I used Lyft one time a few years ago, and have kept the app on my iPhone in case I want to use it again.
A couple of days ago, I started getting ads from Lyft through iOS notifications.
This is annoying because I have the iPhone configured to only receive urgent notifications. I get notifications for phone calls, the Breaking News app, the Messages app, Facebook Messenger, and that’s about it. Not email, not Twitter, and certainly not ads from a company I used once a few years ago, but not since.
So now I’ve deleted the Lyft app from my iPhone, which is I’m sure what the Lyft marketing guys wanted me to do. Good job, Lyft marketing guys!
Uber, Lyft leave fingerprints on Sacramento ride-hailing bills
I’m curious about the requirement that drivers need to be fingerprinted. If it’s a good idea to require it for other drivers, why should Uber and Lyft be exempt?
And I’m encouraged to hear that Sacramento killed legislation that would have allowed ride share drivers to organize. We truly do have the best legislators money can buy.
[Carolyn Said/San Francisco Chronicle]
But if fingerprinting is a good idea for cabbies, it should be mandatory for rideshare drivers too. They’re just another variety of cabbies.
I don’t use Uber often, but I love it when I do. However, lately I’ve become concerned about what kind of legal liability and physical danger I might be exposing myself to when I use ridesharing.
Similarly for Airbnb – I’ve only used that service once, and it was fantastic, but I’m concerned how the safety and legal liability compares with a regular hotel.
I’m on my way to Austin now, so this is on my mind.
How Austin Beat Uber – Richard Parker, The New York Times
Uber and Lyft only work because the economy is crappy enough that drivers are desperate enough to work below cost. [Ian Welsh]
Drivers can’t find good jobs and need cash now, so they work at rates below minimum wage and below the cost of keeping and maintaining their cars.
When the economy improves, Uber and Lyft will be in trouble.
Here is the thing about Uber and Lyft (and much of the “sharing economy”).
They don’t pay the cost of their capital.
The wages they pay to their drivers are less than the depreciation of the cars and the expense of keeping the driver fed, housed and healthy. They pay less than minimum wage in most markets, and in most markets that is not enough to pay the costs of a car plus a human.
These business models are ways of draining capital from the economy and putting them into the hands of a few investors and executives. They prey on desperate people who need money now, even if the money is insufficient to pay their total costs. Drivers are draining their own reserves to get cash now, but hey, they gotta eat and pay the bills.
This sharing economy shit works in a shitty economy. In a good economy, where people have what they need, it doesn’t work.
And this is not a problem that will be solved by the free market.
Until we stop pretending the market fairy is going to solve social action problems, we won’t actually solve those problems.
Via Cory Doctorow, who notes that other companies that fail to provide a living wage, such as McDonald’s and Walmart, are taxpayer-subsidized in the form of food stamps to employees.