Uber Wars: How D.C.Tried to Kill a Great New Ride Technology

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The on-demand car service Uber is one of the most inventive transportation technologies of the new century. In over 20 countries - and two dozen U.S. cities - Uber uses a smartphone app to connect people who need rides with drivers of a range of vehicles from luxury towncars to regular taxis.

Like most powerful innovations, Uber disrupts the status quo by competing with established business interests. In Washington, D.C., the service was an instant hit with city residents - and almost as quickly found itself at odds with D.C.'s powerful taxi lobby and its allies on the city council. 

The result was the Uber Wars, which ended in a striking victory for the company and its customers.

Related Article: "Driving in the Future: How Regulators Try to Crush Uber, Lyft, and New Ride-Sharing Ventures." 

About 10 minutes.

Written and directed by Rob Montz (follow him on Twitter @robmontz) and executive produced by William Beutler at Beutler Ink (@BeutlerInk). For more information and inquiries, email TheUberWars@gmail.com

Scroll below for downloadable versions. Subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel and get automatic notifications when new videos go live.

For more on the Capital City's taxicab cartel, watch "DC Taxi Heist." And for Reason's coverage of Uber and its regulatory run-ins, go here.

NEXT: RuPaul's Drag Race, Gender-Bending Marines, and Legislating Gayness: Q/A with Fenton Bailey

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  1. But what will become of the carriage makers and the smithies Mr Ford?

    1. He built a reservation for them. It's called Greenfield Village.

  2. I love the woman at the end.

    OMG TERRORISTSS!

    1. Damn, I'm glad I didn't kill it when I saw the credits roll... that was worth the price of admission. Yeah, dog forbid the congressional black caucus gets blown up by a coordinated UBER ATTACK!!

  3. I really want to see Uber add small trucks to their offerings. The day they do that, I'll short u-haul and make a fortune.

    -jcr

    1. Good point. That could be handy for a number of uses. Or an Uber for day laborers...imagine the circuit breakers blow in the GOP on that idea

      1. Would they blow because the cheap labor lobby would have even more money to shovel into Repubs' bank accounts?

      2. There's a thing called TaskRabbit that allows you to put out bids for small jobs. I.e. $20 to mow my law, $40 to clean my gutters, etc.
        Could probably be used for moving help as well.

        My bet is that if it catches on, the fed will come down so fucking hard for violating minimum wage laws.

        We can't have individuals just paying random strangers what they are willing to take for a random task.

        1. Funny. I've been a gearhead for decades and grew up with tools in my hands. One time I was at a parts shop and a guy there asked me if I could help him replace the tumbler on his ignition switch. Not having worked on the make/model before I quoted $20 to do the job. He agreed.

          He followed me a few blocks over to my place and parked in my garage while I got my toolbox. From the time I sat down until I had the job done was about 3 minutes. He tried to renegotiate the fee but I figured I had taken the risk - not knowing exactly what it was going to take - and earned the fee as agreed.

  4. I'd also love to see Uber cause most of those DC council asswipes to get bounced off the taxpayers' teat. If every Uber customer voted against them, they'd be in some pretty deep shit.

    -jcr

    1. Who are they going to vote for? A libertarian? Don't be silly. All right thinking affluent urban progressives know that unbridled capitalism is the source of all social ills.

  5. Man, I couldn't have been in that room. Every one of those goddamned leeches would have gotten a shoe tossed at their useless heads.

    -jcr

    1. Would be kind of awkward as you went to retrieve your shoes after every two tosses. Or equally awkward to explain what you're doing with that duffle full of shoes. Especially since they're all 4in-high-heels.

  6. The one experience I had with Uber was when they were running an ice cream truck promotion. You'd pay a flat fee and get X number of ice cream treats if you used Uber to call a truck to your location. When the truck got to our office, the DC Taxicab Commission enforcer was there harassing cabbies. He immediately turned his attention to us and the ice cream truck, shouting something about "unlicensed" and "dangerous" and "you don't know what you're getting".

    Made me want to chip in another $25 for more ice cream.

    1. I have a bone to pick with you.

      All the ads in the margins are now pink ski jackets!

      Damn you! I want my T-shirt girls back!

      1. So?

        Google snorg tees. Then that six dollar tee site. Go to TMZ a few times. Browse a few dating sites catering to a younger crowd.

        Google will get the hint. 😉

        1. Why am I getting Russion and Filipino mail order bride ads? oh, wait....

      2. Ads? What are these ads you speak of?

        1. I support capitalism. And the T-shirt chicks are hot.

        2. He still has Ski Jackets in his browser history from when you asked for Utah advice.

            1. Dang. This isn't the first time, either.

            2. Dang. This isn't the first time, either.

    2. I used Uber for the first time on Saturday. It was pretty cool, the car came in like 10 minutes and the guy was really friendly. Way better than a cab, although it would have been pretty expensive had I not had a $20 off promo code.

  7. Riddle me this, Batman: What's the difference between State control of an industry, button maker guilds, and Luddites or other frame wreckers?

    1. They all wear different costumes.

  8. I wouldn't call it "inventive"; it's a straightforward idea.

    What I would call it is "daring", given that the founders of Uber were willing to take on both entrenched monopolies and their politician cronies.

    1. And won! Statism is totally defeatable.

  9. This is a fake war... like "WMD". Did we talk about how Uber claims to be only a technology company and then when the mentally challenged drivers Uber doesn't do background checks on stabs people in Georgetown we no longer hear their cries of regulatory dissatisfaction. Read the fine print people! When you have a complaint about an Uber driver, Uber will tell you to go to the Taxi Cab Commission. The hypocrisy. This fake Uber war is to create an "Us vs. Them" publicity stunt. Bravo for getting the minions to go with it... smh. Uber works for some, but Taxis are still necessary. I don't see an abundance of Uber in SE or NE for that matter.

    1. Why do we need a Taxicab commission for a mentally challenged driver who stabs one of his customers? Cannot one sue the driver and taxi owner in court for damages? Won't the local District Attorney prosecute the driver for assault? Or does the Taxi Cab Commission protect the taxi drivers and owners from the pubic (which would be another reason to end their jobs)?

      1. Sue? Isn't stabbing still an arrestable offense?

        1. Or i could read the whole post before responding. /derp

    2. I can barely make sense of this word salad. I love it when progs face something they can't stop. You can start to smell the electrical circuits in their head fry.

    3. Uber has a database record of every driver assigned to every ride.

      Anyone becoming an Uber driver because they want to stab people is the dumbest criminal alive.

      It would be signing the note you're using in your bank robbery with your name, social security number, and the address of the hideout you're about to drive to.

      1. "Anyone becoming an Uber driver because they want to stab people is the dumbest criminal alive."

        OK, I want to stab someone. Here's my checklist:
        1) Get knife
        2) Buy car
        3) Apply to Uber
        Uh,....

  10. This doc sounds like it was commissioned by Uber. Here's a documentary for another day:

    There's something techies and libertarians never understood about taxis: They are a public utility. Though they are businesses, they are also an extension of public transportation.

    As such, taxis were intended to serve the public interest?particularly the poor and disabled. But Uber doesn't serve people without a smart phone, credit card or who use a wheelchair. So, Uber inevitably cherry picks the easiest and most lucrative fares available in a city.

    As traditional taxi drivers' incomes continue to drop, their ability and willingness to serve profit-neutral fares?like the poor, disabled and elderly?will drop precipitously. Traditional taxi drivers will simply be too desperate to reliably help poor and disabled passengers. Poor communities will become the biggest losers of the Taxi Wars.

    1. There's something socialists and liberals never understood about this. Cars were intended to serve the public interest - particularly the poor and disabled.

      But cars don't serve people who cannot afford one, who don't have credit cards or insurance. So inevitably the auto industry cherry picks the most lucrative customers available.

      As the auto companies' incomes continue to drop, their ability and willingness to serve their customers equally, will drop precipitously. Traditional auto companies will simply be too desperate to reliably produce cars to help poor and disabled drivers. Poor communities will become the biggest losers of the Car Wars.

      Your post sounds like it was commissioned by politicians who want to control commerce, rather than letting commerce freely meet people's needs.

    2. Are taxi fares lower for the poor, disabled, and elderly?

      1. No you fucking idiot, he said they are profit neutral. That means that after a driver drops the poor off in their unseemly neighborhood he will get robbed and lose all profit. The disabled and the elderly just take up too much time to be profitable but they have to pick them up anyway. It takes 10 minutes to stuff a wheel chair or walker into the trunk of a cab.

        1. Poe's Law? Calm the fuck down dude.

          "That means that after a driver drops the poor off in their unseemly neighborhood he will get robbed and lose all profit."

          Really? This happens to taxis enough to wipe out all profits? And maybe if we didn't have gun laws that make it virtually impossible for most people to legally own handguns and carry them in public in big cities, this would be less of a problem. If you're gonna make a claim, back it up jackass.

          "The disabled and the elderly just take up too much time to be profitable but they have to pick them up anyway. It takes 10 minutes to stuff a wheel chair or walker into the trunk of a cab."

          I can maybe see that for a wheel chair, but what kind of walker are you using that takes 10 minutes to put in a trunk? Not every elderly person is in a wheel chair or barely capable of moving. I don't think most old people are going to take that much longer to get in or out of a car to the point where it's not profitable. And in any case, there are companies that specialize in transportation for the disabled, I don't see why taxis have to be the best option for every group.

          1. Trying to get one electric wheelchair into trunk of a cab can wipe out a whole day's profits, especially if the cabbie get's robbed while doing it. Sorry about the 'fucking idiot'.

            1. Do you think the poor, disabled, and elderly like being profit neutral? They have no choice.

              1. I got kicked off Redstate for this.

    3. They are a public utility.

      No they're not. Or they aren't supposed to be. To the extent that government has annexed them as one is the same extent they are shitty.

      The rest of your post is gafflegab nonsense. The taxi regulations are why fares are so high.

      Your tears are yummy.

    4. No, asshole. They are a voluntary exchange of value for mutual benefit.

    5. I take it that in your universe Spock has a beard, and poor people take taxis.

      Poor people take the bus.

      The elderly and the disabled take Medicaid and Medicare funded van services.

      1. THIS/\/\

        Poor people take the bus or more probably just walk. Buddies I grew up with used to walk everywhere, partly so we could stop by other places along the way but mostly to save the 25 cents bus fare.

        1. 25 cents bus fare

          Old fart.

    6. DaveSutton|10.23.13 @ 4:34PM|#
      ..."There's something techies and libertarians never understood about taxis: They are a public utility."...

      Fuck off, slaver.

    7. "As such, taxis were intended to serve the public interest?particularly the poor and disabled."

      You must be joking. Either that, or you are so out of touch with what it is like to be poor that you think taxis are affordable for ordinary folks in ordinary situations.

      Taxis are far too expensive for the poor largely because they are legal monopolies. Eliminate the monopoly, allow competition, increase supply and prices will fall for everybody.

    8. Hahahaha, that's some epically spot on prog/.gov derp right there. I only hope you were mimicking what they would say and don't actually believe it yourself.

    9. You must be a Sociology student/teacher who lives in the burbs.

      Poor people don't take taxis. This is the dumbest post I've read on here.

  11. Yet another example of people using government, to fatten their wallets, at the expense of those they claim to help. Without government, they'd be forced to compete for the business, rather than buying government favors to restrict competition.

    I think Matt Welch reported it best in his "The C word" article at https://reason.com/archives/2011/02/07/the-c-word

    "December saw the passing of a great American: the academic and bureaucrat Alfred E. Kahn, father of airline deregulation. Kahn was a liberal Democrat who, after applying rigorous study to the impact of federal regulation on industry, came to the conclusion that in many cases regulation served to raise prices, blunt innovation, form government-sanctioned industrial cartels, and discriminate against new businesses. The market, not the government, was the most effective tool to discipline big business, because corporations that punished their customers were doomed to failure. In short, Kahn understood that misguided regulation produced exactly what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claims to despise: big business and government entwined in unholy corporatism."

    1. KHAAAAAAAN

      -Harry Reid

  12. You know else said "Uber" a lot?

    1. The Clash?

    2. Nietzsche?

  13. Recycled comments!

    1. It's fun watching people reply to 3 month old comments.

      /Evil Reason weekend crew

        1. They got me last weekend. They would have had me here, but I couldn't help notice my comment was...

          FIRST!

          How many firsts does Fist have that are 3 months PRIOR to post time? Huh? Not many I'll bet.

          (Actually, odds are very good that he does.)

      1. Damn it, they got me again!

  14. Wenzel does another great take down on Krugman.

    http://www.economicpolicyjourn.....an-on.html

    1. Krugman seriously argued that there have been no other places with high inflation other than Zimbabwe and Weimar Germany?

      What about 25% inflation in late 70's Britain, high inflation in Russia when they were transitioning away from the Soviet system, etc?

      I love how much that article they cite kicks his ass on this issue.

      Since 1957, inflation has bee commonplace throughout the world. Based o a sample of 133 countries (for a total of 45,000 observations), we find that more than two-thirds of the countries have experienced an episode of more than 25-percent per-annum inflation; more than one-third has [sic] experienced episodes in excess of 50 percent per annum; close to 20 percent of countries have experienced inflation in excess of 100 percent ad around 8 percent experienced episodes of more than 400-percent per annum inflation.

      That sure makes it sound like Krugman is an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about. Hell, Argentina has a reported inflation of 15% right now and people think it's vastly higher and Argentina is just lying. It's very possible they've got 25-30% inflation right now.

      1. My draw dropped when I first read Krugman's claim given I was thinking pretty much the same, and I didn't know just how wrong he was until I read the above stats.

      2. 39 examples of hyperinflation, Krugs can count the ones with "high" inflation:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation

    2. That was a good,swift kick to the Krugnutz.

    3. Krugman isn't an utter moron, but he plays one for NYT readers.

      I mean, seriously, he cannot be so ignorant of monetary history to be unaware of Brazil's routine 1000:1 currency changes from the reis to the cruzado, then to the cruzeiro, then to the cruzeiro novo, then to the cruzeiro real, and finally to today's real.

      Or Chile's staggering inflation during the Allende regime.

      Or Argentina's staggering inflation history.

      Or the history of the Yugoslavian states.

      Etc, etc, etc, etc.

      1. What libertardians don't realize is that the only libertarian nations in history, the Confederacy and Somalia have both suffered inflation. This is ample proof that inflation is a natural feature of the econonomy and fear mongering about it nothing more then right wing lies.

  15. As traditional taxi drivers' incomes continue to drop, their ability and willingness to serve profit-neutral fares?like the poor, disabled and elderly?will drop precipitously. Traditional taxi drivers will simply be too desperate to reliably help poor and disabled passengers. Poor communities will become the biggest losers of the Taxi Wars.

    Now I haz a sad.

    1. Ya know, this is also true of the Maid Wars. Why, getting a maid in a poor neighborhood is difficult!

      1. Maids? Don't they have any orphans?

    2. Poor communities will become the biggest losers of the Taxi Wars.

      They wouldn't be if the goons of the taxi commission didn't strong-arm gypsy cabs out of business.

    3. That's an awful lot of ridiculous assertions not backed up by any evidence or citations.

      1. He could write speeches for the president. Sub in a few "There are those who x, and to them I say: y" lines and it's gold, Jerry, pure gold!

  16. Washington Post readers already throwing hissy fits because heretics have been allowed into the temple.

    ? I open up the "Saturday Morning Headlines" email and this is at the top. Is the WashPo going gun nut? They hired what looks like a teenage law professor? "Negroes and the Gun"?? What? And what the hell is a Volokh Conspiracy?

    You go to read NEWS, and you get BIZARRE. That's the internet for ya. Too bad it's happening at the Washington Post. Yet another sign of decadence.

    Volokh refuted this much more reasonably than I would have. If someone wrote something this stupid on my blog, my response would have used the word 'moron,' 'religious fanatic,' and 'brainwashed goon' much more frequently than Volokh did.

    1. Checked it out. The thing is when gun stories come up on Yahoo anti-gun sentient is usually crushed by pro-gun stuff by at least 6-1 and sometimes it gets to 30-1.

      This tells me that regardless of their idiotically directed passion they simple do not have the numbers to do anything and thus are not worth responding to or engaging in any way.

  17. Well, it's nice to hear a feminist come out and say it:

    I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I'm Not Sorry

    It begins with this gem of a paragraph:

    Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.

    Women shouldn't be forced to do what a man wants, they should be forced to do what I want!

    1. What a bitch. At least the comments are justly tearing her a new one. Also, at least she's unlikely to procreate.

    2. women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don't have to explain their lack of real accomplishments.

      Really? And just who is Amy Glass to judge the worth of another's accomplishments? And, just what are her accomplishments that make her feel so smug?

      Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal.

      She's right: they're not equal. However, in most cases, a stay-at-home mom's contribution to the human race far surpasses anything that Amy Glass has done.

      Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business.

      But it's a damn sight more important than writing a stupid blog.

      1. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business.

        I actually think that's completely untrue. Why is it less important to keep up a household than to be a doctor?

        If you learn to cook and feed your family healthy food and homecooked food, then the odds of your family developing problems with obesity will be lower. This means your children, your spouse, and yourself will be less likely to need a doctor because you'll be healthier.

        Also, washing clothes, keeping up the house, running errands...these things are just as important as running a business. Why is it somehow not 'important' to wash clothes for my own family but if I run a laundromat and wash clothes for other people it magically becomes noble?

        Also, if I stay home and homeschool my children, why is that less noble and important than a teacher schooling other people's children? It's obviously a ridiculous argument. A job is a job and that job does not become of greater value because you start drawing a salary.

        What's especially grating is that these are the same people who call libertarians too 'materialistic' or 'capitalist.' Then, in the next breath, they argue that all that matters is what job you work and how much money you make.

        1. What's especially grating is that these are the same people who call libertarians too 'materialistic' or 'capitalist.' Then, in the next breath, they argue that all that matters is what job you work and how much money you make.

          __________

          It's just as fun when they argue that someone who took on 200,000 in debt to work a 90,000 a year job in Manhattan is obviously better off then someone who went straight to work after high school making 40,000 a year in North Dakota.

      2. These types of - I hesitate to call it an "article" - are just click bait and geared to insecure, affluent white women.

        Calibrating what constitutes a human accomplishment is tricky business. Most women won't become doctors, engineers, or entrepreneurs. Many may have satisfying jobs or careers, but is it worth sacrificing a family life so you can go on to become a middle manager at xyz company?, Is that a worthwhile trade off? Most women, I think, would say 'no'.

        By Amy's definitions, I'd be a failure. I married at 22 and had two children by 24. I also have a job I love. I work as much or as little as I like. The ultimate secret to my success is that I married well. And, by 'well' I don't mean financially. I choose a good man. Am I dependent? Yes, but he is also deeply dependent on me. When you marry and have children you become a partner in an endeavor that's bigger than yourself. I don't think dear Amy quite understands that.

        1. ..."Most women won't become doctors, engineers, or entrepreneurs."...

          Hope it isn't too pedantic to mention most men won't, either.

          1. It would be pedantic if there was reason to even imagine that any measurable percentage of her target audience could be waterboarded to admit it,

      3. LET THE RATTLING OF POTS AND PANS BE THEIR VOICE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT!

    3. And one wonders why feminism is so unpopular among women.

    4. Successful Women Do Not Fall In Love

      ...being single is kind of an armor guarding against whatever cultural or biological intuitions are telling me, as a woman, to be self-sacrificial.

      Let's say you want to have a husband and kids and a job that pays enough for you to be comfortable. That's an achievable dream for most of my peers, the upkeep of a relationship with an easy to moderate job can work for a woman. You can balance. However, there's people like me who don't like middle ground, it's not for everyone. I don't want to be a latte, I want to be an espresso. I want all of something, or I don't want it at all.

      Could the thing I be "successful" or "great" at be being a wife or a mother? Sure? I guess? But then the thing you are great at is helping other people. You are a supporting cast member in your own biography. That's not for me.

      That feeling of belonging you get from being a girlfriend or wife or mother? that's what other people feel when they're successful. You might think it's the "shallow" motivators of power or money. I know, personally, that's not it. I am in love with myself, in love with building my work, which will outlive me, and in love with proving people wrong, the ones who told me what I couldn't do? be happy and secure and the center of my own world.

      1. This one is a bit less insulting, since it's mostly just her explaining her personal preferences.

        OTOH, it's pretty bitchy in that she takes her personal preferences and projects them onto everyone else.

      2. ...which will outlive me

        Yeah, just from reading your material, I'm gonna go ahead and break it to you, Amy: No. You're work won't outlive you.

      3. Could the thing I be "successful" or "great" at be being a wife or a mother? Sure? I guess? But then the thing you are great at is helping other people. You are a supporting cast member in your own biography.

        She doesn't have kids? Good. Any parent, of any gender, who thinks that being a parent means they're a "supporting cast member" is unfit to have kids.

        As a parent, your job is to applaud at weddings and birthdays and graduations. It's to sit and watch at concerts and recitals and sporting events. It's to be the honored guest at the Super Bowl that both your sons are coaching. It's to stand behind your son as his CO pins the medal to his chest. It's to be the one who hands a grandchild to an exhausted daughter. It's to be the one who welcomes your children's spouse into the family with open arms.

        That's the whole fucking point of life. Everything there ever was or ever will be in humanity came out of a woman's womb.

        But somehow, I'm the misogynist.

      4. Could the thing I be "successful" or "great" at be being a wife or a mother? Sure? I guess? But then the thing you are great at is helping other people.

        Gee, I guess those lauded professions in the other article would suck for her, too. Those successful doctors, lawyers, teachers, therapists, chefs, etc -- success in, I guess, most jobs, when you come down to it -- comes from being 'great at helping other people'.

        I didn't see what her "work" is, but why do I get the feeling that this work which 'will outlive' her is covering used furniture with bits of broken mirror pieces, to be sold at funky boutiques in sorta bad, sorta hip neighborhoods?

      5. I am in love with myself, in love with building my work, which will outlive me, and in love with proving people wrong, the ones who told me what I couldn't do? be happy and secure and the center of my own world.

        This woman is pretty fucking narcissistic. Her basic argument is 'helping other people is terrible.'

        It's hilarious that someone like this is considered okay by feminists while libertarians are horribly selfish.

        1. Someone is trying very, very hard to validate her life choices.

          If you can't find any happiness in your own smug, little cocoon, better to tear down those around you who do.

    5. I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I'm Not Sorry

      Another example of a feminist in denial of the our imperative to survive as an animal species. I picture a fish riding a bike riding on a dinosaur as Jesus waves as he passes by on another.

    6. It validates the freedom to make a choice, not the choice itself.

  18. http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....rir-square

    Since this is worse than anything the Morsi government ever did, can I assume that the usual Cyto-suspects will demand the immediate removal of the generals' government?

    1. 404

      And no, as bad as the current regime is, it's still not an Islamist regime and therefore better than Mursi. So it gets my unenthusiastic approval.

  19. My apologies if this has already been OTed.
    (h/t former-Reason intern James Taranto)

    Legalized Marijuana: Will White People Get All the Good Weed?

    1. . . . pushed to the edge of extinction by legalized pot, rely exclusively on cheaper, synthetic pot as a way to keep their business afloat?

      Seriously? No-one is smoking spice because its *cheaper*. They're smoking it because its more readily available and (most importantly) generally WON'T get you thrown in jail.

      Plus, isn't pot quality *already* segregated by income? Just like car quality. Or clothes quality. Or ice cream quality. And who cares? This guy is actually comparing the importance of pot access to health care.

    1. What's sad is that the Ukrainian police are more civilized than US cops would be.

      If a crowd like this swept into an NYC police station, the police would shoot the first hundred and the rest would run.

      1. True, on the other hand according to the comments the protesters let the cops go after being stripped of their equipment.

        In our country if the cops did as you predict but the protesters didn't run away there would be a lot of dead cops.

        1. That's why they didn't shoot. If they had, the survivors would have barricaded the exits and fired the building.

  20. I wouldn't really mind if there were a Dexter type guy who focused his efforts on some of these scumbag bureaucrats/politicians instead of other serial killers.

  21. How in the fuck can you "gouge" someone in a voluntary transaction?

    1. It's a word without a real concept to which it refers, to be sure.

    2. Because if someone needs something they must get it. It's fair only if they get something out of the deal. The actual provider should get nothing because capitalism is evil.

      So charging anything is wrong. But basing it on so-called "demand" is doubleplus ungood thought crimethink.

      1. I need remedial newspeak grammar work.

    3. Well, simple: greed!

    4. Because it's cold and snowy. You have me over a barrel. (Read in Doug Whiner voice)

      Make no mention of the fact that the driver is out in the cold and snow.

      1. He doesn't count since he's a filthy capitalist. I mean, who does this guy think he is what with owning a car and turning it into a productive asset. He's blurring the lines between private property and possession and that will just confuse the poor schlubs we're trying to hook onto SJW.

        1. SoJuWas assemble!

  22. OT: Expressing his horror and frustration at Obama's "killing U.S. citizens with drone attacks and without due process" GOP candidate for Florida's state House, Joshua Black, stated the penalty for Obama's actions were beyond that of mere impeachment and that it was time to "arrest [Obama] and hang him high". Obama, being the petulant child that he is, sent the Secret Service to pay a visit to Black's house. The Internet is now ablaze with that a Southern Teahadist Rethuglican would call for Obama to be lynched, because they're racist, duh!

    Now because Loki the trickster is the one true deity, "Black" isn't just Joshua's surname.

    1. The President of the US thinks its perfectly ok to murder American citizens with drone missiles, along with anyone who happens to be standing within 50 feet of them.

      But the guy who thinks that murderers should be hung is the crazy one and the bad guy?

      1. When you make yourself the issue, that distracts attention from whatever serious point you're trying to make.

        But to be fair, he's a cab driver, and by the standards of cab-driver political discourse, this is fairly mild.

    2. You don't even want to venture into the comments section.. so I'll give you a bit of it:

      This Joshua S Black character is just that, a character. I'm betting this person is created by some fat bloated angry white tea party nut job..... and the name is a bit of a nod..... Joshua iS Black..... he can't be real. Media is biting at this thing and took it hook line and sinker. I'm betting the teahadist nut jobs are getting tired of always being ripped about watching Fox "news" and getting information wrong and this is an attempt to 'point out' the liberal medias bias.

      1. What I'm looking forward to is the next Republican president the RNC establishment forces down America's throat. He'll come into office thinking he can get away with the same things that Obama does now. Doesn't work that way! Bush got a lot of leeway from the press due to 9-11, and that only lasted until 2004. They are looking forward to cozying up to the next Republican in the office and then stabbing him in the back before throwing him to a mob they have riled up to hang 'em high. He just might turn out to be the first lynched president in our history given the pent up anger at the system that can't be fully expressed at the moment.

  23. Am I the only one here who initially misparsed the new headline (as opposed to the old one above the recycled article & comment thread) as asking whether taxi service (in general) was uber-price-gouging?

    1. I think they posted the wrong article. There was this one and then there was the one about charging more during snowstorms.

      I suspect that in his haste to get back to his drinking, Gillespie posted the wrong old article under the new headline.

      1. I'd like to see how much the Jacket can drink on a seasicky ocean cruise. Alas, I have obligations that week. I was seriously considering sneaking away for that Reason cruise, just getting the chance to go to cocktail parties with the pundits listed sounds pretty fun.

        Now if they'd actually invite me to be a speaker, to talk about my research in emergency medicine, which actually fits the bill (it shows reducing/eliminating coercion in ERs dramatically improves outcomes and other metrics while saving thousands of dollars per patient,) then I'd have a good reason to come on the cruise. I have to give that same lecture at a big conference that week. I think canceling to do the same presentation on a cruise might be a way out.

        1. This is really interesting and goes to some of my presentations about economics and ethics in the ICU. Would you be willing to print/publish the abstract/presentation after it is presented?

  24. Greenpeace is erasing its founders from history:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/201.....et-russia/

    1. "He better be glad his name and image are all we erase!"

    2. He's come out as pro-nuclear. Greenpeace prides itself on blind hatred for nuclear power. Obviously a founder random guy can't be walking around pointing out that this position is not based on anything but emoting.

  25. The New Republic isn't sure if Mein Kampf is actually all that popular, but it doesn't know:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....nt=3778030

    1. That's my kind of food desert!

      Alternate joke: I bet that includes upside-down cake! (see, Australia is on the bottom of the earth, so it's upside-down)

        1. It's about the Australian Red-venom Spider Snake Monkey.

  26. It should be up to the market to decide if Uber is doing something wrong. If you don't like surge pricing, just don't use Uber, ever. Boycott it if you think they are so bad. Use sidecar or some other similar service.

    There is something to be said for customer loyalty, and if Uber pisses of it's customers that is a market opportunity for other services.
    Start a different service, charge more for regular rides, and then take a loss during snowstorms, and see if you can win a loyal following for charging a consistent rate.

    1. That's silly.

    2. You obviously don't care about the poor and disabled who routinely use taxi service to get around town. Racist Teathuglican.

  27. I hope you all have your haggis prepped for Burns Supper.

    1. You can't buy authentic Scottish haggis in the US because it contains sheep lungs.

      1. I think I'll manage in spite of this great tragedy.

        1. I'll use Chorizo.

  28. Government is an ongoing criminal enterprise. That is all.

  29. Who is that old man talking at 10:03?

    1. A Statist.

  30. What is it with app developers that want access to *everything* on your phone.

    Checked on the Uber app - It wants to be able to be able to directly call phone numbers, get my location, take picture and videos (hardware control), read my contact data, discover known accounts and read Google service configuration - in addition to other stuff that I consider kinda necessary (internet access, phone state, etc).

    All that with nary an explanation as to why it would be necessary to give the app that level of control.

    1. Uber is actually an NSA black project. When you call a car on Uber, and you're suspected of anti-government activities, a the request is flagged and a 'special' car arrives to pick you up, you just never arrive at your destination.

    2. Agammamon|1.25.14 @ 9:32PM|#
      "What is it with app developers that want access to *everything* on your phone."

      Dunno, but that might make me call a cab. Seems there's this concept of 'competition' and some competing for my business offer what I want.

  31. "What the f*** did I do? Why did you stop me?" Bieber asked the police officer according to CNN.com.

    Driving wile possessing a car a cop can't afford. Use to be my more upscale friends ran into that problem regularly. Not so much so now cop salaries are more upper middle than working class.

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