Bernie Sanders articulates what every politician feels about ridesharing operations: they are free and therefore wrong.
Remember when we were told that the terrorists from the Middle East hate us for our freedoms?
It was half true. There are people who hate us for our freedoms. But they are from the United States. They are politicians.
Bernie Sanders was recently interviewed at Bloomberg.com. He mentioned Uber, the rideshare company.
Asked about his proposal to phase out the “tip credit,” which lets employers pay tipped workers less than the standard minimum wage, Sanders said it would fix a “horrendous situation:”
“If you’re working at a diner on a weekday, and it’s raining, and people are not coming in, you’re not getting any tips,” he said. Sanders also said he has “serious problems” with the popular car-hailing company Uber. He called it “unregulated.”
I want to talk about Uber, but it was hard to isolate that quotation, since “Sanders also said” raises the question in the mind of the reader about what else he said.
But his reasoning is amazing. Yes, people who work at diners are taking risks and looking for rewards. If the restaurant gets busy, they have a chance of reaping a lot more than minimum wage. Restaurants can hire more such people and offer customers affordable food at the same time.
When it is raining so that “people are not coming in” the restaurant will not be making any money. In fact, they may be losing money since the food is perishable and no one is purchasing it. Why is it fair for the restaurant to not be given a “minimum wage” from the customers who are being unfair to the business? If the government mandates that all businesses pay a certain hourly rate regardless of whether they are making money during those hours, then why shouldn’t people be forced to pay an hourly rate to all businesses so that they can survive?
Because that would be insane? Exactly.
This brings up the service that businesses provide employees. They act as hedge funds. If there are too many bad days in which a restaurant loses money, they will have to close and fire their employees. But, before that happens, employees continue to receive a steady hourly wage even though the business is losing money during those hours. The business is taking a risk in the hopes of an overall profit through the weeks, months, and years they are open. Part of the risk involves keeping their employees even when the business is unprofitable.
So allowing people the freedom to decide to work for tips if they want to do so, gives restaurants the ability to survive more lean times and still remain in business. Otherwise, you will see restaurants hire fewer waiters and waitresses. You will also see restaurants go out of business more often because they don’t have the ability to survive times when the customers are not coming in. You will probably see more fast food restaurants opening in the place of sit-down restaurants that go out of business, and those fast food restaurants will use more robotic cashiers and fewer human employees.
No one will be better off all because Bernie Sanders doesn’t want people to have the freedom to choose their own employment arrangements.
Which brings us to the “serious problems” with Uber. It’s “unregulated.” According to Bloomberg that is all that needs to be said to explain why a company is bad.
The world view of Liberals amazes me. Just like the New York Times Editorial Board insisting that the spread of civilization in India depends on more government compulsion, Bernie Sanders treats regulation as a self-evident sign of safety, peace, and prosperity. People offering goods and services to others who are willing to meet the price that motivates them to make such an offer… are dangerous to society. Unless there is a welfare queen in a business suit with a big stick making rules about every aspect of the negotiations, people will be harmed and society will degenerate into barbarism. Unless we have popularity contest winners giving us new orders every day, life as we know it will end.
How do people make themselves so delusional?
(Hat tip: Reason.com.)