Except we don’t live in a free market (I’m in the UK, there’s absolutely not one here, and I don’t believe the US could be classed as one either).
The price system may be impartial, but it will logically discriminate against the unemployed person going to the job interview who now can’t afford his ride due to an unexpected price surge.
That aside, your example is atrocious. If I were in this hypothetical situation, I’d simply phone the company where I was due to attend an interview and explain the situation. If they absolutely couldn’t reschedule, then I’d take the Uber ride, safe in the knowledge that the journey was important, there was no alternative, and that the number of people unable to escape the disaster zone due to high levels of interview-commuting or I may even decide that I don’t want to work for a company who show such lack of compassion that they can’t reschedule an interview in such circumstances.
The main point being that I’d have the information I need about the situation, I’d understand the perceived consequences of taking a ride at the expense of others, and I’d understand why it may cost a bit more. Free market pricing and transparency are not mutually exclusive. That I pay less for a t-shirt shouldn’t exclude me from knowing that it was made by a 12 year old Honduran paid $1 a week as an example — that isn’t an inbuilt principal of the free market, it’s not (or shouldn’t inherently be) designed to hide the truth from people. That in your example some other bastard decides to be a bastard should have no bearing on my decision not to be a bastard. Do you genuinely believe that it should?
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just provided a crap example, I expect there’s not a good example to illustrate your point. As I mentioned in my initial post, I’m not anti-uber. I really like the idea behind the service. Despite the fact they’re virtually monopolising the industry, the efficiency of the user — driver interaction and self-policing review system I really like. I just don’t believe that has to exclude personal responsibility (or lack of it).