President Ronald Reagan Mostly Got it Right about Government:

Aug. 10, 2018
by Bob Adelmann

President Ronald Reagan got it mostly right: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Ronald Reagan, meet Bill de Blasio, the socialist mayor of New York City. The mayor has an agenda: use the power of government not only to regulate Uber and Lyft, but ultimately to put them out of business altogether.

In a remarkably forthright interview with the liberal New York magazine last September, de Blasio expressed his opposition to private property:

What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.

I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs.

And I would, too.

Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development.

He expanded on his hatred of the concept of private property and the need for central planning to keep people from exercising their rights to use that property as they see fit:

Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents.

That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

This is merely an expansion of the second plank of the Communist Manifesto, in which is stated: “The theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property.”

And so, when the pressure from Bix Taxi and the MTA became overwhelming, the New York City council passed legislation eliminating the freedom of new ride-sharing drivers to obtain licenses to operate in the Big Apple. And de Blasio was only too happy to sign it into law:

Our city is confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock. The unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action – and now we have it.

And what is that New Yorkers now have? Less freedom. Less freedom to use their own private property as they see fit. Less freedom to contract with other New Yorkers without government interference. Without price competition, Big Taxi and the MTA are protected from the impact of the free market in transportation and New Yorkers will pay more for their rides.

The impact on de Blasio’s citizens is predictable. When supply is limited but demand remains the same or increases, prices go up. Without price competition, citizens needing transportation services will be forced to pay more or do without. For example, one customer living in an apartment in Briarwood, Queens has a part-time job at a doctor’s office in upscale Bayside. With an UberPool coupon it costs her between $6 and $9 one way and takes about 20 minutes. But, without that option, she must depend on the city’s public transportation system – either two bus rides, or a subway and a bus – and takes about an hour, each way.

Prior to the passage of this odious legislation, the free market had been working wonders. Five years ago there were just 25,000 ride-sharing vehicles operating in the city. Today there are over 80,000, with almost twice the number of cabs and livery service vehicles, providing some 17 million rides every month. As a result, the incomes of drivers of traditional (read: government-regulated) taxis has dropped by an estimated 25 percent, and, consequently, the price of a medallion to operate a taxicab has also dropped: from over a million dollars to less than $200,000 today. Not surprisingly, many taxi-drivers have sold their cabs and their medallions and have moved to Uber and Lyft.

The transportation costs borne by citizens needing a ride have dropped, causing the complaints from the government-operated entity, the MTA, along with the union representing the taxi companies, to pressure the city council to do something. And so they did. As socialist de Blasio said, “Now we have it.”

And New Yorkers will have to live with it. Rides will take longer, involve more hassle, and cost more. A year from now, when the city completes its plans to regulate Uber and Lyft into extinction, the backwardation of New York City’s transportation options will be permanent.


An Ivy League graduate and former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

Sources: New York City just voted to cap Uber and Lyft vehicles, and that could make rides more expensive

The Wall Street Journal: New York Plans to Cap Uber and Lyft

The Wall Street Journal: New York’s Ride-Hailing Battleground Moves to the Outer Boroughs

The Wall Street Journal: City Council Moves Closer to Putting Brakes on Uber Expansion

Reagan quote: if it moves, tax it, etc.

Deep bio on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio COMMIE MAYOR UNLEASHED In Conversation: Bill de Blasio

The Communist Manifesto (see Page 22 for explicit demand for the abolition of private property)

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