An Emergency Is Exactly When You Do Want Surge Pricing

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OK, so this is Salon so we don’t expect much economic knowledge here. Uber and Lyft had surge pricing when demand rose because of a fight and shooting. Which is exactly when you do want surge pricing of course, because demand has just risen.

But this is simply gorgeous:

The idea of surge pricing is based on economic principles of supply and demand — but even the most devout free market libertarian would probably agree that arbitrary capitalistic rules should not apply to emergency situations in which innocent people are attempting to avoid injury or death.

Isn’t that fun? The idea that the laws of supply and demand are just arbitrary capitalistic rules?

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Esteban
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Esteban

Note “the principles of supply and demand”, not the law of S&D. While we’re at it let’s get suspend the principle of gravity.

Nick Luke
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Nick Luke

Uber, Flyte?? There is an old fashioned way to avoid a life-threatening situation, it’s called RUNNING AWAY. Mankind probably owes its existance to it.The woke should try it sometime.

Chester Draws
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Chester Draws

As critics have pointed out, “surge pricing” is just a fancy term for price-gouging.

Surge pricing works both ways. It gives a very cheap service at other times. You’d be hard pressed to find a more competitive market than Uber vs cars vs taxis, so there’s very little chance that any price-gouging is going on over the long stretch.

The “critics” fail to mention that.

Nick, the people weren’t actually fleeing by Uber. They were going home because they were stressed out.

Spike
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Spike

No, they’re not “arbitrary capitalistic rules” (the C-word here is meant as an obscenity). Stuff you need, to avoid injury or death, ought to have a price, and you ought to pay it. If you steal it, you may be taken to court, and the judge may rule that you had a valid reason to steal it, but may also rule that, once safe, you ought to pay the price. Disparage the price system and you reach San Francisco’s and Boston’s district attorneys, who have codified that their staff should not prosecute “mere” property crimes, the latter’s code depending on… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

So they don’t want to encourage more Uber and Lyft drivers to decide to sign in and help get people out the way when there’s an emergency?

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

So how should we decide who gets to use a Uber in these situations?