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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:35 pm 
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Perhaps too much. There's always a little unexpected strike going somewhere. Transportation gets blocked pretty much on a daily basis in one place or another. There's something going on the Paris ring road as often as there isn't. The cops come, lots of them, in little vans, usually outnumbering the strikers. They know you're joe American tourist, but they ask you questions en francais anyway and it's best that you know how to answer them.

The ferry workers strike got nasty a few days back, and blocked the Eurotunnel. Fires. Damage to the tracks. No Eurostar trains for the day. Etc.

This isn't always the best thing for the French economy. Unemployment is high in France. They allow it anyway. It's their birthright.

How refreshing.

That brings us to UberPOP. In NYC they piss and moan about Uber. In Paris, where a taxi license costs $250k American, they get mean. They invert cars and destroy them.

It was on our Nooz. Courtney Love was in a car that was attacked by taxi drivers, and since she's a celebrity, now the American media are allowed to talk about it. She said she'd be safer in Baghdad. Has she been to Baghdad? Paris is full of pickpockets, thieves, muggers, scammers, and a huge urban underclass of color, but I still suspect Baghdad is worse. Uh, daily bombs, terrorists, and electricity only part of the day. In Paris they just try to sell you fake wedding rings and get your wallet. And the power stays on. All those French nuke plants.

I hate Paris taxi drivers. They're way the worst. The ones in NYC are comparative saints, but then they have to be. There's even a whole city court for their lot. The ones in Paris... walking is preferable, even in the daily rain.

Still... I wish them well in their labor action. If US workers were this bad ass, there wouldn't even be a thought of a TPP and all that shit.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Update... a guy in Lyon just decapitated his boss, and then he tried to blow up a US corporation's gas plant outside of town. Drove a car into gas tanks. Went boom. Stuck boss's head on a post at the factory.

That's one thing the gun people have right. Minus guns, people will figure out other ways to make a mess. Cars seem popular for that in France.

But he's an Islamic extremist. I forgot to add terrorists. France crawls with them, but the danger from them is about the same as getting plugged by some whacko white kid in a US city. As in, statistically, somewhere down there below boating accidents and slightly above meteors.

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Last edited by ZoWie on Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:01 pm 
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I have a feeling, if it is not bound in fact, that if one is from the west coast and feel they are Liberal at all, then they are supposed to like Uber because it is seen as one of ways of getting away from ownership of a car by many of the green interest urban dwellers.

This French story is of instructive value for consideration for a wider outlook on Uber. There are some pretty valid reasons cities have a regulatory scheme in place for cab companies and privately operated hacks. And I doubt there is a regulatory scheme for any endeavor with a worse world history of corruption than cities regulating taxis has seen.

Maybe trash collection.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Right, we both know about the Mob and trash collection in big cities.

Yes, Uber is one of those things we're supposed to like.

Fortunately, I have made it a policy to hate all Internet startups by default until I investigate them further. Zuckerberg left scars in my brain.

The Nooz story I read in the L.A. Times read more like one of those propagandized interviews on CNN. Lots of trumpeting American Free Markets over the French and their silly cultural thing. Nice to know the Times can still slant the news in favor of the assholes downtown, even if they have to look like the Peoria Post doing it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:40 pm 
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Well, it does occur to me "Uber" could be one of those mouth sounds a Zuckerberg male might make whilst mating.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:45 am 
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The best thing about Uber is it is going to cause an overhaul of our Taxi system. Those drivers work 18 hours a day for next to nothing while the Cab companies line their pockets. There is a reason why in almost ever major city the cabbies are fresh off the boat immigrants. They are all being exploited for greed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:04 pm 
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It's one of the jobs immigrants do. I doubt you'd like to drive a hack around New York at ungodly hours for tips, barely getting a bathroom break, taking the finger from rich boys in Beemers, and always worrying about being robbed.

Maybe Uber will cause competition, but it's just as likely that it will become corrupt when the usual people see opportunities for pimping, etc.. New York already has people at the airports offering a ride for less than the medallion taxis get, but it's not a good idea. A number of things can happen, and only one of them is good.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:31 pm 
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Uber is already corrupt. It's a Libertarian business model with Libertarian owners. They will change the compensation of the drivers without notice. There's no accountability of what they do with the customer's data. There's no screening of the drivers. There's no safety or maintenance requirements for the vehicles.

The CEO of Uber dreams of ditching all his drivers.
Quote:
Uber CEO To Tesla: Sell Me Half A Million Autonomous Electric Cars In 2020

Tesla Motors is one of several automakers planning to put a self-driving car on sale sometime in the next few years, and it already seems to have at least one big fan.

This person isn't a celebrity owner or safety advocate, but rather the CEO of preeminent ride-sharing company Uber.

If Tesla can build a fully-autonomous car by 2020, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says his company would buy it. In fact, he'd buy every one Tesla builds.

<snip>

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1098997_uber-ceo-to-tesla-sell-me-half-a-million-autonomous-electric-cars-in-2020

http://www.alternet.org/7-evil-things-uber-did-2014-you-should-know-your-next-ride

http://www.alternet.org/labor/why-uber-making-it-harder-its-drivers-earn-tips-they-deserve

http://www.alternet.org/economy/sharing-economy-lie-uber-ayn-rand-and-truth-about-tech-and-libertarians

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/5-traits-uber-shares-exploitative-old-school-capitalist

http://www.alternet.org/labor/i-quit-miseries-uber-driver

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:29 am 
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Seize Uber, Walmart, Koch empire.

And many more, step one. Once you have done that get back to me and I will give you step 2.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Yes I have no regard for Uber. They sell themselves as a people's alternative, but we know better. Internet democracy only lasts until the companies either go public, switch to an ad-driven model, or both. Usually both.

Fortunately, even the mighty Uber had to back off in France, at least for now.

A lot of what's going on in Europe concerns economic warfare and occupation. They stopped having wars "over there" because they stopped having a need for wars. It's economic now, and we've seen who's winning. France lost. Spain lost. Greece lost big.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Uber is like a lot of the so-called Startup Dotcom economy, unfortunately.

Say what you will about cab companies (many of them suck far worse than the one in the old series, Taxi) and cab drivers (they're all just off the boat) ... at least the taxi industry is regulated, the drivers are certified, and at least with good cab companies, there are decent job benefits.

HRC was absolutely right on this one; like a lot of the "gig" economy Uber drivers are merely paid "spot" payments. As Stoon just noted. The reason your Uber drive is so cheap is because your driver has no long-term relationship with the company, therefore no benefits, pension, health care, etc.; they've made no effort to make sure he's not a serial killer with a history of dropping victims in the local river; he's providing his own vehicle (for which he pays all the gas & wear n tear); and he's paid by the hour, not the mile, regardless of where he takes you, when, or how ... the net.gig version of piece rate.

Of course the Uber CEO is waiting for a fleet of autonomous vehicles ... at that point, they have no labor costs at all.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Yes I have no regard for Uber. They sell themselves as a people's alternative, but we know better. Internet democracy only lasts until the companies either go public, switch to an ad-driven model, or both. Usually both.

Fortunately, even the mighty Uber had to back off in France, at least for now.

A lot of what's going on in Europe concerns economic warfare and occupation. They stopped having wars "over there" because they stopped having a need for wars. It's economic now, and we've seen who's winning. France lost. Spain lost. Greece lost big.

Economic warfare is correct. While it may have caused havoc IMO Greece would have been better off in the longer term by dropping out of the eu. They must have control of their currency.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:38 pm 
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Given the choice between a real taxi and Uber, I'll take the taxi.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:04 pm 
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The professor is correct about taxi companies tending toward the grungy side. Actually from what I've seen, the characters in Taxi had it fairly good for that industry.

Still, any place I've been I'd prefer the taxis to Uber.

I can't talk to my German leftie friends about Merkel, because they hear it from everywhere, with references to history, and they get defensive. Personally, though, she creeps me out. I'm trying hard not to think Germany finally won a war.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Uber also likes to say that their employees all have the proper insurance. What they don't say is they don't consider drivers employees, they consider them to be independent contractors, therefore they're not insured.

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