Isn’t it interesting that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both come out swinging against the new sharing economy? The two front-runners for the Democratic nomination for President aren’t fans of the popular ride sharing app because, in their words, it practices “wage theft” and is “unregulated.”
Wage theft? That’s the line from Clinton. She’s complaining because she doesn’t feel Uber drivers are paid enough. Based on what exactly? Her standard of living? Sorry Grandma Clinton, most people don’t have Russian bankers to cozy up to for half-million dollar speeches.
Look, Uber drivers get a commission. Not a wage, not a salary, so no “theft” is going on. The more you drive, the more you earn. Because of this, Uber is not paying their drivers anything, instead, they take a percentage of the money that customers pay the drivers in order to keep the app up and running, advertise, sign up new drivers, and so forth. The money goes from riders to drivers, there is no set wages or salaries.
If you want Uber drivers to earn more you would have to increase the fares paid by customers. Ironically, that is a very youth-heavy market, the very same young people who are supposed to be supporting the Democrats in their efforts to retain the White House.
Whether it’s Clinton or Sanders, the modern Democratic party has a void in their brain when it comes to economic reasoning. Innovation is often met with hard transitions, and there are always throwbacks who cling to the past and try to impose it on the rest of society by force. That’s what TAXI drivers are trying to do today by restricting or outlawing Uber and Lyft. Like horse breeders before them (once the car came along), many people will be put out of work or in a lower-paying position for the time being. So goes society, and if that’s something that cannot be tolerated then no progressive will ever be made.
What’s frustrating is that Democrats, the same people who constantly criticize the other party for wanting to stay trapped in the past, are themselves the harbingers of days old. Crush innovation and investment, prevent reforms to decades old programs like Medicare and Social Security which cannot survive in a static state, protect seriously outdated 1930s bureaucracies like the Export-Import Bank and agriculture department practices, defend the old status of education against mounting pressure for school choice in state after state. The Democrats have become the party of the status-quo. They will defend entrenched, large, and inefficient government actions which went out of use years ago because it serves their interests and benefits their voter base. And the sharing economy will be treated no differently.