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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 21 18, 5:52 pm 
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Famous Mortimer wrote:
I think if taxi companies had treated their drivers better, this might never have happened. Uber only found a foothold because there was money to be made there.


And if taxi companies and localities hadn't conspired to create an artificial scarcity of taxis by limiting the number of taxi medallions.


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 6:16 am 
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sighyoung wrote:
Famous Mortimer wrote:
I think if taxi companies had treated their drivers better, this might never have happened. Uber only found a foothold because there was money to be made there.


And if taxi companies and localities hadn't conspired to create an artificial scarcity of taxis by limiting the number of taxi medallions.


Oh, absolutely. It's not entirely the fault of the taxi companies, local government needs to take its share of the blame too.


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 6:53 am 
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I don't get the hate for oversight of the hired transportation industry. When you hire a ride, you are getting into a vehicle of a complete stranger alone. They have you at their mercy. They can literally lock you in, take you anywhere, and do what they want.

Maybe they don't need to restrict access to it like they do, but I don't have any trouble at all that operators have to register and be monitored.


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 9:18 am 
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Joe Shlabotnik wrote:
I don't get the hate for oversight of the hired transportation industry. When you hire a ride, you are getting into a vehicle of a complete stranger alone. They have you at their mercy. They can literally lock you in, take you anywhere, and do what they want.

Maybe they don't need to restrict access to it like they do, but I don't have any trouble at all that operators have to register and be monitored.


I'm not sure if this is a response to me, but to clarify, I wasn't dismissing oversight, but referring to artificial scarcity. Many cities allowed only a fixed number of taxi medallions or permits--a number far lower than what the market would bear. Because the medallions or permits were scarce, their value was astronomical, and taxi companies would try to swoop them up to prevent competition, and even speculate on them as forms of investment. Additionally, these companies would lobby governments to prevent additional medallions from being issued--and were quite successful at it. This effectively created a cost-prohibitive barrier to other drivers entering the business. So taxi rides cost quite a lot, but the value of the medallions was largely going to a handful of business owners.


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 9:23 am 
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For example, according to Wikipedia, New York City established its medallion system in 1937 to limit and regulate competition--perhaps an attempt to create some price stability and ensure a certain supply of cabs during the Great Depression. However, the number of medallions did not increase again until 1996. So the city and these companies, essentially, were in regulatory cahoots, and locking out many poorer people from owning these businesses. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicabs_of_New_York_City


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 9:25 am 
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Here's another article on the speculative value of taxi medallions in different cities: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/06/20/taxi-medallions-have-been-the-best-investment-in-america-for-years-now-uber-may-be-changing-that/?utm_term=.1d0ee61e6e7e


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 9:34 am 
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Hi sigh - I understand the whole medallion mess. I dont have a problem with making it more competitive. But it does need regulation. Uber has been aggressive about fighting regulation of any kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 9:42 am 
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Joe Shlabotnik wrote:
Hi sigh - I understand the whole medallion mess. I dont have a problem with making it more competitive. But it does need regulation. Uber has been aggressive about fighting regulation of any kind.


Oh, sure. I'm certainly not defending Uber's skeevy practices.


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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 10:26 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Uber
PostPosted: July 22 18, 4:23 pm 
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Joe Shlabotnik wrote:
Hi sigh - I understand the whole medallion mess. I dont have a problem with making it more competitive. But it does need regulation. Uber has been aggressive about fighting regulation of any kind.

But my argument was, if the taxi business had been less awful, which is both on the taxi business and the governments who regulate them, then there'd have been no need for Uber in the first place. They saw a chance to make money and went for it.

The article I was referring to is - https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblo ... -real-life . The argument has been that Uber has better regulations than most taxi firms, because they've been allowed to get away with being [expletive] for years.

I mean, I think Uber are scum too, but there are no white knights in this fight.


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