City Desk

Is Uber the New John Galt?

With its opposition to government interference and commitment to the free market, does Uber remind you of any tedious Russian-American novelist? Say, Ayn Rand?

That's what tech writer Paul Carr ponders in a new piece called "Travis Shrugged," referring to Uber CEO and frequent D.C. Council sparring partner Travis Kalanick. Carr argues that Kalanick, with his Fountainhead Twitter icon and "disruptive" business, represents a new sort of Objectivism.

Carr points to Uber's claims that it wasn't negotiating with the D.C. Council over a price floor for its service, when documents later revealed that it was, as proof that Uber is only interested in "disrupting" regulations for its own profit:

A Disruptive company might very well succeed in exposing government crooks lining their pockets exploiting outdated laws, but that’s only so the Disruptor can line his own pockets through the absence of those same laws. A Disruptive company may give you free candy in your 50-dollar cab but, again, that’s only because doing so is good business.

If Kalanick is John Galt, though, it's not hurting Uber in the District. The City Paper-Kojo Nnamdi Show poll highlighted in this week's Politics Issue found that nearly 60 percent of likely voters want the city to make it easier for Uber to operate

Sedan picture via Shutterstock

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