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Author Topic: Bernie Sanders says and does
Rafi
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quote:
Sanders also said he has “serious problems” with the popular car-hailing company Uber. He called it “unregulated."
quote:
Standing against companies like Uber is not too surprising for Sanders. He has made labor policy and union rights a fundamental aspect of his campaign.
Yes, Bernie says Uber is very bad and is fundamentally opposed to it.

Spending analysis of the campaigns reveals that Bernie uses Uber 100% of the time when needing a taxi.

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TomDavidson
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I'm not sure where Sanders has said that Uber is very bad and he is fundamentally opposed to it. He would like it to be better-regulated.
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AI Wessex
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Yes, being unregulated makes it treif. How could he?!?
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JoshCrow
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There is exactly zero hypocrisy in having problems with a service vs. using that service.

Do you have problems with your cable company but you still watch TV?

Do you have problems with Super PACs but understand that you won't win an election without one?

Congratulations - you are not a hypocrite. You are able to do the mental equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time by holding two ideas in your head.

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TomDavidson
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Although I admit that I now find myself wondering how many candidates actually call their own cabs.
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AI Wessex
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I'm surprised they ever do take cabs or Uber. Many businesses of similar size provide limo service to their execs. I sometimes use limos for business when I need reliable transportation. If you're out in the boonies you take what you can get.
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Greg Davidson
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Uber seems to be a security risk
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
There is exactly zero hypocrisy in having problems with a service vs. using that service.

Do you have problems with your cable company but you still watch TV?

Do you have problems with Super PACs but understand that you won't win an election without one?

Congratulations - you are not a hypocrite. You are able to do the mental equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time by holding two ideas in your head.

It's not that he's critical of it and still uses the service. It's that he is running on a platform that it violates rights and would regulate it so that he would destroy it. All the while using it 100% of the time. That is, in fact, hypocrisy.

I don't like cable companies. I don't use them. I still watch TV via streaming and I do not have control of them. Do you not see the difference?

PAC's are a problem. Claiming you use one in order to get into office so you can end them is dishonest. Nobody is going to do that.

Sanders is clearly demonstrating a foundational principle of liberalism. As a dedicate socialist, we should not be surprised.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It's that he is running on a platform that it violates rights and would regulate it so that he would destroy it.
Where has Sanders said that he believes additional regulations would destroy Uber?
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scifibum
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Also, how does an opinion translate to a platform?
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jasonr
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quote:
Claiming you use one in order to get into office so you can end them is dishonest. Nobody is going to do that.
How so?
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Also, how does an opinion translate to a platform?

You thnk he does not tend to regulate Uber? Rally?
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TomDavidson
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Your specific claim was that he intends to implement regulations in order to destroy Uber. What has he said to give you this idea?
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Also, how does an opinion translate to a platform?

You thnk he does not tend to regulate Uber? Rally?
No, I am wondering how that qualifies as a platform.
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Fenring
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The idea that the POTUS is going to stoop to trying to regulate some little company is amusing. He may have mentioned his thoughts on Uber at some point but I've heard him speak countless times and never heard it come up. If he happens to have some ideas regarding Uber it's really immaterial to his platform or his job description should he become President. He could also say offhand that someone should do something about the selection of animals at the Washington Zoo, but that doesn't mean micromanaging the zoo is part of his platform.
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ScottF
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I use uber multiple times a month and while the lower service levels (uber pool, uber x) definitely need to have an eye kept on them, the higher level services (uber black) are indistinguishable from any other limo company. Other than they run more quickly and efficiently.
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scifibum
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I'm glad that services like Uber and AirBnB are shaking up stodgy old service industries, but I'm not sure why thinking they should be regulated is at all a controversial idea. Aside from libertarians, isn't everyone basically in agreement that regulating commerce is kind of necessary?
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ScottF
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I'm curious as to what kind of regulations uber bypasses, apart from its drivers not having to purchase $50K taxi licenses and operating as 1099's instead of larger company employees.
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LetterRip
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ScottF,

background checks of employees; non discrimination in pickups; accommodation of the handicapped.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I use uber multiple times a month and while the lower service levels (uber pool, uber x) definitely need to have an eye kept on them, the higher level services (uber black) are indistinguishable from any other limo company. Other than they run more quickly and efficiently.

You would think that Uber in NYC would give great service, but I have had to cancel or wait for an Uber car while watching available cabs stream by. I also had to ride in the front seat with the Uber driver in DC on the connector to Dulles, because the police target Uber drivers with $1000 fines (so the driver said).

The last cab ride I had in NYC was with a cabbie who bought his medallion about 30 years ago and planned to sell it to fund his retirement. The price went up to close to $1M a few years ago and because of Uber has dropped back to what he paid for it originally. So, he can't retire. I've also had Uber drivers complain about how much they have to fork over and how they have to maintain their cars in order to keep their franchise.

I have a philosophical problem with Uber playing by a different set of rules, not because they do anything wrong or need to be regulated.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I'm curious as to what kind of regulations uber bypasses, apart from its drivers not having to purchase $50K taxi licenses and operating as 1099's instead of larger company employees.

If the constraint on taxi licenses exists to prevent gridlock, then that's reason enough. (Although the license shouldn't be resellable, IMO, and the resulting market conditions that make Uber much more viable signal that changes are probably needed.)

Also, depending on the state and local tax structure, it may be appropriate to tax commercial vehicles differently from personal vehicles, based on the increased pollution and wear and tear on infrastructure.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

I have a philosophical problem with Uber playing by a different set of rules, not because they do anything wrong or need to be regulated.

Me too. I don't drive so I depend on cabs quite often and I always use licensed cabs.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
If the constraint on taxi licenses exists to prevent gridlock, then that's reason enough. (Although the license shouldn't be resellable, IMO, and the resulting market conditions that make Uber much more viable signal that changes are probably needed.)
Not gridlock so much as tragedy of the commons issues. If there are too many drivers available at a give time, then none of them can make enough in fares to make working worth it to work. In a world before modern communication technology, it was about the best hack we could come up with to actualyl keep the ROI, and thus the overall market, stable instead of in a constant flood/scarcity cycle.

Uber, Lyft, etc... may open up a path to being able to manage supply based on rate shifting, hiring, and the like, but there are some issues with handing control of that system over to private companies rather than having a publicly accountable organization overseeing to on the basis of public interest.

The current PUC or Transit Authorities that control the number of available licenses definitely need a bit of a shakeup, because they have often ended up serving the profit of the bigger current players than the general public, so it's interesting to watch this process find a compromise position that puts them into the position of not having the power to simply lock the market anymore.

(As far as providers go, I'd highly recommend Lyft over Uber, as Uber's bad business practices and poor overall citizenship extend far beyond forcing a market shift)

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ScottF
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I travel at least 100 days a year and my experience with cabs (when I still used them) was, on average, really bad. They were often rude, didn't take credit cards, and would then act indignant if you didn't tip them for the experience,

I believe uber does background checks and regarding discriminatory pickups, it's actually much more difficult to get away with that behavior because uber drivers respond blindly and will get down-rated out of existence if they start bailing last mirute. Cabbies can just not respond and drive away with impunity.

Edit: haven't tried Lyft but I've heard good things about them.
Google plays by a completely different set of rules than the yellow pages and destroyed that business model. Do you have a philosophical problem with Google vs Yellow Pages? Taxis are the yellow pages of private hired transportation.

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AI Wessex
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You're conflating an aggregate and complimentary service with an individual and pay-as-you-go one. Nobody had to buy a YP franchise or use them according to government regulation. Not all changes are comparable.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
The idea that the POTUS is going to stoop to trying to regulate some little company is amusing. He may have mentioned his thoughts on Uber at some point but I've heard him speak countless times and never heard it come up. If he happens to have some ideas regarding Uber it's really immaterial to his platform or his job description should he become President. He could also say offhand that someone should do something about the selection of animals at the Washington Zoo, but that doesn't mean micromanaging the zoo is part of his platform.

This is not about some little company. It's about a business model. Über is an entirely new way of doing business and as one of the most successful examples of it draws the fire. Uber will be regulated so that the foundation is laid to regulate all business built around this model.
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TomDavidson
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There are obvious problems with the "sharing economy" model, most notably that it's not actually predicated on peers sharing services but rather individuals deciding to offer those services full-time as the equivalent of contracted employees but without any of the training, benefits, or other infrastructure associated with contractors. It's when you see full-time investment into these presumably peer-based "sharing" services that you start getting into scenarios where regulation is necessary for sensible law. Consider the case -- not at all an isolated one -- where someone buys or rents an apartment in a trendy location in New York, and immediately turns around and lists that apartment on something like AirBNB. This apartment obviously doesn't come with maid service, staff, or hotel taxes, so it's going to be significantly cheaper than an equivalent hotel -- but it's also going to be enormously profitable, assuming the nightly rate is pitched correctly. So you buy a couple more apartments, maybe even buy a small house outside the city where you really live. (Note: this is actually a very typical AirBNB scenario for people who make their living doing it.) What now really separates these apartments from "hotels" in law? What distinction entitles them to evade things like hotel tax, fire escape regulations, hotel inspections, etc.?
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Rafi
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It really didn't take long to disprove this comment:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
I think the real difference is in the concept of fairness. Generally speaking, conservatives seem more willing to deny services in order to prevent any fraud and liberals seem more willing to allow some amount of fraud to make sure that everyone receives services.


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TomDavidson
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By your logic, Rafi, inspecting hot dogs for poison -- whether sold at a restaurant or out of a cart on the corner -- constitutes a "denial of services."

There is also, of course, the difference between the government denying access to a service or program offered only by the government and deciding that two competing types of service should be considered the same category of service for the purpose of regulation, but I'm sure you already knew that and were just choosing to overlook that (meaningful, IMO) distinction.

[ November 11, 2015, 08:45 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Rafi
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You don't eat a ride share, dude. [LOL]
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TomDavidson
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Very true! You do not in fact eat a ride share!
But let's be honest: you don't really "share" a ride share, either. Most Uber users are not themselves Uber drivers, and most Uber drivers do it close to full-time; they are not simply taking money to conveniently carpool (even though this was the original intent of the app, albeit one quickly abandoned once they realized the full-time driver model was more profitable).

If Uber were simply an app that allowed people to chip a couple bucks in towards gas for spontaneous carpools, there would not be a push to regulate it. But you have people actually buying cars to operate full-time taxi services leveraging Uber's middleware, which means they're in direct competition with taxis. And while there are some nice innovations in the Uber model -- the ability to rate individual drivers, the simplicity of requesting a ride across all available drivers in the area, etc. -- there are also a number of obvious gaps that not only raise public safety issues but worker safety issues; Uber drivers function essentially as contractors, but with almost none of the (still pretty limited) job protections of contractors and none of the training of licensed commercial drivers.

This presents issues that need to be addressed. Wanting to address these issues does not, of course, mean that one believes Uber -- or all programs using the "share" model -- should be destroyed.

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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
You're conflating an aggregate and complimentary service with an individual and pay-as-you-go one. Nobody had to buy a YP franchise or use them according to government regulation. Not all changes are comparable.

Huh? YP was far from a complimentary service - you're confusing a b2b vs b2c model. YP charged a buttload to place a small yearly ad. Technology enabled Google to charge a tiny fraction of that and make it transactional, which YP had no response to (although they did try). Completely different models but the notion of technology enabling a disruptive model is absolutely comparable.
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AI Wessex
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Oh, I was thinking about the listings, not the ads... Even so, if you think you don't pay for Google, how are they raking in billions of $$? They come from somewhere.
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ScottF
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Where did you get "you don't pay for Google" out of anything I've said?

They charge transactionally for display ads and search placement. They do this millions of times an hour.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Uber will be regulated so that the foundation is laid to regulate all business built around this model.
Indeed. That's the inevitable next step. It's proven itself successful enough to have an impact on and power in the market, so some degree of regulation is going to be needed to prevent it from using that power abusively as is the natural tendency of control of such power.
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Rafi
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Yeah, and who's gonna watch the watchers?
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Wayward Son
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These guys? [Smile]
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jasonr
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quote:
And while there are some nice innovations in the Uber model -- the ability to rate individual drivers, the simplicity of requesting a ride across all available drivers in the area, etc. -- there are also a number of obvious gaps that not only raise public safety issues but worker safety issues; Uber drivers function essentially as contractors, but with almost none of the (still pretty limited) job protections of contractors and none of the training of licensed commercial drivers.
Here's where the anti Uber "safety" argument falls like a lead balloon. To those of us who are familiar with the taxi industries and the comportment of taxi drivers generally, the notion of "training of licensed commercial drivers" is kind of a bad joke.

Apart from the usual crazy driving (for which cabbies are notorious), broken down smelly cars and poor personal hygiene, we have had to put up with perpetually broken credit machines (naturally fixed if your ride is long enough to justify the expense) cabbies refusing short rides, cabbies assaulting their passengers, cabbies driving drunk, high, whatnot.

A couple months ago, a girl in Toronto got shot in a dark downtown spot after licensed cabbies refused to give her a ride home because the distance was too short to make it worth their while.

I'm not ragging on cabbies. It all comes with the territory. But it does pretty well torpedo any "safety" arguments or any claims that "regulating" automatically confers an aura of safety. Speaking of regulation, just who is the City regulating anyway, cause half the time when I'm in a supposedly licensed cab, the picture of the guy on the license doesn't look anything like the guy driving the car. Huh. Funny that. Oh well, I'm sure the guy with the license was very careful to vet the guy who vetted the guy whose brother in law was filling in for him on an off day. A triumph of well oiled bureaucracy indeed. Truly our safety has been guaranteed.

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TomDavidson
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So your argument above is that you believe some of the existing regulations on taxis to be ineffective or poorly enforced. Is that an argument to remove those regulations for all taxis, or only allow those taxis that pretend they are "shared cars" to evade them?
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jasonr
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In fact Tom, having used UberX regularly these past few months, I can honestly say that the overall driving proficiency of the drivers has been no better or worse than what I observed for years as a licensed cabbie customer.

The UberX drivers seem to have a less fluent knowledge of the City and rely more extensively on GPS, but that's probably a matter of experience. These aren't people who have been driving cabs very long.

As for other aspects of safety, vehicle maintenance inspections? Don't make me laugh. The typical UberX car is in far better condition and almost always newer and nicer than any cab - period not up for discussion.

Driver assault? The regular cabbies have cameras I will concede, but UberX GPS tracks every ride and does everything electronically by credit card - I call that a wash.

Driver screening? No evidence that Uber is any less adept at screening its drivers than the competition. Indeed, as I mentioned above, I have frequently been in licensed cabs where the driver was clearly not the man pictured in the license. Frankly, I trust Uber on that point.

The argument that Uber pays poorly is disingenuous, because of course if the licensed cabbies paid so well, drivers would flock to them, not to Uber. Why don't they? Well glad you asked - it's the fact that until recently, a limited supply of taxi licenses were going for $200,000 or more. The people clamoring to keep the status quo are being driven largely by the vested interest of ex cabbies and individuals who own single or multiple licenses and lease them out to immigrant serfs to drive their cabs for them. It's basically a feudal system. It isn't the rank and file cabbies who benefit from this.

The only legitimate argument I have encountered is the commercial insurance question, one which Uber has been working to resolve and I have no doubt will resolve as they are in talks with Intact Insurance here to get commercial policies in place for their drivers. They already have in place an umbrella policy of their own. Plus the little known fact that in Ontario at least, even if an insurer denies coverage to a driver, there's still going to be a mandatory minimum $200k in place - so passengers have ample coverage.

Uber is so superior to the competition in every respect, I frequently use the service even when I'm going places for clients and therefore riding on someone else's dime. The argument that Uber is just about saving money is one the taxi cartels want us to buy because it lets them avoid the uncomfortable truth of how poorly they have been treating their customers all this time, and how eagerly people have been to dump them at the first opportunity.

In answer to your original question, it's not a question of the regulations being "poorly enforced". The regulations are doing what they were clearly designed to do: maintain a protected monopoly for entrenched interests. That Uber replicates or improves on virtually every safety measure built into these regulations is irrelevant to its opponents, because safety has never been the real issue. Keeping their cozy monopoly has always been their only real objective.

[ November 12, 2015, 07:31 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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