Uber: The Undocumented Cab Company

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Today I came across an article that didn’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling for Uber. Here’s the title of the article.

The threat Uber poses to competition and productive capitalism

How does Uber pose a threat to competition in the cab industry? What competition was there in the cab industry before Uber and Lyft came along?

And who in his right mind would dare equate the cartel-laden cab industry with “productive capitalism”? On my last business trip to St. Paul, I asked a co-worker who arrived after me what her fare was to the hotel (we both took non-Uber cabs directly from the same airport to the same hotel). My fare was almost twice as much as hers. Now that’s “productivity” for you. My cabbie was nearly twice as “productive” as my co-worker’s.

But according to the author of this article, Uber’s the problem. How dare it come around and disrupt an industry that is so transparent, so above reproach!

My real gripe, however, is not with the person who penned the article’s title or penned the article itself. It’s with the University of Maryland law professor who is quoted extensively throughout the article.

Professor Pasquale doesn’t like Uber and other Silicon Valley mega-disruptors (Airbnb, Amazon, Google, etc.). He’s worried, among other things, that their business model (i.e., the sharing economy) might produce a nasty two-tiered business environment.

The problem is that [the sharing economy] really destroys the level playing field because you’ll have one tier of firms that is operating in fear of regulation and another tier of mega-firms that simply routes around it, evades it, or co-opts it via lobbying.

He then notes how at least one politician is using Uber to tap into an anti-regulation sentiment that animates many Americans.

It’s unfortunate to see the politicisation here, because it used to be that in the United States the more right party, the Republicans, were very proud of being law and order, whereas more recently we’ve had Jeb Bush, the brother of George W. Bush, state that he wanted to be the “Uber President”.

And finally we get to the professor’s biggest concern.

On the one hand you could say that is a legitimate political platform, to deregulate as much as possible. Certainly that was much of the agenda under the George W. Bush administration, but when you combine that with the defiance towards duly constituted legal authority among many of the top managers of these firms, then it starts looking rather sinister. It starts looking like it’s less a political platform than an attack on the very idea of politics and governance and the rule of law [emphasis mine].

Earth to Professor Pasquale. Want to know who’s “attacking” the rule of law in this country? How about the 12 million illegal aliens and their enablers?

Why should Uber concern itself with the “rule of law”? Twelve million illegal aliens don’t give a crap about the rule of law. Nor do vote-hungry politicians, cheap-labor-loving employers, and identity-obsessed “Hispanic” chauvinists. If 12 million illegal aliens can be above the law, why can’t Uber? If the elites in this country can turn 12 million illegal aliens into “undocumented workers” and “migrants”, why can’t the non-elites turn Uber into an “undocumented cab company”?

Sorry, Professor. Respect for the rule of law died a long time ago in this country. And it wasn’t Uber that killed it.

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6 Comments

  1. There’s no public transportation near my house and my city (though I love it dearly) isn’t very walkable, so cars are necessary.
    I can’t wait until there are driverless cars with an Uber or Zipcar model. Think of all the $$ and resources we could save if we didn’t each have our own car!

    • Mr. Groovy

      From your keyboard to God’s ears! Mrs. Groovy can’t drive. So right now I’m her chauffeur, which I really don’t mind being. But it would be nice if she wasn’t so dependent on me. Driverless cars would certainly solve that problem. And like you said, the money saved from making car-ownership obsolete would be immense. I love the way your mind works, Julie. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Uber has said it wants to be a driverless company by (I think they said) 2030. When the main cost of an Uber fare is the driver’s wage, they will be able to offer a cheaper fare than every human driver in the western world. If every job / profession that COULD be replaced by a robot / automation is, that’s when the shit hits the fan. (Delivery drivers of food, mail and packages, taxi drivers, etc and hundreds of other examples.

    Tristan

    • Mr. Groovy

      Up until now, technology hasn’t destroyed more jobs than it has created. But will that be the case in the future? I have my doubts. Children born today may never get a driver’s license. Human drivers will probably be very rare two generations from now. And like you pointed out, DDU, when vast chunks of humanity are rendered obsolete by automation, the shit will really hit the proverbial fan. I hope our elites are thinking about this now. It’s not going to be fun if we’re not prepared. Very sobering. Thanks for sharing, DDU. Appreciate it.