Difficult choice: Cab or neighbor?

Larry F

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My wife had a doctor appointment at a hospital a mile away. She had broken something in the foot. Now, a few weeks later, she needed a ride to the hospital for a checkup on its healing. I couldn't help, since I had to give up driving and donated my wheels to a good cause.

She called a cab, and after it came, was about to step into the back seat when the neighbor across the street ran up and offered to take her himself.

If she goes with the neighbour, she maintains our good relationship with him and his family. My wife and I are in our early 70s, and appreciate the little things that they do for us. The cab driver, meanwhile, has driven to our house and expected to make a little dough.

If she goes with the cabbie, it will make his trip worthwhile. But how does the neighbor feel?

Who should my wife go with?
 

naveed211

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If she already called the cab, thank the neighbor for the offer but take the cab.

I’m sure you’ll continue to have a good neighborly relationship, and maybe in the future you can swap numbers and help each other out in these types of situations.

But the cab was already there, so the choice had already more or less been made and you should go with that. It’s like ordering a pizza and then it gets delivered and you say “nah, actually my buddy made a frozen pizza, send it back.”
 

tap4154

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I'm not sure why you're assuming that if she took the cab, that you had already called, you would lose your good relationship with the neighbor. I'm also amazed that people still call cabs, when we have Uber. Especially for a short trip like that, it's very cheap.
 

teleman1

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IF you can't give the cabbie a $20, you have inconvenienced him or her. Take the cab, and actually, it was rude of the neighbor to create the situation. No tact.
 

kafka

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That cabbie knew the risks when he headed out. If he didn't start the meter, then he doesn't get paid. There are risks in every enterprise, and what he experienced is entirely predictible. He has to charge enough for the service as a whole to cover for these inefficiencies.

Also, your neighbor is a socialist jerk. Offering his services for free is a direct violation of free market principles. He's upending a perfectly working market in transportation, and the GDP of the nation is decreased because it no longer includes the services the cabbie would have provided. The damage is only compounded by the multiplier effect when applied to retail service purchases.

If it's any consolation, it's not your wife's responsibility as a consumer to resolve this situation. Optimal decisions are made at the margin. That means she should take the option that gets her the greatest value at the least cost. That means the neighbor. She still would be responsibile for taxes on the gift of the ride, but as long as she reports it and pays them, she has fulfilled her part.

Ideally, our politicians would step in and correct this situation. They should calculate what the expected retail service multiplier is and charge sufficient taxes to cover that, and engage appropriate transfer payments so that, in the end, this dysfunction doesn't cause harm to anyone.
 

Jupiter

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That cabbie knew the risks when he headed out. If he didn't start the meter, then he doesn't get paid. There are risks in every enterprise, and what he experienced is entirely predictible. He has to charge enough for the service as a whole to cover for these inefficiencies.

Also, your neighbor is a socialist jerk. Offering his services for free is a direct violation of free market principles. He's upending a perfectly working market in transportation, and the GDP of the nation is decreased because it no longer includes the services the cabbie would have provided. The damage is only compounded by the multiplier effect when applied to retail service purchases.

If it's any consolation, it's not your wife's responsibility as a consumer to resolve this situation. Optimal decisions are made at the margin. That means she should take the option that gets her the greatest value at the least cost. That means the neighbor. She still would be responsibile for taxes on the gift of the ride, but as long as she reports it and pays them, she has fulfilled her part.

Ideally, our politicians would step in and correct this situation. They should calculate what the expected retail service multiplier is and charge sufficient taxes to cover that, and engage appropriate transfer payments so that, in the end, this dysfunction doesn't cause harm to anyone.
and to think some people say college is a waste of time
 

trev333

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Did the neighbour have a prior arrangement with you and leave a phone # to call if you guys ever needed a lift?.

or did he decide to tell you that.. as your wife was getting in the cab?....
 




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