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Disruptive platforms create fair market conditions

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Uber drivers in Buenos Aires ask passengers to ride up front to avoid vigilante attacks since an Argentine judge has ruled Uber illegal and the country's banks have cut off Uber's access. The city's taxi cartel has shut down roads and brought violence and arson upon Uber drivers and vehicles. Yet Uber's popularity has exploded in that country.

Argentina's economic crisis has led more people to seek work as drivers, while citizenry with limited incomes seek affordable, convenient transport. Taxi drivers and their passengers have resorted to cash and foreign credit cards to bypass the country's financial impediments.

The senselessness of the Uber ban has also undermined the rule of law, reinforcing the Argentine view that laws are corrupt and made to be broken.

The moral of this sorry story: banning demand and supply doesn't work. You can push trade into the black market, but economic 'crimes' with no third-party victim will thrive informally.

In the case of cannabis, Canadians came to accept this, as codified in the 2018 nationwide legalization.

Peer-to-peer economy is resistant to prohibition. The intermediary is the digital platform — often offshore, connecting people and facilitating payments.

In some of Canada's major cities (including Montreal,........

© St. Catharines Standard