Recently in France there has been a conflict between the traditional taxi industry and Uber. If Uber is able to provide a less costly service to the consumer one also has to take into account the fact that taxis must buy a license in order to work.
If it’s in the consumer’s interest, should governments refund all taxi licenses to the taxi drivers and then create a totally free taxi market ?
This whole discussion is really interesting.
Yet, Uber is not really a disintermediation process. It removes the licencing of taxi drivers but also acts as a middlemen between drivers and users. It is even attributing the drivers to the users, while on a licensed taxi market, the taxi drivers are directly looking for their clients when they roam around.
At best, Uber removed a layer to add a new one. Yes, this layer is potentially homogeneous (if Uber ends up achieving a monopoly), but it is still some kind of intermediary.
Therefore, I don’t think this question is relevant to the topic of this week.
I agree with Hélène, if the client is more satisfied with an offer it is may be because it is needed, taxi driving is not something that required a lot of skills I think it is a bit irrelevant to maintain a job or any activity when it can been done in a better way for every one. Taxi will be replaced in the same way machine and robot will change the small jobs in factories.
I think that the dispute between taxi and uber is a good example of hox to adpat to changes due to technology. Taxi is not a job that requires any specific education, just a car and a driving liscense and to avoid the markey disruption due to oversupply (taxi drivers), the State decided to require the taxi drivers to buy a taxi liscence. Today the market is dirrupted by uber drivers who don’t own taxi liscence and have an activity of taxi. This revolution seems to be in the consumer interest because it is driving down prices while keeping the same quality.
But actually it is going against our social model, as uber drivers don’t get a minimum wage as they are labelled as self-entreprenors, they are not protected by the labor code. So maybe the solution is not to refund taxe liscense but to look into regulating ubers because what seems to be in the interest of all is actually only in the interest of the consumers and uber as a company.
I think that Uber is not just an example but a relevant symbol of an important question: what is the role of the state in the transition on the market after a technology shock. Uber is possible because of technology. In this case, an equilibrium between satisfying the consumer’s interest and protecting “traditional” workers.
I think Uber is a detail but it is an example of a concern of a profession and the government must reply to it as smoothly as possible. Taxidrivers are citizens, it is already a good reason. 🙂
To Clara, some parts of the population financially helped by the state tend by their more stable consumption to smooth the general situation when an economical crisis arises and can avoid dramatic situation like after 1929 which prepared the emergence of some of the most agressiv leaders in the human history. The French Revolution happened after a starvation period.
But Clara you are right. Uber is just an example of a model that does already exist and is just a new offer on the market. The shops, which are paying taxes are not claiming against LeBonCoin http://www.leboncoin.fr/.
Te real estate agencies are not claiming against PAP http://www.pap.fr/.
The customer has the choice between 2 or more offers of different qualities depending on different criteria.