Uber Threatens Democrats’ Lock on Millennials

Uber (Reuters)
Uber (Reuters)
Newport Beach, CA

Progressive New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s supposed effort to end social inequality by crushing Uber was curbed last week when his liberal city council allies were blindsided by a viral millennial generation revolt in favor of the ride-sharing app.

Despite assuming that the new generation would always stay complaint to the liberal Thought Police, maturing millennials are becoming more politically independent–and a potential threat to the establishment Democrat Party.

The millennial generation, now ranging in age from 18 to 33 years old, was Barack Obama and the Democrat Party’s weapon-of-mass-destruction, which dumped Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary and ran the tables on John McCain and the Republicans.

But the supposedly “most progressive” generation since the 1970s has lately moved away from lock-step with the Democrats’ core values and constituencies. Millennials’ political registration has jumped from 40 percent “Independent” in 2008 to 50 percent in 2015. After peaking in 2013 with 31 percent of ,illennials stating they had no religious affiliation, that number has fallen to 29 percent this year. Both of these trends spell trouble for Democrats and real opportunity for Republicans.

The maturing attitudes of the millennial generation come at a time that Democrat politicians in California, New York and across America have been desperately trying to block the 21st-Century “sharing economy” that is epitomized by Uber ride-sharing and Airbnb apartment subletting.

Desperate to protect crony monopolies willing to pay high taxes and make tremendous campaign contributions, Democrats have dredged up Great Depression-era laws to protect wealthy taxi services and hotel owners who used to be insulated from competitive pricing.

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, for example, has threatened the future of ride-sharing by dusting off an 80-year-old law to try to require Lyft, Sidecar and Uber drivers to obtain commercial license plates if they are picking up passengers. This effort was in spite of rulings by the California Public Utilities Commission and a new law signed last year reaffirming that personal vehicles can be used by ride-sharing drivers.

New York Mayor de Blasio has been trying to protect the holders of the 13,347 taxi “medallions” issued by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission in 1937. Since the Great Depression, there have only been 253 more medallions issued. Their value peaked in 2008, when a medallion sold for $1.3 million. But competition from 20,600 Uber drivers has driven the value down by over 40 percent, to $740,000.

With the mayor and liberal city council preparing to pass a new cap on the number of Uber drivers, the company aggressively fought back by flooding New York radio and TV with grim driver testimonials about how the ban would leave New Yorkers stranded and drivers unemployed. Uber even had “de Blasio mode” on their app, initially telling users no cars were available due to the mayor, before processing reservations.

After Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton questioned Uber and Airbnb’s economic model of the so-called “gig” economy in a speech two weeks ago, Republicans Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz blasted her opposition to entrepreneurs.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) hilariously reminded his millions of Twitter followers that Hillary is unlikely to be found hailing an Uber anytime soon, because she is chauffeured around by Secret Service and hasn’t driven her own car since 1996.

Millennials rallied overwhelmingly to Uber’s messaging, and the liberal New York City Council was forced to back-down by delaying the vote for at least four months, so there could be a new “assessment” of environmental and traffic impacts. The controversy backfired on de Blasio by helping Uber recruit thousands of new drivers.

The State of California and City of New York have backed off for now. But with their core constituents and contributors demanding the death of the sharing economy, Democrats will continue to attack Uber–even if it risks of alienating an entire generation.