Opinion: Cigarettes, broccoli — and Uber
This letter is in repose to Jim Clark’s column from Dec. 3, “The saga of Uber and its future in Nevada.”
When the government uses social engineering, taxing entities at different rates influencing its citizen, the market is not free. You can also see social engineering in different tax rates between cigarettes and broccoli.
The Uber issue highlights the differences between political parties. The Democrats want to tax both groups, new and old taxi companies. The Libertarians want to tax neither group. The Republicans want to selectively tax the group they do not like, the GOP definition of a free market.
Taxicab drivers have not been forced out through competition. Instead, they have simply switched bosses. These drivers are doing the same work as before, but now at a much lower tax rate.
In essence, Travis Kalanick was made rich off the backs of taxpayers. This is similar to Tesla, with all the government subsidies. But, at least Elon Musk never tried to use our tax dollars to spy on reporters.
The reason for so little support on the GOP Uber position is they have failed to show why traditional taxi companies should be taxed like cigarettes, while Uber is taxed like broccoli.