Author Topic: Titan: The Life of John Rockefeller, Sr.  (Read 13833 times)


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Re: Titan: The Life of John Rockefeller, Sr.
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2018, 09:37:17 AM »
Even today people have problems with guys like Bezos and Uber's former CEO but again these are the guys lowering prices and expanding service. Uber would have never gotten as far as it did if they were "nice"...they would have been complied with government laws and that would have been the end of that.
Yea, I have a problem with that. Did we really get to a place where it's ok not to comply with laws as long as you make money?

The taxi monopoly is the result of lobbying and pushing by entrenched cabbie interests...mostly people who in the early days of taxis realized they could make a lot of money if they could control the supply of cabs. The regime created does not serve the public interest now. But its a low priority in a democratic society compared to other issues. Not to mention the fact the voter turnout for municipal elections is abysmal. So the only people that end up shouting and lobbying the hardest are the monopolists. And the issue never gets resolved.

Also ordinary voters and consumers will never vote for a change because they have no clue what the counterfactual world would look like. They don't know whether it would be better or worse. And the entrenched monopoly can come up with all kinds of reasons not to change: health and safety, driver training etc which an ordinary person doesn't have the time or inclination to think critically about. There is also zero empirical evidence that any of these laws did anything whatsoever to improve health and safety.

One way to get around this impasse is to break the law. But lets understand what that means. Uber didn't murder someone. They didn't break into someones house. They didn't dump toxic sludge into a river. Your statement mentions breaking the law...but that covers a huge range of things which go right from murder to jay-walking. You fail to distinguish between any of this and treat it as the same big blob that is somehow all the same.

Uber broke a bad law that was not serving the public interest and the evidence of this is that once the public had experience with Uber they prevented politicians from getting rid of Uber.

The fact that for decades the voters did nothing to change the law and only after they experienced Uber they decided a change was necessary is evidence of Democratic failure (the political system not the party).

The real travesty is not what Uber did...its the fact that they had to break the law in order to show us something better. In a properly functioning system those laws would not have been there in the first place.

Ultimately what your really arguing is that Uber should have just behaved more like the taxi monopoly and spend decades cultivating a network of compliant politicians. I can't see how your solution..intensive lobbying, chummy networks is a good thing. Or do you have something better in mind? I also can't see how it would have worked given that a law-abiding Uber would have been making no money and therefore couldn't fund such a lobbying effort.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 09:54:49 AM by rukawa »