The ride sharing app Uber is a service that has received widely held praise by consumers and Uber employee’s alike. As with many innovative new technologies, Uber has been caught in the crossfire between the costumers that enjoy the service, and the industry that it poses the greatest threat. The city of Key West’s decision to outlaw the use of Uber reveals the relationship between the city and the monopolistic and dying dinosaur taxi industry which feels endangered by it. If one hundred years ago the horse and buggy industry was being threatened by the far superior automobile industry that would eventually lay waste to them, they would only have to bargain with the city of Key West and the KYPD would begin arresting anyone with a combustion engine.
In Mexico, Uber drivers have been routinely targeted by taxi drivers, having rocks thrown at their vehicles and windows smashed, threatening Uber customers with violence and even sending drivers to the hospital in the wake of the barbarous mob.
In the United States, many cities have banned Uber under the influence of these zealous taxi drivers, the only difference between the two scenarios is the amount of bloodshed; it is considered civilized only to arrest our enemies using the force of government, something we would never do ourselves. This outsourcing of violence on the behalf of the taxi business only shows their own lack of ability or unwillingness to compete with Uber by providing cheaper fares, cleaner cars, and superior customer service, so they lobby the government to keep out the competition. It is the inability to adapt and the governments readiness to stifle innovation that leads to the greatest damage, the societal toll on progress.
The city of Key West’s criminalization of the Uber service directly effects the consumer, the entrepreneur and the spirit of the free market. The Libertarian Party of the Florida Keys vehemently opposes the cities nearsighted decision to ban Uber as well as any encroachments on voluntary consumer services or trade. We encourage concerned citizens to contact their city officials and demand a repeal of the Uber ban.
Excerpt from the Blue Paper: http://thebluepaper.com/libertarian-party-of-the-florida-keys-uber-statement/