encyclical then. But as a Protestant I think you'll find it more underwhelming than you think. These encyclicals have been coming out since before USAs independence. Personally I see nothing at all sinful or at all wrong in welcoming sinners to the communion table. Throwing Roman's I at gays isn't helping anything. But there probably is a gene for zealotry so we can understand where you and your hero Paul are coming from.

  5. I see these posts are in the wrong thread. Oh well, my bad.

  6. There's no other kind of person to welcome to the communion table. We're all sinners.
    But you hit on the key term here: "sinners." The sin must be acknowledged.

  7. Read Laudate Si and Burke et al's dubia and then we"ll chat again. Burke et al can go start their own church but they'll have to storm the Vatican to claim the throne. I find Burske et al's types to be quite Pharasaic. See Maythew 25.

  8. Again, you need to spell this out more clearly for a slow-on-the-uptake guy like me. Matthew 25 has three main parts: the parable of the ten virgins, th parable of the bags of gold, and the business about the sheeps and goats. What part of that applies to this discussion?