Uber gives Americans a float to hold in the rapids of the New American economy

This post has been moved to Wolf Street: Howling about Business and Finance.

See the Billionaire’s Dream: Uber’s New American Economy.  Who gets the crumbs in the ironically named “Sharing Economy”?

If you have never visited Wolf Street, it’s worth a look.

Veena Dubal about the sharing economy.
The Case Against Sharing On access, scarcity, and trust“, Susie Cagle in Medium.

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5 thoughts on “Uber gives Americans a float to hold in the rapids of the New American economy

  1. >>It’s also the next wave of deregulation (see this in The Guardian), evading a structure of laws built up over a century on the basis of hard-won experience.

    I’m all for sensible regulations and I agree that deregulation has and is causing problems, but the medallion system in major cities sets up pretty much the same system as Uber except with the medallion owners being the ones who contract out the cab service.

    Uber is disrupting that. The cost of medallions has fallen around 17% in NYC, down to a paltry $872,000. I’m hoping that as our government begins to draft and pass laws to regulate Uber, they’ll rectify this rent seeking setup while they’re at it. I’m not hopeful, but I’m hoping.

    1. loki,

      I agree! However, the Taxi reg system is more than just selling licenses — often at fantastic cost, to no benefit to the drivers. There is usually a sensible system of regulation. It’s not my field, so I don’t know the details (other than what’s in the G article), and cannot comment on this regulatory system vs Uber.

      My guess — guess! — is that we’ll find that the unreg Uber system has some serious flaws.

      I also wonder about the economics for drivers, after insurance, depreciation == and cost of accidents to the car (i.e., using a taxi depreciation schedule, adjusted for milage as a cab). The Uber study, like those before, just danced around these questions.

      However, these are interesting but incidental to this post. The broader point is that the sharing economy, broadly speaking, an adjustment on the downward slide of what was the large American middle class.

    1. Todd,

      That’s a long time away. As usual for America, the hype about the Google car is mostly delusional. It operates in a small defined area, carefully monitored so that its map is accurate. The sensors have severe limitations. The cost is astronomical. All of these will be overcome eventually, but for now it is in the flying car category.

      There’s few articles that give a realistic look at this tech. Here’s one, albeit a very gentle look: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/07/20/excited-for-self-driving-cars-not-fast-says-mit-professor/IUQgI8oo8559ee33QbU9NP/story.html

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