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Poor Uber drivers are whining. (A profanity-free Blockrant.)

From the Uber driver's forum,

"Made 9$ today in 3hours
I got three pings
One I took was 4.9
The two I skipped on were both pax under 4.4."

I have been predicting this outcome all along. I knew from the start that Uber's much-praised "business model" would result in misery and disaster for ALL cab drivers. Uber is NOT about technology and it is NOT about a free market revolution. It's about corporate manipulation of the taxi business via a broken political system.

Nothing has changed in the cab business since it was regulated in London in 1654.

In a free country, dominated by pure laissez-faire free markets, there would be plenty of alternative employment opportunities. Such huge disparities between the incomes of low-skilled, low investment employees, and the wages of the rest of the employed population, as we are now seeing happen to all cab drivers, whether they work for Uber or less politically privileged taxi brokers, would not exist.

Unfortunately, the economics of the taxi industry are not hermetically isolated from the wider economy. Limited opportunities in the wider economy, (A.K.A. - involuntary unemployment or under-employment) will result in a higher number of entrants into the taxi trade as would otherwise be the case.

The Trudeau government's decision to import more hundreds of thousands of potential cab drivers will only make the situation worse for those attempting to eke out a living in this industry. If you want to know whether federal immigration policy is bringing in too many, too few, or just the right number of people from third-world countries, all you need to do is observe the rate of change in the numbers of cab drivers and compare it with their average income performance.

The popular move toward increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will only serve to create even MORE taxi drivers as it destroys entry-level jobs, since minimum wages have not yet been imposed upon the taxi trade and the artificial surplus of labour will easily migrate into Uber, and Uber-like occupations, where employment has not been effectively prohibited by statute. This would suit the Uber corporation just fine since it will continue to extract it's 25% commission from the taxi-using public, regardless of whether there is a 10% surplus of cab drivers or a 2,000% surplus of cab drivers.

There is also the matter of resource deployment.

In Hamilton, before Uber was given the nod, there were 447 licensed taxis. Most of the time, these resources were only being utilized 25% of the time due to negligent regulatory policies. That was bad enough.

Wasted fuel. Wasted steel and rubber. Wasted insurance premiums. Wasted time.

Wasted lives.

Now that the City of Hamilton has decided to give the Uber corporation an unlimited number of taxi licenses, the numbers of under-utilized private hire vehicles can be expected to vastly multiply. As if the City's backward-looking anti-car traffic philosophy hasn't caused enough gridlock, with it's attendant gaseous and particulate emissions, the doubling, tripling or who know's what multiple, of excess idle taxicabs can only make the situation worse.

I am just a simple cab driver. I am awed by the plethora of issues the decision-makers in the city government deal with. Such an endeavor far exceeds my own feeble abilities.

All I can confidently comment on is the city's traffic and road construction philosophy, and it's failure to effect a rational taxicab regulatory policy.

Sometimes, Hamilton's politicians strike me as having to be extremely intelligent, given the number of issues they deal with on a daily basis.

But when I consider the possibility that their incompetence in road policy and cab regulation may indeed infect all of the other areas in which they have been given public trust and authority, contemplation of the sheer enormity of the damage is truly disheartening.

It's a good thing we live in a country that still has enormous wealth. People don't pick up the pitchforks and grease up the guillotines until they are reduced to eating rats, shivering in the cold, and seeing their relatives dying in droves.

"What good fortune for governments that the people do not think." -- Adolf Hitler.

So long as there is sports on the TV and an ample supply of beer, they barely take the time to notice.

History has demonstrated that this could all change in a heartbeat.


"It is dead slow. I think i need to get up early. There is nothing during the day after rush hour." -- source, UberPeople.NET.

Comments

  1. More free money will be needed to keep the house of cards from collapsing.

    ReplyDelete

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