I have lived years of my life under the poverty line, and so perhaps that's why I get annoyed by the above.
That's just how markets work. I'm not aware of any reasonable theory that Uber should be responsible for solving income resistribution.
The failure is one of government. Trillions spent on the War on Poverty with little to show for it. Meanwhile corruption and collusion between finance, healthcare, insurance, academia and many other industries take money from the poor and working classes, and give it to the rich.
If you truly 'care about poor people,' perhaps you should also be annoyed with groups that actually produce something of value being made scapegoats while truly worse-than-useless, despicable thieves walk free(1).
If we are to be honest about caring about the poor, then we need to admit that government is not effectively managing the perverse outcomes of capitalism. Instead, they are often exacerbating these problems. Our financial industry, and so many other industries, wouldn't be possible to be so worthless and financially destructive without the current corruption in government.
This is unfortunately not the direction the political consciousness is headed in.
Does society benefit in amount of 50 billion dollars from Uber? (Note I calculated in a serious money gains in here.)
It could be either, or both.
I don't think it is moral to remove someone's natural rights to fight over resources in a world where there we all inherit at birth (as opposed to produce) a world with more than enough wealth for everyone, and then tell them they must serve some market interests to survive. That's why I have supported basic income for over 10 years now.
Once BI solves those problems, yea, it's fair.
>Does society benefit in amount of 50 billion dollars from Uber?
I'm not sure on the exact amount, but the beauty of free markets is the freedom to choose. If people are voluntarily giving their money for something, than it is >= wortht it for them.
We can be angry/disgusted/whatever at Silicon Valley startups misclassifying workers to make ends meet for their investors.
Fair enough, but are you aware of why most economists believe minimum wage laws to be bad for the working poor? These employees are not a captive workforce--they are by their own free will making a choice to do this work in exchange for this wage.
In the case of Uber, Uber dictates their wage. It dictates the rules of the engagement almost entirely. This doesn't pass the independent contractor test.
> Fair enough, but are you aware of why most economists believe minimum wage laws to be bad for the working poor?
Most economists live in a fantasyland of theory. I hope they're not too surprised with the sharpness of pitchforks bursting their bubble. If labor isn't as valuable, and needs to survive, you continue to ratchet up wages in lockstep with social safety nets. The productivity to fund this is there: https://thecurrentmoment.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/product...
> These employees are not a captive workforce--they are by their own free will making a choice to do this work in exchange for this rate.
When you have few economic options, you are an economic serf.
EDIT: (hn throttling, can't reply)
> It turns out our government is less concerned with effective redistribution to the poor than to the rich and to itself. If government can screw this up so badly, what makes you think they can micromanage the salaries, services and management of millions of businesses?
Every other industrialized country has a lower Gini coefficient (measure of income equality), and more market regulation. If the private sector can do so much damage, what makes you think they should be permitted to operate in a free market environment?
@adrianN: If higher wages speed automation, you tax automation to fund social safety nets. The automation owner gets to receive remuneration for owning the automation, and society benefits by receiving part of that remuneration. Low wage jobs should disappear.
It turns out our government is less concerned with effective redistribution to the poor than it is with redistribution to the rich and to itself. If government can screw this up so badly, what makes you think they can micromanage the salaries of millions of businesses?
The policies that allow those billionaires to exist without taxing them at a higher rate is the problem. The age ol "capital treated better than labor" issue.
"Higher income tax rates for the rich would help reduce inequality without having an adverse impact on growth, the International Monetary Fund has said.
The Washington-based IMF used its influential half-yearly fiscal monitor to demolish the argument that economic growth would suffer if governments in advanced Western countries forced the top 1% of earners to pay more tax.
The IMF said tax theory suggested there should be “significantly higher” tax rates for those on higher incomes but the argument against doing so was that hitting the rich would be bad for growth."
What we really need to do is bioengineer people to be about 10 inch tall while retaining the same or much better mental capacity (through neural lace/ brain running on super computer phones or whatever-preferrably self sovereign and free from nasty spyware or whatever ha). This would solve the housing crisis, make space travel much easier, and make feeding the population vastly easier. Right now it takes 1/5 acre of soybean for a person for a year. Imagine if it took only a couple of plants to do so.
Farm in your own tiny house via exoskeleton/ hydroponics and thats enough food, you basically dont have to work, and there would be enough extra land for people to techno—minecraft the countryside and get to other planets on cellphone rocket sized space ships.
We need to teach our cell phones to eat food is the first step. That will make for exceptionally long lasting batteries, and save the trouble of having to find your charger, which can be annoying, as we all know.
in any case, the last 50 years have been a slow but relentless imbalancing of the playing field against labor and in favor of capital, rather than a relentless march toward perfect productivity.
technology certainly has aided and abetted this shift, by helping to speed up the world beyond the comprehensive agility of humans. and it has done so largely for wielders of capital, of financiers and bankers and investors and lawyers and consultants and executives, so that information can be hoarded and honed and aimed precisely. knowledge is power indeed.
as our greed led us to hoard money, and as capital concentrated, it wasn't enough to be well off. some of us really had an urge to be richer than our neighbors and out-compete them. our sense of self depended on it. we needed to influence the political system and even exert influence on foreign nations so that incremental advantages could be won over time. economists advocated unmitigated globalism and reagan cut taxes for the wealthy so they could "create jobs" and the benefits could "trickle down".
instead, money flowed to things like real estate, a relatively greenfield investment opportunity, where the mortgage interest deduction, combined with bailed out government guarantors (freddie and fannie) and tax shelters like 1031 exchanges, allowed speculators to make enormous sums on the spread between their cost of capital and the inflated interest rates of the times. and they could easily sell off the loans, recover their capital, and do it all over again in a matter of months, while the lone home owner often needed to wait years to realize gains (not that i'm necessarily advocating homes be investment vehicles).
money flowed to education, where regulations placed a choke hold on borrowers, basically giving lenders a risk-free investment backed again by government guarantees and the force of government to compel students to pay (bailouts are not for students of course).
executives and their investors, not to be outplayed, exploited tax shields to create private equity opportunities by essentially buying companies on loan, dressing them up, and flipping them. executives simultaneously complained about the lack of talent and the inability to compete with third-world labor, to get further concessions like a cut in the capital gains tax and tax holidays on foreign earnings that went straight past labor and into their piggy banks.
politicians on both sides of the aisle got fat on the largess all these regulatory advantages bestowed to them. the supreme court further obliged with citizen's united, and have so far allowed egregious gerrymandering.
we bailed out the banking industry not once, but twice, as well as the auto industry. we subsidize oil & gas and transportation, and give huge unaccounted-for sums to the military-industrial complex. all this money seems to somehow end up benefitting capital much more than labor. the US spends 3-4 times on infrastructure projects than most other countries; the same with education and healthcare. all with no perceivable societal benefit. we seem to be in collective love with giving tax-payer money to capital holders for free.
and so it goes. but that's not even the tip of the iceberg, that's a few droplets of water melting down off the side. the ground is swelling with anger over the continued blind eye of government and capital at all of this unfairness. we are social animals, and deep down, we expect that the group will care for each other, treat each other fairly, even protect each other, but greed has overwhelmed us. and technology-driven efficiency gains are only incidental to all this.