Uber and Airbnb
Thom, I know you had 2 bad experiences, probably out of a thousand, with cab drivers. Duck Duck Go Uber and sexual assault. Search fake Uber drivers, as well. Your experience with the 2 cabbies is unfortunate but you've now become a tool of those you rail against: anti-labor, race to the bottom millionaires and billionaires. You've obviously buried your head in the sand, so I will try to get your attention once again. Now that you've courted Uber as a sponsor, I see I haven't been able to accomplish that, yet.
Market winners are picked by capitalists, which take advantage of tax avoidance and lobby for distortions in competition. You need to look at favorable tax and regulatory advantages that give the app technology its advantage. But for the millionaires and billionaires that lobby to create and maintain favorable conditions for their investments, Silicon Valley wouldn't wipe out established industries and decent paying jobs. Uber is an illegal, unregulated, anti-worker taxi company. It's built on the Wal-Mart model, wherein full-time employees are replaced with part timers. Wages go down and the company is subsidized in the form of food stamps and health care is "doled" (favorite Conservative word) out to their part-time "associates." Uber has other issues, too. Safety, many examples of fake Uber drivers picking up women. Uber drivers do not have proper insurance because they lie about driving for Uber to keep their rates down. Alternatively, they're uninsured when their insurer drops them. No criminal background checks, no finger prints, no driving history check. Instituting these regulations are deal breakers for Uber. They also forego municipal fees and state taxes. The rationale of that is incredible considering the city is looking under every stone for revenue and the city has all the leverage, not vice versa.
Issues with Airbnb. First, Airbnb, too, is anti-worker. It puts stress on smaller hotels which, in turn, costs full-time jobs. Safety: People give their building keys to random strangers, no background checks, defeating the idea of security. Affordable housing: renters are forced out of their homes to turn buildings into illegal, unregulated hotels. And, like Uber, they evade municipal and state taxes.
As I mentioned in a previous post, profits are then funneled offshore into tax free shelters because the billionaires write tax laws that allow this for companies that lack a physical presence. That's how Amazon got its unfair advantage 2 decades ago. Another anti-worker job killer, Amazon destroyed about a million jobs. Now Jeff Bezos, like the Emanuel boys, is hiding his investment in Uber offshore tax havens.
This is what you need to know about market forces. Unicorn tech companies move in big and fast. Millionaires make billions. They lobby Congress to maintain their tax and regulatory advantages. The lawsuits they don't settle, they appeal for years. Eventually, and at great costs, "markets are sorted out" (the Libertarian favorite meme) by government. By then, a few people have made billions and already cashed out.
The gig economy is a race to the bottom. Lower wages, fewer jobs, longer hours to keep afloat, and fewer protections. People don't see this coming. All possible because of the decades long Conservative war on workers and unions.