You Can’t Do It Unless The Government Approves It
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Wouldn’t you know it, right here in the City of New Orleans, they’re having this big hoop-de-doo meeting, this big hoop-de-doo city council meeting, big hoop-de-doo protests to try to kick Uber out of NOLA. I have to ask the question: How are you going to do this? How are they going to find out that someone is an Uber cab driver?” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: When you’re confronted with, or if you travel in any of the Eastern cities in the United States, major cities – go to New York, go to Mordor on the Potomac River, or any of the major cities of the United States – if you have to travel publically, and if you choose to travel via cab – that reminds me. We could do an Uber story today. Has the entire world lost their mind? You have cabbies out there now, unionized cabbies, basically trying to beat up, trying to maim, trying to shoot, trying to drive out of business the independent entrepreneur that drives the Uber cab. We were watching this last night. This is incredible. In Canada, there was almost a riot. [mocking] “You can’t do that. Wait a minute! You’re not a real cab driver. I’m a real cab driver.”
I was watching this and thinking about the old TV show Taxi. Remember the TV show Taxi? It had Christopher Lloyd who played the doped-out, burned-out, the Reverend Jim; Judd Hirsch; Marilu Henner; Tony Danza; Danny DeVito. I was thinking about the episode where they were trying to get the Reverend Jim, who had just been hanging around the taxi dispatch, they were trying to get him to become an actual cabby. Of course, he had to go take this vainglorious New York City cab driver exam. They took him into the licensing place. It’s quite funny. You could probably find it on YouTube, Reverend Jim trying to get help from his friends as he’s taking the exam. The first question is: What is the yellow light mean? Reverend Jim, “[whispering] Psst! What does the yellow light mean?” Tony Danza goes, “Slow down.” Reverend Jim goes, “Okay. [slowly] What . . . does . . . a . . . yellow . . . light . . . mean?” Tony Danza goes, “Slow down.” The Reverend Jim goes, “[even slower] What . . . does . . . .” It’s hysterical.
I was thinking about this. Cab driving, like anything else, like any other field or occupation, does require some modicum of expertise, especially if you’re in a big city and trying to get from point A to point B. Ladies and gentlemen, I have to tell you, if you’ve ever been to New York City and you have seen the end result of decades upon decades of government – I don’t even know how I got into this. I guess I was grasping for a subject other than Trumpzilla, but this is a good one. You people that have been – you people listening right now that have been to New York City and you’ve traveled in a non-Uber cab, you probably traveled in the backseat of someone that was a foreigner. Were you xenophobic? When the cab driver pulled up, did you go: Wait a minute, I’m afraid of you. No! Even if you thought the cab driver was a Muslim, you probably weren’t xenophobic. You probably didn’t run. You probably didn’t shoot him. You probably didn’t try to drag him out on the sidewalk and beat him. This nonsense about xenophobia is like every other hyperbolic thing that we get into. It’s just that. It’s so superlative.
Like the discussion the other day of the television commercial where something was termed to be indescribably delicious. It can’t be. It’s either indescribable or it’s delicious; it can’t be both. Yet, because Americans aren’t buying enough Christmas stuff, we’ve got to make things “indescribably” and “delicious” all at the same time.
Back to the story about the cab drivers. What I was going to say is, those of you that have recently, in the last ten years or so, traveled to New York City and had to suffer at the hands or the driving of a New York City cab driver, licensed, you know what the end result of decades upon decades of government regulation and of government glad-handing and of the unions having their way through the legislating arm of Big Brother, the government of the State of New York and the government of the City of New York, probably even the county government there. What’s the end result? It’s so expensive to drive a cab, it’s so expensive to maintain the darn thing, and it’s so expensive to pay your expenses to become a cab driver that the only way you can make money is to put at risk the lives of your passengers.
I can remember sitting in the back of some cabs just hanging on for dear life, the tips of my knuckles probably white because they had no more blood left in them. I was hanging on so tightly for dear life thinking: The end is near. If I don’t die in this cab, I’ll probably never die in an automobile accident. That’s the end result of this. So what happens? What always happens when Big Brother becomes too strong and begins to seriously and figuratively impact the lives of those it purports to govern and to care for. People revolt. They don’t like being held under the thumb of tyrants, especially when it’s happening directly.
Why would anyone suppose that an entrepreneurial entity or organization, if you will, like Uber – if you don’t know about Uber, if you’ve got a smartphone, you can try this right now. If you don’t have the Uber app, just go download it. You can get it in the Google Play store and you can get it in the App Store. Download the Uber app and put your zip code in. You hit go and bammo. You’ll get whoever is nearby that could possibly give you a ride. You can call them or send them a text message and tell them to come by and pick you up. You don’t have to pay the unionized fees. You don’t have to do any of those sorts of things. You can probably get a ride from point A to point B.
This could be a lifesaver, by the way, for people that are out drinking. You don’t want to drive home. There’s no cop nearby. Maybe you don’t want to call the cops to bring you home. Call Uber. Cab companies are all out and busy and shuttling people out in the big city. It might be difficult to find one in the suburbs. Call Uber. The point is that Uber solves the problem of government overreach when it comes to taxi cabs. It’s a solution to a problem.
Wouldn’t you know it, right here in the City of New Orleans, they’re having this big hoop-de-doo meeting, this big hoop-de-doo city council meeting, big hoop-de-doo protests to try to kick Uber out of NOLA. I have to ask the question: How are you going to do this? How are they going to find out that someone is an Uber cab driver? You don’t go to an academy. You don’t go sign up for a union. You don’t go get a special certification or anything. I think you can pretty much just go sign up for the service. The city council of New Orleans has people dying. There are people being murdered in multiple quantities every single day of the week in the City of New Orleans and you’re worried about a cab?
What is truth? Conformity of the mind to reality. The City of New Orleans, Louisiana is a warzone. There are certain areas in New Orleans, like there are certain areas of Chicago, you don’t go into for fear of losing your life. The State of California actually has banned, I believe, or they’re attempting to ban Uber. [mocking] “We don’t want you entrepreneur-types shuttling people about. It’s illegal to give your neighbor a ride and ask him to chip in for the gas.” That’s how this started, by the by. It did not start as a cab service. It started as: Hey, my car’s in the shop. I don’t feel like driving all the way over there. I’m going to stay for a couple days and I’m not going to need my car. Maybe I can just bum a ride with someone. It’s basically a networking deal. You’d look for someone who’s going the same direction, you split the cost with them. What exactly is the problem here? I’ll tell you what the problem is. Government is not getting its cut, that’s what the problem is. Government is not getting its cut.
That’s right, Maggie O’Connell. That’s a great point. Uber drivers are regular drivers like me and you. Here’s one. Try this on, NOLA. Try this on, Toronto, Canada. Try this on, Los Angeles and New York. Does that mean that I can’t carpool anymore? In the State of Virginia, in the area of northern Virginia – if you’re trying to commute into Mordor on the Potomac River or trying to escape Mordor – I prefer escape from Mordor. As a matter of fact, Kurt Russell should make the third in the series of those films, Escape From Mordor.
There are actual lanes that are designated on I-95 that are specifically for people that are carpooling. They’re called HOV lanes. What is an HOV lane? It’s an Uber lane, high-occupancy vehicle. I think you have to have a driver, a passenger, and someone, if there’s an extra seat, in the extra seat. I don’t know, maybe it’s only two. I don’t live in Virginia. I’m not trying to make a mistake. I can hear the hate mail pouring in now. [mocking] “Mike, we ain’t got HOV lanes.” Yes, you do. I was just there. As a matter of fact, they’re building a new – so dedicated are they to Uberism in the State of Virginia, the HOV lane now has an HOV lane. There’s not one, there’s two. There’s a double secret probation HOV lane.
Caller Jimmy: Mike, I called you because your topic you started with is amazing. I am an Uber and lift driver in the Atlanta market. I do not do it fulltime. It is just part-time for me between my other fulltime and highly-paid job. It’s a way for me to stay busy. My make my truck payment. I pay for my insurance. I pay for my fuel. Gives me a little extra money to help my daughter in college. That is the reason for me that I drive Uber.
Mike: In other words, you are economizing an asset that you purchased and that is sitting idle, it’s not sitting idle, but could be utilized to offset the expense of maintaining. Uber also provides – this is one of the things that I like about it, about the concept. The concept of being American today is that we must all maintain a fleet of vehicles. We all have to commute to go to this place called work. Why? Because we’ve been chased out of the rural environs into either the cities or the suburbs. If you live in the suburbs, you have to go into the city to work, and some people who live in the cities have to go out to the suburbs to work. Either way, we have this god-awful thing called commuting today. I hate commuting, although I love commuters because they’re in their car listening to me. I don’t like the concept of commuting, because I think it is a waste of time, and I think it commits man to pursuing an economic end that he does not necessarily have to pursue to achieve the same level of survival, if you will.
Caller Jimmy: For instance, yesterday I picked up a young man, probably in his early 30s. He lives in a very, very, very nice section of Atlanta, a place where there are amazing restaurants, shops. He can walk from his home and do most of his life. He does not own a vehicle. He just uses Uber back and forth to work. He chose a quality of life that is very different. The thing about Uber is you can usually have a car and a ride very quickly. That is the thing that is so interesting about the people who actually use Uber. Many people that I meet every day, from all types of lifestyles, they use Uber for lots of different reasons, whether it’s going to the airport, getting picked up from the airport, commuting back and forth to work, choosing on a bad day not to drive a vehicle and let someone else drive for them. I picked up a couple the other night that were going out to a nice restaurant for the evening. They had already started imbibing before they left their home. They decided it was best for them to take an Uber ride to the restaurant; therefore, they were not endangering themselves and they were not endangering other people on the road. The fares are very fair across the board financially.
Mike: You see, here we have a simile, the fares are very fair. Wait a minute. I wanted to finish my thought on – it’s not my thought because I’ve actually heard other people say it. If you’re an Uber driver – this is to the point of maximizing the investment in the fleet of vehicles. Take, for example, the Church household. Mr. and Mrs. Church, that’s me. We have two vehicles. Both of them are currently under finance. Of course, I got mine from Bulldog Kia. By the way, you’re going to get your next car from Bulldog Kia, right?
Caller Jimmy: If I downsize to a smaller vehicle, which I may in the future for Uber, I will definitely take the short drive from Atlanta to Bulldog Kia.
Mike: A Sorento is not a little vehicle. I’ve got one. I can haul seven kids in that thing.
Caller Jimmy: I’ve already got a large vehicle, but I may need a smaller one.
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Mike: We have two vehicles. We have two car notes. We have insurance out the wazoo. When gas was four bucks a gallon, we calculated it out, and I’m sure we were very typical. Our average monthly nut on just maintaining the fleet of vehicles was about 20 percent of all that we earn. How is that possible? Does that make any sense to anyone? It just defies logic. It defies financial planning logic. It ought to call into question here: How is it that so many people have been conned into this, into this paradigm so that we have to maintain these fleets of vehicles? What I was going to say is, one of the things that Uber does is allows you – say that commute that you have every day is 20, 30 minutes, and you make it five days a week. If you are an Uber driver, it’s possible that someone may be going very near where your commute is. You go three, five minutes out of your way to pick them up, share the expenses, and at the very least you’re cutting into the fuel bill. In other worlds, it’s a way to offset the cost of maintaining the fleet of vehicles. It’s not illegal. It neighborly. There’s no harm in giving someone a ride. What if an Uber customer said: Man, I know what the suggested fare is. I’ve got three bucks. It says seven bucks here. Come on, get in. It’s also neighborly.
Caller Jimmy: That’s possible. Most of that is already handled by the time I pick that rider up. That’s handled with the app that has been set up. Of course, what’s interesting is the fact that the company was actually started by a bunch of Millennials and used by Millennials, who tend to be much more socialist, even communist, in their thinking. So many of them have forgotten that they’re actually patching into what’s called a free market economy. That’s what’s really funny about it.
Mike: Let’s make the distinction here that a Millennial, when you say they tend to think socialist or they tend to think communist, the Millennial generation is a product of American parents, a product of American neighborhoods and American schools.
Caller Jimmy: You’re correct. We have to blame it on ourselves.
Mike: That’s right.
End Mike Church Show Transcript