Uber is destined to win the battle with Luddite drivers

Here’s an example where I side with “Big Business” against independent local operators: Uber against cabbies. It’s playing out in multiple major cities across the world. Uber provides smartphone-dispatched taxi service. Traditional taxi operators oppose that – they want to remain monopoly providers of taxi transportation. For example, in London cabbies went on strike to protest Uber. Their trade union representative even dismissed Uber’s offer to open its app to traditional black cabs. This is pure monopoly protection, nothing else. Nowadays, more than 50% of public owns smartphones and uses them for more and more everyday tasks. What is a good reason riders shouldn’t be able to hail a cab from a phone?
In some cases, government regulatory agencies are siding with the cabbies. This is an illustration of a phenomena known as “regulatory capture” – a government agency created to regulate an industry becoming a tool of that industry against the public.
In this case, it’s clear on whose side the public interest is: the public wants more value from smartphones and more convenience in arranging transportation. I think cabbies are fighting a losing rearguard battle here. It might take decades, but their profession will disappear entirely, replaces by self-driving cars. Technology will prevail.


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