On My Mind
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Monster Savings - Trying to be a Real Company
Whether it's delivering people or things, the act of delivery costs money. A driver, a car, insurance, gas, wear and tear are all real expenses. If the driver is employed by a company, then the company needs to make money. The company also pays rent, insurance, etc - all real expenses that cost real money.
There are externalities as well. More delivery vehicles mean more crowded (slower) traffic for everyone. Pollution. Lost time. Annoyance. And, if you used to make a decent living driving a taxi, for instance, in NYC, then your entire ability to earn a living has been destroyed. Destroyed lives are an "expense" as well as a tragedy. Think about the driver who killed himself outside of City Hall a while ago. Is he so different than the fruit vendor who killed himself in Tunisia who also couldn't make a living due to "disruption" ?
I took a cab from Newark airport to my apartment on the Upper West Side a few weeks ago. It was late at night otherwise I would have taken the train. Door to door with tip and toll it was $100. Plus, I had to wait 15 minutes in line for the taxi. But, the taxi driver put $100 in his pocket. A week later, my son took an Uber from Newark to our apartment and it cost $47 and he "waited" three minutes. His Uber driver put maybe $30 in his pocket - before expenses. The consumer in happy. The supplier is totally screwed.
What is the answer? For sure different forms of taxation to alter behavior. Congestion pricing. A surtax on the Ubers. These funds should go to public transportation as well as to a raise in pay for drivers. The reality is that any sort of delivery - of private persons or private goods - should be a privilege and should be priced accordingly. Another part of the answer is a collective "wake up and smell the coffee" moment. We see the stopped traffic. We see you the slow subways. We know about the studies showing how much Uber and Instacart drivers actually make. We can't afford to live in lalaland.
From my perspective as the owner of Monster Savings, I want to to pay these taxes and I want reality to set in, because I will benefit from these changes. The bottom line is that fewer vehicles on the streets means my trucks can make more deliveries per day. My business will improve and my employees will be paid more.
As individuals, we all want the maximum amount of convenience at the lowest price. But, I think that we all know that from a societal perspective that this is not sustainable. I think that we also know that there is something bizarre and unrealistic that people and things can be transported "at a loss". That a real company needs to convince its customers that its services are valuable enough to charge a realistic price.
All of that said, in the end, all of this comes down to individual choices that we make as consumers. I am proud that we have customers who have used Monster Savings every week for many years. I would like to think that our customers value not only our service, but, also the fact that I am absolutely involved in every aspect of the business and that my employees stay with the company suggesting that they are happy with their employment. Price is always a part of any business. But, we all know that price comes at a cost.
Owner - Monster Savings