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Pick a side in Uber's 'Battle for Your Ride'

You may not have noticed, but a great cross-generational, cross-class battle is currently being waged between the Free Market and the Statists.

And it's time to pick a side in what I call, "The Battle for Your Ride."

Yes, the basic principles of Free Market American Liberty are in play in the push to allow app-based cab and car service companies like Uber and Lyft to stay alive and grow.

Inside a UberX taxi, Washington, D.C.
Evelyn Hockstein | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Inside a UberX taxi, Washington, D.C.

The market has already made Uber a hit because it is all about consumer choice and more employment opportunities for potential drivers. Not only does it add to the existing number of cab choices at all hours, it actually uses a pure pricing system that adjusts based on supply and demand at the time of your chosen purchase — it doesn't get much more Free Market than that!

And guess what? The business model is so popular and logical, some people are already valuing Uber alone at $17 billion.

Read MoreWhy Uber's $17 billion valuation is justified: Michael Yoshikami

But whenever the Free Market creates new winners, the public sector is always ready to pounce.

And pounce it has. State governments all over the country and several foreign bureaucracies are pushing back hard. Virginia just sent a "cease and desist" order to Uber and Lyft because the state believes the companies aren't operating under the proper state authority. Other states issuing or considering bans have flooded the airwaves with spokespeople telling of potential horror stories about supposedly irresponsible drivers and unsafe vehicles.

You see, they're from the government and they're here to help.

Now, of course, no one should be allowed to operate a vehicle for any reason if he or she is unsafe. And all the existing rules of the road should always be observed. No one here is saying we should abolish drivers licenses and vehicle inspections.

Read MoreEurope's taxi drivers gear up for Uber revolt

But since when do all the added special licensing and tax laws that govern officially-sanctioned cab and car-service companies keep us so safe and well-served now?

Think about it: Every car service and cab horror story you've experienced or heard about before Uber et al were founded took place in those specially state-licensed vehicles with those specially state-licensed drivers. There's no solid evidence that officially licensing drivers as cab drivers makes them safer on the road or better in any way for the customer.


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.

Read MoreHow rich you'd be if you were an Uber angel

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 @jakejakeny.

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