Are Uber and other ‘disruptive’ startups cutting red tape or stripping consumer protections?


When Uber taxi service came to New York, it was easy to consider it a scrappy underdog, fighting the city’s opaque and complex regulations. But Paul Carr of PandoDaily sees it and similar “disruptive” startups differently: by disregarding rules designed to prevent price gouging or unlicensed cabs, CEO Travis Kalanick is signaling that the success of Uber is more important than the well-being of its customers or other citizens.

The rise of internet startups has certainly led to plenty of new arguments about how regulation should work, but some rhetoric draws from the much older Objectivist tradition, which (among other things) holds that regulations help the poor and weak exploit the inherently superior wealthy. “We kid ourselves if we…

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