In the new book, “WTF: What’s the Future, and Why It’s Up to Us,” founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media Tim O’Reilly argues Silicon Valley and the innovation it’s fostering can be either a fount of amazement or a source of dismay. The direction technology leads our society is ultimately up to us, the policymakers and the public they represent. He joined the podcast to discuss how Americans should respond to the coming changes, and whether our government is up to the task.

Subscribe to Political Economy with James Pethokoukis in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsor!

Zip Recruiter

Now become a Ricochet member for only $5.00 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 4 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Joe D. Lincoln
    Joe D.
    @JosephDornisch

    What, how come someone can’t have the idea that Uber didn’t trample on 100 years of taxi laws protecting taxi unions just because he hasn’t used it. That’s ridiculous. Maybe the opinion is wrong, but it certainly should be rebuked rather than just saying, “You’re an idiot.” It’s my opinion Uber worked because they were able to invade areas with taxi laws and didn’t bother with it. I’m not all about protecting taxi monopolies and the laws protecting them, but I really do feel like they did trample on those rules. The fact that taxi drivers have protested Uber in various locations seems to ring true to this effect. I’ve used an Uber, so hopefully my opinion warrants more than a flippant dismissal.

    I was not allowed in the 80s, 90s, or most of the aughts to slap a taxi sign on the top of my car and start looking for fares – which to me is the same thing, except that Uber has a good interface.

    I also personally believe Uber was successful because they are created by good left wing contributers, otherwise the strong hand of government would have slapped them down.

    • #1
  2. FredGoodhue Coolidge
    FredGoodhue
    @FredGoodhue

    Joe D. (View Comment):
    What, how come someone can’t have the idea that Uber didn’t trample on 100 years of taxi laws protecting taxi unions just because he hasn’t used it. That’s ridiculous. Maybe the opinion is wrong, but it certainly should be rebuked rather than just saying, “You’re an idiot.” It’s my opinion Uber worked because they were able to invade areas with taxi laws and didn’t bother with it. I’m not all about protecting taxi monopolies and the laws protecting them, but I really do feel like they did trample on those rules. The fact that taxi drivers have protested Uber in various locations seems to ring true to this effect. I’ve used an Uber, so hopefully my opinion warrants more than a flippant dismissal.

    I was not allowed in the 80s, 90s, or most of the aughts to slap a taxi sign on the top of my car and start looking for fares – which to me is the same thing, except that Uber has a good interface.

    I also personally believe Uber was successful because they are created by good left wing contributers, otherwise the strong hand of government would have slapped them down.

    I took it as the opposite, that Uber does have to follow a bunch of rules, just not as many.

    Your last sentence about being a good left wing contributor can likely be applied to a lot of companies.

    • #2
  3. FredGoodhue Coolidge
    FredGoodhue
    @FredGoodhue

    I don’t want Amazon in Northern Virginia. They have a bias towards hiring liberals. It’s hard enough to elect Republicans now; it will be worse if we import more Democrats.

    • #3
  4. DougMcCullough Inactive
    DougMcCullough
    @DougMcCullough

    Great conversation.

    There seems there seems to be a tension between O’Reilly’s comment that we need to reconsider the distinctions between workers as employees versus independent contractors on one hand and requirements that stock option allocations be more democratic at all levels through out companies on the other hand. If we are moving towards a gig economy with more independent contractors it seems ill-conceived that we would be requiring companies to allocate pro rata equity to temporary workers. I’m oversimplifying a bit, but that is the tension.

    Also I do not have great concerns about wealth being hoarded and money having low velocity. it is becoming increasingly common for wealthy families to form family offices with private equity arms. Those groups exist to deploy capital. Wealthy families are investing their wealth not putting their wealth in vaults.

    Apart from those quibbles, I thought it was insightful.

    • #4