This blog is in response to this headline. Not the story because I didn’t read it and don’t care. Just the headline. That’s it. That’s my intro.
Befuckinleave it or not, your pal Joey B is actually a college graduate. That’s right, got a diploma and everything. Sits in a drawer in my bedroom right next to my passport, a couple of ties, and an empty pack of Trojans that I leave there so I can do the old “::shrug::, looks like I’m all out.” What did I study? Economics.
Now when you take your first econ course, be it in high school or college, the first thing the teacher/professor will tell you is that economics has nothing to do with money. This is a hipster douchebag thing to say because really yes it fucking does. Economics nowadays focuses on how much money is being tossed around and for what. But if I’m not being a dick then yes, they’re right when all is said and done because currency in and of itself is a fairly modern invention and before we had it, and even after, we used concepts like the barter system to acquire goods and services.
The easiest way to define economics is: the study of what people want and need – and inversely can supply – and what we are willing to do/part with in order to get it, layered on top of the behaviors that come about from the levels of those wants and needs. Basically, what do we want, is it available and if so how much of it, what are we willing to do to get it, and how do any of those variables change when one of the other ones do. Think of a hoodie but with a billion strings, if you pull one what happens to the rest?
The economy, especially when it came to new vs. old products, was easier to study when we were just talking about round stones, then wheels, then pelts. But as more and more shit has been invented and technology has boomed, truly new ideas have become less and less a thing. So how do you make a new business/product? You “disrupt” a current market. Basically, you look at the way things have been done in a certain market for ages (going back to econ 101: what have people always wanted from that market and what have they done to get it) and figured out a way to do it a little better – whether that is providing it in a way that is easier for the consumer, cheaper etc. Think cell phones to landlines, AirBnB to hotels, and yes, rideshares to taxis.
People act like rideshares came out of the clouds because they are cheaper than taxis, which is usually but not always true. But for me personally it comes down mostly to one thing:
Boston taxi drivers are raging assholes.
Taxis are unreliable, considering I live equidistant between two bars that are PACKED on the weekends and down the street from a busy brewery and never see one ready to offer rides. Taxis are indeed usually more expensive, especially if, you know, you’re trying to go to or come from somewhere where one usually needs something like, I don’t know, a fucking taxi (airport, etc.). But most of all, taxi drivers are. Fucking. Assholes.
There’s no need to sternly demand cash (I also think it’s either not legal or against their protocol). There’s no need to be rude and seem so pissed off. There’s no need to yell at me that there’s traffic. I too don’t like traffic. I also did not cause said traffic. Did I know there was traffic? Why yes I did. However seeing as I don’t own a magical broom like Harry fucking Potter and also didn’t feel like using public transportation, I decided to employ your services as a TAXI DRIVER to get me to my destination. I am also paying you. Because it’s your job.
You know who drives people around but isn’t a little bitch about it? Uber and Lyft drivers. You know who doesn’t blame you for every bad turn their life has ever taken? Uber and Lyft drivers. Sure, they might talk too much sometimes, have bad taste in music on occasion, or have no logical sense of temperature, but at least they aren’t the single most curmudgeoned fucking person on the planet at that very moment. Taxi drivers are.
So that is why your industry is dying. That is why you’re on your knees, fellating lawmakers to save you. Because you’re an asshole. Because we found a market alternative to the unbearable notion that the person driving us hated our guts.
You did this to yourself.