October 03, 2015

England: London's "solution" to Uber is right out of science fiction

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

Here's how the authorities in London, England want to deal with the threat Uber poses to their famous "black cabs": They're proposing a mandatory 5-minute wait.

In other words: The traditional "black cabs" shouldn't have to get better -- Uber should have to get worse, to "level the playing field."

It reminds me of the terrifying Kurt Vonnegut story called "Harrison Bergeron," about a future in which "everybody was finally equal" -- because the strong, smart and talented were intentionally handicapped by the State.


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commented 2015-10-05 18:40:57 -0400
I was once refused a ride in a cab. The Driver was a Muslim and I had a case of Beer. The Cab Company sent me another cab, with a Human driving it.
commented 2015-10-05 08:26:51 -0400
As with so many other areas in life, you get what you pay for. If you go the cheaper route you’re taking some risks and may get inferior service. If you go the more expensive route you can expect a higher quality experience and service (note – I’m not saying you’ll get it, I’m saying that it’s human for you to expect to get it). There’s a reason that Toyota has larger sales than Aston-Martin. There’s a reason that it’s difficult to find a Yugo these days. If the product offered is not to the minimum level of quality that one expects for the price then the company is doomed. If the product offered costs less than its competitors and provides a good level of service then the company will do well. Black Cabs are acting like a union that is trying to shut down their non-union competition, and many of the argument I’m seeing them make are the same.
commented 2015-10-04 17:05:34 -0400
The great threat to equality is the regressive socialist notion of the equality of outcomes rather than the equality of opportunity. The former is the easier attained forcing people to the lowest level attainable, hence the socialist goal of controlling people, not benefitting them..
commented 2015-10-04 15:30:58 -0400
I hear you, Kieth. And then we wonder why these same cabbies frown on (to put it mildly) Uber…

I used to have a Class 4 license. I used to have a chauffeur’s permit. I used to drive cab for awhile. I’m siding with the cabbies on this (but not entirely). I agree with competition, but I do NOT agree with shortcuts and lack of training and lack of protection. Let the qualified do the work. Even in my case, as a self-employed journeyman tradesman, I get called to cases where some handyman ran out of his knowledge, and then calls me to fix his mistakes. Costs him more in the long run. Attempting to work on my own house or vehicle or what-have-you is my call. But what if I work on someone else’s stuff, and something goes wrong? Then there’s all kinds of nightmarish legal spaghetti to deal with. And that’s exactly where Uber comes in. Anybody (most likely untrained, unqualified, and under-insured) can drive a vehicle and claim to be a driver. But let one thing go wrong… And the Uber drivers don’t think about that. It doesn’t even cross their mind about “What if..?”
commented 2015-10-04 15:02:41 -0400
Prince Knight,
When I used to live in London, Cab Drivers had to serve a five year apprenticeship. This consisted of riding around London on Bicycles. They had to do this until they knew every street and ally in the City, by memory.
commented 2015-10-04 11:43:03 -0400
Short film & story in English called “Harrison Bergeron” is a satirical and dystopian science-fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut and first published in October 1961. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the story was republished in the author’s Welcome to the Monkey House collection in 1968.
The story was written as a satire to offer a critique on people’s claims that we should all be equal.1 It has been embraced by those critical of egalitarianism as an allegory of caution against socially enforced equality, more specifically the dangers of enforcing equality by virtue of leveling.2
In the year 2081, amendments to the Constitution dictate that all Americans are fully equal and not allowed to be smarter, better-looking, or more physically able than anyone else. The Handicapper General’s agents enforce the equality laws, forcing citizens to wear “handicaps”: masks for those who are too beautiful, radios inside the ears of intelligent people, and heavy weights for the strong or athletic.
commented 2015-10-04 03:34:18 -0400
Lynda – well put!
George – right on bros!! Good connection!! Love that tune too of course. I’m sure everyone does. Well, ‘cept Jimmy!
Think I’ll add that book to my to-read list. Thks Ezra!!
(Jimmy – don’t forget to thank Ezra for not deleting you!!)
commented 2015-10-04 03:05:02 -0400
UBER—- has become the biggest threat to the Socialist agenda and these pathetic Lefties have no clue as to how to deal with it —except by violence and intimidation. No surprise here. Why don’t you guys go and check with how the Quebecers handle good folk when they are attempting to create a supply managed Maple Syrup cartel. It is pretty scary stuff. NEVER let the Socialists get control.
commented 2015-10-03 23:14:06 -0400
Right out of the liberal/progressive playbook…..can’t do better so let’s tear them down.
commented 2015-10-03 19:51:30 -0400
Why is this a surprise to anyone? England has been dummying down their indigenous population for a few decades so that they won’t feel superior to the

New Ones.
commented 2015-10-03 17:09:44 -0400
“The Trees” (by Rush)

There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the trees
For the Maples want more sunlight and the Oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty and they grab up all the light
But the oaks can’t help their feelings if they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the maples can’t be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the forest and the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’ and the oaks, just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union and demanded equal rights
‘The oaks are just too greedy we will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression for they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and saw
commented 2015-10-03 15:39:20 -0400
@keithbarnes – pardon my shock factor. I have that effect from time to time.

For all the “cods wallop” that goes on over there, this one put me over the edge about England and the UK in general:

Here’s a synopsis, " It conservatively estimated that 1,400 children had been sexually abused in the town between 1997 and 2013, predominantly by gangs of British-Pakistani men."

England has no soul.
commented 2015-10-03 15:36:03 -0400
If everyone is equal, even in wealth, then who hires employees? Socialism is crap.
commented 2015-10-03 15:34:53 -0400
Regulations ,rules,fees ,licenses. It’s just like the
protection racket used by organized crime Do it the government’s way and pay up or you’re out of business .
Sure, basic regulations may be required,but government on all levels demand a piece of the action, their take for “letting” us do business.
commented 2015-10-03 15:33:01 -0400
Brian Kelly said, “It is all about fairness, you cannot have a taxi industry pay thousands of dollars for a taxi license and Uber pays nothing. When it comes to businesses operating in the same field then one company should not have an edge over another.”

That is pure bred socialist thinking. Brian! I did not think you were a socialist.

The thing the cab companies must do, then, is to become more competitive, and if they can never do that because of regulations then they need to switch over to the Uber model. The public wins and the companies win because they are forced to be streamlined and creative. All around, the capitalist way is the best.
commented 2015-10-03 15:00:18 -0400
Australia calls this the “tall poppy syndrome.” Anybody who stands above gets cut down to size…

That said, black cabbies (those who drive the black cabs) have a rigorous training to go through. The examination to get your license is intense. The liabilities are pretty formidable. And what does Uber do? None of the above. The Uber drivers (can’t call ’em cabbies) are just everyday folks with no license, no training, no applicable insurance, no protection. If you, as a Uber passenger, are involved in an accident and you are hurt, you have no coverage. You would with a licensed cabbie. If you are injured, then you have to sue, but good luck collecting because nobody else will have the resources necessary for protection.

There is a reason why Uber is frowned upon by those who are in the business, and not all of it is bureaucratic…
commented 2015-10-03 15:00:15 -0400
Yeah, I know my last comment was a bit off topic, but why waste an opportunity to tell the truth about the NDP? The point is that the socialist mentality that wants to force Uber users to wait another five minutes is the same mentality that is destroying the Alberta economy, and that will destroy the Canadians economy if they are ever elected federally.
commented 2015-10-03 14:57:58 -0400
Let Uber compete unfettered with the inneficient taxi monopoly (cartel) me says. Besides Income taxes suck and I’d like to see an increased reliance on consumption taxes to fund the tiny government I envision.
commented 2015-10-03 14:54:19 -0400
Brian Kelly – there has been a monopoly on the cab industry for far too long. Competition is always the best for the public. They take enough taxes off of us, that I don’t see a problem. The problem is that having a monopoly, creates lazy drivers, who only want to pick and choose when they will work, and who their customers will be. Uber provides a better deal for the public!
commented 2015-10-03 14:53:21 -0400
The NDP mentality: egalitarianism: Everyone has to be ‘equal’. Got a booming economy with really rich people and well-off working people? That’s not fair. Equal is fair, therefore tax the rich and make everyone equal. Of course, what really happens when they raise taxes on the rich is that the rich stop investing, businesses die, and formerly well-off working people become working poor or poor people without jobs. But the NDP fools never learn or just don’t care. Their ‘higher morality’ demands equality, and if everyone has to be poor to get it, so be it. It never seems to occur to them that most working people would rather be well-off than poor, even if that means there needs to be a wealthy class also to drive economic prosperity. Socialist ideology always trumps reason in the NDP.
commented 2015-10-03 14:35:59 -0400
Uber pays no license fees or other taxes that are good for society, until the taxi industry has been modified to accept Uber then I believe the taxi’s are right in wanting to ban Uber. It is all about fairness, you cannot have a taxi industry pay thousands of dollars for a taxi license and Uber pays nothing. When it comes to businesses operating in the same field then one company should not have an edge over another.
commented 2015-10-03 14:09:12 -0400
AS someone Born and Raised in London, I am shocked at what you say. Having said that, I must say, I agree with you. The general attitude in London is ‘F you Jack, I’m OK’
In defense of Londoner’s. The London County Council is a Socialist Slush Bucket. At least 80% of British Laws are created by the EU. Having been in Canada for at least twice as long as I was ever in the UK, I think like a Canadian now.
commented 2015-10-03 13:51:55 -0400
Kinda like what the NDPigs are doing in Alberta. Must be Motleys favourite book
commented 2015-10-03 13:26:34 -0400
Sounds like the NDP.
commented 2015-10-03 12:51:07 -0400
English alcoholic bureaucrats exercising their booze soaked IQs – work is done by noon on weekdays – pub time until 5pm thereafter.

England really has become a shithole over the last 20 years and with rules like these it’s only going to get better, right?? LMFAO!!!