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Goldman Sachs

Uber Takes a Hit in London

By: 
Kenneth Surin

In today’s neoliberal world, colossally lucrative enterprises, making their originators some of the wealthiest people on earth, exist in a realm that can best be described as virtual: Uber and Lyft own no taxis, Airbnb owns no rental properties, eBay/Alibaba possess no inventory, Facebook generates no content of its own, TaskRabbit and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (the latter’s motto: “giving you access to a scalable workforce”) create no genuinely sustainable jobs, but use the internet to “match” individuals with substantial incomes needing someone to undertake menial tasks or run small errands with a hapless “gig” clientele prepared to do this for chickenfeed.

London and New York are the capitals of our neoliberal world, so the recent decision by the Transport for London (TfL) not to renew Uber’s licence when it expires on 30 September, on the grounds that it was not a “fit and proper” operator, comes as something of a surprise.  Uber will be allowed to operate while it appeals TfL’s decision.

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