@ceejbot To the extent that the regulations are genuinely intended to protect people, this is true. But regulatory capture means that a large fraction of regulation is written by the hotels themselves in order to minimize competition.
@HypnoFox @ceejbot It depends on the city. For example, in Hong Kong AFAIK official taxis are shit, with drivers rejecting inconvenient trips, having bad manners, and demanding exorbitant tips on top of already high enough fares (it is not customary to tip in Hong Kong overall). Uber is much better there.
Uber does not just skip the cost of adhering to the regulations; it also skips the cost of medallions. Dismantle the medallion system, and Uber will find it quite hard to compete.
As for the gig economy, I enjoyed staying at people's actual homes instead of faceless hotels, that's a wholly different experience, and I don't think airbnb exploited home sharers back then. Sadly, airbnb seems to be taken over by "professional" landlords now.
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