One of the benefits (I hope) of the advent of more and more of these app-based businesses—such as like Uber or Lyft, which people can use independently to live their lives, conduct their business, and save tons of time and money and frustration—is that suddenly, when the state steps in and fucks it all up (as always), it’s WAY more noticeable to the general populace.
So perhaps soon the rest of us will no longer have to work so hard at waking people up, explaining the true nature of the state, and pointing out its negative impact on society and the economy; it’ll just become so damned obvious to everyone that they’ll finally come to the realization that if humanity is going to continue to progress—societally, economically, technologically—it simply must be without the state (at least the state as we know it today, the behemoth that it’s morphed into since its original inception).
An example: Reason.com recently published an article entitled California Proposal to Let Uber Drivers, Other Sharing Economy Workers, Unionize, in which it was reported that California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales is introducing a bill that would “ensure independent contractors don’t lose out on workplace rights”, such as organizing and collective bargaining. The California 1099 Self-Organizing Act would allow independent contractors working through a hosting platform, such as Uber or Lyft, to negotiate as a group.
Now, I have no problem with these types of actions, as long as they remain strictly voluntary, by all participants; if Uber drivers wish to attempt to unionize and collectively bargain for higher wages, greater benefits, or better employment conditions, that’s up to them—and it’s up to Uber to either agree with or decline their demands, depending on their speculated impact such actions would have on their business. Uber has the right to either terminate business with the unionized drivers, or continue business under the conditions offered by the drivers. But those decisions should be totally up to Uber.
But once the state steps into the equation, and forces a business to accept the terms of employment demanded by the unionized employees, well, that’s criminal, and immoral. That’s no different than someone buying a pizza for $15, and the state puts a gun to their head and forces them to pay $20 for the pizza, just because the pizza maker wants to make more money…it has nothing at all to do with market demand (but you can bet the pizza maker will be more apt to vote for the state next time around, of course).
The Reason article goes on to compare the recent legislative efforts by the California State Assembly with those of the Seattle City Council, which in December 2015 voted 8-0 to allow Seattle’s for-hire drivers to unionize, quoting a blatantly deceptive statement from Capitol Hill Seattle:
“The bill’s passage makes Seattle the first city in the nation to attempt to give drivers the right to collectively bargain with app-based ridesharing companies…”
Okay, here’s the problem with that statement: you see, government doesn’t, and can’t, grant rights…that’s where the misperception (or, more likely, deception) lies. Government is supposed to be merely protecting the (already existent) rights of the people, not attempting to grant some people rights at the expense of others. And the right to collectively bargain with app-based ridesharing companies already exists—drivers don’t need the permission of government to do this.
And as for actual rights: potential Uber drivers have the right to accept the terms of employment offered by Uber, or not. They also have the right to organize and attempt to collectively bargain for better terms with Uber, or not. Uber has the right to offer their own terms of employment, and hire drivers based on those terms, or not. And Uber has the right to accept terms from unionized drivers, or not. And riders have the right to accept the terms of the ride, or not.
See, this is all voluntary action on the part of Uber, its drivers, and their riders. Nobody’s rights are being violated, or liberties restricted.
But what the statement above is REALLY saying—since drivers already possess the right to organize and collectively bargain—is this:
“The bill’s passage makes Seattle the first city in the nation to FORCE app-based ridesharing companies to accept the demands of the unionized drivers…”
See how destructive state intervention is? Suddenly, the state steps in, and starts using force and violence (or minimally, the threat of violence) to make somebody in that voluntary equation—usually the business owners—accept the demands of others in the equation—usually the workers—which typically ends up being implemented at the expense of the consumers (all of the artificial costs generated by government mandates get pass along to the consumers).
Or, worse, all three participants—business owners, workers, and consumers—suffer when the company goes out of business altogether, due to the government’s abjectly ignorant mandates concerning how they must operate their company.
On the other hand, when the state stays out of it, and leaves everyone alone to live their own lives and conduct their own business, beautiful things can, and do, happen…such as Uber and Lyft.
So perhaps, as people get more and more exposure to such wonderful products and services via easily accessible and affordable smart phone apps—and then the government takes those wonderful products and services away via “regulation”—or at a minimum, drive their costs up substantially—they’ll finally start to get it.
We can only hope.