The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: Uber and Innovation


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — brace yourself for this one — is trying to make it harder for Uber to do business in the Big Apple. This comes on the heels, of course, of California trying to upend the company’s classification of its drivers as independent contractors and protests from French cabbies who are upset about the competition.

Can innovative companies like Uber overcome the political power of the incumbent companies they’re disrupting? Is it inevitable that even the most dynamic startups will have to eventually assimilate to the culture of lobbyists and rent-seeking? Those are some of the topics I take up with Professor Epstein in this week’s installment of The Libertarian. Listen in below or subscribe to the show via iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

Published in Economics, Podcasts
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  1. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno

    Can someone answer something for me?

    I always understood taxis to be government by each city’s taxi commission.  In order to run a tax in that city, you had to purchase a taxi medallion.  Each city only gives out a certain amount of medallion.  If you got caught running a taxi company without a medallion, you’d be in a spot of trouble.

    1.  Wasn’t that always the case?

    2.  Why is Uber exempt from that?  Isn’t it an equal protection issue if yellow cab company has to pay for a medallion and Uber does not?

    • #1
  2. danys Thatcher

    Is Uber more like a car service or limosine service than a taxi service. Do car/limosine services have medallions?

    • #2
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