Saturday, April 15, 2017

Uber's Ace in the Hole is Regime Uncertainty

The "Success" of Uber does not come from its technology, but from its ability to recognize and exploit regime uncertainty.

I quote from Peter Schiff's article, "Making America Confused Again,"

"It looks likely the next four years will bring an unprecedented level of regime uncertainty. This is a term coined by economist Robert Higgs. It describes a pervasive lack of confidence among investors in their ability to foresee the extent to which future government actions will alter their private-property rights. Higgs uses this concept to explain the seriousness and prolonged duration of some economic crises, like the Great Depression."

Those engaged in the taxi industry know only too well how government actions alter their property rights. The sudden, pivotal re-writing of taxi bylaws across North America over the last few years has completely destroyed the lifetime investments of thousands of taxi drivers and license owners. (See, "How Much has Uber Stolen?") The Uber phenomenon serves as a perfect example of how regime uncertainty can impact some sectors. contributor, Jfr1 said it best,

"These medallions are not pure "investment instruments", they're not GICs, TDs, mortages, etc. They're licenses to operate a business in a restricted market... not substantially different than a Tim Hortons franchise. That business includes purchasing a car, outfitting it for taxi-use, and either driving it, or employing specially licensed drivers to operate it on your behalf. That's what they get used for.

Obviously, any time you invest in a business, it carries risk; however, no amount of due diligence could've predicted that the city and law enforcement would all of a sudden one day simply fail to enforce the laws of society; without us having gone to a zombie apocalypse."

The fact that most jurisdictions simply changed the laws of society, after failing to enforce them, in order to accommodate Uber, does not detract from the truth of this statement.

There is no reason to believe that this type of expropriation is, nor will be, limited to the taxi market. The crucial ingredient to Uber's success is not its distractive technology, but its skillful exploitation of a corrupt, thus uncertain, political system along with all of the fake statesmen who seek, and hold, public office.

Also, given that the taxi industry is disproportionately populated by recent immigrants from third world countries, and I don't care if "third world" is now considered politically incorrect, what message does this send to the new waves of immigrants and refugees looking to build a secure life for themselves?

I'll tell you what message it sends. "Meet your new regime, same as the old regime. Do not work hard and invest your life and savings for the long term, because you now live in a regime where everything can be taken away from you by a simple vote at a city hall."

More Uber News

Uber Accused Of Operating Three Invasive Spy Programs On Riders

Uber reportedly built a secret app to track Lyft drivers

How Uber conquers a city in seven steps

£1m-a-year Rachel, favours to Uber from No10 and the growing smell of scandal: GUY ADAMS investigates the links between Cameron's government and the taxi firm

The growing smell over Uber and the malign power of Cameron's chumocracy

-- Regime Uncertainty, anyone?

Uber deserves credit for demonstrating that the only thing certain is political corruption.

Friday, April 14, 2017

I Smelled a Rat in Ontario Right from the Beginning re: Uber

And though I could not prove it, the outward manifestations of the back-room dealings were explosively obvious.

From Tim Hudak's aggressive shilling for the Uber corporation, to the surprisingly quick approval of "Ride-Sharing" insurance by the FSCO.

To the fake corporate news media outlets publishing every complaint that a dissatisfied taxi passenger ever had, to the sickeningly disingenuous responses from local politicians, ‘we can’t turn our back on technological progress,’ "Uber is here to stay," and so on.

From the point of view of this cab driver, the fix was in.

Now, finally, we are getting a really good picture as to how Uber works with a corrupt political system, to dramatically tilt the playing field in favor of a politically powerful organization, and devastate thousands of smaller operators who lack sufficient political pull to effectively fight back.

I can't prove it, but I know in my gut, which has served me well over the years, (for example, I know that Assad did not launch chemical weapons), that the story now coming out of the U.K. is very much the same story that has been playing out in Ontario. There is a starkly recognizable pattern to the Uber "business model."

Close study of the Uber story provides a very good learning experience for anyone wishing to understand how politics really works, in every jurisdiction, at every level.

For a great introduction to the manner in which powerful, moneyed corporations are able to lasso spineless, opportunistic practitioners of the political arts, here is a great place to start.

£1m-a-year Rachel, favours to Uber from No10 and the growing smell of scandal: GUY ADAMS investigates the links between Cameron's government and the taxi firm

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Can't Get Away from Politics


So I have had my fill with trying to make sense of the political chaos that abounds today, especially after Trump seems to have finally collapsed under all of the peer pressure and started firing missiles around the globe like the WWIII maniac many of his opponents predicted he would be.

Ironically (perhaps, so far as it shows up in my periscope) most of his strongest opponents are now applauding the bastard, including that clueless teenager who inherited the Canadian throne. You can't make this shit up.

I said it before, in one of my status updates. I am not a Trump supporter. I am a Trump opposition opposer. Now I am seeing, in addition to the Prime Minister with the nice hair, vermin like Pelosi, Schumer, HRC, McCain, and many others applauding the guy. I suddenly find my own enthusiasm rapidly waining.

After all, what do you do when the Trump opposition are no longer opposing him? It's just too much to take.

Especially when the whole gas attack was probably perpetrated by Assad's opposers for the express purpose of causing such a response.

So anyway, I decide to close down my mind, get away from it all, and check out Netflix.


No sooner do I log on than I find MORE POLITICS shoved into my face. I had read that Netflix was planning to do this after that so-called "comedian," Amy Schumer, received a shitload of one-stars for her puke leather performance. (Okay, maybe puke was the only thing she didn't talk about that night. Someone, tell me if I am wrong about that. I'm sure she mentioned cum, shit, and blood.) I'd read about it, but I didn't expect it to happen so fast.

And there it was. My first response was surprise. The second was anger.

Is there no escape?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

How to Solve the Health Care Problem

My theory on how to solve the age-old medical care problem has always been very basic. Remove the criminal element, I.E. the government.

My theory gave me the tools to recognize, right from the start, that Donald Trump would not be successful in "fixing" the health care business. So long as any proposed fix involved the corrupt hand of government, it could never work. So long as the delivery of medical care remains tied to political careers, and politically influential corporations, and organizations, the consumers of health care will continue to be ripped off. It's a mathematical certainty, like the sinking of the Titanic.

My Vision

The idea first began to percolate into my mind when I read the Fraser Institute book, "Canadian Medicine: A Study in Restricted Entry." That was about thirty years ago so, pardon me if my recollection of the details is a little foggy, and without going to the trouble of re-reading that book, here is the main message I derived from it: If medical doctors could take advantage of a licensing regime, it would allow them to restrict the number of competing practitioners in their field. I.E. limiting the supply. By artificially limiting the supply of health care delivery providers, the price of medical care would be pushed up, thus guaranteeing higher incomes to those who were part of the club.

This was where the history of medical care took a monumental turn. The use of intrinsically corrupt political mechanisms drove the supply of medical care down.

And its cost was driven up.

It's simple supply and demand economics. A child could grasp it.

This was the start of modern medical care history.

The government footprint in the health care field only grew from that point. As it grew, the delivery of health care became increasingly politicized. And as it became increasingly politicized, the outcome was, predictably, no different than the outcomes experienced in other areas where government, and its intrinsically perverse incentives, have the largest footprints.

Just off the top of my head, here is a short list of other areas of life that are dominated by political decisions, and the sorry results:

  • Peace - by the institutions that bring us war.

  • Government Education - The idea is first promoted as being the means by which all citizens be given the basic tools needed to function in a democratic society. The result, at a bare minimum, is a collosal waste of resources. In the end, government controlled education devolves into a system of crass brainwashing.

  • The "wars" on poverty - an abject failure.

  • The battle against homelessness - never ends.

  • Who would build the roads? - The overwhelming evidence to date has been gridlock, death, and endless debates about even more government control of human mobility. (See Hamilton's LRT debate.)

  • The war on drugs - not working.

  • Racial and Religious Harmony - Like, duh!

  • Subsidized art - See Why Modern Art is Absolute Crap

  • Government cannot even regulate the taxi business without creating enormous disruptions, injustice, and misery. The whole Uber controversy hinges upon who controls the rules of the game, and how easily corruptible the trusted referees all are. Politics does not attract decent, trustworthy people.

  • ... and after a long tragic history of failure, we are now expected to put our trust in this utterly incompetent institution to control the earth's climate!

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting a different result. You'd have thought people would have figured this out by now. But again, most of them went to government schools.

Government is not the solution. It is the problem.

"The state is God, deifies arms and prisons. The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster."

-- Ludwig von Mises

"The function of government should be to put itself out of business." -- Timothy Leary

If government can be removed from playing any role in the delivery of health care, the quality of care will skyrocket, and prices will plummet.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Why Modern Art is Absolute Crap

This guy articulates what I have been thinking for decades. I think my first tip-off came from Ayn Rand. Something about someone vomiting on a canvas and passing it off as a form of art.

Then there was that thing, about ten years ago, about the shit machine.

About thirty-five years ago, a guy I knew decided he was going to be an artist.

He threw together a series of paintings that looked to me like the creations had been stolen from some first grade classroom.

One of the "paintings" featured a human figure, it was impossible to determine gender, smelling his (or her) own fingers.

The "artist" explained the painting to me. It was a guy smelling his fingers after he had just explored a woman's vagina. And he was savoring the aroma.

The name of the painting was, "An Intimate Moment."

Not being an artist myself, I just accepted what was said.

The funny part came when this guy managed to finagle his collection into an exclusive art show at the Hamilton Public Library. (Where else?)

I started noticing that some of the attendees were taking "A Private Moment," seriously. They started speculating about the "meaning" of this piece of work. It was amazing to hear the various sophisticated opinions that were being rendered, none of which were remotely close to the actual story about a guy sniffing his fingers. "Is that a man? Or a woman?" "What is he doing?"

It was "piss your pants" funny. But I was the only one laughing. These people were taking this stuff seriously.

Paul Joseph Watson does what I can't do in this presentation. He takes words I don't know right out of my mouth. When I try to think up an example of what I think much of modern art consists of, all I can come up with is a photograph of one of my own turds sitting at the bottom of a toilet bowl. But that's not yet "meaningful" enough.

So my thoughts turn to diarrhea.

And just when I think I have done a masterful job of exposing the utter horse-shit that dominates every nook and cranny of the remnants of western culture, along comes Paul Joseph Watson to expose me as a rank amateur.

There has been a lot of talk, lately, about efforts to censor the internet. None of this shocks or alarms me. This is how the world works. But for those who desire to know how the world really works, the desire for knowledge cannot be blocked. Instead of accepting what they are told by the established powers, be it via government controlled "education," government subsidized "news," or government subsidized "entertainment," those stubborn enough to drill, baby, drill, will always end up leading the charge.

Each human being is born with only one brain. Either it is employed as designed, or it becomes useless.

It reminds me of something I once read on a washroom wall:

"If in the end, it is determined, that man will lose his most valuable possession, he will grab his cock, and lose his mind."

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Finally, Proof of Uber/Government Cronyism

All along, I have been saying that Uber's success comes not from it's over-rated app, but upon its ability to manipulate slimy politicians into accommodating its "business model," regardless of how many innocent lives are ruined.

I remain confident, that Uber's methods, as documented in the following Daily Mail report, are the same ones that allowed Uber to overturn, and rewrite the taxi bylaws in just about all Ontario jurisdictions, including Hamilton and Toronto.

One of the first, obvious tip-offs, came when local politicians promised to "level the playing field" between Uber and non-Uber taxicabs. Perhaps it is because I have spent so much time observing the political trade that I was able to spot it, and call it out, right from the beginning. It was a bald-faced lie.

The resulting re-writes of the taxicab bylaws in Hamilton and Toronto, most likely cut and pasted from Uber communications with local politicians and bureaucrats, proved that I was correct in my initial assessment of what was going on.

And now, finally, we have some highly revealing information coming out of the U.K. as to how Uber's success in destroying thousands of small businesses comes, not from its much touted dispatch technology, but from the dirty underside of politics as usual.

I hate being right all of the time. It's like being trapped on a ship of fools.

Please read,

"Cameron, Osborne, their glamorous chum and the great Uber stitch-up: The disturbing links between No.10 and the online taxi firm as it's revealed one of its major investors now has the ex-Chancellor on its payroll "

More Uber News

On March 23, 2017, the CBC published an online report about Uber and the HST. ( see here.)

If you scroll down to the comments section, you will see a few comments that I made. What you will probably NOT SEE, are the comments that I made that the CBC censored.

Of course, the CBC would argue that I violated their community standards by being less than polite to some of the other posters who were blowing pure wind out of their orifices. So it's Okay for some commenters to publish purely fake claims about the taxi industry, but not Okay for me to call them out on them.

Ah, the beauty of the internet. In the old days, I would have sent letters to the editors of whatever "news" source was pretending to provide quality information to the public, and almost none would ever see the light of day. Corporate media no longer controls the flow of information, nor does Canada's official government propaganda organ. Citizens can self publish.

Thanks to the internet, I can still get my message out. No wonder professional politicians are now feeling increased pressure from citizen politicians like Donald Trump. Make Canada Great Again!

Here are screenshots of my deleted comments:

Yeah. I get it. He wasn't accusing non-exempt taxi drivers of scooping up lost $20's. Donald Trump is less than perfect. And so am I. Nevertheless, the CBC chose to censor my comment. A lot of other commenters also miss the point, from time to time, (As I have been pointing out, over and over again.) but do they also get censored? Of course not. See what I mean?

Survival Techniques for Uber Cab Drivers in the Contrived Sharing Economy.

As the amazingly powerful political corporation, Uber, has demonstrated, given sufficient financial backing, politicians and fake news media outlets can easily be fooled, intimidated and/or bought off by the notorious one percenters. Even MADD Canada has apparently decided to turn a blind eye to Uber's dangerous distractive technology by partnering with the $70 Billion taxi brokerage. One can only guess at whether MADD is recieving cash from Uber in return for its endorsements.

In the taxi industry, this has led to a bastardized form of deregulation. The traditional cap on taxi licenses in most jurisdictions has been removed by stealth, as Uber has been granted the equivalent of unlimited taxi licenses. To make matters worse, Uber's taxi licenses enjoy a flexibility that is unavailable to its competition.

Predictably, taxi history is starting to repeat itself. The streets are becoming flooded with hungry taxi drivers cruising for a diminishing number of passengers, while the taxi brokerages, including Uber, continue to extract a percentage of the total business volume. Uber gets its 25% regardless of whether it has one hundred drivers on the road, or ten thousand. Unfortunately, all cab drivers, both Uber and non-exempt, experience drastic declines in earnings.

Those die-hards who still wish to attempt to make a living in this new taxi environment will be forced to become more resourceful by attempting to capture a larger share of that shrinking market for themselves. I have put together a few ideas that cab drivers may wish to consider as the efforts to survive continue to increase for those in the trenches.

1- Bootlegging

You can't make a living by sitting in a parked car and waiting for a $5 fare every hour or so. Therefore, selling alcohol after the government's monopoly booze vendors have closed can be a way of making a few extra bucks. In Hamilton, the price for after hours booze is about twice the retail price. A case of 24, sold for $30 in one of the government's monopoly outlets typically sells for twice that price when delivered by sharing economy alcohol vendors. If you pick up two cases of beer and a couple of 26ers of whiskey at the start of your shift, it can make the difference between going home with $40 or $200.

2 - Hookers

Love sharing has been around since the beginning of time. Some call it, "the oldest profession." An Uber driver with knowledge and experience in this particular market could match up lonely people with those individuals who have underused resources available. A "booking fee," as well as a percentage of the benefits, could be charged.

3 - Tobacco

Though under serious attack, tobacco use still remains popular with about 18% of the population. A starving Uber/cab driver could gather and retain some steady customers in this niche market by allowing passengers to smoke in their cabs. After building up a steady customer base in this niche, Uber/cab drivers have the opportunity to upsell their regular passengers by purchasing cartons of untaxed cigarettes in the flourishing Six Nations sharing economy and sharing them with their customers for a commensurate "booking fee."

4 - Cash

The most easily available opportunity for impoverished Uber/taxi drivers in the new sharing economy, is to find ways to share less of their earnings with the Uber corporation. And the best way to accomplish this, is to find ways to evade Uber's 25% "share" of the services you provide. Get some business cards printed up and share them with your most pleasant and lucrative passengers. If they are regular users, you can even offer them a 10% cash discount if they call you directly instead of fidgeting around with a buggy smartphone to summon a random Uber taxi. The customer gets a 10% discount. You get the extra 15% that Uber would have taxed away from you, and Goldman Sachs and the rest of Uber's one percenter investors get zip, zero, zilch. What's not to like about that?


Uber/taxi drivers who are able to successfully apply the suggestions provided above may discover that they no longer require the services of the Uber taxi brokerage. It's a win-win situation for the buyers and sellers of taxi rides, and a big loss for the exploiters of politically corrupt regulatory regimes.

Cautionary Note

For the record, as a practicing rideshare driver for a span of over 40 years, I don't personally use any of these techniques to minimize the damage done to me by the regulators. I am sixty-three years old and long past the days when risky business practices might have appealed to me. I am now at that stage where I intend to merely continue driving people around for compensation until there are no more customers. After that, I intend to apply for welfare or ODSP until I reach the age of pension elligibility.

Most of the suggestions I have provided above involve some degree of non-compliance with existing laws. I do not advocate that Uber/cab drivers adopt these sugestions. That would probably be illegal. However, anyone considering adopting any of these Uber/cab driver survival strategies ought not to proceed without being fully aware of the possible consequences. Don't get carried away with the idea that the Uber business model will be as successful for you as it has been for Uber. If you don't have deep pockets, and/or friends in influencial government positions and the media, you may discover that non-compliance with the law, in your case, (unlike Uber's,) will not be rewarded with the legalization of your activities and guaranteed profits. You need to know the difference between up and down when it comes down to navigating through politicized economies.

More Issues on the Government-Backed Uber Scam

Distracted Driving

An exploration of dangerous "distractive" technology, its use in Uber (and any other) taxis, and why, oh why, is MADD Canada shilling for Uber?

Labor Strife

The explosion in the number of cabs on the streets is hurting amateur Uber cabbies as much as it is hurting their professional counterparts.
  • Uber and Ola drivers in India are now aggressively demanding better pay and working conditions. see here.

  • Toronto Uber drivers are starting to turn on each other because of the squeeze market saturation is putting on them.

    See Reporting welfare drivers.

    Listen to the CBC program from Feb 15, 2017, "Still in love with Uber?"

  • Licensed cab drivers are not the only victims of Uber's "business model."

    Hyderabad Uber Driver Suicide Adds Fuel To Protests For Better Pay.

    See also, Uber driver ends life in Hyderabad, family says he was under pressure to pay car EMI.

    “They are increasing the number of cabs in the city but the number of customers have not changed."

From the stranger danger file:

Victim sexually assaulted by Kingston man pretending to be car-sharing driver.

“On February 11, 2017 in the late evening hours the victim was in the downtown district with friends at a bar. The victim had a friend call for a car-sharing service to take her home. The victim later approached vehicles outside of the bar looking for her driver.

The accused claimed he was her driver and the victim got into his car."

""But the ride-sharing app that Uber uses means drivers and passengers already know each other even before they meet, and they rate each other as well — and that’s enough of a safety measure," said a London, Ontario Councilor according to the London Free Press."

Yeah, right!

And another Toronto Uber driver is charged with sex assault.

Meanwhile, clueless politicians continue to make critical decisions based upon purely fictional imaginings of how the world really works.

By the way, having a sticker in the window provides scant protection to vulnerable riders. Anyone can buy Uber stickers from

Uber Question

What will happen to used car buyers when Uber drivers sell their vehicles?

"Thing is back in september i had a midsize american sedan and it use to burn normalish gas. I pay $4.2k for it used for 3 months, sold it for the same amount. What I lost was like 3 oil changes and the Tax ($800) and gas ofc but thats it. It had 200k klicks when i had it. It never had any problems. I made profit, enough to buy a full size executive. But with a full size executive, the gas increases, i still make a little profit."

I wonder if this guy informed the buyer that his car had been used as a taxi?

Finally, a message from Uberman:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Higher Education Rant

When I enrolled in Mohawk College's Chemical Engineering Technology program in 1981 I had already been heavily influenced by free market advocates like Milton Friedman, FEE, Frederic Bastiat, etc.

The relevant thesis, in this case, is that government economic intervention causes economic distortions that lead to mis-allocation and wasted resources.

On the first day of the course, in September, 1981, there were over 40 students in the class. Part of the reason there were so many students was because of the politically contrived incentives to be there. Artificially low tuition, government backed loans, and outright grants all made the program more attractive than it would have been in the absence of government intervention. (Does the word, "bubble" come to mind?)

Within a few short months a lot of the students had already dropped out, having no real interest in the subject, and having spent their grant and loan money on booze and partying.

By the time graduation day rolled around, there were only about 12 students left. Some of them were not even from that first class. It had taken them more than the two years to complete the program.

And guess what?

There weren't even any jobs for those who reached the finish line.

At the time I was marveling at the colossal waste from this government created circumstance, including the amount of time (years,) and the grant and loan money that the students had wasted, and the amount of money that was wasted on infrastructure and equipment. Labs, classrooms, and spectrometers, distillation columns, and so on....

all for nothing.

It was almost funny, except it wasn't.

As it turned out, I was one of the "lucky" ones. Perhaps the only lucky one. I still had some contact with a few of my fellow grads back then, and the word was that ONLY ONE OTHER GRAD found a job "related" to the program. Some barely minimum-wage gig, that required a commute to Toronto, to mix paint or something.

What a joke.

I landed a job in a research center. I was pretty excited at first, until I found out that the actual job required little more than about a grade 8 level of skill.

What a disappointment that was.

So out of the forty or so students from day one, all of those taxpayer resources had been spent so that ONE graduate could be paid to weigh the amount of molten polyethylene that was extruded through a small die in 30 seconds.

Something seemed seriously out of whack, wouldn't you say?

Multiply this experience over the millions of young people pursuing "degrees in worthlessness," as Gerald Celente puts it, and the costs to our economy become astronomical.

"In 2015, there were more than two million students enrolled at Canadian universities and colleges, compared to almost 800,000 in 1980." -- see attached article.

That's why, whenever I hear some *bonehead* like Bernie Sanders advocate free, and universal higher education, it makes me want to puke.

Here is the article that sparked this rant.

Coincidence or What?

Immediately after writing the above rant I opened my email to discover a new vlog by Stefan Molyneaux titled, "DON'T GO TO COLLEGE."