lyftrallyIn a 9-0 decision Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to cap the number of UberX, Sidecar and Lyft drivers on our streets — to protect the legitimate interests of taxi companies and the revenue they create for our city.

So, I thought we should come up with 10 other important limits that we as a city can and should place on new technology-based business models. Here they are:

1. To protect the legitimate interests of the U.S. Postal Service and keep the price of stamps reasonable for our citizens, the City should cap the number of emails we send to no more than five per day.

2. To protect the legitimate interests of U.S. petroleum companies, local gasoline stations, and our strategic interests in the Middle East, the City should cap the number of Teslas in Seattle at 1,000 and eliminate Priuses altogether.

Three white iPhone 5S handsets displaying iOS 73. To protect the legitimate interests of local employer Microsoft and the new-and-much-improved Windows Phone, the City Council should cap the number of iPhones to 5,000 and Android mobile devices to 10,000. While we are at it, let’s cap the number of Google searches — to five per day — to protect the important tax revenue that comes from the relevant high-paid, Seattle-based Microsoft employees that work in search.

4. To protect the legitimate interests of local hotels and their employees, the City should cap the number of Seattle listings on Airbnb to 10.

5. To protect the legitimate interests of PC manufacturers and the important operating systems that run on PCs, the City Council should cap the number of mobile tablets in the city at 1,000.

fitbit23126. To protect the legitimate interests and margins of our local hospitals, the City Council should limit the number of Fitbits to no more than 1,000 within the city limits. Moreover, the City should cap the use of arthroscopic surgery to one body part per individual as this new surgical procedure may limit the amount of time people spend in the hospital.

7. To protect the legitimate interests of our school teachers, the City should cap the amount of time students can spend on Khan Academy and other free learning sites to no more than one hour per week.

8. To protect the legitimate interests of cellular companies and their employees in our region, the City should cap the amount of free Wi-Fi we can use for data transfer to no more than three hours per day.

9. To protect the legitimate interests of local merchants and retailers without hurting the growth of Seattle-based Amazon, the City Council should cap the amount of non-Amazon ecommerce purchases to no more than three per year.

Greg Gottesman
Greg Gottesman

10. To protect the legitimate interests of our local movie theaters and retail DVD/VHS video stores, the City should cap the number of on-demand movies to one per week.

The City needs to act quickly because once these technologies and new business models take hold, it is very difficult to go back.

Greg Gottesman is a Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group and founder of Rover.com. He writes a blog at StarkRavingVC.com. His Twitter handle is @greggottesman.

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Comments

  • Chris

    I want to play too: To protect the legitimate interests of traditional bank-lending, the city should cap VC investments to no more than 10 startups at any given time.

    • Kary

      I want to play too. I’m going to create an app that allows you to give legal and medical advice without a license. And of course, there’s got to be an app for the Hookers. But my most profitable app will almost certainly be called Ponzi. With an app I can avoid every government regulation!

  • Rob Green

    This is simply beautiful. Nice job.

  • Chris

    To protect the legitimate interests of traditional bank lending, the City will cap the number of startups a VC can be invested in at any given time.

  • Slaggggg

    This is the GW post of the year.

    • http://www.myunfold.com/ Mark Monroe

      iApprove this article and this Vote! It really ask the question: Why be a startup in Seattle? Can someone legitimately answer this question without getting super emotional. Greg this article kicks ass. I sent Bruce H. (City Council and mentor) a text simply saying, really? It’s time to remove the old blood from this city if we startups that are creating innovative solutions stand a chance. So, Why be a startup in Seattle?

  • Poly Ticks

    Years ago the Seattle City Council should have dramatically capped Amazon’s book sales to protect brick and mortar bookstores in the city. This way they could have saved hundreds of retail jobs at the expense of progress … and prevented tens of thousands of Amazon jobs.

  • Guest

    Nice articles but there’s only one lesson here.

    Pay your bribes.

  • Allen

    To protect the legitimate interests of traditional real-estate agents, property searches on sites such as Redfin and Zillow must now include a 24-hour delay before providing results.

  • Andy

    To protect the interests of the Seattle Mariners, the City should limit the Seattle Sounders to 18,000 tickets per game.

  • WaxTadpole

    To protect the legitimate interests of the Seattle newspapers of record, blogs shall be limited to three posts per day–none critical of the Seattle City Council.

  • Rich Lancaster

    Brilliant Greg. Would love to hear your views on the proposed $15 minimum wage!

  • Bryan Mistele

    Great piece Greg.

  • Brock Reed

    AMEN Greg!

  • Jason F

    Well stated Greg, I couldn’t agree more with you. As someone in the startup space, it’s depressing to think that years of hard work and risk could be smacked down by such senseless political meddling.

  • http://www.aarontallman.com/ JustZaq

    Well said, lets not forget about beer, Sales of Bud/Coors are now capped at 100 cases per retail store per year, in the interest of local breweries.

  • Brad Chodos-Irvine

    This article seems flippant and naive to the struggles of people who aren’t in the high tech industry.
    If you were a taxi driver, who followed the rules, and who had mortgaged your life savings to purchase a taxi and a taxi medallion, you’d likely feel differently.

    • George(town)

      No, I would see the rideshare’s as an opportunity to harness technology to provide more timely rides with better customer service, as well as to ditch the backwards management of companies like Yellow Cab, and I would become a Lyft or Uber driver as soon as possible.

      • Brad Chodos-Irvine

        There are certainly taxi drivers who have done just that – and now drive for Uber – as there are still many cases of taxi drivers who have played by the rules, bought a car and painted it yellow, who now feel screwed by the changing rules and landscape.
        You know, walk a mile in another man’s shoes…

        • Nate

          I don’t think the solution is to double down on a broken system though. This happens all the time with innovation, that is one risk of being in any industry, that it will become obsolete.

        • Connor

          should we have stopped the printing press because people were invested in the art of creating books? should we have stopped the industrialization of textiles because looms were expensive and many companies had a significant financial stake in textiles continuing as they were? Should we have stopped the internet because of how easily it has allowed us to do away with more “traditional” means of communication? Should we have stopped wireless telecommunications because they would mark the death of the “home phone”? The reality is that this is business and it is how it has worked for millennia.

      • Zoboo

        To be fair, we all know Uber is trying to think of some new mob tactics to strong arm Lyft into bankruptcy.

    • Eric

      Perhaps so. That just speaks to how unfair the taxi medallion system is in the first place, to all involved.

      The medallion system forces taxi owners to sink a huge amount of money into a license that only retains its value if the city council keeps the cap below the natural demand. That’s a waste of capital and a highly speculative investment to boot.

      The medallion system forces taxi passengers to pay more for a fare because the taxi owners not only need to pay for the driver’s labor and the cost of the vehicle, but they also need to see a decent return on their initial investment in the medallion.

      Sure when you abolish a nonsensical cap in supply, some people who relied on the cap are going to lose money. That in and of itself should not be sufficient reason to retain the status quo.

    • Jason F

      So you’re supporting an ancient, backwards model that requires drivers to basically be owned by a financier of a trinket. That seems pretty naive to me.

    • Confused

      The city didn’t sell any taxi owner a medallion. The people who mortgaged their life savings to buy a medallion did so on a secondary, speculative market, just like people buying pork belly futures. Why should the government and taxpayers care about these speculators’ ROI? Does Seattle guarantee home buyers a positive return? Many many homes in Seattle cost far more than a taxi medallion and are underwater. Let’s make sure no more homes are built until all the values go up!

    • Don86

      Have you ridden in a Yellow Cab or East-Side for Hire lately? The drivers often speak broken English, have trouble finding your destination, and will sometimes seemingly take deliberately inefficient routes to hike rates. Not to mention driving skill and experience is often lacking in Taxi drivers, my neighbors driver rear ended another car, made him walk several blocks to his destination, and insisted he pay for the ride.

    • GodsAdvised

      The thing about progress is that it always moves forward…and never back.

      Yes, some people might “feel differently” and “struggle” but if we keep creating new laws/rules/regulations that try and protect every old and outdated business model then we end up hurting innovation and all the new jobs that it would create. Many Seattle companies like Microsoft, Starbucks, and especially Amazon have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and been great for Seattle because they buck the traditional business model and innovate.

    • Eliza Qwghlm

      Thanks, Mr. Cab Company.
      The medallions are owned by a few wealthy, entrenched companies who give huge kickbacks to the politicians. It’s not much different than any other highly regulated industry. But if we can’t start overturning the miserable service provided by taxis and letting more folks get a chance to innovate, then where do we start?

    • JefferyHaas

      Instead of joining the rebellion.
      Yeah, right.
      And after mortgaging my life savings to buy tube cameras and analog video editing equipment I should have “felt differently” about the rise of nonlinear editing and digital cinematography.
      I should have smashed flat screen HDTV sets by the gross because my career in small screen NTSC analog TV was threatened.

      You are a buggy whip making Luddite, sir.
      Stand on your porch and start screaming “Get a horse!” at the top of your lungs.

  • Frank

    This article is ridiculous. Answer me this, you have 2 companies in 1 industry, is it fair to ask one company to obey different laws and regulations than the other one? In this case, both are Taxi companies…you know, the verb; to taxi. This was never about capping innovation, it has always been about creating a fair business environment.

    To flip your point, why can’t I just open a bank tomorrow and say no to bank regulations because you know, I have an app for that. How about an insurance company? I just don’t feel like I should have to obey the same regulations as state farm because shoot, I’m innovating!!! It would be so much cheaper because now I don’t have to meet code and regulations. Hell, let me build a building that shouldn’t have to meet building codes either because the way I’m 3d printing everything is INNOVATIVE!!

    Do I think uber is great? Yes! but do I understand we currently regulate other taxi services? yes.

    Deregulate all taxi services if you want it unregulated. But don’t ignore why it was regulated in the first place.

    • Ryan Bender

      Lol!

    • Julian Klappenbach

      Your argument is based on the premise that the regulatory environment for taxis is valid or even in the best interests of consumers. It’s not, and hasn’t been for decades. In reality, the regulation has really only served the interests of the few actual owners of cabs, and the council members who receive campaign contributions from these owners. It’s time to remove all regulation, save insurance / bond requirements, and let the free and open market solve everything else.

      • Frank

        If that’s the case, I agree it would be the best interest of us all to deregulate it some. My concern would be having 2000 cabs on the road lol. I guess when they can’t make enough to make it worth while, they’ll stop being cabs.

      • Eliza Qwghlm

        Entrenched interests prevent deregulation. It’s always in the name of the public interest, but it always serves the entrenched (rich) at the expense of innovation and opportunity (everyone).

        A little rebellion every now and then is a good thing.

    • Nevermind

      So we should reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator and then go one step further by punishing the new guys for doing something different, instead? That’s not the sort of policy work I want my city council undertaking.

      • Frank

        The city council made regulations and forced it on cabbies. These regulations aren’t created to help cabbies before uber came along. You see regulation as punishment. So it’s only fair to punish all.

        If you and I opened competing businesses in the same industry, is it fair for city council to say you have to follow existing regulations but I don’t? Would you like that? Pick an industry…any.

        • Nevermind

          Or! Wonderfully, because we have a system of government, we can change the law or rule when we find a new and better way to do things! Imagine that.

          There were a million ways for the council to respond to this change in the landscape. They picked the most regressive, protectionist, corrupt possible way, and they did it because they were unduly influenced by the entrenched and underperforming taxi industry, and the Teamsters Union that partnered with them to help maintain the status quo.

          • Frank

            You’re right, they should just deregulate everything but they can’t right away with studying it. This is to protect existing businesses that have long followed the rules. I highly doubt this is the final ruling and I believe if people want regulations changed, they will challenge for it to be changed…right now, the decision wasnt’ to stop innovation, it is to enforce existing rules.

            Laws are laws until they are changed or repealed and we the people can affect those laws. This goes for any industry. Technology always moves faster than laws and this is one we’ll adapt laws for. No doubt about it. Company A and Company B in any respective industry should have to follow the same rules. That’s why the decision was made…and now we move forward. Look at the battle with net neutrality or the out of state sale tax battle going on right now…

            Just because a new company does something better, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have to follow rules that were imposed on existing businesses already. If you opened a new awesome bank today with a different innovative concept that blows any other bank away, you bet your butt existing laws apply to you too.

            We’ll fix this if the people demand it…I believe that 100%.

          • Nevermind

            For what feels like the millionth time: no one has argued that Uber shouldn’t be subject to the same sorts of licensing and liability laws as any other commercial transportation service.

            VERY SPECIFICALLY: The caps are what people are objecting to. Only the caps. They’re punitive, they don’t serve a policy goal (other than preventing market pressures from forcing the underperforming cab industry into providing service at a level commensurate with what the public wants), and they’re the result of corrupt council members kowtowing to the Teamsters Union and the taxi industry, which threatened to pull support from those council members in the next election cycle. That’s the very name of undue special interest influence on city hall, and as a conservative, I’m surprised you’re defending it.

            If there were regulations in the way of the cab industry stepping up their game, then the council should’ve removed those regulations. But the cab industry knows as well as anyone that the regulations weren’t what was stopping them stepping up their game. What was stopping them was the comfortable oligopoly the regulations were designed from the beginning to effect, and that Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar threatened to the very core.

            It’s a bullshit excuse to say the council needs time to study the issue. They’ve had two years to study the issue. This was about protecting profitable mediocrity by intentionally incapacitating Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar’s ability to disrupt.

          • Eliza Qwghlm

            the cabbies are a protected monopoly. they have had years to improve their service, but why bother – they had medallions and a regulated industry to protect them.

            Getting more people to use cabs is just the first step to improving public transportation. The more people figure out how to live life without being shackled to a personal automobile, the better the whole city will be.

        • Slātlantican

          These regulations aren’t created to help cabbies before uber came along.

          I last took a cab in Seattle 30 years ago (next month), so I’m not fully informed. My one key question is this: is Seattle similar to most major American cities in that it has a finite number of taxi licenses available, or can anyone qualified obtain one? And if anyone can get one, how much does it cost? I ask because any set of regulations that limits the number of competitors that enter the market does help those who got in first.

  • Virl Hill

    Be careful, you just gave our new socialist city councilmember a bunch of ideas.

  • Mark Lavis™

    To protect the legitimate interests of milkmen in Seattle, grocery stores should only be allowed to sell 6 milk cartons per store every day.

  • Mark Lavis™

    To protect the legitimate interests of job-creator Paul Allen, owner of the Seahawks, and Sounders, the City of Seattle should banish the Mariners from publicly-funded Safeco Field unless Paul Allen is a substantial part-owner of it.

  • http://www.willfosterphoto.com Will Foster

    This is frustrating, one more reason to refuse to use a taxi.

  • yourestalkingme

    This article is idiotic to say the very least. The sheep will jump on board and start spouting these comparisons because they don’t have the capacity to form their own thoughts or research the real issue of companies breaking laws to suit their own needs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar).

    • zendoggie

      It strikes me to be more sheepish to resist change simply because of a blind adherence to a narrow interpretation of artificial rules.

      • yourestalkingme

        I encourage you to delve deep into the regulations and laws that are in place and research the reasons that they are. Research the last time taxis went unregulated. Read up. It’s easy to say someone has been paid off to bend the rules to their liking. I’d say that Uber and their lobbyists bought off Bagwell, Rasmussen and Burgess since they disregarded all the information that was provided to them by the other council members. The information that was worked on for the past year by the other Council members. Bagwell, Rasmussen and Burgess weren’t there for the past year, just the last 2 meetings. Ubers bullying worked on those three. The other members have more integrity and it shows that they wouldn’t be pushed around by Uber. The City Council did their best to see ALL sides of this issue and not just the Taxis. If anyone read the proposals or followed things for the past year (other than what Uber and Lyft tell you), then you’d definitely have a different perspective on things. Uber are law breakers and don’t care about anything but making more and more money for their investors and themselves. Their interests aren’t anything more than that. Now they’re crying, spinning the truth and providing only half of the facts to their “followers” and like sheep they follow blindly. The City Council and even those that don’t “buy” what Uber is selling, think the technology is great and want to see it flourish…but there needs to be regulations in place to protect EVERYONE. The drivers, the consumers and the public. Uber and Lyft are not really interested in protecting anything but their pocket books, unless they absolutely have to. They didn’t care about insurance for the last year until the Council put the screws to them for it. And before you blame the Seattle City Council…this same thing is going on all over the country in other cities. Other Cities are starting to look at Uber, Lyft and Sidecar and saying “something could potentially go really bad, we should get in front of it before it does”.

        • zendoggie

          Artificially regulating supply isn’t the same as regulating for safety and liability.

          • yourestalkingme

            I guess you’re really unable to do any research or to comprehend that the regulations are about more than just safety and liability. Consumer protection is also a key component. I’ll make it simple for you…by allowing Uber, Lyft and Sidecar to dominate the market…and essentially Uber killing off all competition, you as a consumer will be given no choice at all. Sidecar isn’t even mentioned when these discussions happen because they’re not really a big player in this game. I’m sure Sidecar gets bummed out when they don’t get mentioned. The fight is between Uber and Lyft…Uber will destroy lyft because they have the money to do so and have even said that they will throw whatever money they need to in order to destroy lyft. Their end game is to destroy all other forms of transportation for YOU, the consumer. They’ve publicly said “cheaper than the bus”. Think they’re gonna stop at destroying taxis? When you have no choice…what do you think you’ll be paying for a ride then? As a driver when there’s 5000 other goons in their cars running around giving rides…how much are they truly going to make when they average one pickup or less an hour? In order to keep those drivers on the road…rates for their services are going to go up and up. So please, keep on keepin on with your thoughts that innovation is going to save us all. You’ll pay for it in the end.

          • Nevermind

            Now who’s spouting conspiracy theories?

          • alarmclocktothestars

            This is tremendous. In one inane rant, you’ve proven that you don’t know how regulation works AND that you don’t know how a market works. Bravo.

          • Zoboo

            Uber has no motivation to regulate supply? surge pricing. They’ve already been caught doing it.

          • zendoggie

            If you think there’s any reason to compare surge pricing to taxi medallion issuance, then I don’t know where to even begin with you.

        • LangdenAlger
          • yourestalkingme

            I’m not surprised by this. I’m not denying that politicians are funded by companies and corporations. Do you think Bagwell, Rasmussen and Burgess will be on Ubers payroll this next time around? I’m willing to bet they will be. Harrell voted to let these companies operate legally in a city that they were operating illegally for the past year. He should have voted to shut them down completed for thumbing their nose at the laws and regulations that were in place. These companies got off easy.

  • Ryan Bender

    I’m pretty sure this guy took all of this from Twitter. I’ve seen all of these before… and they don’t seem that relevant other than AirBnB. Most are pretty dumb if you ask me. This is an instance of one heavily-regulated competitor group vs. a competitor group in the same market that’s not regulated at all. This was a whole bunch of facepalm to me.

  • Jo

    Seattle city council is corrupt: http://www.king5.com/news/Stita–83276607.html

    • yourestalkingme

      That has nothing to do with the Seattle City Council. You don’t know anything. If you did, you’d realize that the Port Of Seattle has nothing to do with the Seattle City Council.

  • roryvancouver

    Great post! Please forward to Mayor and City Council.

  • Justin Graham

    Post of the year. I clap for you Greg!

    • http://www.MyUnfold.com/ OptimusDiaz

      “Greg for Governor.” ;-)

  • eliisrael

    A helpful set of metaphors, Greg. Alas, a more straightforward case of Regulatory Capture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture) would be hard to find.

    • http://www.MyUnfold.com/ OptimusDiaz

      “Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name.”

  • Peter

    Yeah, let’s really run with this. Let’s protect doctors by not letting people who aren’t licensed and didn’t go to medical school practice medicine. Let’s protect airline pilots by not letting people without training and a lot of experience fly commercial aircraft. And we’ll protect truck drivers by not letting anyone without proper training, licenses and insurance loose on the roads with rolling weapons where they can, you know, kill people and cause all sorts of fun mayhem by not knowing what the hell they’re doing. Seriously, people should be able to throw out whatever shingle they want regardless of qualifications, repercussions for everyone else, safety issues, whatever. As long as it’s the cool thing now, right?

    Did the council handle everything perfectly on this (or anything, ever)? Of course not. Self entitled whining about your pet fad now having limits doesn’t actually add anything or help anyone, other than proving how clever and funny you are(n’t). There should very obviously be limits on the number of drivers on the road and controls on their qualifications. Companies and people that make their money in ways that risk other peoples lives, safety and property should be accountable and liable for their actions. They should be required to have more training and experience than my 16 year old when they get behind the wheel.

    Maybe participate in a grown-up conversation and try to make ride share services safe and reliable instead of making stupid comparisons and snickering with the cool kids.

    • TomCF

      How does limiting the number of cars of competing services address any of those issues? If there’s a safety issue, regulate the safety (background checks). If there’s a liability issue, regulate the liability (insurance requirements). If there’s a tax issue regulate that (tax code, collection). If the medallions are unfair to taxi drivers, then fix that.

      • gavingreenwalt

        We did. We regulated safety, we regulated liability, we regulated taxes… we call it “Taxi” regulation.

        They’re simply ignoring all of the regulation and crying “innovation!”. Uber could be a medallion holding taxi service. They could petition Seattle to open up an alternative taxi service with negotiated compromises (no medallions).

        • TomCF

          So instead of making them follow the regulations the answer is to allow 150 drivers (for each company) to not follow the regulation? Fantastic.

          What regulations aren’t being followed by Uber, Lyft, etc.? Or even more specifically what bad consequence of allowing ride sharing programs to exist are you worried about? Does the existing regulation covering that consequence make sense for a ride sharing program? How can the regulation be rewritten to cover those consequences for these new services?

          A cap is about as hamfisted, ineffectual and anti-competitive a policy as you could possibly make.

          So let’s say Bellevue doesn’t have these caps, but a person wants to go from Bellevue to Seattle. Does that count against the cap? How is this going to be enforced? What if a fare wants to take I-5 to go from Everett to Renton?

        • Nevermind

          You guys just Do. Not. want anyone drawing attention to how how ridiculous caps are, do you? There shouldn’t be any caps. There’s no justification for it other than “this is how the cab companies do it.” Fine, then kill the medallion system, too. It’s arcane, and it’s not solving any problems.

          No one’s arguing that UberX should be totally unregulated. We’re arguing that the caps are corrupt regulatory capture incarnate, and are only designed to prevent the entrenched and underperforming taxi industry from having to face the competition.

    • Rob Belcher

      “Seriously, people should be able to throw out whatever shingle they want”

      Yes. And let their price, product and service determine if they succeed or fail. It’s call capitalism and provides for the greatest profit for the company and lowest price for consumer.

      “There should very obviously be limits on the number of drivers on the road ”

      Why? That’s called a forced supply shortage, or monopoly. It provides for lower profits for companies as a whole (ie. the industry) (but yes, higher profit for individuals lucky enough to be inside the shortage), higher prices and lower availability for consumers … oh, and don’t forget the economic rent gained by a third party, in this case the city. #Econ101

      • Chris Tobolski

        Why? Ever heard of traffic. The roads in Seattle already carry more traffic than they are meant for. Limiting the amount of cars on the road is a necessity.

        • Rob Belcher

          The population of King County is 2.0M people. There are 1,400 taxis and for-hire vehicles licensed in King County.

          To say that limiting TNCs to just 150 cars each at any one time is because of traffic considerations is like putting your finger in the smallest hole in the overflowing dike. Also, Taxis, For-Hires and TNCs are a net neutral or even benefit to traffic issues, since you can’t drive your own car and ride in a taxi at the same time, and frequently share cabs among friends and coworkers.

          Many cities, including NYC, have proposals about limiting PRIVATE cars, while allowing taxis and for-hires.

          Source: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-war-on-cabs/Content?oid=16460368

  • http://www.MyUnfold.com/ OptimusDiaz

    Hilarious, frustrating, and very much needed. Thanks for the write up, Greg!

  • http://eric.jain.name/ Eric Jain

    To protect the legitimate interests of the local media, the City should cap the
    number of blog posts on sites like GeekWire to no more than one per day.

  • 100_people

    So Rideshare turned everyone in Seattle into a Republican? Great.

    • boop

      I don’t if it turned everyone in Seattle into a Republican but politics do make strange bedfellows.

    • gonzo

      ? regulation is a tool of progressives….I don’t get your comment?

      • 100_people

        Because this article is mocking regulations and “big government” obviously. It’s sarcastic.

  • Steve Potate

    Great satirical article. I completely agree. Government protectionism and subsidization of businesses, especially those in outdated industries, needs to stop. I don’t know that capitalism is the best style of economy, but it’s the one we’ve got, and if we’re going with capitalism, we need to let it work as intended so that we reap the rewards of a competitive and innovative business environment. There is no such thing as too big to fail.

    A while back the Yellow Pages industry even tried suing Seattle for allowing people to opt out of Yellow Pages delivery! How ridiculous!

  • Garrett

    Perfect. Spot on.

  • Nate

    So what are the chances these council people are re-elected?

  • Kary

    The ignorance here is overwhelming. In addition to the consumer protection issues I mentioned elsewhere (proper insurance and inspections), the city has a legitimate interest in keeping the city from having too many for hire vehicles on the road. That’s the reason taxis have been regulated for decades.

    It has nothing to do with the technology. At least some of the taxi companies presumably have apps too by now, but that doesn’t mean that they can put as many cars on the road as what they want. It’s what vehicles do that impacts whether they are regulated, not how they are contacted to arrange a ride.

    • Rob Belcher

      Sorry, why is it a problem to have “too many” for-hire vehicles available?

      Why does ” the city [have] a legitimate interest in keeping the city from having too many for hire vehicles on the road”?

      Perhaps I’m missing something, but why is that a public safety concern? If anything I would think the government would want to set a FLOOR on the number of vehicles to ensure that people [visitors, citizens,] always had access to a safe, warm, comfortable, convenient ride. THAT would be in the public’s interest. Not a forced supply SHORTAGE.

      Again, why is a shortage in the public’s best interest?

      • Kary

        Traffic and air pollution. I didn’t mention safety, but I believe taxis also get inspected.

        Long before this issue came up Seattle was also dealing with “limousine” drivers who were acting as taxis. This is similar to that.

        • Nevermind

          Traffic and air pollution? People are going to move about the city. Capping the number of Uber cars (while simultaneously increasing the number of medallions issued to the cab companies, I might add!) does nothing to change the number of people driving. In fact, it just puts more personal cars on the road, and increases the chance that someone is going to drive when they shouldn’t.

        • boop

          But wouldn’t Lyft help with traffic and air pollution, since the drivers on their way somewhere anyway and are given a chance to use their vehicles more efficiently (i.e. carry more riders)? Insofar as safety is concerned, most of the cabs I’ve been in are driven very sloppily and I’ve never seen a cop pull one of them over. But then again I very rarely see drivers ticketed for any of the many offenses I witness almost daily.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            You don’t get it. The UberX/Lyft/Sidecar drivers are not “on their way somewhere”. They are just cab drivers who work 8-10 hour shifts. They congregate near the downtown on weekends where the fares are. They get their fares from proximity to the customer.

        • Nanny State

          Seriously Dude, have you been in a cab? They are mostly filthy, worn out, and dilapidated. By contrast, I’ve never been in an Uber car that didn’t feel virtually brand new.

          • Kary

            What makes me think I haven’t been in a cab? Have you ever been in Seattle? Also, you might want to Google “anecdotal evidence” and then come back and apologize for wasting everyone’s time.

          • Nevermind

            The plural of anecdote is “data”. Data comes from somewhere… it’s not just ephemeral. It doesn’t have a virgin birth. Having ridden in a BUNCH of cabs and having had a consistently bad experience tells me that that’s probably representative of the entire industry.

    • Nanny State

      Right. How could the consumer possibly be protected is they didn’t have a sticker in the window of the car telling them it is a for hire car. The horror of it!!

      • Kary

        Well first, the people protected are not only the passengers. Google “San Francisco Uber Accident.” Second, for the passengers unless the driver has commercial insurance their injuries are not likely to be covered. Consumers should not need to face such a risk.

        Beyond that though, I would question whether Uber’s new insurance actually covers the driver. If not, if they cause an accident Uber’s insurance company will come after the driver. Clearly Uber drivers were not looking into this before the San Francisco incident, so I would question whether they are looking into it now.

        • William Hammond Knight III

          ” Also, you might want to Google “anecdotal evidence” and then come back and apologize for wasting everyone’s time.” You might want to practice what you preach. After that accident Uber implemented a new insurance policy that covers driver accidents without passengers.

          • Kary

            Which I referenced in another post here. And I specifically mentioned that it’s not clear that these policies actually insure the drivers (as opposed to the company), so the drivers might still have some risk. But their customers and people walking on the street should be protected.

            But in any case, that is one company. Seattle has at least three companies. So do you have a point? Do you think it’s wrong for Seattle to require insurance?

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            Uber announced its new insurance plan the weekend before the City Council vote. The Council bashers here should recognize that it is the only the pressure of the Seattle City Council that caused UberX and Lyft to expand their inadequate insurance covergae.

            But Uber’s new insurance continue to have the driver’s policy as the primary, most of which are.are still invalid non-commercial policies.

            The insurance industry’s reaction was that the new insurance plans are not good enough:

            “Both companies now plan to cover drivers as soon as they make themselves available to work. But drivers’ personal policies remain the primary insurer.

            “This sounds like a step in the right direction (but) by continuing to have their insurance apply on an excess basis, they are still trying to pass the cost of doing business to drivers’ personal policies,” said Kara Cross, general counsel for the Personal Insurance Federation of California. “These are commercial activities, and they’ve acknowledged this, so why are they still trying to shift their business expenses?”

            Bob Passmore, senior director for trade group ACIC/PCIA, which represents hundreds of insurers, said he thinks personal policies will deny coverage to drivers who use the cars for commercial purposes.

            “Every personal auto policy I’ve ever seen in 29 years in the industry has a livery exclusion,” he said. “They exclude coverage for when you’re making yourself available to carry persons or property for hire.”

          • Kary

            Per this story, the California Insurance Commissioner believes that the driver is not covered by Uber’s (and similar company’s) insurance. That makes being an Uber driver very risky! http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Calif-insurance-commissioner-discusses-ride-5336057.php

        • Leo Lam

          Besides the “San Francisco incident”, could you find ONE more incident that’s related to ridesharing?

          That’s ONE incident out of how many miles driven? What is the taxi industry’s record (incident per miles driven)? Given how most of the cabs drive in Seattle, I doubt that the record could be any better.

          Using one single occurrence to prove a policy change is absurd, and hardly scientific.

          • Kary

            You’re failing to understand the concern. It’s not just that one incident. The driver is not covered by any insurance while they are acting as a ride-share driver. Their insurance won’t cover them while they are “for hire”, and if they are not also an “insured” on the ride-share company’s insurance they can be sued by the insurance company. That’s why the insurance commissioner was mentioning needing to protect the drivers too.

            But if you want to point to science while ignoring the risk of thousands of people likely being uninsured, that’s fine, but it’s totally a distraction. Do you work for Uber?

          • Leo Lam

            I have no issue with the mandatory insurance. That’s very reasonable; and that would address your concern on “safety”.

            Most people here have problem with the CAP, which has absolutely nothing to do with the “San Francisco incident”.

            And since we are talking about safety, if you would like to let us know the TAXI companies’ safety record (miles driven per incident) and compare that with Uber/Sidecar/Lyft’s record, we are all ears.

            And please, answer the question, could you bring up another incident that UberX/Lyft/Sidecar are involved in?

            Otherwise, your point is moot.

            And using the same logic as you, that I must work for Uber because I disagree with you (I don’t, not at all, I am just a scientist); well, do you work for the taxi industries?

          • Kary

            The insurance issue I am raising isn’t a safety issue. It’s an issue addressing the financial risk for the drivers of these ride share companies. If the CA Insurance Commissioner and I am right, the drivers are not protected from financial risk if they are in an accident.

            As to the cap issue, for hire rides (taxis) have almost always been subject to regulation. The idea that you avoid regulation by creating a company that has an app to find customers is naive. So the type of shock that this article addresses is surprising to me. What else would you expect? They’re basically doing what taxis do, why wouldn’t they be regulated exactly the same as taxi companies?

          • Leo Lam

            You still have not answered a single question I posed to you, other than diverting it to another point. It’s a very obvious evasion tactics.

            So, do you work for the taxi industry? Come clean, please?

            Let me ask you one more question. How many taxi drivers have been screwed over by their medallion holding companies? How many of them make minimum wage? And again, what’s their miles per incident?

            As for the financial risk of the drivers, once again, the insurance issue can be taken care of directly without adding a random cap.

            If now your point is that regulation must be there, it comes to the argument for “why” the regulation must be there; and the simple answer is: to serve the public good.

            The regulation is antiquated, and based on data, does not serve the city’s inhabitants properly. It is shocking, because the way to fix this “problem”, the solution must not be more regulations to stifle innovation, but to change the regulation so that it is inline with the current level of technology so that we have a fair competitive marketplace where, once safety is considered, services with the best product/service and cost should have a chance to win.

            The logic of the rest of your point is rather funny, and in fact, very well addressed by Gottesman’s article.

          • Kary

            Sorry, I didn’t notice any questions before, other than the one asking how many other incidents there have been. Ironic you talk about diversion when that is an obvious diversion method. Ask a question where data is not readily available, and the answer to which is irrelevant. And your current questions follow the same tract. Asking data no one readily has and somehow thinking you win by asking such questions.

            No I don’t work for the taxi industry. I, however, understand why Seattle doesn’t want a lot of taxis or other cars doing the same job on the street. It’s called increased traffic and parking problems. That should be rather obvious. Seattle’s prior mayor would have probably banned cars if he could have.

            I’ve raised two points. 1. There is no reason that adding an app to an industry allows companies to escape regulation. 2. The drivers may be at great financial risk when “working” for these ride share companies. You’ve not refuted either point, but keep trying to raise other issues.

            Your side tracks of asking about how many taxi drivers might get screwed over by their companies don’t change those two points. And your comment about minimum wage. is laughable because if you had even the slightest understanding of economics you would know that these ride share companies hurt the earnings of taxi drivers. Quit pretending that you care about them because your support of ride share companies hurts them.

  • themandotcom

    yes, we are all libertarians and totally agree that literally nothing can be regulated.

  • Kristen

    Just think: the govt could have capped the number of automobiles allowed in cities so the owners of horse drawn carriages didn’t lose money as transportation evolved.

    And Greg, be wary of them coming after you next…a marketplace for individual dog sitters will certainly reduce profits of the big boarding facilities who have made significant property investments and have high overheads to clear. *gasp*

  • Rick LeFaivre

    Absolutely brilliant! Great job, Greg. Watching this with amazement from Sun Valley …

  • beedoublebee

    Oh, please don’t give those foolish City Councilmembers any ideas. I wouldn’t put any of this past them.

  • Sixfootfive

    To protect the interest of a local manufacture, Boeing, the city should limit flying on non-Boeing planes to 5 per year.

  • narwhal

    Anyone want to start an independent ride sharing company in Seattle? They prohibited Uber/Lyft from creating offshoots, but that doesn’t mean that there cannot be other companies which also offer ridesharing… I claim “HopR”

  • AugustusCaesar7

    Everyone’s for sale, and the City Council is no different. Cowards.

  • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

    I know you meant this as satire but it’s interesting that only one of the examples you cited are regulated markets, and that one is run by the government. The fact remains that the taxi market IS regulated right now. The alternative taxi services like Uber/Sidecar/Lyft have chosen to ignore the regulations.

    You wrote “… the Seattle City Council voted to cap the number of UberX, Sidecar and Lyft drivers on our streets…” That is seeing a half-full glass as half-empty. The Council voted to ALLOW Uber/Sidecar/Lyft to operate legally where they were not allowed to before. They decided to do this with a cap which is a reasonable approach to experimenting with new regulations or deregulation.

  • Dave Hurst

    The landscape is changing. anbody have a buggy whip laying around? No? ok get with it.

  • Nevermind

    Breaking News: In response to recent threats to established council members seats the Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to limit challengers to zero a year in order to protect established interests in the sector. They have announced this is just temporary/forever and is needed to maintain a fair playing field for established, outdated, out of touch council members.

  • BigGreenFrank

    To protect the legitimate interests of small retailers, the City Council should cap the number of Wal-Marts to 0. Oh, wait…

  • BigGreenFrank

    To protect the legitimate interests of existing business owners, the city should cap the number of permits allowed to build in a certain area. Dang it. I’m not very good at this…

  • AstroKev

    Hmmm… cap the number of politicians to zero?

  • ChrisR

    Sadly, I’m quite certain your sarcasm will be lost upon them.

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  • Idontthinkso

    Protect the legitimate interests of whiny tech industry types. Put a cap on the number of crying babies allowed within city limits.

    • Nevermind

      Some sort of irony posting such a whiny comment on an internet invented by tech-industry types, and on a website directed at tech industry types.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        The internet was invented was invented at universities under a DoD contract (ARPANET). Public money, not tech industry types.

        • Nevermind

          The internet was actually invented at CERN in the 80s, but that’s a trifle. In either case, they were technologists doing the work… and in any event the internet’s been, y’know, developed since then by all sorts of people who you’d call ‘whiny tech industry types’.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            Oh please. ARPANET started in 1969. TCP/IP was invented by the end of the 70s and ARPANET continued to grow. CERN’s contribution came in 1991. But again, CERN is public money, not “tech industry”.

  • Hist Ed

    To protect the interest of current wage earners over the unemployed, Seattle should raise the minimum wage to $15/Hr

  • SeattleBob

    Quit complaining. You voted for these idiots to be our leaders.

  • Chris A

    Not one of your “examples” compares to the issue with taxi drivers. You live in a tech bubble….not a real life where the need for regulation allows professions to exist. It is funny that that lowest paid workers are what the tech industry targets to eliminate…..how about developing someting that will go after high paying lucrative tech jobs…see how that feels.

    • Nevermind

      Lots of Uber drivers are former taxi drivers. Uber isn’t putting them out of business, it’s helping them step up their game and… wait for it… *paying them better*!

  • taek

    Is there a term limit for those city councils? If not, how about we put a cap on how many terms those douchebags can take the position?

    • yourestalkingme

      Google has an answer for that. Why don’t you do some research on that? While you’re at it, why don’t you do some research on this whole issue so that you have a real informed opinion on this matter.

      • scoots mcgee

        Google could probably help you figure out what a rhetorical question is.

  • SeattleBooster

    Satire is a very effective tool. Nicely done. How about running for City Council?

  • http://blog.rrchapman.us/ Bob Chapman

    There is not practical difference between a taxi and Uber. The drivers all own their own cars. They are dispatched using a central system. They take you between points A & B. The only difference is the method of dispatch.

    These should have been regulated as taxis, not create a new category.

    What is wrong with making sure drivers are insured and have the money to keep their vehicles properly maintained?

    I think there is some economic and possible racial discrimination at play by the Uber and other crybabies. The young and socially acceptable tech enthusiast will pick you up with Uber. Some foreigner will pick you up with a taxi.

  • cheese

    The taxi cartel, stiffing innovation, Uber taxi’s also got shat on!

  • Imbroglio

    Seattle is just as mob/crony run as any other city. I wonder what da boys have on the council? Pictures? Corrupt deals?

  • knielsen

    Number 4 about airbnb.com is no doubt around the corner.

  • Elbe

    Bang on
    The city should welcome competition, not stifle it … but on a level playing field.
    Remove all restrictions on both Taxi’s and these new ap-based services.
    But protect the public – enact the same rules to apply to all:
    1. Require the same insurance for taxi’s of all sorts
    2. Require the same safety inspections for all
    3. Require the same driver safety certifications and background checks for all
    Other than that, both taxi’s and ap-based services should face no restrictions whatsoever

  • Turbojacket

    The government should have no ability to limit or control that of the free market or the businesses which support it. State and Federal governments are too powerful and have been for far too long.

  • big chill will

    To protect the interests of Lyft & Uber, taxi companies should have strict insurance and vehicle maintenance regulations. LOL!

  • TaxMaster

    You joke about the AIRBnB limitation, but this is real in NYC. Short term rentals below 30 days are illegal…

  • wwbaker3

    I’ll play too. To protect the legitimate interest of minorities in our state, the government should cap the amount of whites admitted to our local colleges if a comparable minority is available… Oh wait, we sort of do that already via Affirmative Action. That’s what this cap on ride shares was all about – Affirmative Action for minority taxi drivers.

  • SharingIsCool

    Ice trucks went the way of the dinosaurs due to refrigerators. What would have happened if town regulators capped the number of these fancy new kitchen devices in the city?

  • Willie D

    Wow, and I thought San Francisco was a nanny-city and really all about stopping things the public likes, but instead, seems Seattle is way worse.

  • santa_fe_rentals

    You are all forgetting a big distinction. In all of the examples listed you are not putting your life in the hands of someone else, which is what you do when you let someone else drive you around.

  • Alex Jay Castro

    Kudos, sir.

  • MichaelTompson

    Sarcasm won’t help in hiding facts. Truth is the whole ride-sharing business model is an arrogant power grab played out in slow motion on local government authority and local government revenue. Note that there are (still) no smartphone-hail / e-hail / ride-sharing permits and law-breaking ride-sharers conveniently abuse this regulatory loophole to the fullest. When confronted, these violators deny being in a taxi business yet “forget” the fact that when founded, many even named their companies with words such as “taxi” or “cab”. For example, Uber’s original name is “Uber Cab”. Ride-sharing companies are absolutely in a taxi business, and denying it is laughable. This status quo cannot continue. It lasted far too long. The golden days of Wild West regulatory abuse may soon be over for ride-sharing law-breakers. Regulators all over the world are beginning to grasp that this flawed business model exists only the expense of reduced local revenues to our cities and our local businesses. Some US cities have outlawed ride-sharing companies completely (for non-compliance, bad business ethics, and etc.) or are in the process of outlawing them. On international stage, China has outlawed Uber recently in a few major cities. Others are beginning to sell smartphone-hail permits to put some regulatory cap over ride-sharer’s aggressive uncontrolled and frequently manipulative tactics. The fact that we are comparing legitimate small businesses owned by local taxi drivers and local fleets, to few oligarchic multi-billion dollar companies that act as a ride-sharing cartel and that operate all over the world and use technology as an excuse to break laws and regulations is utterly unfair (to say the least).

    • Nevermind

      You must work for the cab industry. There’s no way anyone is so vehemently in support of the underperforming status quo unless they’re directly profiting off of it.

      “Legitimate small businesses”? Yellow Cab and Orange Cab are the two taxi providers in Seattle. Two. For all of King County. And because of the medallion system (a regulatory structure they lobbied very hard to retain), anyone else coming into the marketplace either plays ball with one of them, or doesn’t get to play at all. They’re not just anti-competitive in their business practices, but they’ve gone so far as to collude to build a regulatory structure that guarantees it. Price-fixing isn’t less bad because it’s done at the behest of well-lobbied legislators, either, by the way. That’s very the definition of an oligarchy.

      Uber *creates* local businesses. Their drivers get to *own* their cars funded through low-interest loans Uber helps them get. The cars are new, the drivers are invested in providing great service. The incentives are finally stacked in the customer’s favor, and the great benefit is that the drivers get paid better, and the company that invented the idea makes good money they can invest into new innovations as well. This is a triple win. The losers are the cab companies, who had 30 years to improve their service, and now are oh-so-sad they got caught with their pants down resting in the easy-chair of the comfortable oligopoly they thought was invincible.

      The sad thing is, thanks to our feckless city council, they may have been right.

      • MichaelTompson

        Don’t be naive. Construction worker owning a hammer doesn’t make him a business owner. What it makes him is just another a hired construction worker. Ride-sharing drivers own a hammer (a vehicle) – which is an expense anyway. Just ask any limousine fleet owner – they would love to put that depreciating asset expense on their drivers but couldn’t because of regulations. That is until ride-sharing “start-ups” arrived and “concluded” that they are “beyond” regulations. Add some social media paid PR and you have naive (and cheaply acquired) cult-like following for no good reasons.

        • Nevermind

          All sorts of good reasons. Uber is a better experience, without question. You think we’re all just making that up? Have you ever taken an UberX to get anywhere? I’ll bet not. It’s like having a friend come pick you up in their brand new car, instead of being ferried around in a smelly, high-milage, beat up old police cruiser that the cops don’t want anymore by someone who’s actively trying to screw you by taking the scenic route because there’s nothing tracking the route they take and there’ll be no consequences for them if they underperform. All while they’re yelling at you for daring to trust the “we accept credit cards” decal on the outside of the car.

          Don’t be naive? I’m a former taxi customer who switched to UberX because it’s the transportation experience it ought to be, that also has the benefit of being more profitable for the drivers. I don’t have to wait more than five minutes for a car, I don’t have to carry cash, I can ride in a cleaner, nicer car, and the driver will be friendly and responsive instead of rude and incomprehensible. Uber drivers I’ve ridden with (and it’s been quite a few) report liking driving for Uber *much* better than driving for the incumbent cab industry.

          And you want to demean that because it challenges the comfortable and profitable bought-and-paid-for, regulation-backed oligopoly of the entrenched taxi industry.

        • No Taxis Ever Again

          You fail to understand the self regulating principle of Uber. Drivers have to use their own car and if they don’t maintain a drivers rating of at least a 4.7/5 as rated by the customer, they aren’t allowed to drive, and finally, if too many drivers pursue this occupation and they start to see a drop in demand and thus prices, their income will drop to the point that eventually they’ll look for other occupations.

          This creates a phenomenally self regulating system and one that is equally incentivized to provide the best service possible. Clearly, if you’ve been in a taxi, you know that they are working from the other side of the coin, and it shows.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        Only two cab companies? Did you forget about Farwest, STITA, North End, Eastside For Hire, CNG?

        Seattle does not have a medallion system whatever it is you mean by that . But don’t let your ignorance stop you from bloviating.

  • nobody

    Too bad one of these is along the lines of something already happening.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    None of the examples that this vulture capitalist mentioned are public utilities with regulated rates as are taxis. During the California power crisis of 2001-2002, the regulated electrical utilities were chucked aside for “free market” power producers. What we got were blackouts and brownouts along the entire west coast as power producers and brokers such as Enron were free to express unchecked capitalism’s pirate heart. The only lights that were left on in California were in LA where the municipally owned electrical utility was exempt from the state’s stupid electrical deregulation law.

    The chaos came to a sudden end when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finally capped interstate electrical rates.

    Once UberX and clones put taxis out of business, as it well underway in San Francisco where 4,000 TNCs are flooding the downtown on weekends, they will be able to charge whatever they want.

    Wheelchair vans? A thing of the past. Properly insured for hire vehicles. Fuhgetaboutit! But what you will get is more surge pricing such as Uber’s $415 bill to Jessica Seinfeld for taking her kids a few miles in a snow storm.

    • Nevermind

      She signed up for whatever rate they charged her. The app tells you what you’ll be charged before you even summon the car, and won’t let you summon the car without TYPING IN the multiplication factor in place during surge pricing. If she didn’t read the big blue numbers she had to type into her phone, then she’s on the hook for whatever she gets.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        Enron said the same thing to defend its price gouging.

  • Trouble but fun

    Everyone thats mad should email seattle.consumer-affairs@seattle.gov

    for info on a taxi license… the city is not prepared to deal with any demand for new licenses.

  • Larby

    Someone should invent a foodsharing application that will allow people to go to different peoples houses and pay them to eat whatever they fix. No need to involve the health department, no need for taxes, fees or a license – they can serve alcohol and since it involves an app on an smartphone there will be no abuse and we can call it progress! I have no idea how a community that is so pro regulation of small business can’t see the inherent hypocrisy that somehow since it involves an app as a way to avoid regulations and government oversight of public safety – it is OK.

    • SeattleLogic

      If it’s so unsafe to have these unregulated drivers, then why did the city council allow any at all? The cap is ridiculous.

  • pick your battles

    To protect the legitimate interests of the manufacturers of incandescent light bulbs, the city should cap the number of CFL and LED light bulbs for sale on the shelves of locals stores at any one time to no more than

  • vantelimus

    To protect the interest of real journalism, the number of sophomoric articles like this one should be limited to five per year. There are real economic and safety reasons to license and limit the number of drivers for hire.

    • Lizard

      Baloney. Now you want to limit the number of people who have driver’s licenses?

      That is basically your argument.

      • vantelimus

        No, I want to limit the number of people who are licensed as commercial drivers. The problem here is that there are too many millennials who don’t realize we’ve been over this territory before. You buy into to the libertarian and laissez-faire capitalism arguments because you think you are going to be one of the fortunate ones to oppress and use others. I’d prefer to have our transportation options be safe and the service be available instead of leave it to short-term profiteers who don’t care if you are maimed or murdered as long as they get their liquidity event before people wise up.

  • Jay

    Preach it.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    The only reason that Uber and Lyft announced their expanded insurance plan last Friday was because of the Seattle City Council vote on the following Monday.

  • GB

    To protect the legitimate interests of citizens with a pulse we should limit the City Counsel to a single vote during their tenure.

  • SeattleExplorer

    The moronic city of Spokane is considering banning AirBnB. Time to ban politicians.

  • Lizard

    Google fiber is not coming to the Seattle area because the paperwork and permitting process is so anti-business and cumbersome that they decided against it. I’m surprised to see real proof that Washington state is still “Palookaville” and will remain so it appears.

  • Dominic Canterbury

    Agreed! GW Post of the Year! Well done Greg.

  • John Sarcabender

    Silly, silly article. Not worth the digital ink it was printed on. So tired of seeing defenses for ride sharing services when their real goal is to avoid legislation in the name of profit.

  • Vinny

    To protect the legitimate interests of actual journalists who can craft a coherent piece without resorting to sarcasm and glib, facetious arguments, you should shut your cake hole.

  • Kary

    Google has been having this and other Uber related pieces appear on its Seattle section of Google news. I wonder if that has any connection to the fact that they are invested in Uber? /sarc

    It sure isn’t because the people of Seattle think this is a big deal.

  • JefferyHaas

    Amazing how these “small government libertarians” can turn on a dime and become “BIG GOVERNMENT” supporters the moment their entrenched business is threatened by a better competing idea.

    Suddenly the nanny state is their best friend!

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