Hillary Clinton and other left-wing politicians in America have criticized ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, and delivery-based companies for their treatment of workers. These independent contractors sometimes do not receive the benefits and protections afforded to permanent, full-time employees. Some say this is a legitimate public policy concern, while others say it’s just an excuse for politicians who are in bed with the taxi companies.
“[M]any Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or even driving their own car,” Clinton said in her first economic policy speech. “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.”
While these comments may sound very mild, you must that recognize that it was a carefully crafted political speech. According to The Hill, the Clinton campaign “reached out to Uber executives in advance of the speech to discuss her language with them.”
One of the senior executives at Uber is David Plouffe, the campaign manager for President Obama’s highly successful 2008 election campaign. As Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy at Uber, Plouffe has been labeled as Uber’s ‘campaign manager.’ He has fought very hard to get Democrats all across the country to support ride-sharing services. Recently, he met with Reverend Al Sharpton, a liberal activist and MSNBC anchor, to discuss such policies.
Clinton’s criticism to Uber and similar services is a political risk. Ride-sharing services are extremely popular with millennials of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. The poor like these services because competition drives down costs and create jobs for anyone with a car. Regulating such innovative companies could alienate a lot of Americans from all walks of life.
Clinton also has a big government philosophy of overly regulating the private sector because of her distrust of companies, as well as the intelligence of consumers. The problem is that now we live in the 21st Century, where anyone can expose the abuses of the private sector through the internet.
“She’s trying to apply 20th century constructs to a 21st century innovative industry,” Rubio explained a week ago on CNN. “We’re trying to regulate internet development the way we regulated telephony, you know, telephone systems 20 years ago. You cannot regulate 21st century industries with 20th century ideas. And her take on Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, these sorts of things, is a perfect example of someone who’s trapped in the past, and cannot understand how much the world is changing, and how much it’s going to change in the years to come economically.”