Everyone here is all about "Net Neutrality," because they are against monopolies, yet pile on something like Uber which is an alternative to the licensed taxi monopoly.
Good lord, there's a lot wrong with this sentence:
- Net Neutrality is a solution to a problem that is exacerbated by telecom monopolies. It is not a problem that even purports to prevent monopolies.
- Taxis are not monopolies. They are however highly regulated.
- The appropriate analog would actually be that people like Taxi services over Uber for the same reason they like Net Neutrality: A small oligarhical set of providers held in check by governmental regulations.
f Uber is a crappy, dangerous way to get a ride, that reputation is going to spread and the company is going to fail. If it's as safe as a regular taxi and provides benefits that people would not find with normal taxi service, it'll prosper.
An in between, if it is dangerous, people will die. There's a reason we invented regulations. It wasn't for shits and giggles. It was because we, as a society, and Korea, as a society, decided that waiting for a sufficient number of people to die to start a class action suit to gain attention for the problem and punish Uber was an inferior solution to just making up some rules designed to prevent that and forcing people to live by them. This isn't Uber using speech to try to change the law. This is Uber trying to undercut the will of the democratically elected government.
what is the practical difference from me asking a person if they will give me a ride for gas money and an extra $20 for their time, even if I don't use an app?
Scale of the operation. Ability to prevent it. Anonymity of the transaction. False perception of safety.
Look, no one cares about a one off like that. Certainly no one cares about friends sharing rides for gas money. Or people carpooling (hell, the government sponsors carpooling matchmaking). But Uber is doing it a ton. And it's pushing a lot of externalities on the system, so they can make a buck.
If Uber sees that people don't have confidence in the trustworthiness of their drivers, then they are going to have to respond to that, or lose business.
Over what timeframe, at what cost? A system that corrects itself after a decade of bad acting isn't a system that we allow.