tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 22, 2016 9:35am-11:36am EST
responding to that, the costs of not having revenues in order to carry out our services for others. this is their own interest in maintaining their communities free of the kind of racial discrimination that the act says causes neighborhood blight. >> if the complaint were written to say it was about segregation causing blight, we would have no problem with it, which is what i was saying to justice ginsburg, with respect to zone of interest. the city would fall within that zone of interest. that's gladstone. that's what the commission report which you are referring to says, which is that blight is caused not just on its own but it was a result of segregation. the referenceings to flight in the concerner commission report follow from segregation. >> how far out would damages extend in the hypothesis you just gave? >> for zone of interest, i think you are able to get -- i don't
think it matters to the extent that the complaint pleads a segregation harm, even if it is downstream. they are within the zone of interest. to turn to approximate cause. >> i don't understand why this isn't a segregation harm. here, the city is saying, you have done this red lining, you have done this reverse red lining. it is not that it just causes various foreclosures all over the city. it is causing foreclosures in particular concentrated areas. it is doing that because of racial segregation. at the same time, it is preventing that racial segregation from ever being lifted, because those communities are becoming more and more blighted and less and less capable of becoming integrated communities. everything about this complaint is about racial segregation, it seems to me. >> justice, kagan, look back at what you said and read it against the complaint.
none of that is in the complaint. >> do you think everything i just said if their complaint was written like that, that they could maintain the suit? >> they could maintain a suit for segregation and the measure of damages wouldn't be what they are seeking, recovery for the 2008 m case nationwide. it would be at most the delta between a segregated community that now exists as a result of the defendant's particular conduct and an integrated community that would have existed otherwise. that would be the only measure of damages. >> how do you measure that? >> i'm not sure. necessary why i do think ultimately it may fail on approximate cause. we have been talking so far about zone of interest. that's all gladstone dealt with, was zone of interest. with respect to zone of interest, i think that that complaint, the one that justice kagan read, would satisfy zone of interest. it would allow at least a city to come in and get injunk tiff
relief to try and produce the kind of community centered concepts you are talking about. now, the question is, would they be able to recover damages for that including damages to the diminution of the tax base. it is certainly ftrue that gladstone has that line. that's enough for article 3 standing. so i don't think this court has ever decided the question of whether or not approximate cause principles allow a segregation lawsuit. >> gladstone, i take it from everything you said, that gladstone would flunk active approximate cause stage? >> i do think that is right. there would be so many steps involved. if you could take a look at this complaint, if you look at the solicitor general's brief on page 30, you see all the steps that are required before the city is injured. you have to have discriminatory
loans that have to lead to defaults. the defaults have to lead to foreclosures and they need to lead crease in vacancies. the increase in vacancies needs to lead to reduction in property values. >> i usually think of approximate cause, correct me if i'm wrong, as a question of liability, not damages. halsgraph, no liability. you say approximate cause bears on both liability and damages? >> i do. i think this court has kind of thought about it that way. you could look at lexmark and it has said -- what this court has said, you look to the underlying damages that are being sought to understand is the complaint within the standard approximate cause principles. if you accept their theory, you will be doing something i don't think this court has ever done before, which is to allow such a long chain of causation, a nondirect chain of causation to the tune of again billions of dollars to recover.
>> can i ask a separate question? we have been talking a lot about zone of interests and a question about whether the zone of interests has zoo supplies at all. you have these three cases prior to the enactment and each of these three cases, in traficant, gladstone and havens, they say this language stretches to the limits of article 3. congress is amending the statute in 1988 against that back drop. why shouldn't we understand that to mean that the language means it stretches to the limits of art cal 3? >> for three reasons, justice kagan. the first is at most the congressional ratification document applies to holdings of the court. you weren't on the court for thompson. all the rest of us were here. in thompson, the court unanimously --
>> i'm disabled from having thoughts on this. >> absolutely not. i was anticipating that. i think the court went through and heard the solicitor general's argument at the time which was this was all to the limits in binding holdings and what this court said. >> i don't understand that. we can argue about whether these were holdings or dicta and there are arguments. i am congress. suppose you were an adviser to a congressman and the congressman said, i don't really like this idea of going to the limits of article 3. i think we should limit it. you say, no worries, just use the same language. he says, use the same language? that language has been consistently understood to go to the limits of art article 3. he says, don't worry, it is dick ta. i feel relieved we can use this language. wouldn't you be fired? >> your honor, i think i would be fired if i did what you said,
not follow an express negligent gags of the zone of interest test, not borrowing from some explicit doctrine. at the high watermark, the court has said in jemaah, the congressional ratification is only a guide to what congress ex plit sitly thought. starting in 1983 in the block case and going before that in the acg case, this court has said you need an express negligent gags to ab bring gait the test. >> a strange development, because the zone of interest test, as it was in data processing was understood to expand standing over what it had been before. the zone of interest test was not in standing. it was facilitating the ability to bring lawsuits. >> certainly, but by the time of block, which was a case about limiting standing and that was before 1988, so i think you have
got that problem. you would also be fired, justice kagan, for another reason in your hypothetical, the congressional report that you wrote, the house report, as a staffer says there are only two things that you are trying to codify. one was that testers have standing under havens and the other is that administrative and judicial standing applies the same standard. those are the only two things in the house report. >> i don't view the house report that way. the house report does refer to a couple particular aspects of those cases. the house report seems to me to cut against you, because it makes clear that congress knew about those cases and those cases are the cases which said that standing stretches to the limits of article 3. if you really look at the legislative history of this act. it is pretty clear when congress is acting in 1988, it took off the shelf a bill that was discussed in 1980. in that bill, there was a lot of discussion about whether
standing should go to the limits of article 3 and congress was thinking of changing that language and the assistant attorney general for civil rights and the hud secretary, they both come in and they tell congress if you change that language, it is a problem, because then you are kurticutti back on standing. congress decided not to change that language, because it wanted, as they said, to go to the limits of article 3. >> i would like to turn to approximate cause. even if all of that is true, i think this court has insisted on an he can press negligent gags for precisely this reason, so you don't go to what happened in 1980. >> this is not an express limitation that means we're doing away or keeping the zone of interest, because lexmark, itself, establishes that rule. there was no explicit statement. what the court did was look at statute, the endangered species
statute, look at its words and decide that any person meant any person and decided it did away with the zone of interest. here, we have a congress in 1988 taking the word agrieved, which was in title 7 and many other statutes but undefined and what it did was take the definition looked at by prior regulations, examined by in court in its three cases, establishing article 3 standing and put in a definition of agrieve that is very different from the normal definition. >> justice sotomayor, it is not very different. it is a plain jane definition of person agrieved. it doesn't look like what you are talking about, the endangered species act, which allows any person to sue. their interpretation, if it is accepted, you would be doing
something for the first time in the federal code, there is no all-comers damages statute that allows anyone to sue the way their interpretation was. in approximate cause, our main point is this court in lexmark said there is a general rule, an independent argument from zone of interest, a general rule that says that liability is cut off after the first step. if you adopt this theory of the complaint, you are accepting six-step liability in a way that this court has never done before. at most, this court in lexmark unanimously said you can expand it a little bit beyond the first step for a kind of one to one relationship. here, this complaint is seeking damages for the foreclosure crisis of 2008, something that is way, way beyond anything this court has insisted on. >> when you said to me that the complaint that i wrote would have been covered by the act, do you think it also would fall
within approximate cause principles? >> i think it would have to satisfy a directness requirement. to the extent they could identify segregation harms directly in the way a university could when they lose diversity or something like that, to the extent there is some kind of direct one to one relationship, absolutely, 100%, every day of the week. of course, congress could write a statute that enables something to ab bre gait the traditional approximate cause doctrine. here, they haven't done that. they have applied a plain jane version of damages. what they are seeking here with this creative complaint, which the fair housing act has been around since before i was born. only until a couple years ago, have we ever seen a complaint that looks anything like this. here, they are seek tog recover for the foreclosure crisis of 2008. that can't possibly satisfy approximate cause principles starting with justice holm's opinion in southern pacific in 1918 going all the way to the
holmes opinion of this court more recently. you have holmes and holmes. >> i guess when i started reading the briefs i was confused about this. there is one understanding of approximate cause, which usually it is about foresee ability and only for seeability. there is additional directness requirement but only in pretty discrete areas. i guess i sort of come back to this notion that what our precedent suggests is it is a little bit statute by statute as to whether approximate cause is a foreseeability inquiry and only that or whether it has additional components. >> i'll answer that and reserve the balance of my time. i think this court said that proximate cause generally refers to the basic requirement. there must be a direct relationship between the injury asserted and the injurious conduct. caroline and lexmark both do that. that is the general rule. >> what do we do with all of the statements in havens, i'm
quoting, there is little significance in the difference between direct and indirect injuries for purposes of filing suit under the fha? while members of minority groups were damaged the most from discrimination, the proponents of the legislation emphasized that those who were not the direct objects of discrimination had an interest in ensuring fair housing. >> i absolutely agree with all of them. those are standing cases. >> we have repeatedly said that the difference between direct and indirect has no meaning in this statute but foreseeability always has meaning. >> justice sotomayor you have never said anything about approximate cause. that is a completely different inquiry. if i may reserve. >> thank you, counsel. mr. peck? >> mr. chief justice and may it please the court. the city of miami brought these cases seeking injunk tiff relief
and monetary damages because the bank's practice of provooiding minority borrowers with more expensive borrowers received. actually frustrated and counteracted the city's efforts on fair housing. intended to cause the city to lose the benefits of social, professional, and business opportunities that come with integrated community free from housing discrimination. you heard my friend describe these as two buckets. if the complaint makes that out clearly, fits within the zone of interest. we not the complaint we originally filed made this apparent. the 11th circuit agreed with us. but when the district court dismissed us with prejudice on the original complaint, we made motion for reconsideration to
try to make more explicit what they thought was complicit in this complaint. as a result the court did deny us the opportunity to do that. if you look at that amend complaint it does talk about the fact city operates community and economic development which takes complaints about fair housing, tries to mediate it, council educates citizens about it and in charge of all these kinds of efforts we thought were part of our original complaint. at the same time we recognize that the injury to the city is one that comes from the failure nonprinciples embodied in the fair housing act. those two buckets do exist in this complaint. if they don't, then they do exist if we had the opportunity to amend the complaint and make it even more explicit. >> i'm looking at the joint appendix page 186, your opening paragraph where you say boa's
conduct has harmed the residents of miami and prepared the city's strong long-standing commitment to integrated residential housing patterns and attendant benefits of creating a stable community. then go on to specific damages, tax increase and revenue expenses. either those types in your amend complaint you're pointing to? >> i point to those and 232 and 233 which describe operation of community development. as a result -- >> pretty much tracks havens and gladstone. >> it does, indeed, justice sotomayer. so as a result, we think that regardless of whether you take the article 3 approach to standing in this case or take a more narrow formulation that depends on the fact that we are
tied to violations of the act, the city of miami has standing. and i don't understand either bank in their briefs to disagree with us on that as long as we make those pleadings. so it seems odd that we would be prevented from making those pleadings as explicit as possible. >> certainly under rule 15. >> do you think you're a direct victim of discrimination? because it seems to me the damages you seek are not going to be paid to those who were the direct victims of the discrimination. >> we are seeking -- a direct victim. this court has repeatedly in all three cases dealing with fair housing act recognized that it's direct and indirect damages that are at issue, that plaintiffs indirectly harmed are also harmed. we're suing for our own injuries. we do not have status to sue for
our residents. >> your injuries are derivative of the injury to the home owners who had the subprime mortgages and who suffered foreclosure. you don't start with you. i understand your argument that you're down the line. i don't see how you can say your loss of property taxes is a direct injury? >> it is direct. what we're saying is the injury here is the injury to our interest in an integrated community that has those business and social opportunities that this court find cognizable. >> writes the injury in that? presumably loss of sales taxes because of the blight on the community. it's less attractive to tourists, so you lose tourist revenues. would you be able to recover loss in tourist revenues? >> we do not think we can? >> you certainly can see the logic? not attractive a city, people go somewhere else and so on. >> cities are in a unique
position. this is their neighborhoods, their residents. there are zoning laws. the issues of property values and even property taxes are baked into the home loans that are made by the banks. they are part and parcel of the issue here. the fact is the cities have an affirmative obligation that require them to look out for fair housing. miami, among other cities, gets block grants from the department of housing and urban development that require them -- >> articulate in a sentence what the difference is. you don't get taxes that you would get from tourists. you do get property taxes. so what is it that cuts off the chain? >> we believe because it has to be tied specifically to the property. so we could get property taxes. >> how are cost of increased services, whether police or whatever? >> not planning for increased services of police, but our department that has to look for unsafe structures and find those structures because they have
been abandoned after foreclosure, that our department that has to alleviate neighborhoods, so this the other end of having fought against afflictions to fair housing. this the other end when you try to remediate the neighborhoods and make it whole again. these are the efforts we seek damages for and those flow directly from it. let's note in gladstone, this court recognized that a city, municipality is directly injured in its property values and taxes that are foregone that go to services. that's where we see the direct connection. >> said that gladstone never got to probable cause, just decided whether there was -- >> justice ginsburg, the court did not describe probable cause here. hard to read that sentence anywhere referring to probable
cause. it is a direct injury that flows from the discriminatory conduct. now, one thing that my friend also said was that we're seeking billions. in our complaint we mention the fact that we have lost millions -- not hundreds of millions, not billions in property taxes. we note that before the city of miami brought its case, the city of memphis and baltimore both brought cases. they ended up settling cases with identical types of allegations for less than 10 billion each. so we're not talking about huge sums of money. >> well, presumably one of the issues factored in the settlement was the question presented today. in other words, if you had had prevailed wouldn't have to give up percentage on possibility they might not be stating a claim. >> it's possible. at that point i don't believe anyone raised probable cause as a separate issue but the cities
survived multiple motions to dismiss that went to the zone of interest. that is what caused the other cities to see the survival of that and settlement of those cases as a possibility to bring these cases. >> mr. peck, would you go back to the question you started with, which is how do you define the limits of your foreseeability test. clearly less troorism, less sales tax, less a lot of other things can be potentially foreseeable. but you're suggesting they are not recoverable. so is it because they are not foreseeable, or is it because they are not measurable. >> i think they are difficult to measure. they may be foreseeable, but i think that also there's potential for superseding events that cut off the causal chain there. >> you want us to use the word to phrase concept probable cause
in determining how far damages extend? >> you know, i think it provides some help but not a great deal of help. in lexmark, for example -- >> where do i turn next? >> well, you know, in lexmark the guidance that this court gave was that damages incurred for the very conduct the statute prohibits. we think that what we've done is propose -- >> doesn't prohibit decreasing property tax value. >> but it does prohibit anti- -- it prohibits discrimination in housing. this is one of the damages we suffered that is directly the result of these kinds of home loans. so therefore, we've tried to cabin our damages with respect to those specific properties and the damages they generate directly to the city. all probable cause requires is a
sufficient connection between the alleged misconduct and the result, and it includes any injury the statute seeks to protect against. here we have injuries that the statute seeks to protect against. my friend doesn't agree those injuries are protected by statute. i'm glad stone and havens, those injuries are the injuries this court recognized. so the question then becomes what's appropriate damages. we think we have proposed damages that are tightly connected to the actual injury that the city has suffered. >> we have to go into that. i'm not saying we should or shouldn't, but do we have to decide this case for what damages are appropriate? >> you do not need to decide that. one of the things the 11th circuit noted in the time between when the briefs were written and when we argued the case, this court came down with the decision in inclusive communities.
in that decision the courts mention there is a probable cause pleading standard that needs to be incorporated. the 11th court said we're not going to delve into what peak that is and remand it to the district court for that decision. we think that can play out in the further litigation of this lawsuit. >> so we include language along the lines of don't worry, it's not going to be very much based on the experience in baltimore and memphis? >> well, i just think that the fact that our opponents have indicated we're talking about billions and billions of dollars, and that this is about the 2008 financial crisis, which i also want to deny, needed a response. and with respect to the financial crisis, if the financial crisis was, indeed, purpose of this lawsuit, then the statute of limitations, which is two years, would have
ended this lawsuit a long time ago. but instead what we found, and what the 11th circuit acknowledged is that while the kinds of loans, financial crisis set off by subprime lending, the kinds of loans being offered here are taking different forms. but the underlying practice remains the same, that minority borrowers are getting more expensive and riskier loans that are quicker to foreclosure and may be seven times as frequently as nonminority borrowers. >> was there a difference? the complaint was not clear to me, between subprime loans and predatory loans. >> predatory loans are used as a generic term to talk about taking vac of a borrower. subprime loans are simply those lobs that have interest rates that are so low it looks like it's a wonderful deal until, of course, you look at some of the balloon payments that are
later -- >> are all subprime loans properly categorized as predatory? >> i believe that the subprime loans that fuel the financial crisis are all considered predatory. >> suppose you have a business that is losing money, losing employees because the neighborhood is deteriorating. do they have a stronger or weaker claim than you do? they have lost profits from their business because the neighborhood has been debilitated. >> i think they have a weaker claim. we have a claim tied to the fact -- >> they are property owners. >> they are property owners but they are also commercial property owners. there's no damage to their personal property. here what we're saying is if i can step back for a moment, the endangered species act recognized that article 3 standing applies to the endynamicered species act, but we still have to make a claim
that's based on interest in the preservation of animals. you can't make a claim based on discrimination that applies to housing discrimination or something like that. there is some generalized zone of interest that ties the statute to the cause of action. here i say the city has a special interest in fair housing and integrated community that the fha is designed to vindicate. the employer does not. the local dry cleaner does not. they have this unique relationship to the fact that this is their community, their neighborhoods, their residents which they zone and decide how the property is to be used and they provide services to every one of these residents. >> wouldn't the business owner have an interest in running his business in an incident greated, vibrant neighborhood just as the city would have a less direct interest in having that neighborhood preserved in the
city? >> it may be so that a particular business does have that interest, but i think it's very difficult to claim the kinds of damages we're going to claim. remember, one difference between the fha and title 7, for example, is that we recognize indirect harms fl we allow neighbors, testers, nonprofit organizations and cities and developers and real estate brokers all to sue to vindicate that interest. we don't allow the equivalent of a neighbor, a co-worker to bring an action for discrimination that's been visited upon one of their colleagues. we don't allow others within that kind of realm to bring these actions. i think that's part of the problem that a business that makes this claim might have. so in the end what i'm suggesting is there are direct injuries by virtue of these two, what my friend describes as
buckets, a direct injury to the city in efforts to secure fair housing by draining those resources, and those resources are recoverable. that, indeed, satisfies any kind of probable cause as well as an injury to the integrated community that allows the business opportunities, social opportunities, professional opportunities to flow. this court recognized in the gladstone case and suggested the appropriate -- even my friend in his brief suggested the appropriate damages in such an instance is the loss of property values and property taxes which frankly are part and parcel of this whole mortgage loan industry. so we're not asking for something that's different, that's out of the realm, that's away from what this process is, but something that's integral to that process. so in the end, we suggest the
city of miami is not some marginally involved in fair housing is not working inconsistently and injuries so far afield from it that we are outside the zone of interest, whatever zone of interest applies, because after all it's not a very demanding test. there's a reason for that. that's because we are aggrieved in every sense of the word by the discrimination that was propounded here. at the same time we think that statement from lexmark that i quoted earlier, that it has to essentially flow from the fact that there was some violation of the act. it's sufficient, too. each instance we think our injury is direct. even if it were to be examined more minutely as my friend suggests, those minute steps are all true of the individual borrower who has to take out a discriminatory loan, has to then default, has to then arrive in foreclosure, who then has to
find that he has to abandon that house, and then he can bring his lawsuit. because all those different steps are the financial state of the economy, the nature of his job situation. his family situation all have effects on that but we recognize his damages are proximately caused. for those reasons, i suggest this court ought to affirm the 11th circuit. >> thank you, counsel. >> mr. gannon. >> mr. chief justice and please the court. in gladstone the court concluded injured if strim
discriminatory -- article 3 rational or broad zone of interest rational. if i could turn to some of the points that have already come up today. my friend on the other side says that you can't cut and paste injury from plaintiff, one injury to another. footnote nine the court said what matters here -- this was the breadth of trilogy of fair housing act cases the court decided between 1972 and 1982 is that somebody has had their legal rights violated by discriminatory housing practices. it doesn't necessarily have to be the plaintiff's legal rights. the plaintiff has to be injured by that violation but it doesn't have to be their rights that are violated. that's what we think is the work that's being done by atypical definition of aggrieved person that congress put back into the
statutes. >> that's a very broad statement, mr. gannon. what do you do then for the restaurant or dry cleaner or laundry or whatever that wants to sue for somebody else's discrimination. >> i agree with my friends on both sides that limit is going to come from probable cause analysis. we don't disagree there is a probable cause limitation implicit in the statute. here we think that although gladstone didn't address probable cause in those terms, it is important and significant that the court there said that the city is directly injured by the decrease in property values. we think the test, ultimate test the court stated in lexmark, of course the court repeatedly recognized probable cause is a statute by statute situation, depends on the nature of the individual statutes. the ultimate test is whether there's sufficiently close connection to the conduct that the statute prohibits. what this statute prohibits is discriminatory housing practices. >> we may not need to go into but how does probable cause
help. you could have the dry cleaner or you could have a magazine that writes about successes in integration, wants to write about this community before it got wrecked or whatever. the clause could be absolutely clear, absolutely clear, 15 bishops testified it's causally related. do they all have suits? >> they have not even argued that. >> i think to the extent they can get they will selves into the home framework from haven's maybe they can say specific costs associated with fighting discrimination. >> no. you heard what the question was. the question before and still is if we get into it we may not need to. if we did, it would be somebody in alaska who writes magazine articles about successes in integration is going to be wrecked because they don't have integration is a prime example. absolutely clear the causal connection. can he bring this lawsuit?
>> we think that is further afield. >> you think it's further afield but causation, though, because it caused. made a hypothetical where we proved it is caused. >> it is caused. but probable cause is always about determining something that is caused is still too far away either in terms of foreseeability or distance or intervening cause or something else. so probable cause by definition is carving out something that otherwise would be caused by, otherwise wouldn't want to do anything under traceability, article 3. the reason why this is sufficiently closely connected to the conduct the statute prohibits, this statute prohibits discriminatory housing practices. those practices include things like terms and conditions of sale and rental of property, things about the real estate related transactions, things like block busting, which was specifically prohibited by 3604e, block busting was a practice somebody would go into a neighborhood and induce
artificially low priced panic selling by saying there's minorities coming into the neighborhood. that had an effect on the property prices. >> how do we write it. let's take the corner grocer who had a running account back home, or the gardener who every week cleaned the property. i doubt someone in foreclosure can afford a gardener but let's assume that possibility. how do we write that the city has standing and injuries are proximately caused by those people don't. company shareholder, how do we say it. >> the link we see is to property values. that's the injury the court already recognized in gladstone. this is a question of congressional content. when construing probable cause you're trying to figure out what congress intended this. court had already recognized
that a city was directly injured by decreased property values. the same thing it said was true of the neighbors in glad stone, neighbors who had property values diminished were able to recover. the corner store to the extent it has property values diminished is diminished like one of those neighbors. to the extent it's talking about lost profits or utility company complaining they lost a customer, those things we think are further afield and not so closely connected. probable cause is traditionally done -- >> more concrete answers, the utility company, further afield or not? >> we think it's not covered. >> we think what the court recognized in gladstone was something the court -- the property values closely tied to discriminatory housing prices. congress entitled to think that would endure. >> how about real estate brokers whose commission is based on the value of the property.
>> realize brokers involved in the transaction, we discuss in our brief those are the type of people who have interest in the transaction, even if it's just economic, they are able to recover. i don't understand my friends on either side to be disputing that. if they have a transaction that fails to go through because of this, because of racial discrimination, they can sue. we think it is important for the court to remember that you don't just have to have -- >> generally they said this is now a poor community. our commissions are going to be lower across the board. they are somehow different from the corner grocery store? i don't get it. >> i think if they were generically saying business was down, that might be harder to establish the types of cases we've previously seen or where developers, brokers, real estate agents have talked about specific transactions they can say were caused by discriminatory housing practices. we do think it is important for the court to recall that those cases involve plaintiffs who don't necessarily have quote,
unquote, desegregation interest as my friend on the other side puts it. it is enough they are injured in their economic interest. as the court pointed out in inclusive communities, a real estate developer is a good plaintiff to challenge discriminatory housing practice. we don't recommend they add on something like nonprofit in havens where in addition to wanting to make money off developing their property they have an interest in desegregation. >> perhaps -- please. >> your answer, i think to the question, is that it's limited to those cognizable suits, having to do with the possession or value of the property? >> we think that the harms that flow directly from changes in property value were wobs that congress contemplated both in 1968 and certainly 1988 after
this court had already number rated that as a particular type of harm at issue here. we don't think the city should have to establish that there's been a change in racial competition of the neighborhood in order to bring a suit, because the fair housing act is intended to cover -- intended to prohibit discriminatory housing practices throughout the united states and that includes segregated communities that aren't changing. >> so the city can sue based on isolated instances of discrimination? >> to the extent the basic pitch of your position is that it affects the community as a whole and the city has an interest in ensuring the stability of the communities, not that the city could enforce particular instances of housing discrimination. >> i think it's both. i think they do have community representing interest, but i also think to the extent they can say we suffer a harm from
this particular transaction, let's assume it's just one particular apartment complex or something. >> one particular home. >> i suspect that's one where there wouldn't be that much in it to have the city bring that suit instead of the individual loan owner. >> i don't know if there's that much in it. can the city bring that action or not? >> yes. to the extent they can say one to one relationship there just like microchip manufacturer in lexmark. whenever there's a decline in property value on the part of the primary victor home owner here, they suffer a corresponding decline in their tax revenue. >> so the city can bring an action of the sort we're talking about here in the case of one subprime mortgage that results in a foreclosure? >> if they can say that that was caused by discriminatory housing practices and that it injured them, yes. that's just like the residents in traficante or city in gladstone, they are able to say we're injured by this. >> thank you, counsel.
mr. katyal, you have four minutes. >> with respect to this point, paragraph 86 we agree, page 33 says they do identify an interest, but they have to plausibly address some impact on segregation in order to survive. they haven't done that, said whether segregation was increasing or decreasing as a result of the conduct. second, the damages here they seek are way, way broader than what they paint it out to be. just the taxes and complaint are bad enough. indeed, the bank of america petitioned page 34 cites one of the complaints same counsel against cobb county seeking hundreds of millions of dollars. 19d,300 cities in america. if you adopt their theory you'd be allowing all of them to bring complaints just like this. we said if you accept their interception you'd be opening the door. attorney general says probable cause is a limitation on that. their probable cause test as our brief explains eliminates
directness requirements. i think it will be hard. that's why i don't think he had an answer, justice briar, on mag sooebs and things like that. his answer was look at gladstone. gladstone has a direct reduction in property values. that cannot be a consistent theory on this court on probable cause principles for many reasons, one of which is gladstone is not probable cause case at all, not briefed or argued. even that language is at the end of gladstone saying if you have a reduction in property values, they be it will directly reduce the tax base. this complaint is totally different. you've got five steps as solicitor general's own brief explains before you get to the reduction in property values. each of those are opportunities for intervening causes and all the kinds of things this court in lexmark said are the reasons why we cut off liability at the first step. now, his other answer was to say, look at the congressional report. the congressional report identifies that congress was
concerned with property values and therefore concerned with cities. that congressional report also says congress is equally concerned with employers who suffered from segregated neighborhoods. employees who were fired because the neighborhoods suffered from blight and shops and other things. if you take their standard, which is look at the congressional report, figure out who is harmed by housing discrimination even downstream, you would come to the same conclusion we do, which is this is unlimited theory of liability. allow landlords to sue, utility companies to sue and justice sotomayer, gardeners to sue. also said one other thing justice category ab, this gets to your point earlier about the congressional seem. if you adopt zone of interest interpretation of agreed persons 3612 allows aggrieved persons to intervene as a matter of right in federal litigation. our view is what congress did was empowered direct victims to sue, as well as some direct
victims in the justice department. their interpretation says any city, including one motte motivated by presumably wonderful motivations as the city of miami can come in and intervene in a direct victim's lawsuit and muck it up in any number of directions. that can't possibly what congress thought about when they used the words person aggrieved in the statute to allow cities to come in and interfere with kind of lawsuits filed by direct victims. >> it's hard to think congress didn't know that in 1988 when we've already let a village come in and municipality. >> justice sotomayer, our position on this and this is important, we're not quibbling with that. gladstone is good law, we're not seeking to change it. they are the ones seeking to expand it in two directions both by taking it out of segregation and expanding probable cause to the sky. >> thank you, counsel. the case is submitted.
>> we have a special web page at c-span.org to help you follow the supreme court. go to c-span.org and select supreme court near right-hand top of the page. once on our supreme court page, you'll see four of the most recent oral arguments heard by the court this term. click on the view all link to see all the oral arguments covered by c-span. in addition you can find recent appearances by many of the supreme court justices or watch justices in their own words, including one-on-one interviews in the past few months with justices kagan, thomas, and ginsburg. there's also a calendar for this term, a list of all current justices with links to see all their appearances on c-span as well as many other supreme court videos available on demand. follow supreme court at c-span.org. industry and government officials now talk about the impact of technology in the
sharing economy on or. also security and privacy concerns, patent and copy right law and consumer experience with hardware, software and applications in the digital economy. >> welcome. >> i'm senior technology writer for slate. we're here to talk about whether technology will make ownership obsolete. this is production of future tense, arizona, university and slate magazine that explores emerging technology and their transformative effects on society and public policy. central to this partnership is a series of events in washington, d.c., and new york city and blog on slate. in addition to regular editorial content published on slate we launched futurography, hybrid of journalism and digital learn
where each month we choose a new technology idea and break it down. wi ask, what's the state of the science, who are the researchers leading development, what are the primary ethical and policy debates involved. the theme this month is the end of ownership, which served as an inspiration for this event. couple of housekeeping items, please silence your cell phones. we'll have q&a at the end of each panel. during the q&a we'll live stream the event, so please wait for the microphone before you begin speaking or else nobody will hear you. make your comment in the form of a question with a question mark at the end. got it? question. you can follow only using #ff, future tense now, also all one word. i'd like to invite speaks for first conversation to the stage. our first speaker is lauren
ballew, senior manager for lyft. welcome. we have holly maine, senior sales for spotify and susan lund, partner at mckinsey globally institute. welcome, susan. our first conversation is why own anything when you can access everything. i'm going to sit down and we can start our conversation. >> start with you, cars are exciting space right now. cars have been much the same for decades. the industry is changing fast. talk about the future of cars, how it's changing, how it's not
changing, what might change and what might not change in the next decade or two in terms of whether we buy cars, whether the cars drive them selves, and what that means for our ownership and our relationship to cars. >> first, thank you so much. i'm so pleased to be here. right off the bat i get the same question every day. what's the difference between lyft and uber. it really comes down to how we were founded. uber was founded to be a taxi utility tiff, started with luxury black cars. lyft was full alternative to car ownership. two co-founders studying inefficiencies in the market where 80% of seats on highways were empty. people own these cars, these assets but they are only using it 4% of the life of the car. the other 96% of the time, the car remained parked. when you think what car
ownership means today, people spend on average $9,000 a year when you think about gas, maintenance, insurance. when you think how the trends are changing in the american cities today, you have millennials moving into cities, getting more and more of the market buying power. do you think they would like to have the birdies of ownership or perhaps the access to services and services that right through technology. it's been interesting the way the trend happened organically. when i was born 40% of 16 years old got their driver's licenses. in 2014 only 24% of 16 years old got their driver's licenses. that was something i was 100% sure i wanted when i was 16. we're seeing this happen p or gangly. the trend is toward the
self-driving car, "inefficiency in the market. 90% of the time the car is parked. that means you have cars in cities on roads and in parking spaces just sitting unused. if you can remagesties and the way people utilize cars we can get rid of parking spaces. can bring more commerce to cities. instead of parking, parks, more housing for people. we're excited to see what that means. at lyft we think in urban environment people will stop owning cars completely by the year 2025. that's a fast time line but one i think is already well on its way. >> what about urban and rural. >> slower. likely in slow speeds. the technology grows richer and the testing becomes more concrete, you'll see that move to suburban and rural environments as well.
>> i think we just had news today of the first self-driving truck shipping 50,000 cans of budweiser 120 miles down the highway. i should note it followed a path mapped out two weeks ahead of time and a police cruiser behind. a way off from a self-driving truck. holly, can you talk about the trends from music ownership to music as a service. >> i think there are a lot of similarities to some of the things that lauren touched on. i think for spotify, we were in the streaming business before streaming started to become mainstream, which is where it is today. we are a ten-year-old company, swedish in its roots but we feel happy to see streaming starting to pick up. we've been waiting for that to start happening. our general feeling is that with the shifting consumption driven
primarily by millennials and the advent of technology and smart phones and the devices that all of us as individuals are dependent on, that we are able to bring more music to more people with more diverse backgrounds and people that may not have had access to it or even known that they liked it, certain genres and things like that, to more people than we were ever able to do when it came down to buying that cd or that piece of vinyl for those of us that are my age. i probably dated myself. vinyl is coming back. it proves the old adage what is old is new again. we feel from our position streaming that we are seeing all of those things start to pick up we have two tiers. so if people want to pay for something and kind of own a more customizable experience with music, they can certainly do that. i think the trend is, people
want what they want when they want it and they want it customizable. it is more about experience than ownership, having that 400 lp collection and things like that. >> thanks. a lot of the benefits to consumers are easy to see. you talked about having what you want when you want it. when we talk about turning goods into services, you have the chance to get access to things that you would never be able to afford to own. there is another side of this, which is, what about the people involved in these economies? what about the workers? this is something you have looked at closely, susan lund. when we talk about cars, you know, lyft and uber have provided employment opportunities for a lot of people. at the same time, some of those same people are anxious now about this transition to self-driving cars. are those jobs going to be obsolete? when we look at something like spotify, the musicians, we've
heard some complaints at times about are they really able to make a living when people stream their music instead of buying it at a store. what are some of the trends in terms of how employment and jobs and the economy are being affected by these transitions? >> the short answer is, they are being affected a lot. there are two big things we are talking about. one is automation, like self-driving cars. then there is the independent work. what happens to the workers. you have a job with one full-time employer. the automation part is still to be seen. if we do move to a sharing economy, the auto industry and the supply chains around automatic -- automotive is a major employer in the u.s. today. if we move to a point where none of us own cars and there is a fleet of cars driving us all around, i think we would have
something like 90% fewer car sales each year. that is a huge hit to u.s. manufacturing. what happens to all those people. we did release a study for those interested in the gig economy, what we call independent work. the government statistics on this are really poorly done. the way policymakers and most people -- this is a pretty young room. say your parents thought about employment as a payroll job with one employer. those are the jobs numbers that are released the first friday of every month and everybody is watching carefully. we do a very poor job of tracking but actually part of the population doesn't make their living having one traditional employer. we did our own survey in the u.s. and five european countries. what we found in the u.s. is that 27% of the working age
population, almost 1 in 3, people today, don't just have one traditional job. they are either a full-time freelancer or self-employed person or independent contractor or they are using the gig economy like driving for lyft or uber as a supplement to their other main economic activity. so i think along with the sharing economy, it's interesting for people who want to be their own boss and not have a traditional job, things like uber, task rabbit, up work and airbnb enable you to more easily than ever put together a bunch of different income streams and make an income that way. it is a whole new world. the trend has been, we think, growth in this. there is other research to suggest over the last ten years, the share of people in alternative work arrangements has grown quite significantly. the sharing economy might
actually spur a faster shift in that direction. >> there is some ambiguity when we talk about the sharing economy in terms of what we are talking about. there's a few different related strands that we're discussing here today. so there's something like -- when we're talking about cars and car sharing, in some people are sharing a car together and in other cases it's one car going around and picking up different people over the course of the day. something like music, it's not sharing, but we're still talking about a transition from something you used to own to something you now subscribe to. it has basically gone from a good to a service. in a sense, what you were talking about, susan, with the economy, employers are sharing workers. they never owned their workers but they used to have a defined number of workers who gave them their full attention.
presumably. now, there is a sort of sharing among these gig economy companies. can each of you talk about cars? we have talked about music. another really obvious one one, other types of media. netflix, people are streaming movies and tv. can each of you name a nonobvious area? it is easy to go from well-defined examples of things that are now being shared and moved from a good to a service. you can say everything is moved from a good to a service. not everything is. for the most people we still own their own clothes. we still own our computers and personal devices and that sort of thing, our home appliances. what is something else besides your own area -- lauren you can start -- you see being shared now or in the future? >> great. >> great. one thought that just comes to mind is the way that cities are changing, the nature of work is changing, seeing the rise of incubators and shared work spaces and people coming together and sharing their brain
trusts in ways that helps advance them, i would say, in a professional manner in some ways but also changed the nature of work in a lot of ways as well. you are not going to a static one work environment anymore. you're seeing these honey combs of work systems across cities and in suburbs and rural environments as well. like we work. exactly. >> i would say -- well, you touched on it, clothing. you have rent the runway. that's one. there is luxury services. there are apps where you can schedule massages, v luxe is an app that comes to mind. massages, blow dries, they will come to your home and do it for you. some of it is convenient. some of it is i want it when i want it and how i want it. snacks, graze. you can have a customizable snack box delivered to you.
there is a lot. >> from a labor perspective, we went through lng esoteric discussions on what couldn't be filled by a freelancer or an independent worker. the answer is very little. you can imagine apps in retail, fast food, dry cleaners, people pick up a gig through an app and say, i'm going to work this shift and come in and do it. and leave. we see it in medicine. highly specialized surgeons share their services on a piecemeal basis across the economy, get paid for this surgery they do and got to the next hospital and next one. in the world of work, ronald coats wrote this seminal article about why is there a corporation, why is there a company. at the time he said because it's easier to manage people and
reduces transaction cost to have people within your company than contracting everything out to the marketplace. what apps and digital platforms are doing that is completely changing the equation. it is cheap, efficient, transparent. you get this whole pool of potential workers. i think it is a long transition. you can imagine the size of large companies shrinking in terms of their full-time employees. there is some knowledge you are going to want to keep in house. a lot more can be done on project task-based basis with independent contractors. this is a shift. it is not new. we have seen the evolution of outsourcing with companies for the last 10 to 20 years. these new on-demand platforms and apps for labor could actually -- we may see another wave of that shift. >> i was thinking, what is new and what is old in terms of sharing. obviously the idea of sharing
things is not novel. for a long time, we've had public libraries. we've shared taxicabs in a manner of speaking. we've rented tuxedos and prom dresses. we share a lot of services that are provided by the government, infrastructure, public transit. i wondered, are some of those more old school forms of sharing at risk from these new forms of for profit sharing. libraries might be one example. public transit might be another one. how do you think about lyft's effect on public transit in a world where we can hail a car at any time, does that just encourage the kind of sprawl and the car dominated environments that we thought we were maybe beginning to move away from? >> that's actually a wonderful question. we don't view ourselves as a competitor to mass transit at
all. we view ourselves as a compliment. there's rides all around coming and going. there's a huge population of lyft riders. we call them underserved transportations, people who live too far from bus stops, too far from metros. the idea that you can get a ride door to door to the trains, we have a product called lyft line where that's a shared line. for a reduced cost, in some places $3 and you can get a ride in a lyft if you share it. 70% of our rides in san francisco are line rides now. 70% of those rides are happening 100 meters from a transit station. so people are actually starting to look at this as a compliment to how they are utilizing train. one of the big things, the theme i'm hearing through, there has to be a consumer demand that drives all of this. uber and lyft came to the scene
and people all of a sudden could have door to door ride without serendipitous with a cab coming. they know it's coming. you don't have to pay with a credit card. and then that's kind of a whole much more easier experience and that's something that consumers really love. you see other technologies that emerged and just did not work out, and we're not sitting here wearing google glasses right now. maybe a couple of years but not yet. it was just not consumer ready. no matter what industry you're in, what mark, it's the consumer drive, the consumer choice that's going to be really amplifying how people are going to be using these emerging technologies. >> y'all can feel free to jump in at any point if you want. i wanted to also ask -- did you have something on that, susan? okay. i wanted to ask about what we will still own 10 years or 20
years from now. what does not lend itself to being transformed to a service that you subscribe to and something that you hail on demand on your smartphone. anybody have ideas on that? >> i'd say whatever we care about. i find myself -- i don't consider myself a car person. a lot of people like to own a car. they love their car. i hear them say, i bought a new car and it's really fun to drive. i think with what we're going to own is what we care out and what we want to own. i know plenty of women who buy designer clothes and keep them in their closet because they are theirs. others won't do that. i think it brings choice and you will own what you actually care about. >> that's an interesting point. i like that pithy formulation of what we will own, what we care about. i imagine you guys might push back on that a little bit. you would say people still care
about cars, still care about music, but you're still thinking they will move from ownership to streaming. there's powerful feelings around this. we heard a story a couple months ago of someone claimed apple music had stolen the music and converted mp 3 files on his computer. it had replaced them with files available on the cloud through apple music, and then some of them were gone, a music video was gone. there was a whole sort of forensic investigation trying to figure out what happened. doesn't that show that people do want to own their music or at least the songs that they like or the artist? >> well, i think about my own personal -- when i listen to music. i shouldn't sit up here and say this as an ambassador of spotify but sometimes i stream from other services. it depends what i'm doing.
if i'm having a dinner part and i just want music to play, maybe i might not stream from spotify. if i want to do things more customized and things i created maybe spotify is a better platform for me. i have lps, vinyl and i love the sound of it. sometimes i want to listen to that. i think it's about -- i want to say i think what we're going to own are maybe less of the actual material side of things but the experience and the joy and things like that that these services bring you, if that makes any sense. it's a little bit of what susan touched on. you're going to own what you own and some will be the actual experience. not necessarily the distribution channel or hard materialistic good. >> you mentioned vinyl sales are going up. i think that's an interesting case in point, because, you know, once we can get most of the music we want easily on
demand through a service like spotify, maybe the stuff we really care about when we do own it, we want to really want to have that tactile analog experience with it. maybe, i don't know if it's implied but in the future if you really love cars you'll rent your electric buggy to get around, hail it on your phone, but maybe still have your classic ford mustang in the garage or something like that. >> you know, i remember my very first car was 740 turbo fire engine red volvo wagon and i loved it. my brother totalled it, which is a whole other situation. that's something people do. people have a love affair with cars. in the 1960s getting your driver's license and going onto the open road was a freedom and now it has become much more of a burden. you think about how much space in your house is dedicated to hardcover books and dvds that you don't need to
utilize that space. it's the same idea with parking. i can't remember if i said this, in the united states right now there's more parking than in the entire square mileage of the state of connecticut. i think there's different ways to start thinking about how can you utilize space and think about it. so i think there will be a gradual balance and it will be organic. i mean, the world is not going to go autonomous overnight. you will see human-driven cars and autonomous vehicles operating side by side as the technology continues to emerge. it will be interesting to see how this works. >> i would say to contradict what i just said. i think that, you know, the next generation could you much less about tangible goods. this could be a generational issue. as i look at my kids, teenager daughter, who is finally sort of
pushing learning to get a driver's license. there was no need because she can take lyft and uber around. driving is a service. she may never love to drive the way i do. they don't buy vinyls and books, they don't have physical books, physical music. they are growing up without this notion of things as a tangible good. people like me might say i read a lot of books. ebooks. but for a really good novel i'll buy a hard copy and put it on my book shelf. they may not do that. fifteen years out, we may, in fact, be in a world that's much less about physical goods and much more digital. going back for a second to the idea of the gig economy and people sort of not owning a job but having these different gigs that sustain them, are these people making a good living? do they feel like they have job security? are some of these people counted as unemployed despite having
gigs? >> i don't want to get into how the government counts things. the answer to that is who knows? we didn't ask about income. getting people to tell you abou we did ask a 14-point -- 14 points of how satisfied or unsatisfied are you with different elements of your work life. and we asked this of everyone, so people with traditional jobs as well as independent workers. and what we find is that on 12 of the 14 metrics, people who are independent workers are more satisfied with the elements of their work life, and this includes income level and income security. and on two measures, including health care benefits, they're equally satisfied with traditional workers. so, we don't know what their income, is but we do know they're very happy with what they're doing. and there's other work, like a study by the jpmorgan institute found, that tracked people's
income, found that people that do gig work or independent work have less variable income than payroll employees. so, that's really interesting. so it is a way of filling in when if you're working part time you don't get the number of hours you want, or you know, when you look at nonsalaried people, their income is actually quite volatile, so. >> yeah, and going back to that theme of owning things that you care about. i mean, if you don't have a career, if you don't have a full-time job, you know, a career is something you can care about, it's something that, you know, you can pour your passion into. if you have a variety of gigs, maybe those are not things that you're able to be as passionate about, but maybe it frees you to pursue a different kind of passion in life. but there is this question of security. when you don't own something, can it be taken away from you? not just a gig. i mean, if you're an uber driver, you know that your company's plan is to make you obsolete eventually. but your media, you know, if you
get on spotify, you could have that, you know, spotify goes down, then you don't have any music. we had that outage, the dns outage the other day because the d-dos attack on a domain name server took down services across the web. and netflix went down and guess what, nobody's been buying dvds because they have netflix. so, is there a down side to ownership -- a down side to access over ownership in the sense that something could go down or be taken away from you? >> sure. i mean, it could go down. i mean, that's technology. i mean, i feel like that every day at work when my computer crashes and i'm like, computers are great when they work, right, and you have to wait for everything to reboot and things like that. so again, i mean, i think it's -- sure, there's a down side. you're relying on technology and things like that, which is i'd say 95% of the time works in our
favor, but there's always that moment where it might not. i don't know. >> you know, just two thoughts on it. you know, the first -- even in the nondigital world, things do break down. you know, your car will need to go in for services, and it's part of life. you know, for us, too, you touched on shared economy drivers. our drivers at lyft are as much a consumer of the platform as our riders, and they're the lifeblood of our platform. and yes, we are going towards an autonomous future, but so is the whole world. and we see in some ways that our driver numbers in the next few iterations of the chapters of lyft are actually going to be increasing, and we're going to continue to look at ways that we can support our drivers with what they need. and so, that's something we take very seriously at lyft, just to let everyone know. >> and also -- go ahead. >> you know, this has been a very optimistic panel, but i think cybersecurity is a real issue and privacy.
so, in this digital world where everything is streamed, guess what, spotify knows what i like to listen to because they're always suggesting more things i like to listen to. and our phones know, you know, where we are. so i think that the issues of cybersecurity and privacy are real down sides and could be major blockages to realizing this future if we don't solve them. >> and i think for a lot of people that's what prevents them from signing up for services. i think it's very much generational. millennials don't think as much about it. this is a generalization. but you talk to older demographics, and it's the reason they don't want to online bank, it's the reason they don't download apps. it's the reason my father has a flip phone with electrical tape around it, because he will not buy a smartphone because he's convinced it's going to track him, and he might be on to something. so, yeah, and for spotify, and i would assume for lyft as well, that data is -- i mean, we're so protective of it, right from a consumer standpoint and from, to
be candid, a product development standpoint. so yeah, it's creepy. we can probably figure out your personality and your day based on what you stream, but we also have like 85 passwords that we have to log into every single day to make sure that stays protected, and it's the reason we won't get into advertising partnerships with different companies because we won't release that first-party data. so it's a huge concern. >> yeah, and i'm really glad you brought that up. i mean, it's not just security and the idea that something can be taken away from you if you don't own it, it's also that the people who do own it can monitor your usage of it at all times and in theory can restrict your usage of it. if you had an encyclopedia at home, you can look up whatever you want and nobody will track it. but google is tracking what you're searching and they're building a profile of you for advertisers. and so, that's another potential down side to this transition. i wanted to also talk about one more up side and then we'll go for some question-and-answer from the audience. it seems like one way i've seen
that companies that offer subscription or sharing services are able to give people a little bit of a sense of ownership is through customization. one of the really smart things that spotify has done -- i started using the free version of spotify. then you start building play lists on there. and once you've put all that time and effort into those play lists, those are yours. you feel like you own those. and then you want to listen to those play lists, but they're within spotify, so maybe you sign up for the premium. and i wondered if you could talk a little bit about the idea of how you personalize a car that's not yours. i've heard the ceo of gm has talked a little bit about their ideas for how you can maybe step into a car and your smartphone can give you an experience that's your own. >> yeah. we actually have a wonderful partnership with gm looking toward the future, and it's this idea of, you know, you can reinvent the idea of a car, you know. you're coming off of work and you're going to the nats game. maybe you can call a supports
lyft, and it can come. for us, too, it's all about efficiency. so you could have a few different fans in the car, you could be streaming the pregame in the car and going to the game. it's a whole different idea of how people are thinking about it now and slogging through traffic. maybe there's a wi-fi, a quiet lyft, and you're able to drive through, and maybe you work a little bit outside of the city but you can take your autonomous wi-fi lyft and do your morning e-mails before your lunchtime meetings. and so, that's something that you can kind of start thinking about in different ways. and then the other piece, too, is if you're reinventing an idea of the car, you know, you look at -- this is something that lyft is doing now, but different populations, like senior mobility, where people who may not be able to drive for themselves anymore all of a sudden lose that spontaneity in life, and now at a touch of a button, they can be able to have a car at their fingertips to go to medical appointments, to go to grocery shopping and do all the things that they want to do. and it's changing the way that people are living their life overall, and that's ownership
that they're able to i think get back, and that's exciting. >> so, let's see, we can go and see if anyone in the audience has a question that they want to ask. and remember, if you are called on, to wait until you have the mike to ask your question. >> hi, there. i'm curious about the idea of workers unions, how the gig economy and these, i think there have been court cases in california with uber and its workers. how does this change the way unions work and their relevancy in the future? >> do you have any thoughts? is that something you've looked at? >> well, i can't comment on the specific court cases. i'm not a lawyer, thankfully, but i am an economist, which some people might think is even worse. i think that the whole idea of unions and guilds is an interesting one because you can imagine them playing, getting new life. so, the freelancers union gets
group health insurance rates for its members. the hollywood screen writers guild is a great example. they do some compensation negotiation, but they provide a range of training and benefits, like retirement and health insurance. so i think that there is definitely an opportunity, and it could be guilds and unions, to do things like benefits, income security, training and career progression, and then all the back office stuff. so, the fact is, a lot of people who want to be a gig worker or freelancer, like, sure, i'll do some economics research f you, but i'm not good at marketing and sales for myself, and i certainly don't want to file my taxes. so, i think that there's a whole ecosystem of different services to enable people that want to be their own boss to do all that kind of back office scut work that they're not good at and don't know how to do and don't want to do. and maybe it's unions start to move in that direction.
>> i think it's a really worthwhile point, because we have an economy and a social system that has been built up around the idea of goods, of manufacturing goods, of distributing them, of selling them at retail stores, and we know how to build an economy and a society around that. i think we're still probably figuring out how you build a society around an economy full of services. and included in that is the people who are working part-time jobs. one interesting trend i would note -- my former colleague, ali griswold, has a great newsletter called "oversharing." it's all about the so-called sharing economy. and i was reading her latest issue of it, and she was talking about a series of companies, a series of start-ups in these realms that are explicitly hiring their workers as employees, rather than as contractors, and in many cases giving them a share of equity in the company. now, these are not, so far, the leaders in their spaces. they're up-starts, and we will
see how that model fairs against the contractor model. but at least, you know, maybe that at least provides some hope for the idea that the sharing economy could lead to stable and fruitful careers. ah, yes. >> i'm wondering about linking platforms going forward. i don't have a facebook, which is normally not a problem. i just log in to things with my e-mail, and there are some things that i can't access, but it's really okay. but one reason an app would want to use facebook is for a sort of central i.d. verification. so thinking about consolidation of i.d. verification going forward, if that's a concern. are we thinking we might have a consumer superuser i.d. or something provided by a google or a facebook, where through that i would log into my rent the runway and my uber and my spotify, and if there are any conversations about that that you've heard, what are some of
the concerns around that, too, and/or opportunities there? >> can you address how you login, what your options are for logging in to spotify, maybe just to start? >> right. so, ours is all based on your username, which is linked to an e-mail address. i have not heard of having like a superconsumer login. that's horrifying to me, to be candid, just to have everything in one place. yeah, i wish -- >> that's a very good question. >> it's a great question. >> and yeah, facebook has wanted to be that sort of identity service. google plus at one point had designs on being an identity service for the web. that sort of, you know, didn't pan out. but i think we actually had an event here at future tense a few months ago that i moderated about virtual assistants and how they're becoming your portal to all these different online services. if you have an amazon echo, you can use that to hail -- i don't know if we have lyft yet through
that echo. you can hail a car. you can use it to play your music. and then there's the question of do those assistants become -- do they gain control over what you have access to and what you don't have access to. and the question of interoperability is one, too. maybe you heard, tesla is working on a shared tesla network. so once teslas are autonomous and able to drive themselves, elon musk's idea is you might have your tesla drive you to work and then send it out and sort of rent it out to other drivers who can use it while you're at work and then it will come back and pick you up. it's the tesla shared fleet, which is a really nice idea. but the other day he revealed that his plan is that you would only be able to rent out your car through the tesla shared fleet. so tesla controls the algorithm that runs the car, so they interest tesla to be the driver, so you don't own the car in the sense that you can't now rent it out to somebody through lyft. does that worry you, the sort of battle for control?
>> you know, i think the competition is a very healthy thing, and the more competition you have in the market, it's a good thing. >> it is a little bit concerning. i mean, these platforms, there is a winner take all component to technology. and the digital idea's actually a really interesting, and i agree, concerning element. now, as far as i know, i don't think i ever gave facebook my social security number. so, it might think it knows me because i've created an e-mail account, but the fact is, so you could create fictitious accounts to get around this. but the idea that this all somehow could be linked actually to like a social security number or a true identification of me is interesting and horrifying. >> yeah, and i think centralization is a real issue. because you know, if you have a retail environment, you know, who gets store space is something that's figured out on a very decentralized basis. you know, tons of different people own land and they can
lease that commercial property to any number of tenants, and you can go to the mall and you could shop at, you know, tower records or go down the street and go to best buy. but when you're buying so much online, whether it's through the apps on your phone or whether it's through the amazon echo or that sort of thing, it's not clear that we'll have a level playing field. and i know that spotify's stance has been that competition is healthy and all that, but you know, the fact is that a big, new rival is made by apple, and apple controls basically the digital equivalent of the mall, you know? they get to put the apple music app front and center, and they can make it harder for you to get to the spotify app, and they can take a cut off the top when you do use the spotify app. so, i think the centralization is a real serious issue. i think we have time for one more question. >> my question has to deal more with is this a shift because of desire or more of a shift out of
necessity to sharing? we're coming out of the worst recessions in a long time. many millennials face the burden of student loans. if the economy improves, do you think we'll see a shift back to ownership? right now the economy's still growing at a very slow rate. i know personally i would like to own my own car but can't afford it because of student loans and other things like that. so, do you think sharing might decrease once the economy starts improving? >> yeah, that's an interesting question. you know, is it partly just economic anxiety, to borrow a term that's popular right now for other reasons. is it just economic anxiety that's leading the younger generation to, you know, be willing to stream things and share things, rather than own things? there's always that question with new technology when a younger generation adopts it. it's, is that the future or is it just because they're young and as they get older, their habits will change? any last thoughts on that from
any of you? >> you look at the united states and the history of the united states, we're a country that's built for cars -- highways, freeways, parking spaces. our sidewalks are a certain size so that cars can park on it. and i think right now we're at the cusp of a huge transportation revolution where people are racing towards really reinventing the american city in a lot of ways, and it's going to be driven by this new -- by that people are going to be able to consume a car. and that's going to be exciting. so, in terms of what the shifts are for ownership or not, at lyft, we hope that we will continue to share roads to make sure that we're reducing congestion, but we'll see how that movie ends. >> we have to wrap up, unfortunately. thank you so much to our guests, lauren belive of lyft, holly maine of spotify, susan lund of mckinzie global institute. thank you so much for joining us. [ applause ]
>> so now for the second phase of our afternoon. i would like to invite monica potts to give a short presentation on the postownership society. monica potts is a writer based in manassas, virginia. she is a fellow with the new america foundation asset-building program. and she writes about a variety of subjects, including poverty, politics and culture. monica potts. thank you. [ applause ] >> okay, so, i'm going to talk about what the sharing economy is like for people as it's lived on the ground, and i think i'll address some of your questions about economic anxiety. and sort of the big thing i want to touch on, and if i forget to mention this again later, just add this sentence kind of to the end of every point that i make, and that's that we do want to make sure that people are participating in the sharing economy because it's what they prefer and they're not buying
things because they don't want to own them and not because they can't afford them, that this is the result of moving down the economic ladder. and so, i want to talk a little bit about young adults, millennials, mostly, and the economic condition that they've found themselves in, before we talk about the sharing economy. so, first, the oldest of us are now entering our late 30s. the youngest are in college now. and it's important to talk about the way that our adulthoods have been entirely shaped by the internet and other trends, which have also involved a lot of economic insecurities. so, it's not just the great recession, it's also the recession that happened in the early part of the last decade, which is when i graduated. so, i was born in 1979. i'm by a lot of measures one of the oldest millennials, and i graduated from college in the spring of 2002. that was after 9/11 and after the dotcom bust. and so, my first job after college was with the city of new
york, and the city government was just coming off a hiring freeze because of that recession and because of 9/11, and i had no idea. i knew i had a job when i graduated, but i had no idea when it was going to start, i had no idea when i was going to need to move to new york, and i just sort of had to be ready. and kind of, like, my first job was just up in the air for a really long time. and so, for me and everyone i knew, the whole economy was really uncertain at that time, and we spent our 20s sort of catching up from that. this was especially true when we compared ourselves to the generation a little bit older than us, when the internet seemed like it was create all these new industries and people were walking off after getting their diploma with really great jobs lined up. and obviously, those of us who went to college were better off than our agemates who were stuck working in the booming service econo economy. that was minimum-wage jobs, barely above minimum wage, and those jobs were also really uncertain. they weren't getting full-time hours. they weren't able to move up the
economic ladder. and so, but those of us who did go to college also financed it mostly with debt. since 1985, the cost of college has increased 500%. and so, more people are borrowing money and more people are borrowing more money. the average student debt in 2004 for people who graduated that year was a little less than $20,000. and just ten years later it had grown to $30,000. and so, college debt is fine, if that translates to higher earnings down the road, but then after we graduated into the first recession, we experienced the great recession. and what was different for the great recession for millennials was that economic downturns often hit the youngest workers hardest, but the youngest group of workers hit by the great recession were hit harder and they took longer to recover than that same age group did in earlier recessions. in, like, the 1980s and 1990s. and at the same time, the other trend is that the cost of living has gone up and the jobs, the cities where the jobs are really increasing, so cities like
boston, new york, d.c. and san francisco, cost of living has gone up really, really dramatically. so what you find is that people who are trying to cover the basics, about 75% of their income is going to cover the basics. to just a point of comparison, in 1973, 50% of people's incomes were going to the basics, like housing, health insurance and education. so a lot of millennials are spending almost all of their money on rent and health insurance. and so, you know, that means a bunch of things. that means that they're living in these basic cities and they are not able to get to the point where they're owning homes. and so, the group of millennials in their late 30s now bought homes at later ages and also bought fewer homes. so that means they're not building wealth. they are living in places, as they mentioned on the earlier panel, places that are underserved by city services. so, part of the reason that they're using things like lyft and uber to get home is that the
city doesn't -- the city that they live in doesn't provide buses and metros to take them there, so that's a different change. their work lives are also uncertain, as was mentioned earlier. almost one in three people are supplementing their incomes in one way or another or they're working solely in the gig economy. and i'm freelancing as well, so a lot of people are just freelancing straight out. and it has its benefits. it means that there's a lot of freedom, but there's also a lot of insecurity. and so, you know, if you're a bartender and you also drive for lyft, it just means that you could be working all the time. and the benefits to having a job that, i don't think was mentioned before, is that jobs are there for you when you experience a downturn. so if you're a lyft driver and your car gets totaled, you're not going to be able to earn money in that time. if you're a worker and you get sick, there's nobody paying for your sick days. and so, that really kind of changes the relationship people have to work.
so, things like the sharing economy tends to make lives possible for people. so, if you are living in a city and you really can't afford your rent, you can go away for maybe a couple weeks at a time and rent your home out on airbnb while you're on vacation, but that really also contributes to geographic inequality. because if you live in a place where no one wants to go, you're not going to be able to rent your place out on airbnb. and if you are living in a place that doesn't have those kind of big, booming jobs or where uber drivers aren't in demand, then the ways that you can supplement your income are kind of less. and in many cases, it's because people are not getting enough money from their regular nine-to-five jobs. nine-to-five jobs are scarcer and also don't pay as well as they used to. and because the cost of living has gone up so much, people aren't saving money for retirement. and these kinds of trends could have huge consequences down the road. if you're not buying homes and you're not building wealth as a
younger person and you're not saving for your retirement, then even if you start doing that in your late 30s and early 40s, that's a step back. you have some catching up to do. and i think that's what we're going to see a lot in 30 and 40 years when millennials start to retire, is that they were really set back by this time period. and the relationship that that has to the sharing economy is just that if you have been supplementing your work with things like uber and that uber fleet is replaced by driverless cars, then you haven't been building skills that other employers will necessarily see translates to their work. and how do you move on from an economy where you were just piecing together work when some of those pieces start to disappear? and during that time you weren't contributing to a 401(k) and you weren't buying a house and building wealth and able to do -- and able to save. and i also want to think about the ways that the sharing economy could take the air out of some of the solutions, some of the older kinds of sharing that we used to do that were
mentioned before. you know there was an old form of sharing that we had, which was where we let the government do things like spread our risk around and do things for us and government programs like public transportation, where we, like, altogether paid for a service that was able to get us around in cities and also in even suburban areas and more rural areas. and that's also important, because if new technologies like driverless cars take over, then people who can't afford to participate in that are locked out of these new technologies. if you can't afford to buy a driverless car, if you can't afford to rent or hail a lyft or uber, or if you can't afford the smartphone that does that for you, then you're going to start to see increasing inequality that's really broadly based around geography. and we also used to, as i said, use the government to share risk. and so, i think there's also, because work lives are so insecure and consumer lives to some extent are insecure, i do think there's a bigger appetite now among younger workers to let the government or unions or
other kind of more traditional seeming institutions take on some of that security for them and take on some of that risk for them. so things like the public option and health exchanges, i think there's a political appetite there that wasn't there before. so i think it's just important to think about, continue to think about inequality and what people may or may not be able to afford if we're talking about ownership versus accessing services on a continuing basis. so, that's it. [ applause ] >> thank you, monica. now i'd like to invite jenna mclaughlin, and the speakers joining her in our second conversation to the stage. jenna mclaughlin is a reporter and blogger covering surveillance and national security for "the intercept." previously she covered national security and foreign policy at "mother jones" magazine as an editorial fellow. jenna mclaughlin.
>> hello, everyone. so, this conversation is something a little bit new for me. at "the intercept," i tend to focus on national security and privacy and some of the scary things that came up in the last panel, but these issues of ownership are broader reaching than that, and i'm excited to talk to my panelists about it. so, for our panel, it's called "the illusion of ownership," and we touched on some of the concerns about losing our ownership of data, of services, but we will talk about some of the other pitfalls. so, i'd like to welcome to the stage my participants, charles duan, who is director of the patent reform project at public knowledge. right here. and public knowledge -- and he'll tell you more about it -- but is working to reform patten line in order to enhance quality. and prior to joining public knowledge, he with a research assistant for professor paul owns, who i also know, so that's
fun. and patrick ross is the chief communications officer at the united states patent and trademark office, and he'll be able to tell us a little bit more about what the administration is thinking about these issues. so, welcome. so, to start our conversation, i'd love to start with just kind of what are your guys' thoughts about the end of ownership, the pitfalls that might occur that were not addressed in the previous panel? what kind of things do we need to be thinking about, besides, you know, will we be able to access our ubers and lyfts and things like that? >> so, i'll go ahead and start. thank you for having me here. i'm glad to represent the administration on this. i do feel that president obama is truly our innovation president. we think about these kinds of issues every day, so it's great to speak on it.
provocative title, "the end of ownership." i remember after 9/11 futurists talking about the end of history, but seems we're still living it, right? this election would be a good example of that. i think you can think more broadly about the spectrum of ownership. and so, the previous panel. my 18-year-old son -- he turned 18 today -- obsessed with cars. all hawk think about is cars. his college group let him have one as a freshman, but i know we'll have that conversation this summer. my daughter is 21, lives in los angeles. where better to own a car? well, she doesn't own a car. she takes a bus to and from work and then uses uber or hift lift to get around and see her friends or go to museums or bring groceries home. but she loves biking. so, i think it's important to
remember, just as technology's changing, we still have vinyl, even though we went to cds and mp3s. i think based on your economic situation, as we just heard from moni monica, or your own personal taste, we're going to have different approaches to each different product or service we buy in terms of ownership, and i think that's all to the good. >> yeah, so, again, thank you for inviting me to be on this panel and thank you for putting it together. you know, in terms of kind of like these ownership issues we're talking about, i find that the share economy is very exciting. i take advantage of it all the time. but i think it's worth considering kind of why ownership is still important. so, i heard the story on the podcast, 99% invisible, which is a great podcast, where it talks about a design firm that designed the houses that were reconstructed for around people who lost their houses during the
chilean earthquake. and the houses that they designed, they call them half-a-house. so, they would build a house, you know, it looked like a traditional house. half of it would have your rooms and your kitchen and your bedrooms and everything. the other half was unfinished. why did they leave it unfinished? it was because they wanted to give the people who were moving into these houses the chance to have some ability to, you know, make these their houses, to customize and to build them and n a configuration that would be useful to them. the government provided building assistant services. so you know, they talk about what this village looked like. and you go to it, and half the houses all look exactly the same, and the other half, some people haven't built them out at all. some other people have done all kinds of crazy stuff with them, some have build porches. it's like half "stepford wives," half andy warhol. and i think that really says something about why ownership is important. it's that it allows people to take advantage of their creativity and to do things that, you know, often are really
unexpected. a professor at m.i.t., eric van hippel, he's done a lot of studies on lead user innovation, the idea that when people purchase things, sometimes they come up with really creative uses that you wouldn't expect. you know, they might turn paper plates into frisbees, for example. and that sort of creativity i think is something that really drives people forward just on an individual matter. though i think this is really important to people in just their daily lives, but also as a society, because you know, we take advantage of the learning that each of us can do. we put it off on the internet, teach other people how to do it. you go to a website like lifehack.com, you learn all sorts of things you wouldn't have expected. i think that's really invaluable to society and it's something that depends on the basic right of ownership, which allows you to do, you know, unexpected things with what you have. >> right, and i think that that's a really interesting
issue and something we can explore in a lot more depth in terms of, you know, we aren't really sure sometimes how much we own specific things. i mean, our homes. you know, that's something physical. you sit in your house all day. you're like, this is my pillow, this is my chair. i own this. i could paint it a different color, whatever you're thinking about that. but in terms of my phone and the software that's running on it, you know, there are updates to that every couple days sometimes, you think, and you don't really read through what's going on in that update. oftentimes it's something good. i mean, oftentimes it's a security update that you definitely should use. but we don't necessarily know what's going to happen with those. we don't necessarily have a choice in terms of what is coming from that. so how does our perception of ownerships in the digital space sort of spill over to the physical? and how much do manufacturers actually own certain objects? >> yeah, i mean, i think the really interesting thing these days is -- you know, for a long
time, the chair. i assume i own a chair. notebook. i assume i own my notebook. computer software you own, i'm not entirely sure. you have to sign that huge thing that nobody reads, you sign away all your rights. so for a long time, that was sort of a simple distinction. and actually, there are a lot of court cases that follow this sort of distinction, that software's one thing and physical is another thing. but today we've got all the internet of things devices, right? your car's got a computer in it, your thermostat's got a computer in it. your cat feeder's got a computer in it so it can feed the cat at certain times. and what that means is you've got this kind of merger of things. and you know, the boundaries of ownership aren't really as clear anymore. the companies who are manufacturing these devices are still taking advantage of the same techniques that they use in the software field to say, you know, you don't actually own this, we're just providing you with license so we can take it back whenever we want or you're not allowed to use it on sundays or who knows what. but it's a little different
between saying, like, you're not allowed to use itunes for an improper purpose, versus you're not allowed to use your thermometer for an improper purpose. and i think what's happening is that people are starting to recognize that as devices have more software in it, and you know, as they're having to click through more of these contracts in order to just own their own physical devices, that it's not as clear, you know, whether or not ownership is as simple as we expected with just owning a chair. >> and i think that's right, and i think ideally, we don't think about it, right? we're just getting our product or getting our service. you mentioned we own our home. yeah, i own my home. we're renovating our kitchen right now, but i didn't ask my bank. technically, they own it because i haven't paid it off yet. will mentioned, well, we buy our phones. well, i think this phone i did one of those two-year contracts where i just paid per month, so i guess technically verizon
owned the phone until i hit my two-year mark, right? you mentioned manufacturing. i was fortunate enough to be in dayton two weeks ago, and yes, fortunate to be in dayton. it was actually a good trip. i was there representing the commerce secretary for manufacturing day, toured five factories. it was interesting, so ownership in terms of intellectual property ownership and ownership of parts. a lot of auto manufacturing parts going on there, but through the supply chain and other parts. sometimes somebody comes, an inventor, and they tell the manufacturing plant i need this designed. so the plant may sit down and if they're actually involved in it, they might become a co-owner of the ip. in some cases, it's like i just need this made. they own the ip. in other cases, maybe it's license. i saw these grills being made for dodge ram trucks. well, i assume the designer was licensing that to ford, or maybe they were selling it to ford, but we don't think about that. you just drive the ram truck,
right? and all this stuff is happening in the background, and it all works, so we don't have to sit and think about intellectual property every day and we don't have to think about ownership every day, as long as everything works. >> right, absolutely. and i mean, that's certainly something that kind of goes on in the background and you may not notice when something bad happens, i guess. one thing that i think about a lot when i'm writing is the idea of technology and the law, you know. technology has rapidly progressed over the past years. we've seen it in all these new services. but has the law always kept up with that in terms of privacy? oftentimes it has not, something i read about regularly. and i honestly do not know all that much about patent law, but i know that you both do, so i'd love if you could talk just a little bit about that. >> if i could just first talk. so, my media boss, uspto director lee, she talks a lot about this and how we're moving into this intangible economy.
and there's a disruption. i don't think i've heard that today, but it's common in this space. as we have new services, they're disrupting the service models. i think airbnb can certainly talk about the mayor of new york and talk about some of the disruption they're experiencing in terms of regulations. so it actually goes broadly. i do think it's important, though, to recognize that often you don't need to completely rethink the law. so we've been using the term sharing economy, but in reality, basically, it's like a rental economy, right? in the '90s i was covering the tech boom and i would appear on this cnn program called "the new economy show." by its very name, the assumption was the economy was new. did pets.com change your dog food provider, change the world. then we had the bust. turns out it was just the regular economy. so, the sharing economy is changing the ways we can interact with each other and with products and services, but ultimately, it's still driven by economic forces. i think susan would agree with that. and so, you can work within the
law, but you do have to recognize that there are going to be implications if you're an entrepreneur and you need to maybe try to get ahead of those, which is what director lee advises people. >> one of the things i think is interesting is, you know, when you talk about like how law affects ownership, but you can also look at how ownership affects the law. one of the things is that when you have a device that you actually own and you can inspect it, you can figure out how it works, right? and what that means is if there's a problem with it, you can figure it out, you can publicize, tell people, look, there's a problem with this. maybe you shouldn't buy it, or the government can get involved rg recalls. a lot of times the devices we get these days are black boxes. we don't know what's actually inside them and they actually put in restrictions to make it harder for us to open them up, figure out what's inside, figure out their security flaws. and you know, some of those protections are even, you know, they're technological protections, right? it's technology that's preventing you from getting
inside, but you might try to circumvent them, but there are actually laws that make it potentially criminal to try to circumvent that sort of thing. and you know, that's somewhat concerning because it means that we can't actually fully understand even the things that we supposedly own. you know, the whole thing with the vw emissions scandal is probably a good example of that. people couldn't figure out that volkswagen had this computer program inside them to cheat the emissions testing programs because you can't just go and open up the computer and figure out how the computer program works, right? they put layers of encryption and things on it to make it difficult to figure out what's going on. and you know, the car manufacturers have, you know, sought to block security researchers from actually doing that sort of investigation. and you know, in a pretty real sense, i find that as unfortunate, because i think it's a real public service when people, you know, go out and figure out that these products
might have some sort of defect or some sort of problems. and to the extent that companies are able to prevent them from doing that, you know, that seems pretty worrying to me. >> absolutely. i mean, as a journalist, obviously, i speak for public awareness and transparency, so that's an important aspect of it. but also i feel like this could be an issue in terms of creativity. i mean, when you have a device or something that you use, either you want to modify it in some way or you want to use that product to create something of your own. does your lack of ownership there cause problems for your sense of creativity and kind of in what ways could you envision that? >> yeah. i mean, i definitely think that's kind of an issue. one of my favorite websites is ikea hackers, where people will take, i don't know, a chair, and then they'll turn it into something completely -- i think my favorite one was they took file boxes and turned it into an expanding table. so, you like flip out the file boxes and you can actually make a table of whatever size you
want. people do really cool stuff with materials that you would not expect. but you know, there are a lot of companies out there who, you know, they really want you to use the products the way that they expect. lexmark is probably the most famous of these companies. they sell toner cartridges with what's called a prebate program where they say oak only use the toner cartridge once and then you have to return it to lexmark. you're not allowed to do anything else with the cartridge. so what that means is that if you come up with some sort of unusual way of using it, for example, i think there were people who figured out how to put like food coloring into ink jet printer ink cartridges so they could print on cakes -- if you figure out some cool thing like that, right, you're not allowed to do it because the manufacturer has put in controls saying you're not allowed to it and they've taken advantage of legal techniques to avoid that. >> do you want to -- >> yeah. i'm glad both of you mentioned creativity, by the way. and so, i like this notion of
being the end user creativity, like with your ikea example. we do have, just like with the supply chain, we have creativity throughout the chain. so somebody came one a way to design those pieces of ikea furniture where you could assemble them with only an allen wrench. well, in theory you can. some of us have had challenges with ikea furniture. but you think about lyft, right? so, it just seems intuitively obvious to us, and i enjoy using lyft, and i also enjoy how easy it makes it to tip the driver. i like that feature. but we just heard that lyft recognized this need and designed some algorithms to solve it. so that was creativity at the front end. and ip plays a role in that, too. so, it's important to recognize. we think about it as end users. we think about ownership as the end user, and that's not a bad thing, but there's a full chain of it. >> right. absolutely.
and then there are all kinds of new technologies coming out there that might change these questions. how is the patent office considering things like 3d printing? how could that sort of infringe on these things that other people have created? >> so, we held an event a few months ago. we call it additive manufacturing, because i guess we're kind of nerdy. but yes, it's 3d printing. and one of the five manufacturing plants i toured only did 3d printing, and they've been around since '96. so i found that fascinating. this has actually been out in the marketplace for a while now. there are certainly implications in terms of copyrights and patents and trademarks, the ability to, you know, download something that may have a trademark from somebody else and manufacture it yourself. i think the consensus, though, is that this is truly a revolutionary technology that is really going to improve our lives. at that manufacturing plant, they were designing these parts that were going to be used actually in machines to