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Uber and Lyft, Driving Drivers Into Poverty and Despair


#1

Uber and Lyft, Driving Drivers Into Poverty and Despair

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

Early on Monday morning, Douglas Schifter, a career professional taxi and limo driver in New York City, made one final trip, to lower Manhattan. Several hours earlier, he posted on Facebook a condemnation of leading politicians for allowing ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to gut the taxi industry in the city, forcing him and thousands of drivers into poverty. Parked in a rented black sedan at the gates of City Hall, he killed himself with a gunshot to the head.


#2

The whole US economy now is based on the same model: turning good jobs into shitty, starvation-wage jobs, or into no jobs at all. Democrats & Republicans are both on board with this.


#3

Yes. I think of it as the factory farming business model being applied everywhere - life has no intrinsic value, only what can be squeezed out for profit. It seems to be the nature of capitalism.


#4

It’s unregulated capitalism in a nutshell… it a broader issue than just blaming one political party or another.


#5

Yet again the “invisible” hand is busily toiling away bitch-slapping one worker at a time.


#6

Just so you know deregulation doesn’t stop there, the Uber driver is not licensed and does not have a back ground check. They could be anyone. Not to mention they add thousands of drivers in places like San Francisco and subvert public transportation.


#7

Oh you mean a capitalist economy. Of course it’s a race to the bottom.


#8

I would not be so quick to blame Uber and Lyft.

The taxi industry thought they were gonna keep their medallion business model forever. Most of the medallion holders are not even the drivers but some dude sitting at home collecting the fees.

Uber and Lyft came up with a better business model and blew them right out of the water. Not sure if anyone bothered to read Mr.Castillo’s story but apparently he had overdue fines to the TLC. For what? “lllegally accepted a street hail”. so his industry prohibits him from stopping for customers.

Same for Mr. Shifter, overdue fines to the TLC.

The cab/limo companies better catch up or they will go the way of the horse and buggy. When was the last time you tried to get cab in the suburbs in the middle of the night? Good luck with that.


#9

This is beyond sad. It is tragic, especially since it was caused by policy decisions, which have caused so much suffering and death in the mad “rush to be bottom” in the “free-market” deregulation and privatization frenzy of the last 40 years. People are just “collateral damage” in
this sustained Class War. They are merely “externalities” to be disposed of as cheaply as possible.


#10

I for one, will always choose to ride with a professional driver, even if it costs more. It is safer, for one thing!


#11

I agree, I think it is safer or at least better odds. Taxi drivers too, have a higher than average level of risk from violence than many jobs.


#12

From what I’ve read Uber is no different, owners sitting at home counting money, while the drivers work for pennies.


#13

Interesting. Can you share a link or something?


#14

Wasn’t on the web, read it in a magazine while waiting on a haircut, I don’t remember the mag.


#15

A lot of taxi companies today rent their cabs to the drivers as independent contractors for $100 to $150 dollars for a 12 hour day, plus the drivers pay for gas used. So drivers are working the first 6 to 8 hours just paying for the cab rental fee and gas. If they want to make any money to keep for themselves they have to work the full 12 hours straight. This is extremely tiring and it is extremely dangerous because the drivers are always exhausted by the end of the day. This is a really inhumane system, and, in cities where it is utilized, I think it is safer to take Uber or Lyft because those drivers don’t have to keep driving when they are tired.


#16

I think that is part of the corporate take over of individual companies. All part of the plan. There are other things as well. Everything you say while in a taxi can be heard by someone else. It is for safety reasons.


#18

I boycott Uber and Lyft. Always take yellow cabs, in an emergency. Usually take the subway. We need progressive Democrats in office. This is outrageous that two taxi drivers committed suiclde. Outrageous. Condolences to their families.