What this is really about is a state-sponsored monopoly trying to protect itself. The state wants to protect the extra taxes and fees it collects on officially licensed cabs, and the established cab companies and drivers don't want any competition.
The bad news is that some of the state-promoted horror stories are gaining traction in the mainstream news media. The good news is that ban or no ban, the power of ever-improving technology is always very hard to stop. That's especially true in this case, where every car on the road could potentially be flouting the new bans and it's very hard and costly to stop and check more than a few per city per day.
But here's the really good news: This battle for the free market isn't just being fought by rich corporate guys trying to dodge taxes or regulations. Just about everyone regardless of age, economic status, or geographic location needs to use a cab at least once in a while. Almost all of us have winced at one time or another at the cost, the cleanliness, the safety, or the availability of a car service when we needed one.
So this battle is a great way to explain the free market argument to an entirely new audience that doesn't necessarily include the rich, white, and over-40 crowd. And it's something the customers themselves are willing to defend in a very public and unashamed way that contrasts with the hushed lobbyist and lawyer-dominated campaigning special interests use all the time.
For the record, Uber, Lyft and other app-based car services insist they aren't breaking the laws in any state and they will continue to fight this battle in the traditional legal ways.
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But if you believe in capitalism, if you believe the free market is usually the best first option to solve a problem or fill a need, this is your fight, too.
The Uber fight is reminiscent of Tesla's continuing battle to defeat unfair state laws that don't allow car companies to sell directly to customers.
Many Americans were shocked earlier this year to learn that the dealership-protection laws existed in the first place. But they found out in a surprising way when New Jersey pulled the plug on Tesla showrooms in the Garden State back in March. The story made national news, and most importantly it had millions of Americans asking why the government needs to "protect" car consumers by ensuring we only get to make our purchases at state-approved dealerships.
Now Tesla is not a product most Americans can afford. It's lowest cost model is about $70,000. But even those of us who would never consider buying an electric luxury car can understand the absurdity of the dealership rules.
This, too, is a free-market battle every self-respecting or budding capitalist should join.
And it's also a fight anyone who supports democracy should enter as well. Instead of allowing unelected bureaucrats to tell us which cab we can hail and which business can sell us a car, shouldn't the people have the right to make that decision for themselves? And if you don't think they do, shouldn't the people who make those decisions be forced to successfully defend that position at the polls?
Conservatives, free marketers, and capitalists may think the only battles worth fighting are about taxes, socialized medicine, and EPA regulations.
But the battles for Uber and Tesla are just as important and better yet — they're a lot more winnable.
Commentary by Jake Novak, supervising producer of "Street Signs." Follow him on Twitter