How Tech Giants Feed Off Capitalism’s Failures | AJ+

How Tech Giants Feed Off Capitalism’s Failures | AJ+


“Disruption and disruptive innovation” “Disruptive technology” “Great disruptive thinkers” “Disruptions and disruptors” “Disrupting, disrupting, disrupting” “And we love the word disrupt, don’t we?” Disrupt! The word on your boss’s insufferable LinkedIn profile, next to the picture of him and his Tesla. Disrupt is a tech buzzword for “making things better.” And as tech companies undermine major industries and take over public services, we have to ask: Are they making things better? Are they saving us from an economy and a government that don’t work for most people, or is their success a sign that the worst is yet to come? It might be time to disrupt … the disrupting. Every year, tech becomes more and more part of our lives – from what we buy, to where we stay on vacation, to which stranger with too much cologne on we allow to drive us home at night. His name’s Chuck and I gave him 5 stars, ’cause he let me crack the window to fumigate. The steady encroachment of tech reminds me of what it must have been like when we first discovered fire. At first, it made life a lot easier: warming up your cave, cooking your food. But then one day you wake up and your whole family is covered in it and you’re like, “This is a little overwhelming.” But tech is cool! And that’s a plus when you want to distract news anchors from the potential downsides of, say, 7-11 delivering you food by drone. “The world’s largest convenience store chain revealed yesterday that is has delivered items to 77 customers in Reno, Nevada. You know what? I can order a Slurpee from the 7-11 near my parents’ house! From my parents’ house! – (MAN): Too much government regulation … – I used to walk to the 7-11! – (JOE): You don’t have to anymore. -(MIKA): Yeah! Wow. And that’s how you make the news all about yourself. Next up, we’ll mention California’s drought and Mika will tell a story about beating her brother in a squirt gun fight in 1974. And tech companies don’t just sell us on convenience and cool, but also the idea that there’s nothing wrong with disrupting the market. Because innovation is progress. Like Harmony, the talking sex robot. Progress. And innovation always leads to better results … right? “A new report out now says Airbnb is driving up rental prices and housing availability in New York City.” “Airbnb is playing a role in exacerbating the housing crisis that’s already going on here in Los Angeles.” “Nearly three-quarters of Airbnb’s listings between 2010 and 2014 were essentially illegal hotels.” “Ride-sharing vehicles averaging more than 170,000 trips in the city each weekday.” “Several drivers have banded together in a class action lawsuit against the company claiming Uber misclassified them as independent contractors and owes them money for expenses like gas and vehicle maintenance.” “Uber claimed their background checks were sufficient. But nearly 100 drivers were found to have failed the checks, with drivers who committed fraud, assault, DUIs and even possessed fake IDs.” OK, but what about the free gum. Huh? And the little waters? But the bigger impact of tech companies isn’t just that they’re disrupting retail, taxi and hotel industries, public transportation, labor rights or the housing market. It’s that they’re undermining them. Take New York City, the one place that arguably didn’t need ride-hailing apps with the amount of yellow cabs, car services and a subway system where you can watch men dislocate their shoulders for like a buck. In just the last four years, the number of for-hire vehicles operating in New York City more than doubled, and almost two-thirds of them are now Uber cars. As a rider trying to get uptown quickly, that sucks, unless your favorite pastime is watching pedestrians beat you. Ooh, look at that one go. She’s got a cane! But imagine being a driver. Like Doug Schifter. Schifter had been a limo driver since the ’80s. And in early February, he shot and killed himself outside City Hall in Manhattan in what seemed to be an act of exasperation at the industry he built a career in. In a Facebook post, he said he could no longer make ends meet, even when working 100 hours a week. On top of that, he felt let down by New York City’s politicians for failing to regulate, and corporate execs for not caring. And his sentiments are echoed by taxicab drivers too. “Asafo Addai has been driving for 27 years. And he says thanks to Uber, he now has nothing to show for it. ‘I don’t have a life. I work 12 hours a day. I pretty much work just to survive.’ ” OK. But Uber says they give drivers flexibility: Take the day off … or … pay rent. Disrupt. All right, let’s ask tech. Listen to former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick justify his work: “We look at all of the cities and we know that the transportation systems there are just not they’re not serving everybody’s needs. Even here in New York, with a great mass transit system, there’s still 2.5 million cars going over those bridges every day. We just believe we can help the city do better.” “By building another bridge and donating to the MTA. [laughs] I’m just playing, we’re adding more cars and making tons of dough!” Still, Kalanick, although an unmitigated douchebag, is unfortunately not wrong. Because many mass transit systems, including the New York Subway, are sorely neglected. It’s so bad that Pizza Rat was the best thing to happen to the New York subway in decades. I’m surprised the MTA didn’t just make it its mascot. But fixing what the government hasn’t is something Big Tech constantly claims it does. Politicians have failed you, the economy has failed you. And rather than change it, tech says they’re here to help. “I was pretty much just struggling to make ends meet.” “In and out of work.” “I couldn’t pay my mortgage.” “I was having a lot of difficulty.” “When I finally came to Uber, it was probably the best thing that’s happened.” “Airbnb can give us an extra income to help us survive a little bit better.” “In the past decade wages have pretty much stayed the same while costs have gone up.” “Driver with Uber, and put a dollar sign in front of your odometer. Like this guy:” “Technically, I’m a cook.” Yeah, technically he’s a cook but since there’s no stability in the restaurant industry, he’s gotta drive drunk 23-year-olds around and hope they don’t puke in his car. Now sure, renting your place on Airbnb or driving for ride-hail companies might be solid temporary fixes. But when they go unregulated, these precarious jobs don’t become the disruption in the market, they make precarious jobs the rule of the market. Which is how you get a worsening of the housing crisis and the destruction of taxis, and the reason you can’t stay in your childhood bedroom when you go home for Thanksgiving because it’s now a “suburban oasis.” Really, Mom?! At a time when we have more income inequality than since before the Great Depression, the services these apps provide are overwhelmingly being used by people who are wealthier, making you wonder if these companies are helping to close the income gap, or prying it wide open. Tech isn’t here to help you survive the vampire bite of capitalism – it’s here to find new space on your neck. And of course, since Big Tech is so gallantly stepping in to profit off of the government and our economy’s failures, it only makes sense that one company is trying to tackle the biggest failure of them all. “Amazon is at it again, and this could be a game changer for healthcare. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are forming an independent healthcare company for its employees.” Great idea! ‘Cause there’s no reason to think that the employees you overwork and underpay would be undercared for by your healthcare. By the way, you’re not a health care company! How much you wanna bet Amazon’s coverage is just to cover people in bubble wrap. “And you can pop some of those bubbles to distract you from the pain!” Disrupt healthcare!!!! [dub-step music] But just because these companies want to own more and more of our lives doesn’t mean they should be able to. Which brings us to the “R” word, the word that makes every Fox News host shudder. Regulation. Listen to how this conservative pundit argues against regulating the unfettered use of drones. “You’re asking the government to get involved and to be the one to regulate what’s going on about technology? I agree with you, I don’t want them flying on my head. But I’m gonna get a helmet. I have little kids, they love the drones, there’s nothing you can do about it.” Yeah, get a helmet! That’s what being an American is all about, having needless workarounds for easily regulatable tragedies, I got my drone helmet, my acid rain helmet, my stray bullet helmet, my rape helmet, my oil spill in the drinking water helmet, and my night on the town helmet. Sup. But despite the legions of lobbyists hired by tech companies to fight laws restricting them, cities and states have started to regulate. Cities like London, Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit and Vancouver have been placing taxes and restrictions on short-term rental services like Airbnb. Berlin was able to bring back 8,000 housing units to the market. And ride-hailing services have been limited, taxed and subjected to more oversight in states like Michigan, Massachusetts and Texas, which will help raise driver wages, reduce traffic and bring more money to those states. Because not all disruption is a bad thing. Uber and Lyft probably prevent a lot of driving drunk, and one time I stayed in a treehouse in Nashville. It was awesome. But maybe it’s time to rethink how tech isn’t fixing our real problems. Instead, it’s a bandaid falling off the gaping wound left by the thing we should disrupt most of all: that vampire called capitalism. Thanks again for watching Newsbroke, I’m Francesca Fiorentini, follow me on Twitter. And please share this video with your network to give them a more thorough picture of the effects of the apps they might be using everyday. And also will you please go to our review page and give us a 5-star review on Facebook Watch? Because the trolls … they come out. “This is my fact helmet and you’re wearing a shirt that says feminist and I feel threatened. One star.” So thank you for giving us a review, and we’ll see you next week.

100 Comments on "How Tech Giants Feed Off Capitalism’s Failures | AJ+"


  1. And when you JUST say the obvious truth you are the weird, the outcast, the clown of the town. Welcome to smart and capable people's reality.

    Reply

  2. "I just work to survive." Under capitalism, sounds like he's overpaid, it would be more profitable if he went into debt!

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  3. Francesca: Criticizes the news anchor about making the news about here.
    Also Francesca: Litters the video with "jokes" that only she finds funny.

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  4. When a news site sponsored by a capitalism supporting, socialism hating absolute monarchy criticizes capitalism.

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  5. This is a great video, but calling this a 'tech' problem underplays the fact that this happens in all corporate dominated sectors. Our society is completely owned by business magnates but people are too complacent and ill informed to band together or fight for change. Keep spreading the word Franni!

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  6. the vampire of capitalism created youtube — you know the host of your video channel. You're a hyporcrite !!!

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  7. Why do folks get so upset when people they don't want more Government into our lives or businesses, when you clearly see they make things worse.

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  8. I drove Lyft in Los Angeles for about 2 months, I quit because even driving 8-12 hours a day I was making less than minimum wage and still had to pay for gas, maintenance, insurance, car payments etc. It's an absolute scam

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  9. Omg !you're back ! Thank god ! I love news broke .you were also good on the young Turks too ..Welcome back ..glad to have you back . 🙂 so happy !

    Reply

  10. I would like to buy things from small companies but A fact is that those companies fail to deliver me what I need. For example when I go to a local store to buy something, in 80% of cases they say that they don’t have it.

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  11. 3:17 this question makes her and aj anti capitalist and why won't they be
    After all they are funded by quatari gov a socialist ons

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  12. Qatari shills, they want to lecture us about the flaws of Capitalism when slavery is still legal in their home country.

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  13. What would really solve most of those problems are apps for organizing bottom-up to combat these problems. Think unionization through a social media app.

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  14. The bad economy must hold a lot of blame for all this. Money grubbing businessmen don't want to pay decent wages so people rent homes, drive their own cars, etc to make ends meet. Now the people that once did well enough cant because the market is now flooded with part time, unregulated amateurs.

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  15. This was a good video and an interesting topic. Personally, I’d like it to be less “relatable.”
    I understand that she wants to make it interesting but I found it a bit hacky

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  16. Unfortunately, too many rideshare drivers don’t realize until it’s too late, that they are not making enough to properly maintain and replace their vehicle.

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  17. But you see… In my neighborhood Uber as it is now, is cheaper than a taxi. Amazon is more convenient than hunting in someones store and dealing with some teenager working retail with a shit attitude. Air bnb… (I got nothing. Why would you let strangers use your home? I don't get it.)

    Reply

  18. While this is a great video, you dilute its effectiveness by personally attacking Travis and the new healthcare company. Those create silly, unimportant points for people to quibble over instead of talking about the real issues.

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  19. from 5 stars I give u 7 🙂 , well done u mastered it xD, good luck in ur future topics

    Reply

  20. Commies and libturds just love big government and regulations… their answer to everything is companies, corporations and rich people are bad…

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  21. Well said! I am far from a Luddite (I've been working in the computer industry for more than 3 decades), but the "share economy" is anything but sharing. It needs regulation to have an even playing field for those that were here before it and to make it fair for the common people who work with/in the "share" companies. The race to the bottom is what killed manufacturing in the US and Canada. The race to the bottom is killing the rest and making the income divide wider and wider. Someone shouldn't have to work 2-3 jobs for 80+ hours a week just to make ends meet.

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  22. Tell us what you think of Newsbroke in the comments! We might have a surprise coming for you later this year…

    Reply

  23. Hey! Thought y’all Called it quits. Welcome back. Francesca is great. Have enjoyed her on TYT from time to time since newsbroke ended.

    Reply

  24. Capitalism isn't a vampire. It's an angel. Countries that say no capitalism suffer from poverty and hunger. Always.

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  25. Technology is neither good nor bad, what is important is how the technology changes the relationships between people and whether they are positive or negative changes.

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  26. Disrupters are successful because they do make the process they disrupt more efficient. But with a rapidly evolving system, we also need to improve the regulatory system’s efficiency to adapt to them. The problem is, US’s regulatory system looks all kinds of dysfunctional.

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  27. Sure some disruptions are bad but the yellow cab industry, how some upcharged unsuspecting customers and unwillingness to use Google Maps and choose to "wing it" for locations they're unfamiliar with (which means more detours and costs you more money), is a goddamn scam. As a New Yorker, I hate the yellow cab industry because of those who chose to abuse their passengers before the arrival of Uber.

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  28. Facebook and the rest had a massive input from the 3 letter words spy agencies: just ask Z.: disrupt this….
    Matryoshka dolls…Mike Pompeo (AKA baron harkonnen) About CIA : We lied, We cheated, We stole

    Reply

  29. Is YouTube helping this show disrupt the stodgy, corporate owned, status quo perpetuating mainstream news media? Uh, yeah, but that's an example of good capitalism.

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  30. It seems like everything we come up with just makes things worse. China has bicycles people can use every where. That sounds great for the environment, but it led to massive mountains of bicycles everywhere, so now the bicycles themselves are the problem.

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  31. There is always a way to not pay taxes on short term rentals. When I used to manage apartments, I wrote a 7 month lease, but it had a clause that they could break the lease with a thirty day notice after 60 days. Just another reason I manage community associations that are not for profit now.

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  32. The Gig economy will never help people climb the economic ladder. It’s just adding a lower rung.

    Reply

  33. Francesca Is My Girlfriend… In My Mind, I Also Got Her Pregnant!

    Shit! Did I Just Say That Out Loud?

    Reply

  34. You dont want to disrupt fossil fuels destroying our planet? The problem with companies like Uber claiming disruptive technology, is theyre not. I classify them as "emerging technologies". In order for something to be disruptive it has to completely replace previous innovation. Like the car did to the horse.

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  35. Tech companies disrupt the status quo. But common folks are not creative enough to survive the paradigm shifts, and come up with new stable income streams.

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  36. How can we disrupt capitalism? And if we're going to disturb it, it's better to have something else to replace it.

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  37. I'm Reading the comments and am seeing how most of you are misinformed,capitalism works 100%…what you are seeing happening now is neo-capitalism please read on it…this unregulated,private sector oriented,profit seeking,shorttermisim modern economy that has ruined capitalism.

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  38. In the beginning I thought this was going to be a way to even the playing field for small entrepreneurs. Feck no…I hear Weyland-Yutani and skynet are hiring…

    Reply

  39. I watched this video all the way to the end. I hoped for some balance. Newsbroke is just pushing am agenda. Real journalism covers more than just one perspective.

    Reply

  40. I grew up in a vacation town that used to be somewhat balanced, but now in my hometown Air BnB and other online short term rental listings outnumber permanent residents ~3 to 1.

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  41. Just what the US needs, move less, more obesity shorter life span.
    Maybe the only sustainable road to world peace and curbing climate change.
    You go it US, double whopper cheese via drones keep growing "Make Americans Larger"

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  42. Wanted to dislike, but the content stops it, she tries hard to act like Hasan Minhaj, please be yourself and stop overacting!

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  43. I wish you would make your points without the jokes. They're truly not funny, the punchlines are so bad. If you gotta make the jokes then take some class or something.

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  44. I watched the video and I still think a world with uber is better than a world without uber .

    Simply put :

    There is a demand for the services that uber presents. ( so they are fixing problem)

    And there is supply of these services ( people who register as drivers , if things were worse then they would have not registered)

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  45. Tech Giants are the CREATIONS OF THE VERY PEOPLE (DESCENDANTS) OF THOSE WHO CREATED (& WHO PERPETUATE AT ALL COSTS*) CAPITALISM THRUOUT THE WORLD.

    *Ie. Instigating BS wars in order to spread &/or perpetuate Capitalism.

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  46. I'm an engineer and i hate that word, don't lump tech into it, that is not a tech word is an "entrepreneur's" buzzword

    The little water and chewing gum is a nono why? it is easy for criminals to pose as uber drivers and then put some drug in the water and kidnap people to sell organs for the blackmarket or children for the Epsteins.

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  47. Love it. I’m imagining disrupting a meeting at work where some go getter is extolling the virtues of disruptive tech 🤘

    Reply

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