Uber is beginning self-driving car service to San Francisco today, after introducing it in Pittsburgh in September. Comically evil CEO Travis Kalanick has made no secret of the fact that he plans to phase out human drivers as quickly as possible.
Interestingly, Uber is still teaming up with fellow do-gooders Goldman Sachs to peddle brutally expensive 36-month leases to increasingly desperate drivers, meaning that in all likelihood by the end of their lease cycle contractors will be forced to compete with no-doubt cheaper robotic cars.
It’s fairly clear that Uber is a fraud, using artificially low prices, illegal business practices, and outright harassment to drive competitors out of the market while courting investors for more cash. To me it looks like they’re delaying an IPO until robot cars hit the road and save their bottom line from the burden of paying human beings, at which time their name recognition and ruthlessness will make them a transportation monopoly. Meanwhile, Uber is hard at work making sure regulations won’t be an issue: Kalanick was just named (oh! the irony) to Trump’s panel on job growth, and on the other side of the aisle, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe is a senior advisor.
“Desolation Row” is stuck in a loop in my head. If anything describes the atomization and terror of late-empire Trump capitalism…
At midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders and then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles by insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping to Desolation Row
Anyway, I did a little search to see if anybody had written about the song recently, and, by God, I found the worst thing ever written.
I didn’t hear the word “inequality” much in the campaign. Certainly not after Bernie Sanders departed. And, sure, Hillary had a policy–god knows she had a policy, complete with the lamest fucking quote imaginable–but liberal commentators would do well to remember that obscure web links don’t have much to do with campaigning and nothing to do with governance. Actually, the last time I remember Hillary Clinton talking about inequality was this incident, which was a cheap shot but just one more goddamn thing.
Anyway, inequality is a fucking nightmare in this country. I don’t think it’s a big stretch to say that “X” trend in that first chart has a lot to do with Donald Trump.