Taxi Wars: How Govt Tries to Kill Innovative Ride Services Customers Want

If you've ever tried Uber, the innovative car service available in about two dozen U.S. cities, or have been stuck waiting for a cab, watch the video above.

Rob Montz and William Beutler's short doc captures attempts by established interests and politicians in Washington, D.C. to crush a service that only added to residents' transportation options at no cost to taxpayers. It's an incredible tutorial both in how markets, technology, and innovation can make our lives better - and why such improvements are constantly fought by people who benefit from the status quo. For more on the topic, go here.

And then read Brian Doherty's account of how drivers for Uber and another new service, Lyft, are getting screwed by West Coast regulators whose first loyalty seems to be to existing taxicab companies rather than residents who clearly benefit from a greater range of people selling safe rides. In fact, Lyft not only gives riders the ability to rate their experience and share it with others, it gives the same ability to drivers to flag riders who routinely pony up less than the suggested donation (Lyft technically solicits donations rather than collects fares).

In the information-rich world of Lyft, a driver can ensure if they wish that passengers with records of paying below any given percentage of donations won't have their ride requests received by the driver (though drivers can never know the specific payment records of specific passengers). [Lyft] driver Jess says “that little tidbit needs to be out there. Passengers should know that if they pay much less than recommended, they do hurt themselves.”

Read more here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Mike M.||

    Aha, so some woman named Toni-Townes Whitley is the senior vice president at CGI Federal, and she just so happens to be a Princeton classmate of Michelle Obama and a fellow member of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

    This sure helps to explain a lot. Particularly how it is CGI Federal keeps on getting these big government contracts despite having such an embarrassing record of failure.

  • Nazdrakke||

    So what you're saying is that there is corruption in the US government and money tends to flow to the friends and relatives of government VIPs? I'm shocked, I tell you.

  • BSubversive.com||

    Wetting your sister's beak is cool, just make sure she's not totally, utterly and completely incompetent first.

  • BSubversive.com||

    These services are just like hitch hiking and we all know how that story ends. You don't want to end up dead and stuffed in your own trunk do you? Why would you let a stranger get into your car? We need to stop this right now, for the children.

  • Jordan||

    The CEO is also an Obama donor. *Shocked face*

  • Sevo||

    And it'll all be "fixed" by the end of November, but you might have to change your definition of "fixed":
    "New boss for fixing the balky health care website"
    "By the end of next month, he said, there will be many fewer signup problems such as computer screen freezes — but he stopped short of saying problems will completely disappear."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol.....926009.php

  • grrizzly||

    Does Lyft solicit donations because it would be disadvantaged/not permitted by regulation if it charged fixed rates? Because otherwise all their games with suggested donations and cut-off percentages seem very annoying to me. Just set a fare and let passengers pay it.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Why? I think it's great. Straight up value for value. You can pay more or less based upon the service you receive and if you're an asshole, you run the risk of not being able to use the service.

    Mutual benefit...awesome.

  • setTHEline||

    Of course it's not permitted for them to charge fixed rates. If they did that they would be a taxi. If the taxi market was free we wouldn't be having this discussion. Don't worry, I'm sure Lyft would rather be charging fixed rates as well.

  • Jquip||

    Ah no. Price controls. The rates for cab fares are fixed values for flag-drop, per-mile, and per-minute if mph < x for some-minutes. There are often zone/district based fixed rates for common routes, such as airport runs.

    So if you ask for payment then you're violating the price controls. But donations fall on the other side of that obviously-Venezuelan line. Since it is a 'tip' or a 'gratuity' it wasn't for the ride. It was because the driver was a kewl dewd.

    But you're not allowed to use the flat rates unless you go by all of the other regulations involved in cabs. Insurance bonds, incorporation -- if you're even allowed in the business -- and then either medallions (NYC) or a doling out of a max number of hacks you can run (Just about everywhere else.) Which is the guild side of things.

    On the all, it's a terribly good exemplar of Fascistic style economics. With private owners, public control, and industry experts informing the government on its control.

  • Jquip||

    Almost forgot. Yes, if your neighbor says "Would you drive me to the store to pick up a Tv? I'll pay you for gas."

    Then if you accept, you've violated the price controls and are good for some Justice system style justice. Yes, really. But that's one of those wrong place, wrong time, Officer Friendly hates you issues.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    In the LA metro area it's pretty much impossible to get a cab to take you anywhere in a reasonable amount of time.

    I can get shipping courriers to pick up boxes to pallets for direct delivery in less time than it takes to get a cab out.

    But somehow it totally makes sense for the government to kill any emergent pay for transit system for people

  • Jquip||

    Couldn't say about other areas. But in Colorado cabs/limos fall under the Public Utilities Commission. Just as with water, nat gas, and electricity. Because picking up hitch-hikers is a natural monopoly. Or something...

  • jester||

    Terrorists will use it to kill and maim. Fucking classic!

  • Jordan||

    Yeah, I expected the politicians to break out all manner of economic-illiterate arguments, but I was not expecting "OMG TEH TERRORISTS!!1". Unfuckingbelievable.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Question: When was the last time you flagged a cab in a major metropolitan area and the cabbie wasn't a Pakistani or a Sub-Saharan African Muslim with a gigantic Taliban-style beard and wearing a kufi or taqiyah cap on his head, and who spends the entire ride ranting to you about "the gays"?

    And they're claiming the gypsy cabs are terrorist breeding grounds?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I was going to say that my experience taking cabs in the DC area wasn't at all like that, but realized that

    A) That was longer ago than I initially was thinking

    and

    B) Washington DC is a "major metropolitan area" openly in its own mind. In actuality, it is a medium sized Southern city with no local industry.

  • Sevo||

    Well, the 'really good' state exchanges, especially the one in tech-savvy CA have been just fine, right? Not a single comment about problems.
    Until today, 26 days after intro: "State health care website recovering from glitches"
    'Hey, it's terrific compared to the fed, and there's nothing worng and we'll fix it and we won't do it again, and check out the Tom Toles edi-cartoon about the rethuglicans'!

  • Sevo||

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Hilarious

    5.3 million Californians who are uninsured or don't have job-based coverage, although the state estimates that before the enrollment period ends March 31, only between 500,000 and 700,000 people will use it to buy insurance

    That's a heck of a great job there. Also

    five-year, $595 million contract included $199 million for design, implementation and maintenance of costs through June 2017

    So what's the other $294M for if $199 is for building and running it?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    getting screwed by West Coast regulators whose first loyalty seems to be to existing taxicab companies rather than residents who clearly benefit from a greater range of people selling safe rides.

    But [insert horror story] might happen, so the government needs to step in and protect you.

    It's in the Constitution!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Vietnamese Commies are jealous that radical Muslims keep getting all the credit for violating religious freedom.

    "Vinh (AsiaNews) - Disappointment, anger, dismay: this is the reaction of family, priests and parishioners in My yen following the sentence imposed on two Vietnamese Catholics in prison for months, for having fought in favor of human rights and religious freedom. The entire Vietnamese Catholic community had fought for their release and their story, thanks to the commitment and testimony of the Bishop of Vinh Msgr. Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, had garnered international interest. However, a court in the coastal region in north-central Vietnam issued the verdict on charges of "disturbing" public order. A specious charge frequently used by judges and by the communist authorities to silence dissent and free voices in the country.

    "On 23 October, the judges of the Court of Vinh , capital of the province of Nghe An, sentenced 53 year old Ngo Van Khoi to seven months in prison and Nguyen Van Hai , 43, to six months in jail (pictured a time of trial ) . The hearing lasted about three hours in a closed-door trial that not even the family were informed of."

    http://www.asianews.it/news-en.....29370.html

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Mona Charen: The logic of SSM leads to polyamory.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ona-charen

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    We can only hope so.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I should have said "state-recognized polyamory"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If it is going to recognize monogamous ones, then we can still only hope so.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So Charen is right?

  • R C Dean||

    Well, yeah, it does.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So you agree with Charen, and disagree with Walter Olson, who denies such a connection as a bogus right-wing talking point?

    http://igfculturewatch.com/201.....o-believe/

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not agree with either of them, but Olson has a point that polymarous relationships would involve a different state interest that one could rationally argue warrants different treatment.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But I gather you hope Olson is wrong?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    As a libertarian concerned about the public fisc I would like it if no marriages are given state benefits through recognition. I also though do no think our government, if it is going to recognize relationships, should pick and choose which ones are to be based on some moral quality of the relationship itself. However, decisions based on fiscal reasons, such as limiting benefits to one partner at a time, seem sensible to me. Many parts of state recognition thought do not involve such potential expenditures (spousal privilege in testimony or hospital visiting or such) and should be extended to all partners in adult relationships who desire them.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But what you're suggesting is less than *full equality* for polyamorists. Imagine someone proposing such a thing for same-sexers!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is not less than full equality, any more than a law extending welfare benefits to a poor woman's first child but not their second child born after benefits have been extended is a denial of equality to families on benefits with two children vs. families on benefits with one.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What about a policy of only giving welfare benefits to the genetic children of married couples? That would put an extra burden on same-sex couples, who would have to pay some genetic lab to mix up their chromosomes and create an embryo* - while an opposite-sex couple can cheaply create a child with tools available around the home.

    *I'm not talking about aborting the embryo - so far *I* have observed the Saturday restriction!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -What about a policy of only giving welfare benefits to the genetic children of married couples?

    What would be the rational basis of that policy?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    To encourage a situation where children are raised by their parents.

  • R C Dean||

    I think that you cannot draw a principled line at "two and only two adults", given the arguments made for tossing "man and woman".

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I have heard it argued that while the genders of the participants is not essential the number is. That is the argument I suppose.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    My point was that once you concede that marriage is only about adult happiness and fulfillment, you’ve lost the moral ground to object that polygamy or polyamory shouldn’t also be called marriages.

    There is NOTHING moral about telling someone else how to live their lives. I think someone is confusing morality with mythology.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It is quite rare for adult polyamorists to be prosecuted, even for adultery. Who is telling people how to live their lives?

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen|10.26.13 @ 11:53AM|#
    "It is quite rare for adult polyamorists to be prosecuted, even for adultery."
    Is it 'on the books' as illegal? If so, it is totally irrelevant how often the authorities enforce it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's at most an argument for repealing the criminal laws against adultery and fornication. It doesn't logically establish a right for polyamorists to get govt recognition.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I don't think such people are looking for government recognition. If anything they are looking for government to leave them alone to enjoy their lives as they see fit.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    All right, but what happens as they ruminate on the way the govt recognizes same-sex relationships but not multiple-partner relationships? Won't they resent the "discrimination"?

  • Jquip||

    Eh. Either they're looking for nobility, privilege, and other goodies that aren't accessible to all folks. Or they want a government pink triangle to wear on their lapels. With glitter and gold trim, they're not Nazis.

    But the first one entails the second one anyways. And without SSM, has been the status quo since... Ah, don't even know. The anti-recognition got started when the Feds got uppity about Utah, in the way back when. The privilege side didn't really get rolling until after the 16th amendment and all the other good times of the first Progressive era.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    No one should get recognition from the state for their adult relationships.

    But if the state is going start doing so, it should not favor one groups prized relationships over others.

  • Sevo||

    Eduard van Haalen|10.26.13 @ 11:58AM|#
    "That's at most an argument for repealing the criminal laws against adultery and fornication"

    I made no comment about those issues; my comment was directed at your claim that selective enforcement = legality.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If you want to codify the practice of nonprosecution of these offenses, that would be OK.

  • R C Dean||

    Perhaps by repealing the laws making them offenses?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    It is quite rare for adult polyamorists to be prosecuted

    So it's okay to have an immoral law so long as you only enforce it sparingly?

    Who is telling people how to live their lives?

    Um...

    Anyone advocating polygamy should be illegal.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    As I said above, that's an argument for repealing the criminal statutes against adultery and fornication (and bigamy, I should have added). That's not the same as having the Social Security administration enrolling all your partners in their spousal benefits program.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Why should ANY spouse have special benefits just because they are "married" (whatever that means)?

    If you want your "spouse" (or your dog, for that matter) to have special privilege concerning your property, CONTRACT for it.

    The ONLY way government needs to be involved at all is to ensure the enforcement of that contract.

    Social Security is an abomination.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But assuming, for the sake of argument, that Social Security is *not* abolished and marriage is *not* derecognized by the govt, we'll have to deal with the "libertarian" argument that "as a second-best option we should give equal status to all domestic arrangements, to avoid teh discrimination."

    And that means spousal-spousal-spousal benefits under Social Security.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Sounds like an AWESOME way to subvert the system and bring it to an end. We all marry 30 people and make the government provide 30X the immoral benefits they promise, thus bankrupting the entire immoral abomination.

    You need to look on the positive side Ed.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Uh, I know this is a joke, but haven't beneficiaries already brought the system to the verge of bankruptcy without provoking serious discussion about the problem?

  • BakedPenguin||

    "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Genevieve."

  • Ted S.||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It looks like you broke your Saturday pledge :(

  • Ted S.||

    That was before I realized I should have included gay marriage because the so-cons here would bring it up. I'll have to amend it to include that next Saturday.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yet I got lots of responses for the Charen link, and not a single nibble from the link about religious persecution in Vietnam.

    This sounds like professed preferences versus revealed preferences.

  • Jordan||

    Um, I think libertarians are generally in agreement with you that imprisoning someone for their religious beliefs is bad.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, and they agree that cops breaking down doors to get drug suspects is bad. But we still get links to such stories!

    And there was the dispute over Rand Paul's "War on Christianity" speech - raising issues as to whether there was really such a war and whether Paul was selling out to the socons by mentioning the problem.

  • R C Dean||

    Not to mention that government oppression right here where we live is inherently more interesting than government oppression in some far away place.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The domestic connection is that the usa keeps giving money to these persecutors which is rand's point.

  • Ted S.||

    Dammit, I didn't mention gay marriage in the Saturday Pledge!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Your lips say no, but your eyes say yes, yes!

  • Ted S.||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Comic Book Guy, that Japanese chef, and numerous other guys, go into mourning.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Latest Dispatches From the Light Worker: TEAM Red Argues in Bad Faith For Opposing a Law They've Always Been Opposed To???

    President Obama blasted GOP opponents of his healthcare law as hypocrites after Republicans expressed concerns about the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov.


    In his weekly address, Obama suggested that the GOP's focus on the issue was in bad faith because Republicans have pushed for years to repeal, defund or dismantle ObamaCare.

    Republicans "spent the last few years so obsessed with denying … people access to health insurance that they just shut down the government and threatened default over it," Obama said.

    "It's well past the time for folks to stop rooting for [the law's] failure."

    The website "gathers insurers under one system to compete for your business," Obama said. "And that choice and competition have actually helped bring prices down."

    "We're only a few weeks into a six-month open enrollment period, and everyone who wants insurance through the marketplace will get it," Obama said.

    Meanwhile, reality remains unconvinced.

  • Ted S.||

    Does anybody actually listen to the weekly presidential radio address? I wouldn't even know what stations it's on.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It's only carried on about 10 stations and they're all AM or small frequency.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'm really sick of this cocksucker lying shamelessly and never getting called on it.

    It's way past time for prominent people in politics and the media to get some balls and start calling the fucker a blatant liar.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    They haven't figured out that he's a liar for the past 6 years. Why ruin a good thing?

  • R C Dean||

    They haven't figured out that he's a liar for the past 6 14 years.

    And that's just counting his years as an elected official.

  • Irish||

    "It's well past the time for folks to stop rooting for [the law's] failure."

    This is my new favorite argument of the American left. It's the Fairy Dust Defense.

    "It would have worked perfectly if all of you heartless Rethuglicans just BELIEVED!"

    I feel bad for Obama. He was clearly running for president of Imagination Land and became president of the United States by accident.

  • Ted S.||

    It's well past the time for folks to stop rooting for the failure of the Second Amendment, too.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Irish, if you aren't clicking your red ruby slippers together, you're part of the problem.

  • Jordan||

    Shorter Obama: CLAP HARDER

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    SoCons Fret About Living Wills

    -Do we have a “right to die”? Are our lives really our own? The answer to both these questions is, “No!”

    The lives we live here on this earth are not ours. They belong to God, who gives us the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Paul told an Athenian audience, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Our lives are a gift from Him.

    1 Corinthians 6:19–20 asks, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

    There can be a fine line between comfort measures and euthanasia. We must be careful not to allow a living will to cross that line.

    These verses clearly indicate that our lives do not belong to us.

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....ving-wills

  • Ted S.||

    If you (not you personally, Bo; the generic you) want to give your life over to whatever god you believe in, that's your business. Don't go giving my life over to god.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, it is when pro-life forces work to make public policy affecting us all favor their view on this matter that I resist.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Right, prohibiting murder is an unconscionable limitation on a murderer's liberty.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is there any question you will not beg?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Look who's talking.

  • Irish||

    I'm confused. How is leaving a living will and saying "I want to die in the event that X happens" the same as murder?

    Making the decision that there's a point at which you no longer want to be kept alive seems to be a pretty important aspect of self-ownership.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yes I agree.

    I took Bo to be injecting abortion into the issue - on second reading I may be wrong, but maybe not as he does that alot.

  • Irish||

    Okay. I thought you were talking specifically about living wills.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -on second reading I may be wrong, but maybe not as he does that alot.

    This is as close as a dogmatist can come to an apology, so I will take it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    VG is question begging in order to defend his SoCon beliefs under a libertarian appearance, it appears to be his chief hobby.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    SoCon beliefs are only anti-libertarian to the point that they seek to use government to impose those beliefs on others.

    The article that you posted makes no such argument.

    All to often, with this as an example, you engage in culture war - look at those icky SoCons- to unnecessarily drive a wedge between SoCons and libertarians. At this point in time the two are, or should be, allies because it is the left that is trying to use government to force their beliefs onto others. The SoCons mostly just want to be left alone - which is consistent with libertarians.

  • Irish||

    ^ This. If a social conservative is trying to use the power of the state to do restrict freedom, then that social conservative should be attacked as viciously as a progressive. This is why Santorum was so hated around here. It's also why attacking Socons in the '60s, '70's, and '80s was reasonable. At the time they really did hold the reins and were using the power of government to attack opponents.

    Now I don't see that as being much of a threat. Social conservatives are in a position where the state is actually being used to suppress them, and therefore they may actually be the sort of people who will be most opposed to the increase in state power in the coming years.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The SoCons mostly just want to be left alone

    All the evidence (which I present nearly daily around here) to the contrary.

    I posted that piece because of the rather stunningly explicit denial of a key feature of libertarian principles: self ownership. You are right that the particular article does not go on to advocate using the law to favor their position, but of course many SoCons have and do just that based on the same view.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Then p ost links where SoCons are advocting that instead of trying to persuade like minded people as is the case of the article that you posted.

    The only issue where SoCons are trying to use government to force their side of an issue is abortion and that is fundamentally different than what you claim as it involves competing rights. In that case, the SoCon position is the rational one and the lefty postion of abortion up to birth is the loony mystical one.

    Besides, most SoCons would be happy with abortion laws similar to socialist Sweden's - so their position isn't even extreme.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The only issue where SoCons are trying to use government to force their side of an issue is abortion

    Have you missed the dozens of posts I have made about SoCons and, say pornography? Indecent programming on television? Sodomy laws?

    -most SoCons would be happy with abortion laws similar to socialist Sweden's - so their position isn't even extreme.

    Any proof for that comment?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Have you missed the dozens of posts I have made about SoCons and, say pornography? Indecent programming on television? Sodomy laws?

    I haven't seen SoCons calling for using the force of government in those areas - i have seen progressives advocating exactly that by the way.

    Opining that pornography or 'indecent' entertainment leads to 'bad' behavior is not the same as advocating for government to stop the preceding.

    I can note that drug addiction is bad without implying support for prohibition, let alone the war on drugs.

    -most SoCons would be happy with abortion laws similar to socialist Sweden's - so their position isn't even extreme.

    Any proof for that comment?

    Try interacting with some of them some time and see what compromise they would find acceptable.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -I haven't seen SoCons calling for using the force of government in those areas

    Then you have not been paying attention. I have posted literally dozens of such stories, from SoCon groups using zoning laws to shut down strip clubs, to SoCons urging the greater use of obscenity prosecutions, to SoCons urging the FCC to 'get tough' on television indecency.

    -Try interacting with some of them some

    So, no proof, eh? I thought as much.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Then you have not been paying attention. I have posted literally dozens of such stories, from SoCon groups using zoning laws to shut down strip clubs, to SoCons urging the greater use of obscenity prosecutions, to SoCons urging the FCC to 'get tough' on television indecency.

    I've seen and experienced progressives pushing all of that crap - SoCons, not so much. Maybe that's a function of living in a deep blue state.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Fair enough, I live in a red state and progressives are not much of a factor at all (at least at the state level, our current administration of course gleefully restricts our liberties from DC). Heck, I am from an actual dry county, a phenomenon that, contrary to your general argument, exists pretty much only in red states (a few blue states have a few dry municipalities within counties).

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Gambling
    Prostitution
    Drug laws
    Blue laws
    Pornography
    Gay marriage
    Women in combat
    Profanity laws
    Nudity laws

    Please, VG!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    VG's eyes are tightly, tightly shut against SoCons advocating coercion in those areas!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Women in combat seriously?

    As to the rest, excluding SSM, in CA it is the left that pushes further government intrusions in all of those areas. And it is the same nationally.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In your fantasy world version, perhaps.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Who do you think chased the porn industry out of LA - SoCons? (there aren't any) or progressive busibodies. Same with medical marijuana dispensaries.

    And which president cracked down on mecical merijuana more- SoCon Bush or Proglodyte Bama?

    It's the same in every area - the progs are ten times worse than the SoCons.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Who do you think chased the porn industry out of LA

    Do you have evidence the porn industry has been 'chased out of LA' (I am aware of the silly condom law and that this has caused some business to move elsewhere, but have not seen that the industry has largely been 'chased out of' the city.) Apart from your cherry picking, do you really want to argue that the buying and selling of porn is more restricted in LA than in many red state localities? Good luck with that.

    -And which president cracked down on mecical merijuana more- SoCon Bush or Proglodyte Bama?

    More? Both have been terrible but I have not seen counts for each administration. Do you have them?

  • Virginian||

    More? Both have been terrible but I have not seen counts for each administration. Do you have them?
    ________

    Reason has covered this extensively, it's one of our main examples to throw in progs face of how Obama is Bush, but worse.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Reason has covered this extensively

    Do they have actual counts?

  • Virginian||

  • Virginian||

    I do think it's a function of personal preference/personal experience in some ways.

    Certainly my only real activism centers around my 2nd Amendment rights. So right off the bat I'm much more likely to actually do something more than bitch on the Internet when it comes to gun grabbers.

    Plus local threats to liberty are inherently less important than federal ones. Porn producers and strip clubs can vote with their feet (or other body parts) but national gun control is a much bigger danger to freedom.

    Note I am not at all saying this makes local SoCon bullshit acceptable to libertarians, I am simply saying that I do not excommunicate someone from the movement because they still consider the progs to be worse, on the whole. The decision to prioritize is not a decision to betray. Finland's choices during the European unpleasantness does not mean Finland was pro-Nazi or pro-Soviet.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -I am simply saying that I do not excommunicate someone from the movement because they still consider the progs to be worse, on the whole.

    Oh, I actually think that at this point and time progressives are a greater threat to our national, overall liberty than SoCons. I just think the latter are still a problem.

  • Virginian||

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_.....api_public

    Progressives advocate prior restraint of free speech.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The physician who wrote that article didn't talk about the state taking such actions.

  • Irish||

    Valid point. Reading it he seems to be saying that 'Christians shouldn't do it because it's against what our religion says.' He also points out a few problems with living wills.

    I tend to agree with you. If he doesn't say 'It should be illegal,' then I have no problem with him.

  • Ted S.||

    Of course, it is when pro-life forces

    Remember the Saturday Pledge!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The groups that oppose the right to die often call themselves 'pro-life,' that was all I was referring to.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Is there a Saturday Pledge re religious persecution in Vietnam? Because I get the most comments when I link to articles on gay abortions, and nothing so far about the Vietnam link.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think everybody agrees it is horrendous, nothing to debate there.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Why, then, was Rand Paul's War on Christianity speech so controversial, with many people saying he was pandering to socons and selling out libertarianism?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I defended the speech here, so I do not know.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm sorry if I seemed to suggest otherwise, that was not my intent. But there were *some* remarks on those lines.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I seem to recall it was one person, and their concern was that by highlighting only the persecution of Christians by Muslim extremists Paul may have been fanning the 'War on Islamo-Fascism' fires that lead many SoCons to ask for aggressive intervention in the Middle East. I did not take it to be a lack of concern about religious persecution in general or of Christians in particular.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Reason author, Mr. Feeney, called Paul's claim of a War on Christianity "needlessly hyperbolic." Said there was "impl[ied] selective moral outrage" - not actual selective outrage, but implied selective outrage.

    Comments, while generally pro-Paul, did include these gems:

    "He's got to give the Ned Flanders types a reason to vote for him in the 2016 primaries."

    "If history is any judge, never. You don't get to the top by keeping your soul."

    "This is the reason that choosing leaders by POPULARITY (Republics) is BEYOND IDIOTIC."

    "I guess it's been awhile since we had a legitimate Crusade."

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/10.....-w#comment

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And there's this guy who keeps posting stories about SoCon atrocities, which presumably most H&R denizens are against :)

  • Anonymous Coward||

    These verses clearly indicate that our lives do not belong to us.

    Meanwhile, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, Animists, Pagans, and Atheists shrug.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The author is a doctor who practiced medicine for 20 years and now works for Answers from Genesis. He asks what Christians should do re living wills.

    A key passage:

    "We have the right to refuse heroic interventions that have little or no chance of altering the dying process. However, such decisions must be made prayerfully, with extreme care and thought, not hastily."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If SoCons only stuck to whether Christians should elect these wills and such I too would have no problem, but of course they often do not.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yet this fellow doesn't say that the state should force this on others. I don't know if this is his private belief, but he doesn't expose it to the public.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Conceded. It would, of course, not be too difficult to find examples of SoCons who would like to use policy to favor their 'anti-culture of death' beliefs.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Probably, but I'd like to see the specifics before condemning such laws out of hand.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Sure. If one is talking about requiring, say, a 'clear and convincing' standard before terminating care to an incompetent patient then I do not think it is clear we have a violation of libertarian principles. But there were prominent SoCons who even opposed the right at stake in the Bouvia case, where a quadriplegic woman simply wanted to refuse being force fed and hydrated, that leap across that line for me.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The Terry Shaivo case is another example.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The dispute between her husband and biological relatives wss whether she would want food and water withdrawn - there was no living will. Also there was a dispute over whether giving food and water through tubes constituted heroic measures which she could refuse.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    A person should be able to refuse care whether heroic or not.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    SoCon foolishness.

    I'm not one of them. But I respect their opinions and see a capacity to work with them on specific issues. I see the same capacity to work with actual liberal but their numbers have declined dramatically. The progressives, on the other hand are full on liberty hating fascists who can't be worked with at all.

  • Virginian||

    I don't think the Shiavo case was one of SoCon foolishness, but a perfect example of hard cases making bad law.

    The husband had a clear conflict of interest. The insurance payment he received and the fact that he was dating another woman (understandably IMO) means he should not have been allowed to make decisions for his PVS wife.

    What the court should have done was dissolved the marriage. If the parents wanted to hold out hope, they should pay for the treatment and allow the son in law to walk away.

    Just a shitty situation all around, and one I think is not very helpful on the issue, except as it relates to the importance of making arrangements with a lawyer in case you are the one on the feeding tube with no ability to make your wishes heard.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    At heart it was a tragic and hard case. But it became a political circus when the SoCons jumped on it to push some agenda (I'm not ever sure what agenda). And Bill Frist diagnosing Shaivo from the Senate floor was buffoonish.

  • R C Dean||

    I've dealt with right-to-lifers on the right to die.

    There's a spectrum, of course, but there are plenty of them who think that it is immoral (and therefore should be illegal) to provide anything less than full-court-press care to every terminal patient, because God may just step in with a miracle. You never know!

    So, yeah, for them to say "your life isn't yours" leads them straight past "doctors and hospitals should not be allowed to deny care" to "you shouldn't be able to ask your doctor/hospital to give you a "do not resuscitate" order, palliative care, or anything other than the most pointless, painful, and expensive treatments available.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Mona Charen: The logic of SSM leads to polyamory.

    As a great man of my acquaintance was wont to say,

    Who gives a shit?"

  • BakedPenguin||

    I don't know, I thought it was good news. I need to fight more for gay marriage.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    NPR, on its program "Wait, wait, don't tell me" is tearing the Obamacare rollout a new one. Sample jokes:

    Tech support asks Obama "did you consider shutting down the government and turning it on again?"

    Obama helped a woman who fainted on his Obamacare press conference - that's the Gold Package. With the Bronze Package, Biden helps you.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Joke about the Obama Shamwow which wipes away Syria, NSA scandals, etc. and leaves a shiny 2nd-term legacy.

  • Irish||

    Marion Barry: "I'm a fan of the taxi cab industry. I've always been."

    I think he mispronounced "crack."

  • Sevo||

    I'm surprised he could read the teleprompter.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Obama suggested that the GOP's focus on the issue was in bad faith

    Tent show revivalist accuses others of arguing in bad faith. Film at eleven.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's way past time for prominent people in politics and the media to get some balls and start calling the fucker a blatant liar.

    I think it would be more effective (and more hurtful to his delicate little ego) if people just laughed in his face every time he told one of his whoppers.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Recall from 2010 all of the pearl-clutching and fainting that took place when Sam Alito had the temerity to even mouth the words "not true" to Obama's proclamations at the State of the Union address.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Alito was of course correct in that case.

    A real opposition party or objective press would have pointed that out instead of everyone getting the vapors over Obama's lie being called out.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "It would have worked perfectly if all of you heartless Rethuglicans just BELIEVED!"

    Mayday, mayday! Tinkerbell is having a flameout! Clap, you callous bastards!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    There can be a fine line between comfort measures and euthanasia. We must be careful not to allow a living will to cross that line.

    "WE"? Who is this "we" of whom you speak?

    Also, it's a rather inconvenient question, but who pays? If you have a contractual agreement with a private insuror to infinitely prolong your agony, go for it. If you want Society (that is, Me, and the rest of the taxpaying public) to shoulder the economic burden of your fear of the unknown, that's problematic.

  • R C Dean||

    Pish, its not even who pays. Its who is really in charge here?

    Are you in charge, so you can order up comfort care and die in peace, or even hurry things along with a wee overdose?

    Are the doctors and nurses in charge of what they do, so they can refuse to provide care that they think is immoral or unethical by their own lights?

    Or is the government in charge, so it can dictate what care you get, regardless of what you or the doctors and nurses want?

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Have you read an article written by the scum of the earth today?

    making it more affordable for someone to drive, by themselves, wherever and whenever they want will seem a supremely misguided fantasy of a terribly decadent past.
  • Irish||

    Comment:

    Michael:
    1,000 thank-yous are in order...
    This article is a gale-force blast of fresh air! I'll be sending it to all those folks who consider it "irresponsible" or simply bizarre that I've never driven a car in my life. At age 54, I think I've proved your point: cars are not necessary for 95% of what must get done to 'live a normal life'.
    As a childhood friend cautioned me: "Cars are the REAL dragons!"

    What.

  • BakedPenguin||

    CA breeds it's own special kind of crazy.

  • Banjos||

    I had a complete stranger at a grocery store lecture me about the GMO cereal I was buying my step children. This shit would never happen in AZ. I'll take the socons in AZ over putting up with this dipshittery any day.

  • R C Dean||

    I hope the phrase "Fuck off, slaver" figured in your conversation.

  • Banjos||

    I wish it did, but I was too taken aback by the nerve of the fucker. I politely told him that all current scientific research showed no proof of there being any negative consequences of consuming GMOs. He stammered a bit, told me I needed to read more about it, then walked away.

    I also have had a lady lecture me about being in a spa at a hotel during my third trimester while I was pregnant with Reason and have gotten a few dirty looks when I drink coffee while being visibly pregnant. Californians are the most obnoxious busy bodies on the fucking planet.

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    Californians are the most obnoxious busy bodies on the fucking planet.

    Clearly you have never been to Manhattan.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Increased mobility has always coincided with increased prosperity throughout human history.

    These fuckers literally pine for a new dark age.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Said it the other night.

    They will not be happy until we are all dead. They are self loathing, immoral pigs.

  • Irish||

    That article also brings up a major logical problem with left-wing economics. To wit:

    This also plays out in practice with all attempts to make life "easier" by enabling consumption. Consumption increases with income, it does not decrease. Unless it is tied into a broader anti-capitalist, anti-consumerist and radical reorganization of taxation, efforts to ease the costs, taxes and fees associated with things like gas or fossil fuel consumption will benefit the better off far more than those of lower incomes, and this explains why the Tories in Ontario also oppose such taxes.

    The left always bemoans the evil of consumerism, but their economic beliefs are based entirely on the desire to force people to consume when they don't want to. I'm sure this guy stamps his feet and yells at thought of evil 'austerity' and argues in favor of Keynesian stimulus. Well, Keynesian stimulus is nothing but an attempt to force consumption.

    How can liberals complain about 'materialism' when their entire economic philosophy is predicated upon forcing people to behave more materialistically and to consume regardless of whether they actually want to?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -How can liberals complain about 'materialism' when their entire economic philosophy is predicated upon forcing people to behave more materialistically and to consume regardless of whether they actually want to?

    I do not understand what you are saying here, could you tease it out a bit? How do liberals have this philosophy?

  • Irish||

    What is the point of Keynesian stimulus? The stated goal is to force consumption. What is the underlying idea behind the myth of the 'Paradox of Thrift?' It's the idea that savings result in bad economic outcomes and that we must therefore try to disincentivize savings.

    The entirety of Keynesian economics is predicated on the idea of present consumption at the expense of future savings. That's one of the reasons that American savings rate has collapsed over the decades. It's because the longer you persist in using Keynesian methods to prop up the economy, the less people choose to save, and the more consumption occurs.

    In other words, left-wing economic theories actually incentivize people to spend more, to consume more, and to behave more materialistically. They then complain about the consumption and materialism that their preferred policies have had a hand in exacerbating.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The main reasons that savings have collapsed are: 1) persistent long term inflation 2) overly generous government safety nets.

  • R C Dean||

    I would say that savings have collapsed because you cannot have capital formation in an economic system that has warped the incentives and rewards for capital formation. Inflation and welfare are part of the malincentives we have for capital formation/savings, but there are lots of others.

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    This is related to number one, but Fed-induced unnaturally low interest-rates as well.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    First, I am not sure all left wingers embrace Keynesian economics. I do not recall the Clinton administration being strong Keynesians, for example. Also, many left wing people give very little thought to macroeconomic policy at all, but rather are into culture issues nearly exclusively. It would be hard to characterize environmentalists as pushing more consumption. Lastly, I think at most you can say that many liberal administrations may incent consumption over savings, and even then it is not the primary motivation of their policy choices. But your last point about their policies exacerbating consumption and then complaining about it strikes me as spot on.

  • Irish||

    First, I am not sure all left wingers embrace Keynesian economics. I do not recall the Clinton administration being strong Keynesians, for example. Also, many left wing people give very little thought to macroeconomic policy at all, but rather are into culture issues nearly exclusively.

    I agree to an extent, but I don't think you can consider Clinton to be much of a left-winger when compared to the left-wing of the Democratic Party. Leftists try to declare him an honorary left-winger because his administration was actually successful, whereas more 'progressive' administrations, such as LBJ and Nixon*, were not.

    Clinton's administration, partially to sate a Republican House, but not entirely, actually decreased the deficits when compared to the two prior Republican administrations. This is not something the left would normally be comfortable with, but they simply ignore it in service to their illusion of Bill Clinton, Left Wing Super-Hero.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, yes, if you just read Bill Clinton out of the Left, essentially asking us to ignore his eight year presidency and continued, decades long popularity among the Left (including significant wings of the party establishment), then I guess you can see the Left as generally about Keynesian economic policy...

  • Irish||

    Yes, but I'm looking at the actual policies that he pursued. Simply saying 'someone is popular among Democrats, therefore progressive' is just as lame an argument as claiming Nixon to be some kind of small government ideologue just because he was a Republican.

    Clinton shrank the deficit, shied away from gun control after it got him a drubbing, and generally did not behave all that much differently from a policy perspective than George H.W. Bush had. He sent American soldiers into active war zones an average of once every nine weeks.

    I know some people who think Clinton passed the Americans with Disabilities Act even though it was passed by Bush 1. That's because they fall into this "Democrat progressive, Republican not progressive" fallacy.

    Clinton was a politician whose only real goal was opportunism, power, and the adoration and sex that came with it. He was not ideologically left-wing, and was more than willing to eject any left-wing principles he may have had the moment they seemed to be endangering his presidency.

  • Irish||

    *I include Nixon because there's no way someone who created price ceilings for gasoline in order to stop the inflation caused by his untethering of the dollar to gold could be considered anything other than a prog. He was also vehemently anti-gun, passed tons of left-wing environmental protections, and OSHA.

    If you type in Nixon, Progressive into Google, you'll actually see that the first several hits are progressive websites admitting that on many policy issues he was one of them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That piece of shit Nixon was the most progressive president since FDR, even including Obama.

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    I am not sure all left wingers embrace Keynesian economics.

    Yeah I think you're way off on this one. Look at Obama's advisors, how many non-Keynesians do you see there? Look at the opinion pages of the Washington Post, New York Times, or any other mainstream left-leaning publication. How many non-Keynesian are on MSNBC? I don't think I've hardly ever seen a Chicago school, neoclassical, or Austrian economist cited at any of those places other than as token opposition or to point out why they're wrong.

    They'll even eat their own for not being sufficiently Keynesian. Look at how Kenneth Rogoff, who prior to 2010 was a highly respected mainstream keynesian, was treated by the left when he started questioning if ever moar stimulus was wise. He may as well have been Milton Friedman as far as Paul Krugman was concerned.

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    Also, many left wing people give very little thought to macroeconomic policy at all,

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    Well that is certainly true. This gets to your environmentalist comment. Sure most Progs don't embrace more consumerism overtly but only because they don't understand that's the result of Keynesianism.They also don't embrace higher unemployment, but that's still the result of higher minimum wages. It's easy to support Keynesianism and be opposed to consumerism if you don't understand one results in the other.

    And to the degree they don't support Keynesianism it's in favor of something even further left like Marx: IOW Keynesianism equipped with a rocket ship.

  • TheTreeOfLiberty||

    On I forgot to mention the new fad amongst the left: MMT/post-Keynesianism. Take Keynesianism and don't even pretend there's any limit to Government spending.

  • Banjos||

    Liberals typically believe in demand side economics, believing that you can create prosperity by consuming. They believe that more consumption leads to more production. That is why they believe that make work government projects and welfare will stimulate the economy.

    Irish is pointing out (very cleverly so) that there seems to be a contradiction in their beliefs. On one hand liberals tend to be very anti-consumerism. On the other hand they also push demand side economics.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's ironic that progressive policies lead to greater scarcity and thereby advantage specific individuals.

  • Banjos||

    It's not surprising when you realize that these people believe that they are the enlightened ones, the "progressive" ones who believe that they can and should rule the world with their brilliance. They want an all powerful government that they can control to tell lesser beings how to live. It's easier to control lesser beings if you are providing the necessities to survive.

  • R C Dean||

    their entire economic philosophy is predicated upon forcing people to behave more materialistically

    I would say their entire philosophy is based on a secular/mechanistic materialist view of human society. Crypto-Marxist, really, at least as far as the descriptive side of Marxism goes.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The left always bemoans the evil of consumerism,

    It's remnant dna from their christian origins.

    How can liberals complain about 'materialism' when their entire economic philosophy is predicated upon forcing people to behave more materialistically and to consume regardless of whether they actually want to?

    Because they have a quasi religious belief system full of internal contradictions.

    Deep in their beliefs is the idea that individual self interest is evil, but that community self interest is the highest moral value. There's some mystical belief in the value of the group over the individual - without acknowledging that the group is composed of individuals.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Well, Keynesian stimulus is nothing but an attempt to force consumption.

    Actually, it is an attempt to force activity. It's all about flow, while ignoring stocks. Look at Keynes famous buried treasure fallacy:

    If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again… the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.

    It's clear from this passage that he sees value in the activity (digging up the buried bank notes) and not in the stock (the notes themselves).

  • Irish||

    True, but most modern 'Keynesians' don't actually adhere to Keynes' original arguments. It is the stated belief of the Democratic party that food stamps are a form of stimulus. There is no activity related to food stamps. It is strictly a means to allow certain people to consume more. Progs will, of course, claim that it's an attempt to get people to eat, but in reality it simply subsidizes food so that the recipients are capable of spending what would have been spent on food on something else instead.

    It's therefore a means of increasing consumption. This is why the Dems claim that it has 'stimulative' properties...and, once again, this conflicts with their stated anti-consumption narrative.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think this example proves my point. If you ask the average progressive or leftist on the street why food stamps are good they will say 'because they feed hungry people.' Few will offer any Keynesian macroeconomic reasons.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It is the stated belief of the Democratic party that food stamps are a form of stimulus. There is no activity related to food stamps. It is strictly a means to allow certain people to consume more.

    Same thing with unemployment insurance, student loans etc ad infinatum.

    It is a conundrum that the see self interest as evil and yet their politics are driven by envy and theft

  • The Late P Brooks||

    making it more affordable for someone to drive, by themselves, wherever and whenever they want will seem a supremely misguided fantasy of a terribly decadent past.

    This is probably a person who to this day wishes the Okies had been incapable of escaping the Dustbowl and polluting his precious precious Californian paradise.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What is the point of Keynesian stimulus? The stated goal is to force consumption.

    Infrastructure, not iPhones!

    We need a 100,000 seat brutalist concrete coliseum in every town, for the masses to attend political rallies and culturally enriching events. With monumental stylized birds of prey as ornamentation.

    And trains to get there on.

  • sheakim11||

    what Antonio replied I cant believe that a mother able to earn $9155 in a few weeks on the computer. visit site
    http://WWW.JOBS72.COM

  • juliajuli7||

    ==========I quit working at shoprite and now I make $30h - $72h...how? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job

    ============
    http://www.works23.com

    Go to website and click Home tab for more details.
    Have a bright future....

  • verlighsoncno1975||

    It�s very easy to find out any topic on net as compared to books, as I fount this post at this web site.

    http://farrdesign.com/jerseys/?id=1086

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement