What it is: In Italy, taxi drivers are striking to protest a pro-Uber bill.
The biggest problem in life is selfishness. Since you can never legislate away selfishness, there will always be problems. No matter what happens, problems always create opportunities for some people while forcing others to suffer as a result. The goal should always be to benefit the most people while hurting the least, but that’s where greed and selfishness come into play and create laws that allow a minority to prosper while a majority suffer.
The latest dilemma against change is appearing as taxi drivers strike in Italy against ride-sharing services like Uber. Italian taxi drivers aren’t the only ones upset. Taxi drivers around the world are usually against ride-sharing services because such ride-sharing services offer customers lower fees for the same type of service that taxis offer. Given a choice between paying more for a taxi or paying less for a ride-sharing service, more people opt for paying less, and that hurts the taxi business.
That’s why taxi drivers around the world have fought against ride-sharing services. Yet this is a losing battle between an old way of life and a new technological solution. Imagine in the old days when companies had to hire massive typing pools of typists to write letters and reports. Would any company willingly go back to typewriters and typing pools and get rid of computers and word processors?
The answer is simple. No. When technology offers a better solution, people will migrate to that better solution and leave the slower, less efficient, and more expensive previous solution behind.
At one time blacksmiths made a huge amount of money making horse shoes. Should we all abandon cars so blacksmiths can make a decent living again? In the short-term, it’s obvious why taxi drivers are against ride-sharing services because it threatens their monopoly of transportation. However, their answer is to eliminate competition rather than make themselves a better alternative, and that spells doom for their long-term prospects.
Taxis are simply inefficient. They cost more and they’re harder to find when you need them. In comparison, ride-sharing services cost far less and can come right to wherever you happen to be, thanks to smartphones. Taxis are as obsolete as typewriter mechanics or blacksmiths.
Striking against ride-sharing services simply creates an artificial barrier propping up the taxi companies, but it can’t last because ride-sharing services are more convenient for customers. Comparing taxis to ride-sharing services, taxis lose on every point. Comparing taxis to ride-sharing services is like comparing typewriters and typing pools to word processors. There’s no comparison. As a result, there’s no future for taxis.
Imagine the near future when we have self-driving cars combined with ride-sharing services. Now even drivers will be obsolete and inefficient. That’s the future and passing laws or striking isn’t going to slow down the inevitable. The best taxi drivers can hope for is to slow down progress long enough so they can benefit and get out of the business. Yet that kind of defeatist strategy already shows the pointlessness of the taxi drivers’ position.
Essentially taxi drivers want to ban ride-sharing services so they can continue enjoying a monopoly that benefits no one but themselves.
Driving is a fairly easy skill that anyone can learn, but that means it’s also fairly easy for technology to replace it as well. Any time technology can replace a job, there’s no point in holding on to that job any longer. Why don’t construction crews abandon steam shovels and just hire hundreds of people to dig with hand shovels instead? Because it would be slow and inefficient. Why aren’t more people using taxis instead of ride-sharing services? Because in comparison, taxis are slow and inefficient.
If you’re a taxi driver, it’s time to get out of the business and into something more lucrative with a future. Clinging to the past and fighting against progress is ultimately a losing battle. Technology is going to change how we live and that inevitably means eliminating old ways of life. If you’re not a taxi driver, learn from their mistakes and see if your own job could be easily replaced by technology. If so, then you can either get out and find a more lucrative and rewarding job in another field, or you can cling to the past and fight against the inevitable.
Just watching taxi drivers striking shows you which option will lead to greater security and long-term success.