Monday, January 13, 2014

Taxi warfare

There's so many different ways I could write about this news story where French taxi drivers set up a roadblock to attack Uber transportation vehicles, which terrified and injured two passengers who were in a van that they smashed and may have tried to lynch. This has happened about a dozen times in France so far.

I could say this demonstrates how much for-profit industries can hate the free market, as taxi drivers have been trying to get the government to shut down the app-based transportation service for a long time simply because the taxi companies can't compete with its superior service and prices.

I could also use this as an example of the brutality of union violence. While union supporters like to highlight anti-union violence, which was certainly a real problem, they habitually gloss over the violence that follows when you get a bunch of blue-collar men fired up about perceived injustices and organize them into an angry mob. Most of the reports I've read failed to mention that the taxi drivers belong to a union.

More importantly, I could use this as an example about the proper role of government in a capitalist society
proper role of government. This attack occurred in sight of police who allegedly did not interfere. Businesses can't operate, and people can't leave fulfilling lives, without the promise of protection from highway brigands. 

There's also a lesson here about how shocking it is to see modern adults in a civilized country resort to violence when their livelihood is threatened. This is news worthy because it doesn't happen normally, and that tells us something positive about how commerce is normally carried out.

But mostly, I wanted to share that this story happened. Passengers were going about their lives innocently when their driver was stopped by thugs and brutes tried to smash their way in, injuring both passengers. That's a terrible thing and it deserves our attention as a step towards making sure it doesn't happen again.

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