Note: This article was written based on an article in the NYP 10/13/16
Uber drivers get benefits
NYS Dept. of Labor granted Uber drivers “employee status,” as opposed to “independent contractor” status. This came as a result from the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance. Now Uber owners have to contribute to their drivers’ benefits, such as worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance.
Yellow cab drivers get screwed
Meanwhile New York Yellow cab drivers get nothing. They get no such benefits. They get screwed.
Many Yellow cab drivers state that Uber has taken away as much as 40% of their business, but the Yellow cab drivers’ expenses – especially the cost of renting a cab (up to $1200 per week for a 24 hour cab) remains the same. Also Yellow cab drivers have to charge customers 80 cents a ride that goes to the city. Uber drivers don’t.
Plus Uber drivers don’t have to have a Medallion. These Medallions used to cost around $1 million apiece, a cost that has to be paid by the drivers and the customers. Now because of Uber, the value of these Medallions have gone down to $500,000, costing many owners a cool one-half million for each cab.
Customers get overcharged
Then, Uber charges customers around the same rates as Yellow cabs, even though they don’t have the $500,000 overhead.
The Uber owners created a computer program, they marketed it, and they successfully implemented it. A few guys became billionaires and the customers and the Yellow cab drivers and owners got the short end of the stick.
Welcome to free-enterprise.
Eddie’s economic philosophy
It is Eddie’s economic philosophy that free enterprise is great. It’s a miracle. Just let people be free to buy, sell, and build businesses – with few restrictions as possible — and zoom, the economy grows leaps and bounds. This is basically the Libertarian philosophy.
However the resulting economy has gross injustices (like with the Yellow cab drivers and owners) and gross dysfunctions (like pollution, depletion of natural resources, 50% youth unemployment in minority communities, and the lowering of the quality of life for the average person).
Thus the government – if it were enlightened and not contaminated with corruption (that is, politicians filling their pockets with money) – should be a referee, an umpire, over the free enterprise system. They could modify the behavior of ambitious businessmen and unaware consumers. We could have capitalism with a heart. Capitalism with reason.
The government could help create a good quality of life for all groups of citizens in the long run.