A conga line of rent seekers

Does it get any more pathetic than this.

Reported in the AFR today, Andrew Skelton, the CEO of A2B Ltd, the company formerly known as Cabcharge, said:

In my view Uber is clogging up the streets.

You see, he blames:

Uber drivers for contributing to serious traffic congestion on Sydney roads.

TAFKAS is waiting for him to blame Uber and other ride share companies for global warming, carbon emissions from transport you see.  And also the price of petrol, what with the additional congestion increasing the demand for fuel.

Although the journalist did not ask, one wonders what Skelton would do if he was King for a day?  Would banning any vehicle not in the A2B fleet from the road be near the top of the list and a parallel tripling of prices?

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23 Responses to A conga line of rent seekers

  1. stackja

    Uber not following rules?

  2. I don’t think it does (get any more pathetic than this one), no.

  3. Atoms for Peace

    A mate of mine in traffic branch opines that Uber has led to a decrease in DUI offences.

  4. Jackobo

    Skelton has a point

    I was recently in an Uber in Brisbane and got talking to the driver who told me there are 60,000 Ubers in Brisbane (haven’t checked myself).

    In his case, he said he drives 12 hours/day, of which only 3-4 hrs are fares. So his car is empty 8-9 hrs/day. Apparently if you park your (empty) Uber, the algorithm pushes you down the queue for new fares. So there are thousands (tens of thousands?) Ubers driving around empty

  5. Dr Fred Lenin

    Fair competition is profit stifling ,we arent making as much profit as I forecast ,bribe some pollies to get rid of the compatitors .

  6. Russell

    Empty Ubers everywhere in the middle of the day at South Brisbane (Tadd electorate).
    Reminds me of London cabs circling and waiting for a fare.
    I wonder how many work off-the-book for a hailed ride? Just put your hand up and one will be there.
    But not many cabs – must know they are not welcome and have little chance in milleniville.

  7. Why would customer bother to hail. The app is fantastic and you know exactly who is going to pick you up, when and how much it will cost.

    That is what is killing taxis.

  8. Nob

    Taxi cronies have agitated against Uber in every city they’ve started in even been rumoured to start. Media dutifully reported the propaganda.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    He couldn’t blame the stupid light rail.
    That would be heresy.
    Greens would drop him into the harbour with a lump of ebil concrete attached to his legs.

  10. Tel

    Uber is an example to show that democracy can work in favour of the free market, when large numbers of people realize that what business really, really wants to do is sell them products and services, at a competitive price.

    It’s not all about voting for free stuff … sometimes people are willing to vote for cheap stuff too.

  11. DaveR

    The good thing about a free market is it doesnt matter what Skelton (or I) think, consumers will answer all these questions with their patronage.

  12. Nob

    Tel
    #2945534, posted on February 27, 2019 at 7:11 pm
    Uber is an example to show that democracy can work in favour of the free market, when large numbers of people realize that what business really, really wants to do is sell them products and services, at a competitive price.

    It’s not all about voting for free stuff … sometimes people are willing to vote for cheap stuff too

    You’re repeating Big Taxi propaganda.

    Uber often works out cheaper, but not always.

    Their success is not just based on price, but on cracking the taxi supply/demand mismatch.

  13. Nob

    By ensuring that there would never be enough taxis at busy times, taxis and local government were able to collude in a system that meant taxi plates were worth up to $500k (according to one Perth cabbie about the time Uber were starting to appear). Maybe even more.

  14. Iva Right

    Its not Tony Abbott’s fault?

  15. Nob

    They had zero interest in improving this system.
    Cabcharge were the ultimate skimmers. Legalised, like all corruption in Australia.

  16. Robbo

    Skelton is clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Any chance he is related to the late Red Skelton?

  17. Dr Fred Lenin

    The freemarket has been good for the taxi business ,remove subsidies and penalising costs to the electricity industry and see what happens ,an improvement perhaps?

  18. Tel

    You’re repeating Big Taxi propaganda.

    Can you link or quote whatever you think I’m repeating?

    By ensuring that there would never be enough taxis at busy times, taxis and local government were able to collude in a system that meant taxi plates were worth up to $500k …

    And they would still be worth that much today if it wasn’t for the democratic process taking away the property right. Uber never went via the legal process, they operated via the political process.

    Do your reading.

    Much more dangerous to its future prospects are ongoing threats from regulators and lawmakers to shut Uber down, or at least severely curtail its freedom to operate. Ever since receiving (and ignoring) a cease-and-desist demand from transit regulators in San Francisco, Uber’s first city, in 2010, the company has followed the same playbook when faced with attempts to shut it down: keep the wheels on the road. The strategy has worked so far in San Francisco, though various state-level attempts to rein in Uber are still in play. Uber has survived many other efforts to restrict its service, though these victories are often incremental, and seldom come without extensive time and effort.

    The uncertainty that comes with attempting to regulate Uber out of existence can’t be too comforting to investors, though it also didn’t deter more than $1.2 billion in funding so far. Some of that money is going toward hiring high-powered lobbyists to push back. But more powerful political leverage comes in the form of popularity. “The more they sort of popularize themselves, the stronger their argument becomes” against crackdowns, New York University Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan told Businessweek.

    https://www.wired.com/2014/07/ubers-brilliant-strategy-to-make-itself-too-big-to-ban/

    Lots of libertarians bitch about democracy because of the potential for ransacking private property, however that’s how it is with property rights … you win some, you lose some.

  19. Nob

    Tel:
    The line about voting for cheap stuff.

    Sure Uber is competitive but actual cheapness is way down the list after the other advantages they offer customers.

    And as anyone knows who’s used one at busy times, they’re not always cheaper.

    But taxicos only harp on about cheapness so they can imply that greedy customers are supporting exploitation.
    They’ve even dropped their bogus “safety” concerns since enough customers have experienced and prefer Uber’s superior safety.

  20. Up The Workers!

    “TAFKAS is waiting for him to blame Uber and other ride share companies for global warming, carbon emissions from transport you see.”

    I see nothing whatsoever wrong with that probability.

    Uber is every bit as likely to be 100% responsible for our apocalyptic catastropharian (0.7 of a degree in a century) gerbil worming currently genocidally heating us all to death and the 2.o cm in a century rising sea levels that are currently drowning us all, as human breath is.

    Maybe if we gave trillions of dollars to George Soros or the Clintons or somebody, Uber would stop?

  21. max

    purpose of occupational licensing is to reduce competition, to create shortages, and to charge higher prices.

    of course all is done in the name of protecting customers from quacks.

  22. Chris Tyber

    Actually, I think Skelton’s point, if you read the whole article, not just the sound bite is a pretty obvious and irrefutable one: part time drivers (regardless of brand) are less efficient than full time drivers at servicing passenger demand. He may have singled out Uber because Uber make a point of being part-time.

    The knee jerk taxi bashing above, including the article, seems pretty lazy to me. In our rush to kick the taxi former-monopolists, lets not tumble into fawning over foreign, tax avoiding, law breakers who rip 30% of each transaction out of the country. I think taxis have well and truly paid for their past failings, and whatever we may think, taxi companies paid many many millions into Government coffers. Foreign rideshare have paid exactly zero, and rip out millions – they are locusts.

  23. Colonel Crispin Berka, King's Fusiliers Corps.

    Check out the top rated comments here, then weep.
    https://imgur.com/gallery/uRmIwKu
    Government control of prices is apparently the solution to rent-seeking. It doesn’t work when applied to any other widget, but somehow it will save wages and housing.

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