Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Uber/Lyft v. Oakland. Bring Popcorn.

h/t Mike

"Government has no native criminal class. Except politicians." - Mark Twain

Over at  Cold Fury, Mike (who also drives for Uber) notes the ceaseless efforts of petty dictatorships to impinge on and steal from others' economic activity.
OAKLAND, Calif.—A local city council member is beginning to float the idea of taxing ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft as a possible way to raise millions of dollars and help pay for local public transportation and infrastructure improvements.
If the effort is successful, Oakland could become the first city in California—Uber and Lyft’s home state—to impose such a tax. However, it’s not clear whether Oakland or any other city in the Golden State has the authority to do so under current state rules.
Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told the East Bay Express that she wants the city council to put forward a ballot measure that would tax such rides.
“The power to tax is a separate power regardless of whether or not you can regulate something,” said Kaplan in an interview with the alt-weekly. “They’re using our streets to do business, and we don’t currently have any revenue from it.”

So many lies. Where to start?

1) It's Oakland. Something so bad even San Francisco is embarrassed about it.
2) The city is getting their taxes from it,  they're just trickled down from the state.
Exactly as noted, the vehicle is taxed, the registration and licensing is taxed, the gasoline is taxed (and taxed {and taxed}),  the tires are taxed, the repairs and maintenance are taxed, the driver's income and the company's business profits are taxed, and there are bridge tolls collected by the bridge trolls, all of which goes into money for Oakland.
But, they've already spent that sinecure on payoffs to cronies, and they want more.

But this is government, so they won't be asking like Oliver Twist.
They'll be beating the taxes out of we, the peasants, like the Sheriff of Nottingham.

What Oakland hasn't figured out how to do - yet - is insert a shop vac directly into the companies' tills, and decide how much, if any, of their own income Oakland might decide the company ought to be refunded, subject to capricious change at whim.

So, as usual,  a politician is caught lying outright, because her lips were moving.

Wire. Lamppost. Politician.
Assembly required.

And she's too late to the party, because now Lyft and Uber are no longer scrappy Little Guys, but instead have become Big Business, and have the means to evade and stomp on this nonsense by dint of huge customer base, and corporate warchests.

Worst case, their drivers will simply lie and evade the taxes entirely, and Oakland will be left trying to fight black market drivers, which they have neither the will nor the ability to thwart.
Like gypsy cabbies, they'll simply go decentralized.
Everyone now knows that one could come up with a new app where riders post needs, and drivers fulfill them, cash is exchanged, and government is completely cut out of the deal. It's a bureaucrat's black market nightmare of brobdingnagian proportions.
"WHAT?!? You mean, the economy can move along, and there's NO WAY for us to steal some of that money for ourselves? ZOMG THE HORROR!!!!!" - said every politician ever minted
Any enforcement actions will be like low-level arrests in the drug war: merely opportunities for advancement for everyone else.

Go ahead, government @$$tards, slug that tar-baby for all you're worth.
Tell us how it works out for ya.

1 comment:

The Gray Man said...

Yesterday on Gab.ai, several known Alt-Right supporters were saying to use Lyft instead of Uber. I didn't ask why, but now I'm curious since your posting about them. I wonder if Lyft told Oakland to get bent, and Uber didn't? Don't know.