By Don McCurdy
“Ride share” has fallen from grace with several important regulatory jurisdictions. Not only has California passed a law aimed directly at the industry, New York City has also climbed on the backs of the industry with a new law limiting how much time drivers can cruise south of 96th street without a passenger. Couple that with New York’s other rules limiting new licenses and you have a concerted effort to “reduce traffic congestion.”
Uber and Lyft are, of course, suing NYC over the new regulations. They’re not suing California for their new regulations, they’re simply ignoring them, for the time being. Couple all of that with the negative press of their fading stock prices and the discovery that the “gig economy”, that Uber refers to when referring to the economic basis supporting the future value of the company, is a meaningless, garbage phrase to try and put some sexy lipstick on these pigs.
Uber and Lyft have fallen into the trap that taxicab companies fell into when dealing with independent contractor drivers, not caring who they hire and what the driver makes.
What started as cool part time gig is now full time for the “newest New Yorkers” and others who are here from other cultures that don’t quite grasp what are acceptable business practices. The real opportunities to improve service and driver income are being ignored while promoting “warm body syndrome,” the belief that any warm body can be a professional driver.
They both appear to be winning the race to the bottom. Whether their “management” can forestall the death of their “platforms” remains to be seen.
Or so starts the Cheech and Chong skit, or the de Blasio search for the new head of the Taxicab and Limousine Commission. The mayor’s previous selection was poorly treated at his confirmation hearing after he didn’t have a clear solution for the Kobayashi Maru, er, medallion crisis. The real answer to the medallion crisis passed when it wasn’t prevented. So, the council is looking to have someone with a little political clout solve a problem created by the visionaries in Albany.
The solution seems fairly simple to me, declare the “shared ride” or “TNC’s” or whatever you want to call them subject to the taxicab rules for the city and suddenly the medallions will be worth a fortune again.
If Uber, Lyft or any others want to provide service they will have to have medallions for the vehicle attempting to provide that service. Since Uber lost 5.2 billion last quarter it would seem to me that they can afford the medallions, even at a million apiece.
Now, consider that with that level of investment they’re not going to flood the streets with vehicles, but rather determine the optimum number of vehicles needed to provide good service.
What would that do to your congestion problems? How would it affect driver income to have only the optimum number of vehicles the streets? The new rules would have to be at the state level since the state is the origin of this catastrophic intervention into regulation of regulation of business.
Nope, that’s not a typo, the state interfered in the city’s regulation of the taxicab industry and now we’re looking for a sucker, uh, TLC candidate to tell us the solution at the city level. Good luck with that.
Perhaps the former “taxi king” would be interested in the job? My sources say he is looking for work. I wonder how many millions could be reaped by the city for sales of new medallions?
Okay, okay, the song says “heart,” but not for taxicab medallion holders. San Francisco finds that the junk tin they sold taxicab drivers is coming back to haunt them.
Much like New York, Uber was able to “lobby” state officials to take over regulation of the “shared ride” industry with approximately the same result to medallion values. The problem for the city is that the banks involved do have enough money to sue, and have sued, for the recovery of the funds the city got from them when the medallions were sold.
Once again the issue will require state input since the Sacramento clown (Governor) stepped in to regulate “shared ride” services. The state does seem to have other priorities, like restricting their citizen’s Second Amendment rights, keeping Trump off the ballot in their state and improving opportunities to promote voter fraud.
A recent article out of New York lamented New Yorkers investing in Chicago medallions. Like every other commodity on earth, the price of Chicago medallions went up because demand was increased. If we auction off anything, anything at all, the price goes up when there are more bidders.
The smoke screen of the collector getting arrested helps with the idea that the entities making the loans are evil, but thus far there haven’t been any charges against banks or brokers. That doesn’t keep the evil banks and brokers from being convicted in the media prior to any investigations being completed let alone conducted.
It certainly fits the guilt by accusation mold that seems to be the norm for the “paper of record.” I guess they missed the part about the companies making the loans having to write off millions as the value of the junk the city sold their borrowers hurtles toward zero.
While the original premise of the founders was that a free press would keep the government in check our press can’t get enough good government. Many of the New Yorkers that invested in Chicago medallions are regretting their choices as much as the press seems to be regretting them.
Pretending there is evil intent on the part of loan makers indicates that the idea of grownups making financial decisions cannot be allowed without government intervention. Keep in mind one fact regarding medallions coast to coast, the government wrote the rules.
The former presidential candidate that is the current mayor of New York City is reported to have denied any bailout by the city, or taxicab medallion holders, especially since the vast majority of the money would go to lenders. That said, after representative Occasion–Cortez said the feds should bail out the medallion holders the mayor was immediately on board.
So let me see if I get it: The city sells overpriced medallions to drivers who finance them through banks the mayor isn’t interested in helping but the fed should bail them out? Why? The city got the money from the sale, not the feds. Just give it back, what’s the problem?
Well, we’ve spent that plus a bunch more we didn’t have. Let the feds borrow the money and give it to the medallion holders, right?
Margaret Thatcher, apparently, saw Ms. Ocasio–Cortez coming decades ago when she is reported to have said “the problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” Both Ms. Ocasio–Cortez and the former presidential candidate are absolutely willing to have a medallion holder’s bailout with other people’s money.
I can’t say that it’s not clear, because it is. Our elected officials in Washington DC are hustling to cover their collective butts by getting rid of the outsider currently occupying the White House.
What’s their problem? Their problem is they’ve been caught with their snouts in the public trough in a more direct way than the usual Planned Parenthood money laundering scheme. This time their children have been given cushy, well paying jobs in countries that either receive massive foreign aid or countries negotiating for most favored nation status.
What has the millionaires in the congress freaked out is the idea that the people might find out what they’ve been up to with our tax dollars. Ever wonder why we give foreign aid to countries with obviously corrupt governments? I have. Now it’s quite a bit more evident. It’s certainly much more pervasive than Joe Biden, but nobody is looking.
The press refuses to look while the Justice Department is terrified to look. I doubt we will ever know the extent of the corruption of our government or what criminal activity they’ve been involved in.
Based on our voting I would say that the old line from the movie “you can’t handle the truth” seems to be in play. Were I the president, be grateful that I will never be, I would compel congress to actually write a budget instead of the usual continuing resolutions where the same old payments to the same old organizations are being concealed.
A portion of the corruption has been exposed by “alternative” media, but the mainstream doesn’t mention it at all.
The corporate media is doing their level best to cover for their friends by hyping impeachment instead of looking into what’s really going on. It’s not like the future of the Republic is hanging by a thread or anything. In fact, it seems like they want to tear it down.
If you have any comments regarding this or any of my articles please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com. – dmc