Uber Pissed

Uber switched to surge pricing during the hostage crisis in Sydney. The Atlantic is pissed.

[Uber] had the opportunity to see, and therefore bring out, the best in people; instead, it focused on the worst, and precluded opportunities for kindness. It prioritized the “economy” over the “sharing.” And, most worryingly of all, it did all that in the name of “concern” for its passengers.

I used to believe it a bit naive to expect corporations, profit-maximizers that they are, to truly behave in a “sharing” way. It’s unseemly and ugly, but they are just doing what they do right? Nothing is more frustrating then expecting anyone or anything to be something they/it is not. Kenny Banyon will just never be Jerry Seinfeld. Corporations are just not inherently altruistic.

That said, I’ve come to believe that, given this tendency the only two options are to have governments regulate the corporations or regulate them through public pressure.

That old (crotchety) libertarian in me is more afraid of government regulation than Uber price-gouging. Sorry, I can choose to walk, but the government can put me in jail. And given this fear, I have no choice but to admit that the only alternative currently is to encourage public outcry against companies that “behave badly”.

So I actually applaud The Atlantic for speaking out about it. This will surprise many old friends of mine.