Why bother with a quota system, when there is obviously enough room at the trough for an unlimited number of Uber cows? Photo: Taxi News
by Hans Wienhold
A recent piece of investigative journalism delved into the mysteries of Canada’s marketing board and quota management systems, designed to keep prices high and family farms solvent. Apparently, some Greek Orthodox nuns in Quebec ran afoul of the law by milking their own cows – and selling cheese.
The mistake the Greek Orthodox nuns made was that they didn’t have an app. Nor did they have the entire Junk News apparatus singing praises to their totally innovative new industry.
The solution to ever higher dairy prices is obvious: Uber Dairy.
Instead of selling dairy products, they could hire an army of gig workers to buy, or lease, cows and “share” dairy products using “disruptive technologies.”
Unlike dairy farmers who cash out their “quota” for piles of money at the end of their careers, most Canadian Taxi industry “quota owners” never received a cent in compensation when governments unceremoniously dumped the old quota system. The politicians just threw them under the bus.
They were the “unvaxxed” of 2012.
It was easy enough for politicians to do. The difference between the taxi quota owners and the dairy quota owners was that the taxi quota owners had nowhere near the political clout, nor public sympathy, of the dairy quota owners. Even the homeless have more political clout than anyone in the taxi industry.
As far as I know, no one in the Hamilton taxi business committed suicide over what the politicians did to them. Considering the magnitude of the crime, and the degree of devastation it caused, I find that surprising.
I have a theory, though. Since the taxi business is heavily populated with immigrants from corrupt and war-torn Third World countries, having everything they worked for destroyed in the blink of an eye was not unfamiliar to them.
And they learned a valuable lesson: that Canada is, in many ways, just as corrupt as the countries they fled from.
One of my friends in the business immigrated from India back around 1990. When we first became acquainted, he would tell me stories of the ubiquitous corruption in his native country.
“If you want a telephone installed, you will wait five years. But if you know the right palms to grease, you can get one in twenty-four hours.” After several years of building up his taxi business in Hamilton, he told me he had had a realization.
“You know, Hans, it is just as corrupt here as it was in India.” I finished his thought for him—”it is just less visible here.” Perhaps that is one reason he never invested as heavily in “taxi quotas” as some others did, and was thus able to weather the storm better than most.
As I read through the report on the plight of dairy farmers, I could see numerous parallels between their regulated industry, and the one I left in 2018.
––Retired Taxi driver Hans Weinhold is listed in his biography as simultaneously a Welfare Recipient at Senior’s Welfare; Self-Employed; and also, a Climate Scientist at BS Detective Services.