Posted tagged ‘Uber’

Must Reads For The Week 8/29/15

August 29, 2015

SThe pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

This Start Up Has Figured Out How To Grow Metal Like A Tree, Katie Fehrenbacher, at entrepreneur.com. Modumetal is a company produces metal through a process similar to electroplating. “It is creating nanolaminated materials that will change design and manufacturing forever.” These stories give me hope that individuals in the market can outpace the growth of the regulatory state.

NASA’s 3D-Printed Rocket Parts Actually Work, by Drew Olanoff, at techcrunch.com. This is an example of what 3D printing is capable of. What normally takes four years to produce, now takes half the time.

How Big Is Uber? at econnoimcpolicyjournal.com. Even a government created monopoly like the taxi cartel is in danger of being beaten by individuals with an ides. Central planners plans are being overturned by the evil consumer, now that the consumer has a real choice.

Only 45% of Electric Car Owners This Year Have Replaced Their Cars With A New Electric Vehicle, by John Lott, at johnrlott.blogspot.com. Consumers who have tried electric cars are now choosing something different after doing the cost benefit analysis of owning an electric car.

The New Era Of The $400 Text Book, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Just part of the Government created bubble in college education. Excerpt from the article. “BTW; The Best textbook on economics (rarely found in government-funded colleges) is Murray Rothbard’s Man Economy and State, and that can be had in paperback for only $17.58 in paperback.

Seattle Socialist Council Member Wants to Eject “Profit Making Billionaires” From Tech Industry, at taretliberty.com. Socialist Kashama Sawant has already killed minimum wage jobs when she pushed through the $15 minimum wage in Seattle. Now she wants to work her socialist magic on the tech industry. Why do people like her think their utopian vision of the world can be implemented by simple decree at no cost. Individuals will now start to make their decisions factoring in the new set of incentives and constraints created by the new utopian policies.

The Gradual Phase-In of $15 and Hour Minimum Wage Laws as Insurance Policies Against Public Relations Disasters, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. The gradual phase in of interventionist policies shows that  interventionists understand the consequences of their policies. Remember how Obamacare was passed but not implemented until after the 2012 presidential election? Some of the Obamacare policies have yet to be implemented. Incrementalism gets people use to the new normal the slow implementation produces. Just like boiling a frog.

Government To Creamery: Your Milk Is Entirely Too Natural To Not Be Labeled “Imitation”, by Mary Katherine Ham, at liberallogic101.com. Another example of too many regulations. Get out of our lives!

New National Labor Relations Board Ruling Is Going To Be A Major Problem For Fast Food Chains, at economicpolicyjournal,com. Another example of government intervention into the free market. How are interventions by government agencies in a democracy any different from decrees by the politburo in the former Soviet Union?

US Falls Behind Canada, Finland, And Hong Kong In Human Freedom Index, at zerohedge.com. If this doesn’t wake us up nothing will. The American Revolution changed the world. For the first time in history Government was put in chains by the constitution, and the individual was placed above the state. The American Revolution has been turned upside down by the steady erosion of individual freedom over the last century. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of freedom

LETS LAUGH.

https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/S7jj4DM.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/XPb5e3r.jpg

 

 

Must Reads For The Week 8/15/15

August 14, 2015

The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Fed Finally Figures Out Soaring Student Debt Is Reason For Exploding College Costs, at zerohedge.com. The Fed has figured out that when money, from debt and money printing, is injected into a particular area of the economy, it raises the price (creates a bubble). Does this revelation hold true for all of the Feds printed money that has gone into the stock market?

The Doctor Won’t See You Now, at Forbes.com.  The laws of economics will be strictly obeyed.  The money quote from the article, “Many exchange policies limit patients’ choices of doctors and hospitals in order to keep premiums down in the face of Obamacare’s intrusive regulations and costly mandates.”  Who could have predicted that?

Navajo Nation Vows To Hold EPA Accountable, at zerohedge.com.  The EPA is responsible for releasing 1 Million, 3 Million gallons of toxic waste water into Colorado’s Animus River.  Like all Government agencies they are currently blaming the contractor for the accident.  Tough luck for New Mexico and Utah who are downstream from the toxic release.  I haven’t heard a peep from the media or environmental groups about this.  I guess it’s neither illegal nor a big deal if the government does it.  I wish the Navajo nation good luck in any lawsuit.  It’s great to be the tyrant, king!

Did EPA Intentionally Poison Animus River To Secure SuperFund Money?, at zerohedge.com.  It appears that a retired geologist predicted that the EPA would foul the Animus River a week before it actually occurred.  The implications of his accusations are chilling.  Never let a good crisis go to waste?

The Battle Intensifies: Police Raid Uber’s Hong Kong Office, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Car Wars! Return of the Jitneys continues.  At this point, a rational government would realize they can’t put the genie back in the bottle.  Protecting special interests always trumps rationality but it can’t defeat the basic laws of economics.

Going Breadless in Venezuela, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Socialism and price controls rear their ugly head again as bread shortages are the new norm in Venezuela.  Weren’t there food riots last week?  Don’t they have a toilet paper shortage as well?  Hey, let them eat cake!  Sorry, that’s reserved for the rulers.

Minimum Wage Effect?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  January to June job losses for Seattle area restaurants reaches 1300.  While there are many reasons for declining employment, artificially raising the price of labor means you will have less of it.  Businesses must make adjustments to increased costs.  My guess is that one unintended consequence will be less tipping for servers.

China’s Currency Policy: Devastating Manipulation or a Form of Generous Foreign Aid to Americans?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  This is a very different take on China’s recent efforts to devalue their currency.  Government intervention in currency whether it is printing counterfeit money, zero point interest rates, fractional reserve banking, or devaluing will always have unforeseen and negative consequences.  As for devaluing currency, how do you jump off a cliff halfway?

The Disturbing Messages In Police Recruiting Videos, at The Washington Post.  You don’t have to watch all the videos to get the point.  Why would you stress violent confrontation in your recruiting videos?  Even the Marine Corps doesn’t do that and they have the best military recruiting videos bar none.  If it is part of the recruiting tactics then it is likely the emphasis of their training.  When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Make sure you check out the last recruiting video by the Decatur Alabama police.  Quite the difference!

Serfdom USA!, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Let’s end the week with some laughs.  This is for all of the true Austrian Economics Addicts out there.

 

‘CAR WARS’ Return Of The Jitneys

July 20, 2015

UBER vs. THE TAXI CARTEL

The battle between upstart competitor Uber and the monopoly held by the taxi cartel isn’t anything new. Around 1915, owner operated taxi services called ‘jitneys’, fought this battle against the government created rail transportation monopoly. The rise of Uber and their battle with the taxi cartel reminded me of something I read in Thomas Sowell’s book Knowledge and Decisions, published in 1980. (Everyone should read this book.) In the chapter, Trends in Economics, Dr. Sowell talks about “forcibly changing costs” through government regulation. Here are his words. Does this sounds eerily similar to what Uber is doing?

“The history of American transportation, from municipal bus and street lines to railroads and airlines is a history of government – imposed cross-subsidies. Initially, municipal transit was privately owned by a number of firms operating streetcars along various routes. The creation of city-wide franchises – monopolies – was usually accompanied by fixed fares, regardless of distance traveled or transfers required. “

“When a price is simply made higher by government fiat…it conveys a false picture of the “society”, thereby causing potential consumers to forego the product even though others are perfectly willing to supply it for a price that they are willing to pay.”

“Like most price discriminators, municipal transit was vulnerable to competitors who chose to serve the overcharged segment of their customers. Around 1914-1915, the mass production of the automobile led to the rise of owner-operated bus and taxi services costing five cents and therefore called “jitneys” the current slang for nickles:”

“The jitneys were owner-operated vehicles which essentially provided a competitive market in urban transportation with the usual characteristics of rapid entry and exit, quick adaptation to changes in demand, and, in particular, excellent adaptation to peak load demands. Some 60 percent of the jitneymen were part-time operators, many of whom simply carried passengers for nickel on trips between home and work. Consequently, cities were crisscrossed with an infinity of home-to-work routes every rush hour.

The jitneys were put down in every American city to protect the street railways and, in particular, to perpetuate the cross-subsidization of the street railways city-wide fare structures. As a result, the public moved to automobiles as private rather than common carriers…”

“The rush-hour traffic congestion caused by thousands of people going to work separately in individual automobiles has been denounced by social critics as “irrational” and explained by some mysterious psychological attraction of Americans to automobiles. It is, however, a perfectly rational response to the incentives and constraints conveyed. The actual costs and benefits of automobile-sharing are forcibly prevented from being conveyed by prices. As in other areas, claims of public irrationality are a prelude to arguments for a government-imposed “solution” to the “problem”. As in other areas, it is precisely the government’s use of force to prevent the accurate transmission of knowledge through prices that leads to the suboptimal systemic results which are articulated as irrational intentional results of a personified “society”.”

“…maintenance of incumbent transportation entities, often implies the maintenance of incumbent technologies ie., subsidized obsolescence, resisting the phasing out of existing modes of operation, as competing modes arise…..competing modes with technological or organizational advantages are either penalized or prohibited (as in the case of the jitneys), to preserve incumbent organizations and technology.”

MONOPOLIES CAN’T EXIST WITHOUT GOVERNMENT SANCTION

Uber is the modern-day version of the jitneys from 100 years ago. The taxi cartel is the protected “incumbent transportation entity”. The street rail system couldn’t foresee a competitor until a new technology, the automobile, came into existence, just as the taxi cartel couldn’t foresee a competitor until a ride sharing app came into existence. Government created monopolies look to government for help in stifling competition. When a business begins to expand because they win a larger share of the market, its efforts turn away from serving customers and toward protecting their market position. They lobby government to pass regulations making it more difficult, if not illegal, for competitors to enter the market. The combination of big business and big government is toxic to the economy and consumers.

FREE MARKETS OR CENTRAL PLANNING

In this article, Once A Sure Bet, Taxi Medallions Becoming Unsellable, there is a video of a Chicago taxi driver complaining about Uber drivers not having to jump through all the government hoops that taxi drivers have to jump through to be licensed to drive people around. He doesn’t realize that he is actually making the case against government intervention into the taxi industry. Starting with the price of the taxi medallion and going through all the other costly regulations is an indictment of government, not Uber.

This article, Major Trouble For Uber In California, is an example of governments trying to regulate Uber, at the cost of the consumer. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t understand that a free market creates the incentive for businesses to provide great service, or the consumer has an option of going to a competitor. Under a government created monopoly system the business has no incentive to provide great service for the consumer, because there are no competitors, (Think DMV) read this article, Uber vs Big Taxi: Time To Resolve Driver Complaints – Seconds/Days vs. Years.

The consumer pays a higher price because the supply of cabs is limited to the amount of medallions issued by the government. In a free market supply and demand coordinates the number of cab  drivers and passengers at a particular price. Allowing the price to change, allows supply and demand to be continually coordinated according to the changing values of demanders and suppliers.

HOW UBER WORKS

 

The ride sharing Genie is out of the proverbial bottle. Governments can’t stop it. With how quickly technology changes, don’t be surprised if something different comes along that will challenge Uber as the most cost effective way of transporting people from one place to another. Can you say, “Beam me up Scottie”?

 

Related ArticleAre People Smarter Today Compared To People 100 Years Ago?, at austrianaddict.com.

Must Reads For The Week 6/6/15

June 6, 2015
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Why Butter And Eggs Won’t Kill Us After All: Flawed Science Triggers U-Turn On Cholesterol Fears, by Chris Brooke, at dailymail.co.uk. So your telling me that global warming science isn’t settled! I can’t wait to have bacon with two eggs over easy and real butter on my toast this Sunday morning. Hat Tip lewrockwell.com.

Rent A Car Drive For Uber, at money.cnn.com. HyreCar is a start up that brings individuals who want to rent their personal car and people who want to drive for Uber or Lyft. Technology is helping us use our scarce resources more productively.

zTailors – High-Quality Affordable Tailoring At Your Door, at aTailors.com. Tailors making house calls.

North Korea Is Kind Of Awesome At Earth Hour, by Sean Davis, at thefederalist.com. If only crazy environmentalists could be as committed to not using electricity as the North Koreans are.

The Danes Are Revolting: Tax Administration Set On Fire, at zerohedge.com. No comment needed.

Free Speech Facebook And The NSA: The Good The Bad And The Ugly, at zerohedge.com. Do you think the NSA quit collecting data for the three days prior to the Patriot Act being reauthorized? Not a chance. Data collection, in violation of the fourth amendment, is here to stay. What would government do with the massive data collection center in Utah?

Protecting Perks, Power, And Profits Has Perverted The Entire System, at zerohedge.com. Electronically printing counterfeit money brings the future into the present before its time. Here is an excerpt form the article, “Cronyism depends on the credit bubble. the future is where new wealth is created. When you try to stop and twist the future into the shape you want, you prevent the future from ever happening. So you switch from creating wealth now to taking wealth from the future so you can consume it now.

From Whence Cometh Our Wealth- Peoples Labor Or The Fed’s Printing Press? by David Stockman, at davidstockmanscontracorner.com. If you were stranded on a deserted island you would have to use labor to produce food, whether is was knocking coconuts out of a tree, or catching fish. If I could give you a million dollars would it do you any good? The money would only have value in starting a fire or for use as toilet paper. It would have no exchange value.

CARTOONS

 

 

 

Net Neutrality?

February 26, 2015

Here is a video of The President talking about net neutrality.

Sounds like he really wants to protect us, the little guys, from big corporations doesn’t it. Why should we believe the man who pushed a bill titled, “The Affordable Care Act”? Obamacare has made individuals less free to choose how they want to pay for their healthcare. Insurance companies were for this law because they thought they would benefit from its passage. With the stroke of the pen, the law created 30 million more costumers for insurance companies. The fact that it expanded Governments power over the individual makes politicians and bureaucrats happy. But who among us wouldn’t want our power expanded? Is the term “Net Neutrality” any different from “The Affordable Care Act”.

You can bet your life that Net Neutrality regulations will make the internet less neutral, less free, and more expensive.

Net neutrality laws will help the already established tech companies and hurt the upstart competitors who, under normal market conditions, would normally be a check on the big providers. The threat of competitors trying to get market share keeps them in line. This is what Uber is doing to the taxi cartel. Big tech companies will be for this, or at least be tepid in their resistance to it. Once Government regulates the internet, these tech companies will be the protected cartel.

Politicians and bureaucrats will not only be able to tax the internet more easily, they will be able to make rules about content, access, and will probably make you get a license to have a website. Think of what bureaucrats (Lois Lerner) in the IRS did to stifle liberty minded groups from getting their message out. Politicians and bureaucrats are only in favor of free speech if they agree with what is said, they are never neutral when it comes to losing power.

Politicians and bureaucrats have been trying for years to figure out how to intervene into the internet. The internet is what has allowed our economy to grow in spite of the interventions by the Government and the Fed. Now, for some reason, the President and bureaucrats want to intervene into an area of the economy that has had exponential expansion without the “help” of Government regulations.

IS THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERNET COMING SOON?

DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED TYRANTS

Tyrants want to control information because truth is never on their side. Even democratically elected tyrants want to have the ability to control and/or propagandize their message. The internet is a marketplace where truth can be discovered, and lies can be uncovered, because of the volume of information that can be brought to bear almost immediately.

The President, the FCC, most democrats, and some republicans are showing their true tyrannical colors by supporting these regulations, but the internet Jeannie is out of the bottle. The marketplace will find ways to deliver this highly demanded economic good outside of these Government regulations. The tighter they squeeze, the more we will slip through their hands.

Related ArticleBeck Breaks Down What He Thinks Is The Real Goal Of Net Neutrality, at theblaze.com.

Related ArticleInternet Fast Lanes Would Be Banned Under Planned FCC Proposal, at entrepreneur.com.