The following was written by Students For Liberty Blog Team member, Elias Garcia

It has been seven years since the Great Recession ended, but the economy today still struggles to show that it has recovered.  While politicians continue to look around for solutions to the dismal state of the world economy, they have conveniently ignored the largest engine for economic growth, entrepreneurship.

Companies like Uber were unheard of prior to the Great Recession, but they have made a substantial economic splash since appearing.  As a result of using technology to connect sellers to buyers, the sharing economy has created companies such as Uber that provide services like transportation at much lower prices.

Valued as the second highest venture based IPO, Uber proves that the sharing economy is not just a fad.  Innovation and ingenuity is what made  the sharing economy what it is today; a thriving industry providing much needed extra income to average Americans. But it faces powerful threats that could snuff it out from existence.

With the recent rulings made in states such as California and New York, government regulations risk smothering a thriving sector of economic innovation in the United States. This shows the challenges entrepreneurs face when they attempt to change the status quo, a familiar battle.  It should come as no surprise that horse and buggy drivers were outraged when Ford created the Model-T, and it is no surprise today that taxi unions protest Uber’s services.File illustration picture showing the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign

In cities across the U.S., special interests are appealing to politicians to stop companies like Uber from finding loopholes in current regulations.  Faced with losing the votes of special interests and revenue from fees, politicians are tempted to hold down the very people who can help give our economy the push it needs. However, while presidential hopefuls are promising 4% GDP growth as a part of their election platform, politicians need to look no further for a solution to the ailing economy.  Rather than bureaucrats attempting to engineer solutions, entrepreneurs create innovation from the bottom up, providing services never before imagined at prices lower than other competitors.

The sharing economy is not a silver bullet to economic stagnation, but entrepreneurship has always been the engine of economic growth in history.  Already, we see countless new businesses copying the model used by Uber to provide new access to housing, Wi-Fi, and food delivery.  This kind of innovation benefits everyone, as people save money by using cheaper goods and services provided by entrepreneurs.  This allows people to spend more on other things, and in turn boosts the economy by creating real wealth. The last thing politicians should want is to kill off this source of wealth creation.