Rideshare companies' effort to kill California employment bill is failing miserably

yes mindy but is forcing them out of job the answer? employment = proving you have the right to be employed = filling out i9 paperwork. there are only so many restaurants and chicken farms willing to pay cash for undocumented labor. until there’s a better way to achieve work, ridesharing is one of the best options for earning cash to pay rent and send some home. exploited or not, with a lack of options these people who everyone in US depends on whether they realize it or not, will leave. i for one have a sincere lack of faith in the assholes who make the rules. Yes, fuck uber, fuck lyft, they have done wrong and should probably go to jail. This new bill might have unintended consequences is all I’m saying.

Why is exploitation okay in the first place? Ever. Full stop.


Of course it will. Every policy decision harms the innocent. That is the cost of making policy decisions.

Our job as adults is not to pretend that our choices won’t destroy lives, or, God help us, try and contort ourselves into believing the lives destroyed somehow deserve it. Our job is to look at both the gains and the costs, weigh them, and then chose, fully acknowledging those hurt by our choices.

So, yes, the loss of the Gig economy will almost certainly destroy a few people’s lives who were absolutely dependent on the money they could achieve no other way or who were dependent on the services the Gig economy provided.

But the tens or hundreds or even thousands who will be harmed pale in comparison to the millions, tens of millions or even hundreds of millions whose lives are gradually transformed by the social acceptance of a permanent underclass formed of the Gig economy workers.

But yes, lambaste, I won’t pretend there are no innocent victims. There are always victims in any policy choice worthy of the name.


I’ve never used a ride service app but I’m happy to report that taxis still exist.

According to Uber and Lyft these drivers don’t have “jobs” with the companies at all.


Indeed, but I’ve certainly read claims by mobility impaired individuals that their lives have been dramatically improved by ride-hailing apps, ubiquitous food delivery, and various other services provided by gig workers. I see no reason to dispute their claims.

As I said, I’m not going to try to minimize their loss or suffering.


OR, and hear me out now… cause this is a radical concept, we could actively create a social and economic system that is predicated on protecting the most vulnerable among us from exploitation, rather than assume it’s going to happen, so fuck the poor… Just a thought. I mean, I know that people who already are privileged natural deserve more than the rest of us who didn’t have the forethought to be born with the right gender, skin color, sexual orientation, class-status, or national citizenship, but maybe we should stop having a society that does everything it can to protect those who had the forethought to pick the right things from that list…


Indeed they do; whenever it’s more convenient, I take taxis instead of Lyft

Too much like right.

When some people can glibly make statements like: “I’m not going to try to minimize [someone else’s] loss or suffering” without batting an eye, or giving it a second thought, its a pretty good bet they have no actual interest building a better world… or even maintaining the one we have to keep it from getting worse.


Doubly so if they are already the primary beneficiaries.


Once the Uber Ponzi scheme collapses, we’ll likely be back to them. I just hope that there will be regulations put in place to prevent the return of the medallion monopolies and that the taxi industry finally adopts proper dispatching and payment apps.

It will be part of the larger trend of having to pay full-freight again on goods and services that we’ve gotten used to paying discounted prices for (on the backs of cheap-labour employment practises and, in Uber’s case, shareholder subsidies). It’ll suck for a while, but we’ll get used to it.


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. - Tolstoy



It does not have to be a binary choice between having those exploitative companies or no service at all.
Most of them are just renters exploring the network effect their platforms got from being the first ones, and they can be substituted by protocols where both the costs and benefits are socialized by the users, for example in the case of taxi cooperatives.

Just to be sure do you mean minimize as “reduce” or “delegitimatize”?


And you think that such policies have no victims? Think deeper.

If I cannot name who is harmed by my policies, then I de-legitimize their suffering. Cruel enough that I choose that they must suffer for a greater good. But then to pretend they don’t exist, or that they deserve their suffering? That goes from policy choice to evil. And an unnecessary evil. Their suffering is not going to stop a good policy choice.

For example, take two policies that I support:

  1. Higher minimum wage - We’ve had long overdue increases of the minimum wage here in Ontario. And with it, I’ve seen the dismissal (well, disappearance, perhaps they just quit) of two handicapped employees of our local grocery store. My suspicion is that they could not provide $15 worth of value to their employer, which means they will no longer be able to be productive contributing citizens. We do have a social safety net, so they probably won’t starve, but their quality life based on the ability to personally earn an income will take a huge hit.

Their suffering is real. But a higher minimum wage is a greater good.

Single payer healthcare - Single payer healthcare means cost constraints and the elimination of services that operate outside the system. This means that treatment and drugs must be judged on whether the money could be spent more effectively elsewhere in the medical system. There are certain treatments that save lives that are simply too costly. The dollars spent on saving that child’s life are better spent elsewhere in the medical system. As a result, there are parents who will lose children that could have been saved.

Their suffering is real. But to maintain political support for the substantial tax burden of a single payer medical system requires (in my opinion) that everyone be subject to it. (This is pretty much the case in Canada.) If the system decided the drug needed to save your child is too expensive, you can’t mortgage your house to purchase it in Canada, it’s simply unavailable and the child must die - a decision I approve of because the healthcare of millions outweighs the healthcare of dozens.

But their suffering is real.

So indeed, let’s actively create a social and economic system that is predicated on protecting the most vulnerable among us from exploitation, that’s the point. But let’s not pretend that doing so will not have its own victims. Those victims are the acceptable price for decent policy. Not choosing that policy means countless more victims.

I’m sorry, but if you really believe that a wealth hoarder having to forego that second yacht or mansion in order to pay a bit more in taxes is the same as a single, working mother having to decide on health care for her kids or rent… That’s pretty fucked up way of viewing the world. Those people are not victims if they have to pay more in taxes to help their fellow human beings. They are not, especially considering how those very same people get deep social benefits for putting in very little into the system that should work for all of us. People who have no political voice or very little social capital, and are having to make daily faustian bargains because of their lack of wealth in a society that prizes wealth over human life are indeed being victimized by that very same system.

I have to fully reject your false equivalency on it’s face. It’s like saying that under segregation, whites suffered just as much as African Americans, or Christian Germans under the nazis suffered just as much as the Jews, or that Communists within the party who stayed on the right side of Stalin suffered just as much as those who were targeted by Stalin. I think we recognize that those are all false equivalencies on its face. So too is saying that the people with the most, who have benefited the most from our economic system are being victimized as much as the working poor whose labor has been exploited on a regular basis if they are forced to pay more of their fair share in taxes. It is not the same at all.


Also, this is kind of insulting. Please don’t assume that your views on these issues are somehow more profound or deeper than others. Many of us have thought deep and hard about the social systems in which we ALL live in, and just because maybe we’ve come to different conclusions doesn’t mean that we haven’t thought deep about them. I absolutely assure you that I have done so, since a very young age, having grown up in a working class family with very little privilege and no wealth. Just because you disagree with my view (informed by both my child and young adulthood, and by my 10 years of historical study) doesn’t mean I’m not thinking deep about these issues. If you think that YOU are the only one who has the answers to our social ills, then maybe it’s YOU who should think a bit more empathetically about the world.



Unfortunately, a lot of people (including supposedly “deep thinkers”) seem to have real difficulty distinguishing between “progressive” and “regressive” in the economic sense of the terms. It’s yet another symptom of the disease of privilege blindness, frequently co-morbid with “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” syndrome.


Ah yes.

  1. Call the cab company.
  2. If when nobody picks up, call another cab company. Repeat until you get a live human being on the phone.
  3. Tell them your location, and wait 20 minutes for them to pick you up.
  4. Realize they aren’t coming, so repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Finally spot a taxi going your way.
  6. Later learn that this isn’t one of the taxis you called, but another taxi that just happened to be going in your direction.
  7. Make awkward conversation with the white nationalist cab driver in a car that smells like cigarettes and puke.
  8. Pay out the nose.

I haven’t been in a taxi in years, but that was my experience the last few times I’ve taken them. Hopefully the rideshares have put the fear of God into them and they have improved things somewhat.


These days, you can order them much like an Uber or Lyft.

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Sadly, I think you’ve missed my entire point. I am fully in agreement with your conclusions.

My entire point has been that good policy, such as I support, has real costs to innocent people, and that it is our responsibility as adults to understand the costs of our good policies and to not pretend that just because the policy is good, it has no costs.

Every parent that has had a child inoculated understands that the child will suffer real pain. We don’t pretend the children aren’t suffering. And we don’t waver from getting them vaccinated. We know good policy, but we acknowledge that through no fault of their own, we are going to inflict suffering on our child. The policy is an unabashed good. But it will cause suffering.

Saying that my son screamed every time he went to a doctor’s office for years after his 18-month old needle, is NOT saying we shouldn’t give vaccinations. It’s acknowledging his very real pain and that needles cause trauma to some children. But if we refuse to acknowledge the cost, then it’s almost impossible to look at mitigation.

We need to be able to have that same understanding about social policy. There are costs, and not just to those yacht holders, but as I mentioned in my examples, to the weak, the helpless and the desperate among us. (And your implication that the only people who can be harmed by progressive policy are yacht owners could be considered a bit of a kick in the teeth to the those I mentioned in my examples above.)

Good policy is still good policy even with its costs.

And yes, my “think deeper” comment was admittedly a little glib. But I think that the ability to understand the costs of good policy are absolutely fundamental to being able to making just policy. If I don’t believe that my policy has any costs to the innocent, then I am not thinking deeply enough about it, and that has real cost to our society in the long term.

I’m aware you agree that these are good policies. I object to you calling the rich paying more in taxes “victims” because they also benefit from good policy.

It was downright condescending, as you assumed that your view is entirely correct, and that if I just did more thinking and study, I’d come around to your point of view, which is there are always victims in a system of taxation, which is entirely not the case. When we all pay in our fair share, we all get benefits from a good system.

I object to you characterizing those who are defrauded the public trust as “innocent victims” of taxation, who will suffer if asked to pay more taxes to ensure that their fellow citizens have access to the commons. Given that they will likewise benefit from a more robust system of taxation that supports public infrastructure, THEY ARE NOT VICTIMS because they benefit like the rest of us.


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