Taxi.coop ,Why are we feeding Late Stage Capitalism again?


#1

So I thought I’d share my mind on an article by ‘Salon’ & why “There is no reason Uber should be a for-profit corporation”.

Basically if you are providing all of the services and you are the guy carrying the can as far as insurance and expenses etc
Then, why is Uber not a .coop or not-for-profit organisation that just provides the infrastructure, digitally for Taxi’s ?

The same applies to AirBnB, Lyft etc. & the list goes on.

It it my continued belief that these dot com 2.0 companies are basically keeping Wallstreet happy and until there is a reasonable alternative (with the same peer-reviewing system), and I don’t see with this continuing how socialism, this century, can prosper.

Of course there is a massive overhead of initial setup costs and getting the maps and software sorted.
But geography doesn’t change - and really the service is just a glorified version of an old system.
They haven’t re-invented anything.

I just wonder if something concerning ‘localism’ could be applied to these kind of services. It’s a given that I live in a place that is pretty tiny, but to be honest, I don’t see how this couldn’t get sorted out.
Also, with the onslaught of electric cabs able to cover greater distances with auto-refuelling of battery-cells with Tesla - I honestly think that these services are becoming obsolete in terms of overheads.

So what do you think ? Should these dot-com’s in the service industry be made into coops for local providers ?

And how do the Rochdale Principles associated with coops affect this line of debate ?


#2

The main issue I have with this article is that it’s uber centric when uber has made it clear their end goal is to do away with the human worker completely. Same, companies like CrowdFlower openly admit they have AI learning from humans doing human intelligence tasks so that soon humans will no longer be needed for those tasks.

The question that should be being asked is not ‘How do we make this better for the human worker?’, rather, “How do we resist to ensure there will be a place for the human worker?”


#3

No, because a business which operates as a charity or co-op or limited liability entity has financial strength and ergo less scope and freedom to engage in unfettered research and development, which reduces the capability for competitiveness and innovation.

That’s a massive non-sequitur. If geography doesn’t change, why are GPS maps constantly updated? Why does the Ordnance Survey constantly produce new editions of their maps? Why are there so many geographic imagery satellites? Plates slip, canyons flood, land subsides, islands rise. Geography changes all the time.


#4

I disagree. R&D is basically how bounties were invented. They just need to be funded properly.
Thats what true open-source is to me.

2ndly, I meant from day to day (geographically) Your ‘updates’ are simply filling out the map more.
Once open-street-map becomes more established from a business perspective - I don’t see why you cannot have co-operative\s doing this (?)


#5

And who funds these bounties? Remember, bounties are outgoing costs, not incoming revenue.

Also, where does your proper funding come from? With your Uber/Lyft/et al example, who pays for the vehicle purchasing, the vehicle registration, the vehicle modifications (you can’t just slap a factory spec vehicle out on the road, it has to go through the proper regulation-led homologation process for the territory you’re operating in, plus additional mods to meet operational requirements specific to the business), the local taxi/hackney licence, the fuel for the vehicles, vehicle maintenance (repairs, tyres, regulation change adherence, etc), the driver validation and onboarding process, the support staff hiring and training process, the backend infrastructure costs, the backend maintenance costs, PR, HR, legal, security, et cetera, et cetera.

These are massive upfront and ongoing capital and operating costs if you want to construct a demand-led, always available business concern. Even if it’s just one person and a car, that’s 5 figures easy for the car, a few hundred a year for the local government licences, fuel usage dependent on weight of demand, MOT, vehicle tax, mobile internet, website, database, app, support for the app …

Plus the fact that there are existing commercial entities at work, all competing, all innovating. You could try to persuade one to forego profits, but all of them? Suddenly, you’re at a commercial disadvantage, so even if you can get people to use your service on the basis that you’re a not-for-profit concern, many won’t care, and will go for the service that’s cheaper and/or more useful. Then you’ll discover the hard way why not-for-profits and and co-ops generally don’t operate large multinational businesses in cutthroat industries.

I didn’t say co-operatives couldn’t do anything. You asked if commercial companies should be turned into co-ops. I disagree.

If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions. :slight_smile:


#6

For the record, what you’re suggesting is possible just not under the exact model you’re proposing. I know because I work in the cut throat industry of security services…for a not for profit. Speaking of which I should probably get ready now so I’m not late :0


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