Uber

Uber Leaving Denmark Over New Taxi Law—Nationalists, Socialists Rejoice

Company says it's not closing a development office in Denmark and says closing is "not necessarily a farewell."

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Francis Joseph Dean/Deanpictures/Newscom

The ridesharing service Uber announced they were "closing in Denmark" because of a new taxi law that requires, among other things, mandatory fare meters and seat occupancy detectors, Agence France-Presse reports. Uber will suspend its service on April 18.

"This is not necessarily a farewell to Denmark, but a message that we cannot live with the legislation that's in the field now," an Uber spokesperson said at a press conference in Copenhagen. According to TechCrunch, Uber said it was not planning to close a development operation in Denmark that employs 40 engineers, something TechCrunch suggests "may also be a not-so-subtle attempt to play politics with local lawmakers."

Members of two of the three parties in Denmark's governing coalition lamented the lack of support for a liberalization of taxi laws that would make it easier for companies like Uber to operate. The transportation minister, Ole Birk Olesen, a member of the Liberal Alliance, which The Local of Denmark has described as "libertarian-leaning," called the lack of support for taxi deregulation "unfortunate."

"I believe that we should be open to new technology and innovative business models, Olesen wrote, saying he was "grateful" that at least there was a measure in the new taxi law to "monitor technological developments and see whether in future there might be a parliamentary majority that supports smarter control of taxi services than there is today with the likes of taxi meters."

Conservative member of parliament Rasmus Jarlov, described by The Local as "one of Uber's biggest supporters in parliament" blamed opposition parties that he said "forced" the government "to make a law that has forced Uber out of Denmark. The government parties regret this."

Socialists and nationalists, on the other hand, rejoiced. Karsten Hønge, a member of parliament from the Socialist People's Party and its transport spokesperson, said it was a "happy occasion that Uber is being driven to the scrapyard—I have not shed a tear."

"I am glad that our society is taking a stand against a company as greedy and avaricious and Uber," Hønge said, as The Local reports. The leader of the Liberal Alliance slammed him for supporting "more expensive personal transport." A spokesperson for the Liberal Alliance pointed out that 200,000 Danes used Uber in Copenhagen and that the law was "hugely regrettable" for them and "for the drivers who have gained an income from it."

The nationalist Danish People's Party also supported the restrictive new law, with its leader, Kim Christiansen, saying it was "quite excellent" Uber was leaving the country.

"It is good that Uber has realised that the concept and way they want to do business is not something we want to do in Denmark," he said.

Uber says it hopes it can work with the government "in the hope that they will update their proposed regulations and again enable Danes to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber." In December, Uber was indicted in Denmark for allegedly helping drivers skirt taxi laws.

Ultimately, Uber connects individuals willing to give others a ride with individuals in need of a ride. But the needs existed before Uber. Laws that target companies like Uber target essentially voluntary transactions, pushing the government deeper into the lives of purportedly free people.

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  1. You know who else rejoiced?

    1. Jesus… now the writers are pre-Godwinning their own posts.

      1. What a snarky comma.

  2. “I am glad that our society is taking a stand against a company as greedy and avaricious and Uber,” H?nge said, as The Local reports.

    Those taxi cartels are not greedy at all and provide great service! Said the good socialist.

    1. it’s like Milton Friedman once asked of Phil Donahue – what is greed? We, of course, are never greedy; it’s always someone else who is.

      1. Well, yeah, but you ignore that Uber is not only greedy but avaricious as well.

    2. If Uber’s so bad, convince people to call a taxi instead.

      Maybe that didn’t work so well. We can’t have companies satisfying their customers, can we?

  3. A spokesperson for the Liberal Alliance pointed out that 200,000 Danes used Uber in Copenhagen and that the law was “hugely regrettable” for them and “for the drivers who have gained an income from it.”

    Take a taxi to your polling place and get better representation.

  4. Uber said it was not planning to close a development operation in Denmark that employs 40 engineers, something TechCrunch suggests “may also be a not-so-subtle attempt to play politics with local lawmakers.”

    What about existing Taxi companies’ “not-so-subtle attempt to play politics?” I’m guessing TechCrunch is perfectly fine with that.

    Laws that target companies like Uber target essentially voluntary transactions, pushing the government deeper into the lives of purportedly free people.

    The Danes are “purportedly free people?” Citation needed.

    1. All you really need to back that up is to find one person willing to say “the Danes are free people”.

  5. Uber says it hopes it can work with the government […]

    Funny how everything ends up here.

    1. Uber just has to buy, I mean contribute to the right people

      1. I recently enjoyed some Uber rides in Sanantone, and made a point of mentioning to the drivers how Reason magazine stands up for their right to compete with entrenched looter oligopsonies.

  6. The people of Denmark are so happy
    Despite their cuisine being so crappy
    They allowed the reformation of Martin Luther
    But not the ridesharing apps of Uber
    So they just smile, burp and take a taxi.

    1. Pirattaxi is the sign that Viking is holding.

      Vikings being against pirates. Ironic?

      1. One of their wartime Nazi posters was a viking ship bearing a swastika on the sail. Searching National Socialist Denmark turns it up…

  7. The Danes have willingly chosen to give most of their paychecks to government in exchange for being its wards. It’s what they do and what they like. That’s fine, let them be. They got 5 million people. They’re the Colorado of Europe.

    1. I resent that remark.

    2. Don’t disparage the fine Centennial State like that.

  8. It is good that Uber has realised that the concept and way they want to do business is not something we want to do in Denmark

    Besides, I dunno, those 200,000 people who chose to use the service. But to fucktard politicians who believe they represent the preferences of their subjects, it’s okay for every individual to be forced to make the same, obviously correct, decision.

    Karsten H?nge, a member of parliament from the Socialist People’s Party and its transport spokesperson, said it was a “happy occasion that Uber is being driven to the scrapyard?I have not shed a tear.”

    Happy only for well off socialist trend followers, not so happy for those filthy poors who have been deprived of an affordable, flexible transportation option. But I’m sure there will be plenty of progsplaining about how voting against the socialists is voting against their economic interests nonetheless.


  9. “I am glad that our society is taking a stand against a company as greedy and avaricious and Uber,” H?nge said, as The Local reports.”

    Imagine that; a European Socialist that doesn’t like innovation, lower prices, or freedom of the working class. I’m shocked. So instead of there being more jobs taking fares there will be fewer jobs for those workers.

    Brilliant job, Europe. Keep fucking yourself in the ear with a pencil.

  10. Way back when, my rough measure of how economically screwed up a country was how much per minute a telephone call to it cost. Now, whether or not Uber is banned is a pretty good alternative.

  11. You’ll recognize the pirate taxi by having one headlight covered up and a midget spare on one wheel.

  12. elimination of competition through regulation where have we seen that before. why in the USA of course. in its ACA inits EPA in its other vast regulatory bodies.

  13. My Uber story: The other night at 3:00am I called a taxi to pick me up. Half-hour later without it showing up I called the taxi again and was told that a driver hasn’t responded to the dispatcher call!

    There is no fucking business or traffic at 3 in the fucking morning!

    So, I downloaded the Uber app and the super-nice Somali Uber driver shows up in 10 minutes and gives me a ride home!

    Fuck those taxis from now on. Red & White Taxi in Minneapolis.

  14. Now the question is, will the Danophile American leftists be ashamed of what their ideal country is doing to Uber, or will they demand we emulate them?

    It really is hard to satirize the sheer retardation of socialism anymore. If I were to describe socialism as the desire to quash any attempt by a person or group of people to voluntarily sell useful goods or services to people, it sounds like I’m mocking socialism, but I suspect half of the socialists out there would gleefully agree. Like there’s just something fundamentally evil about just selling something useful to someone who wants it.

  15. Yep. Denmark’s National Socialist movement, the DNSB, is alive and well: http://tinyurl.com/ks8ajm4

  16. So – do we really even need government?

  17. It’s not clear to me how or why being opposed to Uber’s operation is “socialist.” Aren’t socialists advocates of Uber, given that it is the perfect example of a worker owning the means of production and the fruits of their labor? Seems like a socialist panacea.

    1. Huh? Are you high? That made no sense.

    2. Huh? Are you high? That made no sense.

    3. Socialists DEPEND on class conflict for their power. If everyone is self employed, socialists have no one to hate — and to steal from.

    4. Quoting http://www.diffen.com/differen….._Socialism

      “The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in Public-ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative-ownership models).”

      Thus, a socialist wants ALL of society or ALL of the workers to own the means of production, not just one individual worker, who in capitalist terms would be called an entrepreneur.

  18. If only Uber would unionize its independent contractors, all these problems in Denmark would miraculously disappear overnight. THEN they would no longer be considered evil, but rather bastions of social responsibility.

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