Corporations that can’t play by the rules

How can “gig economy” corporations expect to survive if they have to obey the laws? Obviously, they can’t, as Uber and Lyft flee California due to their inability to continue abusing their drivers:

After a California court’s preliminary injunction required Uber and Lyft to reclassify drivers as employees, both companies threatened to shut down their ride-hailing services, with the latter confirming the move.

Lyft will suspend its transportation activity in California at 11:59pm local time on Thursday, the company announced in a blog post. “This is not something we wanted to do, as we know millions of Californians depend on Lyft for daily, essential trips,” the company – valued in the billions of dollars – lamented.

“We’re personally reaching out to riders and drivers to share more about why this is happening, what you can do about it, and to provide some transportation alternatives,” it added.

The drastic move was prompted by a preliminary court decision last week that required Uber and Lyft to stop classifying their drivers as independent contractors.

If your business model is dependent upon breaking either the employment or the consumer laws, it isn’t a sustainable one, no matter how heavily Wall Street may be willing to invest in it.

Gig economy gigs lower the price of labor, which in the USA has remained flat since 1973. It is as deleterious as the doubling of the female workforce and the mass immigration that are the two primary contributors to the low price of labor that has rendered US society unstable and destroyed the middle class.

The important thing to remember is that consent does not define morality. The prostitute consents to sell her body, the debt-slave consents to sell his labor, and the defrauded consents to invest his money, yet we find these practices to be both morally wrong and illegal. California gets many things hopelessly wrong, but its strong legal protections for employees and consumers against the rapacious predators of the financial class is not one of them.

And if you think Uber is a fine capitalist corporation being abused by the socialists in the California legislature, I suggest you look up the documents related to Abadilla et al v. Uber Technologies, Inc. and you will rapidly learn otherwise. I don’t know much about Lyft, but Uber is an abusive, lawless, and hypocritical organization that mandated independent arbitrations for its drivers, then spent FIVE YEARS in a futile attempt to prevent more than 12,000 of those drivers from exercising their only remedy against the corporation’s mistreatment of them.

In fact, this decision to flee California is a consequence of the two corporations’ long-running attempts to avoid the arbitrations they mandated. Sound familiar?

In combatting these individual arbitration claims, the ride-share companies adopted several tactics including: 1) delay the arbitrations by not paying the arbitration initial filing fees, 2) challenging their opposing counsels’ qualifications, and 3) offering incentives for employees to drop their arbitration claims.

Don’t be surprised when Patreon suddenly announces an “unexpected” relocation to Utah.