New York’s mayor and City Council protect the taxi cartel at the expense of outer-borough dwellers.
More than two decades ago I wrote an op-ed for this newspaper about the reckless use of the term “racist.” The article (see nearby) prompted one of the more amusing reader responses I’ve received over the years. “Obviously,” read one letter, “Mr. Riley doesn’t know what it’s like to be a young black man trying to catch a cab in New York.”At the time, it so happens, that’s exactly what I was—a young black man living in New York who often found himself on the subway home to Brooklyn at night after the umpteenth taxi had zoomed past without stopping. I sent the letter to my folks, who got a good laugh.
Thanks to the internet, readers are less likely nowadays to make incorrect assumptions about my race. And thanks to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, young black men worry less than they once did about trying to hail a ride from wary hacks with legitimate concerns about being robbed or not being paid if they venture into high-crime areas. This is progress, you would think, but some political “progressives” disagree.
Last week New York became the first major city in the U.S. to place a cap on the number of for-hire vehicles it would license. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s waged a yearslong battle against Uber and Lyft, celebrated the vote at a rally in Manhattan. “Three years ago, we took a stand against corporate greed, but corporate greed won the day then,” said the leftist mayor, who honeymooned in Cuba and styles himself a champion of the downtrodden. “Well, this time the people won. This time the drivers won.” Really, Mr. Mayor? Which people? Which drivers?