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Man, I knew this was a problem in New York, but not in so many cities. I can definitely see both sides of this, tough issue to sort out.


  • Chet_Manly

    Chet_Manly 1 year, 1 month ago

    I heard a similar story recently on NPR. It discussed legislation allowing cities to regulate taxis/cars on the road in their cities (instead of that being co trolled at the state level). It was interesting. NPR seems to follow a template with manybof their stories: lay out an individual story to create a sympathetic narrative. But... Never once on Air or int his article have I heard them discuss the benefits of the creative destruction that ride sharing creates. Could we hear a story by NPR about the people who have been able to get ahead by working though these rider sharing services?

    I don’t listen to NPR exclusively, but often enough that I would think I could catch a different perspective if it was given. I feel for these taxi drivers. They are caught up in a system they didn’t expect to change and they (some to many) have planned their lives around it. Then when disruption comes they struggle mightily. I would think the right thing to do would be for the cities to buy back the medallions but when do governments do the right thing...

    I would frame the story as a lesson that change can occur at any time and debt is a dangerous thing but adaptability, while difficult, is becoming increasingly critical. I’ll not hold my breath waiting for npr to call me about my opinions though.

    And if I’m wrong or missed something on these stories, I’m happy to hear about it from fellow members here...


    • brian

      brian 1 year, 1 month ago

      A very well thought out criticism of a lot of the stories NPR seems to run with. I hadn't really thought about this until you mentioned it but after reading through your comment, I am thinking that you are correct. It does seem that NPR tends to focus on one side of the story consistently and there is a lot more to this story, particularly as you mention the other side, which are the people that are supplementing their income by driving for Uber and Lyft.

      One thing that made me curious that they didn't explain was how the medallion system began and why? It seems like if you want to be a taxi driver in a big city, you should be carefully vetted by a standardized system and then you should be able to drive a taxi having proven your ability to do so. Having to pay the city $250,000 to start driving a taxi seems absurd. If they needed to limit the amount of licenses, it seems like they could have done that without using a monetary system.

      That said, everyone probably needs to look at what they are doing for a living now and start wondering if there is going to be a future in which parts of it can be replaced. It's a strange world we are speeding towards these days.


      • Chet_Manly

        Chet_Manly 1 year, 1 month ago

        Thanks. I had wondered the same thing about how this system started. Perhaps I’m cynical about these things but I just figured it was the result of a mismanaged system trying to raise funds.

        Interestingly it was this issue (the $250,000 barrier to entry just to drive people around in a car) that started my journey towards seeing things in a more libertarian position. It was a John Stossel video, something about barriers to entry in businesses. So I must be honest in my own biased towards these issues.

        But I also have to say that I appreciate NPR for two reasons. 1. They do some odd/unique stories and there are some really neat people that can be heard. Especially This American Life. Fresh Air is hit and miss as Ms Gross is only as interesting as her interviewee (IMO). 2. I enjoy the mental exercise of listening to their news/stories and finding what argument or perspective is missing. So even though I criticize, I appreciate their uniqueness.

        I did my masters about 6-7 years ago and the concept that change has become a constant was a theme that ran through most of the classes. Over time I think it is true, be it good or bad, that society seems to be moving towards less economic/professional stability. Maybe this could be a parlor topic...

        I enjoy the discussion, thank you.