Here’s to Less Protectionism – A Testimonial
Here’s to Less Protectionism—A Testimonial
By: Josh Campbell, Communications Director, SAYR
My Dictionary.com app defines Host as one who “receives or entertains guests at home or elsewhere.” And it is no surprise that Savannah is known as “The Hostess City of the South.” Whether it be cruises down the Savannah River, the bustling City Market and River Street area, or the innovation brought in through SCAD and a thriving film production industry, Savannah has lived up to its reputation as a great host for those who wish to take a deep breath and enjoy life – the world over.
Ironically, perhaps, I recently took a vacation from Savannah to a large metropolitan city across the country. I had plans to travel to great beaches, restaurants and historical land marks, but I had one dilemma – these locations were sometimes hours apart from one another and I had no vehicle. As it turned out, however, this was no dilemma at all because I used Uber – a transportation service run through an app on my phone. I remember using Uber approximately 10 times in 6 days and never had to wait for more than five minutes. I heard of other app-run companies that do this as well, and for lower prices, and will try them out at some point too.
Beyond the convenience I was afforded, all through my new iphone, I was transported by (leaving out the names) an Iranian political refugee/Medical Doctor, an Afghani who translated for the US military against the Taliban, a Russian immigrant who immigrated here through an immigration lottery, and an Armenian. So, being the political nerd that I am, I got a few foreign policy mini-seminars on the fly. EVERY driver LOVED the United States, primarily because of the “unimagined” freedom we have. Quick foreign policy breakdown, per Uber drivers: 1) Iran: Persecutes Christians because of lack of religious freedom; the government is corrupt; Rhouani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing who cannot be trusted with nuclear power, nor anything; 2) Afghanistan: the new government is friends with the West and making progress, but is corrupt; the country is tribal with little infrastructure; the Taliban have retreated but are resurging; they hide and are shielded by Pakistan; Pakistan plays both sides, but ultimately supports radical Islam and is no friend of the west; 3) Russia: Putin is corrupt; the government “is” the mafia; the economy is in shambles, but could grow if Putin were out, and the government protected freedom like the U.S.; 4) Armenia: Less on foreign policy, other than the driver discussing the Armenian genocide, and how great the U.S. is.
So what does all this have to do with the SAYRs? Lots! “Host” now meets “Protectionism.” The Dictionary.com app defines Protectionism as, “protecting domestic industries from foreign competition.” (And obviously, this does not have to apply to companies outside the U.S.; it can be as simple as a local business keeping out new competition.) As Republicans we stand for freedom and market-based solutions; conversely, we are suspicious of government control and over-regulation, especially when it stifles job creation. When we asked our Representative, Buddy Carter, about this, he shared the following:
“I’m a free market guy and I like to use an example from the thirty years I owned and operated a chain of community pharmacies in Southeast Georgia. There was a time when Wal-Mart decided they were going to sell one-month supplies of common generic drugs for four dollars and I said there’s no way I would do that. Well, two weeks later, I was selling the prescriptions for four dollars. Wal-Mart drove down the price by their action in the free market and that’s the way it works. Seeing how these principles work first hand, it’s a top priority of mine in Congress to ensure the government gets out of the way and stays out of the way to let the free market work.”
Thank you Representative, Carter – ensuring that government “gets out of the way!” And do not think that there are not people in our own back-yard who are looking to use government to set up barriers to entry and mini-monopolies to protect their businesses and choke-out competition. If you do not see it, then well, you have not been looking hard enough.
Similarly, Uber is currently embroiled in a fight for its very survival! This is because of steep regulations on the transportation industry, and entrenched interests who think they will lose money if Uber succeeds. If the government were not in the way, Uber would not be struggling for its survival, rather it would be working to compete against other “transporters,” and this market dynamic drives down the price of transporting all vacationers. I can see why the above-described drivers were drawn-in to work for Uber. They put a premium on freedom, and extol the virtues of freedom to their patrons. As SAYRs, we do the same.
Please join us on Jauary 27, this month, at Tubby’s at 7:00pm to hear Greg Williams further discuss this hot-button issue.