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Who pays for Uber and Lyft? Corporate salaries? Cheap rides? Drivers healthcare? Taxpayers. And who doesn't pay taxes? Uber and Lyft.

This week Uber CEO Dara pleaded with trump to add gig economy workers to the coronavirus stimulus package (bailout). In doing so Uber is asking the government to pay unemployment benefits despite the fact that Uber has fought tooth and nail, ignoring California's AB5, to keep drivers classified as independent contractors. Using the employment status of independent contractors allows Uber to not pay unemployment insurance. So who pays? Taxpayers


Today the senate is poised to include Uber drivers and gig workers in the stimulus package, which is great for drivers, but is it fair to taxpayers that Uber who contributes nothing gets a bailout? Will this encourage drivers to fight against employment protections like AB5?

Do Uber drivers pay income tax? For the most part, no. The average per mile pay nationally for drivers is under $1. The IRS mileage deduction is 58cents. The usual shift of driving rideshare includes as many miles without passengers in the car as with. If a driver makes $100 but drives 170 miles there is zero taxable income.

Does Uber pay taxes? Not as far as I can tell. In 2019 they reported a net loss of $1B while investors and corporate employees cashed in on piles of IPO dollars. https://investor.uber.com/news-even...esults-for-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2019/

Can drivers afford healthcare. No. Who pays? Taxpayers. It's endless, the entire enterprise operates on subsidy and driver financial ignorance.

Uber is making a mockery of capitalism. Bypassing local regulations to avoid paying local governments. Paying workers below minimum wage. And now putting the entire burden on the taxpayer to subsidize their corporate salaries and share price and push their agenda. The rich get richer and the poor do all the work and bare the financial burden.
 

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You should check your definition of socialism. Socialism is fundamentally about worker ownership and management of the means of production. Uber's "means of production" is an app, a customer base, control over logistics, communications mechanisms, and the regulatory apparatus. Drivers own none of these.

Capitalists pushing their negative externalities on society without consequence is pretty much the opposite of socialism. And yeah, it is garbage. Uber is benefitting from neoliberal economic policies, not socialist ones. Instead, try this concept out:


I'm not saying you'd actually like socialism, but you're basically making an argument for it here.
 

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I was going for a clickbait title. Let's rename the thread from "Uber is a socialist enterprise" to "Uber is corporate welfare". I don't want to start a political discussion.
Invoke the Marxist bogeyman and it'll get political fast. 😬

I agree with your analysis for the most part, though. The political philosopher in me can't help but quibble over definitions.
 

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Bear does not mind corporate welfare in this case because it mainly benefits drivers like bear and less so the shareholders, for whom the main benefit is losing all of their money a bit less quickly. Also the artificially low fares benefit the working class pax that bear drives around. Or used to, that is.

There is an argument about pollution relative to mass transit that is another externality, but that is mainly a problem for polar bears.
 

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You should check your definition of socialism. Socialism is fundamentally about worker ownership and management of the means of production. Uber's "means of production" is an app, a customer base, control over logistics, communications mechanisms, and the regulatory apparatus. Drivers own none of these.
Gig apps differ from the standard model of capitalism, where the owners/investors provide the capital (i.e, the physical means of production, such as a factory, materials and machinery) and the workers provide the labor. With gig apps, the workers themselves provide and maintain the physical means of production (i.e, their cars, fuel, etc) while the gig company facilitates it, as you mentioned, by providing the more intangible means of production.
 

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Gig apps differ from the standard model of capitalism, where the owners/investors provide the capital (i.e, the physical means of production, such as a factory, materials and machinery) and the workers provide the labor. With gig apps, the workers themselves provide and maintain the physical means of production (i.e, their cars, fuel, etc) while the gig company facilitates it, as you mentioned, by providing the more intangible means of production.
I agree.

I think the thousands of complaints about the gig on this site that are company-specific suggest that most of the problems with Uber and the gig employers are about those "intangible means of production".

The car is capital too, but in this case it's more of a means to an end than a means of production, especially because drivers usually have a personal car anyway and that's what most of them use for the gig. The car is more like the independent programmer's laptop and software, or the busker's guitar. It is not sufficient as capital, nor is it usually an especially exclusive form of capital, and resembles personal property just as much as it does a tool of trade. It's capital as leveraged by the worker. But most drivers would find that outside the context of gig work, the car or the phone is merely a liability and not a source of capital. In the case of the gig economy, the middleman owns the whole game.

@Lissetti I guess it's time for me to write that article for UP. If only the timing were better …
 

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The car is capital too, but in this case it's more of a means to an end than a means of production, especially because drivers usually have a personal car anyway and that's what most of them use for the gig. The car is more like the independent programmer's laptop and software, or the busker's guitar. It is not sufficient as capital, nor is it usually an especially exclusive form of capital, and resembles personal property just as much as it does a tool of trade. It's capital as leveraged by the worker. But most drivers would find that outside the context of gig work, the car or the phone is merely a liability and not a source of capital. In the case of the gig economy, the middleman owns the whole game.
If the driver could isolate the costs added to their vehicle through rideshare (additional repairs, maintenance and depreciation) then those costs could be viewed as a source of capital I guess. Obviously it's impossible to measure those, although we can make reasonable estimates. I think this is something many drivers fail to realize when assessing how much they're making, although that's probably getting into another topic.
 

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Who pays for Uber and Lyft? Corporate salaries? Cheap rides? Drivers healthcare? Taxpayers. And who doesn't pay taxes? Uber and Lyft.

This week Uber CEO Dara pleaded with trump to add gig economy workers to the coronavirus stimulus package (bailout). In doing so Uber is asking the government to pay unemployment benefits despite the fact that Uber has fought tooth and nail, ignoring California's AB5, to keep drivers classified as independent contractors. Using the employment status of independent contractors allows Uber to not pay unemployment insurance. So who pays? Taxpayers


Today the senate is poised to include Uber drivers and gig workers in the stimulus package, which is great for drivers, but is it fair to taxpayers that Uber who contributes nothing gets a bailout? Will this encourage drivers to fight against employment protections like AB5?

Do Uber drivers pay income tax? For the most part, no. The average per mile pay nationally for drivers is under $1. The IRS mileage deduction is 58cents. The usual shift of driving rideshare includes as many miles without passengers in the car as with. If a driver makes $100 but drives 170 miles there is zero taxable income.

Does Uber pay taxes? Not as far as I can tell. In 2019 they reported a net loss of $1B while investors and corporate employees cashed in on piles of IPO dollars. https://investor.uber.com/news-even...esults-for-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2019/

Can drivers afford healthcare. No. Who pays? Taxpayers. It's endless, the entire enterprise operates on subsidy and driver financial ignorance.

Uber is making a mockery of capitalism. Bypassing local regulations to avoid paying local governments. Paying workers below minimum wage. And now putting the entire burden on the taxpayer to subsidize their corporate salaries and share price and push their agenda. The rich get richer and the poor do all the work and bare the financial burden.
DRIVERS SUBSIDISE UBER
 

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Crony capitalism is alive and well. Don't blame the player, blame the game. We all play by the rules to make our money. If the rules are unfair, change the rules. Society has decided to subsidize Uber drivers with the standard mileage deduction, it is true. Society also pays people to be policemen, street sweepers, and more. In fact, almost everyone today gets some kind of subsidy or tax benefit for something. There are subsidies for married people, for home owners, for all people who drive for a living, for people with disabilities, for farmers, etc.
 

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Told Ya Uber would end up with Government Subsidies !
It's been that way all along. I've brought it up in other threads.

Every dollar that an unprofitable driver deducts for expenses is a dollar that has to be made up by taxpayers.

Drivers are getting paid around 60 (or whatever the mileage rate) cents per paid pax mile. But they deduct twice the miles.

In effect the taxpayers pay 30 cents per mile to subsidize Uber and the driver.

If drivers were only able to deduct the actual paid pax miles used. Uber wouldn't be viable.

I just don't see how the government hasn't realized it yet.
 

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I hate to burst your opinion bubble; but the paying customer pays Uber/Lyft. What is negatively called a 'pax'.
 
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I hate to burst your opinion bubble; but the paying customer pays Uber/Lyft. What is negatively called a 'pax'.
Pax isn't negative. It's a long used, before Uber, contraction for passenger.

Paxhole on the other hand would be negative.
 

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pax is not a negative term. paxhole is a negative term.
how about a compromise: they are both used here as negative term(s). And most seem to forget they ARE the paying customer and wo them there is nothing. Kinda like it is now in 51% of USA population under stay at home orders.
 
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how about a compromise: they are both used here as negative term(s).
I actually think you are right about the negativity. Some people seem to use "pax" as short for "paxhole" which is a bit neologistic and backwards, but it seems to be that way now.

I agree with @observer and @Trafficat that "pax" isn't derogatory while "paxhole" obviously is, but you wouldn't know it from how people use it here sometimes.
 

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the real problem is when you are talking to a 'pax' and you refer to them as a 'pax' before you remember they have no idea what that is....I"m sure I aint the only one who has done that....
 
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