Reply to post: Re: Same Regulation or "It's the economy stupid"

Uber, AirBNB: Lay off 'em, EC tells member states

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Same Regulation or "It's the economy stupid"

For the sake of argument, could we postulate that "casual unregulated labour" producing some income is preferable to "persistent, long-term unemployment" with "limited or no opportunities for income"*?

Not everyone can find a good job in today's socialist-liberal utopia, even with the best of intentions. Instead, they now try to supplement their dwindling benefits (or simply survive until retirement). And good luck with that college fund, because higher education has just been priced out of your children's reach. Paying for over-priced taxi cabs or hotel rooms will soon drop way down on your list of priorities.

But at least with Uber, you will get a ride quickly, painlessly and for less money than that heavily regulated cab with its shiny, high-priced medallion. With Airbnb, you can try a very different, lower-cost experience than that offered by cheesy, low budget chain hotels. And people can self-generate income from their existing spare capacity (instead of selling their homes).

With low-to-zero interest rates, deflation, stagnant growth, higher taxes, unpaid debt and reduced employment opportunities, try to imagine what life will be like for the next generation. Effective labour regulation will be the least of their worries. What they will need is a working economy, because the current one is broken.

Many people (myself included) are now discovering these sharing alternatives and using them. The dire plight of over-priced hotel chain owners and regulated cab drivers quickly pales into insignificance after the discovery of different, often better service alternatives. Which is how economics works.

Why is this such a bad thing? Does it remove the gloss from our once affluent, wasteful, and self-centered lifestyle (aka the "good old days")? Should people just stay home and dream about the holidays and travel they can no longer afford?

Try opening your eyes. Traditional, regulated labour and market models are failing to deliver, big time. Look up terms like "hidden unemployment", "protected markets", "millenial aspirations" and "shadow economy" to get a fuller picture.

Liberal market economics and social welfare states have become a new form of economic serfdom, where the majority gets continuously poorer and the privileged few get richer. And yet, we keep voting in the same tired old gits, with the same tired old solutions and perpetuate the tired myth that things will get better. But no, things aren't getting better, they are getting worse. Regulations are not the answer, but innovations might be.

No one is fixing this, even if some entrepreneurs are successfully escaping from the trap. Personally, I salute them. At least they offer alternatives to the complete decline of the Western empire.

Current trends indicate many mainstream jobs will disappear or be quickly replaced by disruptive technologies. This trend is very unlikely to change, and very likely to accelerate. It is time to begin thinking outside of the economic box originally designed by some steam-powered, 18th-century, Western intellectuals. Regulation will undoubtedly be needed, but shouldn't be based on encrusted cronyism and high barriers to entry. We are moving a little too fast for that now.

In other words, let's analyse and understand this 21st century manifestation of Taylorism and work with it.

Reflexive, outdated concepts from a simpler, slower era just won't fix the fallout from what is effectively a new industrial revolution.

Alternatively, you can come back with this "regulation" thingy after the regulated economy begins providing sustainable employment and economic growth again or when people have begun revolting in the streets, whichever comes first. I'll be under the bridge with everyone else, eating from a can of beans.

* Quotes are mine, I am sure that I read about or experienced this somewhere.

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