When the Job Market Shifts, Always Remember That It’s All Your Fault

New York City livery driver Doug Schifter is the latest of traditional taxi and black-car drivers to commit suicide because the disruption caused by Uber and Lyft have driven down prices and increased competition to the point that it’s impossible to make a decent living despite working terribly long hours. I was amazed at the lack of compassion for people like him who find themselves displaced by the whims of capitalism.

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17 thoughts on “When the Job Market Shifts, Always Remember That It’s All Your Fault

  1. Retraining people who have been made «redundant» (as the phrase goes), Ted ? Why that’s rampant socialism – not to say communism – as practiced in over-regulated countries like my own, Sweden, where the principles that made us great and prosperous have sadly been abandoned ! Surely The US – that Shining City on a Hill and Banner of Freedom – will not place itself on so slippery a slope, the road to serfdom, as Friedrich August von Hayek so presciently warned us ?!!…

    Henri

    • Trump wants immigrants from Nordic countries.

      The question is, Why would anyone from a socialist Nordic country want to come to a neoliberal shithole country like this?

  2. The propaganda for capitalism has been running in high gear for the last 30-40 years, so it is no wonder that people’s first response to the news about good workers getting the boot is the rote answer “it’s your fault”. The propaganda machince says live our way, any changes could unlock Pandora’s box and lead to the worst of the Soviet system being reborn in the United States. You will work where assigned, wear you drab suit and line up for hours to get enough to eat…..ect.
    Intelligent alternatives to ether extreme has to crushed to keep the profit machine rolling.

    • I have been using the words “Fake News” for decades before Trump popularized them.

      When a fraud becomes apparent some want to bring it to an end, and others want to find a way to personally capitalize on it.

      The confidence man always appeals to the latter’s greed to share the profits of fraud, but he soon finds out that he is the target of fraud and it is he that has been taken.

      Presidents are confidence men, like Reagan, who promised working people greater wealth by cutting welfare going to cheaters. It wasn’t long before working people lost their jobs to the big capital cheaters and were dissed as cheaters themselves for their union membership.

      • «Presidents are confidence men, like Reagan, who promised working people greater wealth by cutting welfare going to cheaters.» Aided and abetted, of course, by those other confidence men, the «opposition party’s» representatives in the US Congress. One of the most potent methods they use to carry out their shell games is, of course, deflecting attention to those dastardly foreigners, who, by «interfering» imperil «our democracy». For the latest round in this unedifying spectacle, check out Aaron Maté’s analysis in the current issue of the Nation….

        Henri

      • Absolutely.

        Democrats are in a tizzy about Republican collusion with Russia, while the real concern should be the collusion of Democrats with Republicans.

      • Glenn–
        Well said, as always. I also like your point about who is colluding with whom…. Thanks! 🙂

      • > Democrats are in a tizzy about Republican collusion with Russia, while the real concern should be the collusion of Democrats with Republicans.

        I don’t understand – why does fighting one preclude fighting the other? They are not mutually exclusive.

        IMnsHO, interference from an unfriendly foreign power far, far, outweighs mere domestic power struggles. Moreover, treason by a sitting president far, far, outweighs negotiations in smoke-filled rooms.

        However, the Deniers are still all in a tizzy about an election that happened in 2016. Treason takes a back seat to discrediting the candidate who lost.. :glances at calendar: It’s now 2018 – isn’t it time we concentrated on current events?

      • Haha! I could use a new Rolex….
        Yeah, I figured… Still, funny to demand moderation here of all places…. 🙂

      • (I’m reposting this sans links; y’all know how to google))
        “There’s a difference between a hand up and a hand out.”
        Yes indeed. In today’s Guardian there’s an article about Finland’s commitment to — pardon the expression — social welfare, evident in various realms, such as education, maternity and paternity leave, child care, etc. I understand that comparing a small, homogenous country like Finland to the US is problematic, but still…. Like Ted’s last cartoon, apparently asking for any social programs whatsoever (including perhaps a lack of war — you wanna talk handouts…) in this country is akin to asking for the moon — right, Mr. Persnickety?
        A few months ago (31 Oct. 2017) the Guardian had also run an article on Finland’s experiment with universal basic income, with the headline that “Finland shows it can work.”
        When I went to look it up just now, I discovered an earlier (20 July 2017) article in the New York Times: headline, “Why Finland’s Basic Income Experiment Isn’t Working.” The gist of the article is that it isn’t working because it was undermined by poor design and attacks from conservatives in government. Of course, not everyone reads past the headlines, do they…?
        If only I thought I could tolerate the climate in Finland…..

  3. Taxi medallions, which were once required to operate a taxi, have been dropping in value.

    Many taxi drivers took out loans to purchase these medallions (averaging around $500,000.00). The “fair market value of an individual medallion is now [in 2015] less than $675,000.”

    Drivers’ capital was tied up in their medallions, and competition with unregulated taxis has been leading to plunging medallion prices, loan defaults, and loss of medallions.

    And then suicides.

    The US, one of the most depressed countries on earth, consuming a hugely disproportionate amount of anti-depression medications relative to the rest of the world.

    The parasitic finance capitalists that caused millions of people to lose their homes are hitting taxi drivers as well.

    Suicides and mass murders are climbing also.

    These ravages are symptoms of neoliberalism unleashed.

  4. Reading the _New York Times_, and especially letters and messages from those of its readers who feel called upon toe Speak Out, is not good for your mental health.

  5. There’s a difference between a hand up and a hand out.

    Which would you rather have: a homeless drifter committing crimes in your community; or a productive member of society? Remember, you’re going to spend public money on him either way. Even further: you may be the one in need of a hand up at some point. Would want your neighbors to say “sink or swim’ ?

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