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Are Uber Drivers Figuring Out a Way to Fight Back?


#1

Are Uber Drivers Figuring Out a Way to Fight Back?

Steven Hill

The behemoth ride-sharing service Uber has jolted city after city like a mighty earthquake. It has gained a momentum that seems almost unstoppable. Some say it portends the future of the U.S. economy. At the least, taxi companies and their antiquated medallion system are being crushed.


#2

Hopefully, some tech-savvy souls will develop a co-op model that kicks corporate Uber to the curb.


#3

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#4

The closing paragraph:
"If this multibillion-dollar company is going to nickel-and-dime its “partners” in countless miserly ways, the drivers will fight back with the means at their disposal. The supply of drivers and cars is the bottleneck in this industry, and Travis Kalanick is cornering his drivers into a smoldering rebellion. Investors beware."

This shines a light on one of the foundations of the modern economy: The investor-driven, "limited liability" corporation. Economists and capitalists like to praise this innovation as one of the best inventions humans ever devised, up there with the wheel and the polio vaccine among the great benefits to humanity. But aside from its function in shredding communities and families and entire societies to feed profits to investors, it is also one of the foundations of the looming omnicide that is dis-integrating the ecology and crashing civilization, and it must be ended.

Enterprise, if it is to exist at all, must be accountable to, and liable to, the Earth, and to human communities, NOT to privileged, protected, private "investors." Yet anther "unthinkable" yet unavoidable truth, that we have to wrap our heads around and wrestle to the ground if we are to avert generalized catastrophe.


#5

Who's taking whom for a ride?


#6

Same people that hail taxis. Except Uber cars are cleaner and you know exactly where they are and you get the driver's picture and name and the license plate of the vehicle. No cash is being exchanged. Most people prefer them over taxis.


#7

"Most people prefer them over taxis."

And as is standard within our intensively trained "consumer convenience" society, they exercise this preference without actually thinking through the basic consequences of the system.


#8

I guess people pick the services that serve them best.

I used Uber twice. Both times the driver lived in the neighborhood where i called the service, just sitting at home waiting for a fare. Both times they were retirees earning extra cash. Chatted with them and they were both happy working for Uber.

Granted, two instances don't make the rule, but think about it. You go sign up, get a background check and work whenever you want and for how long you want. No sure why some of them have a problem. Probably plants of the taxi industry.


#9

Sounds like the Uber business model works best for retirees who already have a basic income and have some time on their hands to earn a little extra money, whereas a driver depending on Uber for all of his income is likely to be disappointed.

If being a taxi driver or Uber driver was lucrative I doubt that nearly all of the taxi drivers I have encountered in major metropolitan areas during the past half century would have been recent immigrants from third world nations.


#10

"No sure why some of them have a problem."

Thanks for demonstrating that you did not comprehend anything Steven Hill wrote in his article. Of course you're actually just running your shtick here.


#11

Someonr who is not a masagenist like you


#12

I call it Guber, because it pays drivers peanuts, but Guber does nasty
things to its customers as well. It requires passengers to run
software that is controlled by Guber, which you clearly should not
trust, and requires passengers to identify themselves because they
can't pay cash. Thus, Guber is a system of massive surveillance.
I will never be a client of Guber as long as these things remain
unchanged; I hope you will refuse as well.

See stallman.org/uber.html and
http://gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html.