Skip to comments.Luddites in Paris: Attacking Uber, taxi drivers and their gov't allies try to forestall the future
Posted on 07/10/2015 5:02:23 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Two weeks ago, taxi drivers in Paris staged a violent protest against self-employed Uber drivers and paralyzed the French capital. Similar anti-Uber demonstrations have occurred in the United States and in other European capitals, but only in Paris did events take a violent turn, seemingly confirming Alexis de Tocquevilles observation that the French start a revolution when confronted with change, not a reform.
Though crude, the Parisian taxi drivers methods seem to have had the intended effect. French police subsequently arrested two Uber executives, charging them, according to the Wall Street Journal, with enabling taxi-driving by nonprofessional drivers, among other crimes of entrepreneurship.
Ironically, Uber originated in Paris in 2009, when the companys founders couldnt find a taxi after leaving a technology conference called Le Web. Similarly, Airbnb came to life in San Francisco when its founders were unable to find a hotel room after a convention in 2008.
The disruptive effect of these firms is reminiscent of the dawn of the industrial revolution, when British textile workers foresaw the destruction of their jobs by new mechanical advances. In 1811, a splinter group known as the Luddites formed in Nottinghamshire and embarked on a campaign of sabotage, attacking mills and destroying labor-saving looms. The British government imprisoned or executed Luddite leaders. The French Canuts (independent weavers) suffered a similar fate in Lyon in 1830 when they attempted to destroy new looms.
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
It’s the French. You’re surprised?
Interesting. We just got Uber service here in Pittsburgh within the last year. Our taxis are awful and instead of stepping up their game, they proceeded to wail & cry and use the local government to try to crush Uber. Thank goodness they failed.
Same thing here in San Antonio - the taxi lobby and their leftist buddies managed to get City Council to reject Uber service. Idiots. This is the same town that is completely controlled politically by liberal Democrats, and financially by old-guard families, both left and right. The town is terrific. The “leaders” suck.
Some years ago I flew into Charles De Gualle airport and was amazed when my Air France/Delta jet stopped on the tarmac some distance from the terminal. Stairs were wheeled up and as we clambered down a fleet of buses rolled up. The French bus drivers immediately began smoking their Gaullois and were in absolutely no hurry to get us to the terminal. We waited in the full bus for at least 20 minutes until the drivers finished their likely union mandated cigarette break. While driving to the terminal I noticed there were no functioning jetways at any of the gates and an army of buses was taking passengers from planes to and from the terminal. I concluded that the bus drivers union had managed to stop at least temporarily the use of jetways to guarantee heir jobs.
Personally, I think the Uber/Lyft business model is eventually going to collapse once their drivers understand how little they are actually being paid. When you factor in the amortized costs of operating a vehicle, I suspect many drivers actually lose money over the long run.
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