Will Wilkinson is quite right in stating that “[t]here’s something about Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, that brings out the nutty in people.” And he is also quite right to mock those who call for “socializing” Uber. The complaints about surge-pricing automatically kicking in when Uber cars were in high demand during the hostage standoff in Sydney, Australia are also mock-worthy. Indeed, reading most of the commentary about Uber is enough to make one want to poke one’s eyes out.
If there is any silver lining to all of this incredibly bad punditry about Uber, it is that it identifies for the rest of us a group of pundits who shouldn’t be listened to the next time they opine about something. Or the time after that. Or the time after . . . well, you get the idea. But since many of us knew already that these pundits shouldn’t be listened to, it’s not much of a silver lining, now is it?
So I guess were are back to being depressed about the ignorance of economics that regularly gets displayed in punditry about companies like Uber and Lyft, and in punditry overall. And I guess we are also back to being depressed about the fact that just about every time a good and innovative company comes along to make life easier and better for consumers, a pack of pundits–usually on the port side of the ideological and partisan divide–get together and mindlessly attack the company in question. I guess that some people just can’t stand to see private businesses successfully work to bring valuable services and benefits to consumers. It’s almost as though these folks are afraid to see how efficient business operations in a capitalist economy might serve to undermine their own socioeconomic worldviews, or something.