UberX Driver – Your Private Underpaid Driver

Potential UberX drivers, do not rely on what Uber tells you about how much you will make. The inflated figures Uber bandies about how much you might make are before expenses. So you must discount what you make from Uber by 50% to account for Self Employment taxes (remember that you will be paying both the employee and the employer portion of these), fuel, depreciation, maintenance, and income taxes.

And after Uber has been in a city for a while, and after Uber runs its promotional discount during which drivers do not take a hit, Uber will unilaterally cut rates with no advance notice to drivers, and you will then make even less (and if you unwisely used Uber-arranged financing to buy a car, you are really stuck).

Even before your deductions, Uber’s take is closer to 25% of the “fare” charged to riders after Uber deducts the “Safe Rides Fee” ($1 per ride) and its 20% off the top (which includes the Safe Rides Fee). Yet Uber will show you the top-line “fare” as if that is what you earn. It’s not.

Don’t believe us? Then read the stories linked below. You have been warned.

Uber as a company is very disrespectful of its (mostly brown and black male) drivers. After Uber runs it promotions discounting rates (especially UberX), and stressing that the drivers are not losing anything, at the end of the promo period Uber then announces to its riders that lower rates are here to stay, making the decision unilaterally and with only a few hours advance notice to UberX drivers. The new rate reduction DOES impact drivers as the entire rate reduction comes out of drivers pockets. (In some cities that have had recent rate cuts, some UberX drivers are not working the Labor Day weekend to protest those rate cuts.)

Uber has recently pulled this underhanded trick on UberX drivers in Washington DC, London, Tampa, and Seattle, among other cities. So, current and potential UberX drivers, be prepared to see Uber unilaterally cut your fares by 15% to 20% while letting riders know how great Uber is for cheap rates, and giving drivers little advance notice of the new “improved” 15% to 20% pay cut.

From Seattle:

Back in June, Uber lowered prices for UberX customers by 20 percent. For two months, the company continued paying its drivers — who earn 80 percent of each fare — as if the discount had not been implemented.

But earlier this month, Uber shifted the discount over to drivers, who are now making less money per ride.

Uber also hides the ball on the fees and costs to drivers (phone deposits, weekly “data” fees, etc.), discloses very little until the last minute, or Uber buries details that make it difficult even for native English speakers to figure out what Uber is charging drivers. Uber is a rich guy shtick, and sneaky in our opinon, and it increasingly looks like it is tricking poor people to ferry wealthier people around via UberX.

Oh, and you will probably get more traffic tickets (think “cameras” you don’t know about yet), and those are not deductible.

Contrary to what some people are saying, the aggressive recruiting of Lyft drivers by Uber isn’t good for the UberX drivers in cities where the rates have been unilaterally cut by Uber. Uber needs to aggressively recruit drivers because many UberX drivers are quitting or cutting back to working only the busiest hours after the rate cuts. (The aggressive recruiting of Lyft drivers also has the benefit of hurting one of Uber’s major competitors, which is Lyft.) Uber is in the early stages of burning through drivers (driver churn), but at some point the word will get out and Uber will have to increase UberX rates to attract and keep good drivers.

Uber has also encouraged people to finance vehicles to drive for Uber (see “Financing 100,000 Entrepreneurs” by Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO). Our guess is that many of the drivers who used Uber-induced financing to buy cars to drive for UberX 1) did not speak or read English that well, 2) relied on the UberX rates at the time, and 3) relied on Uber’s claims of how much money they would make. As a result, our guess is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of UberX drivers who might have plausible “fraud in the inducement” claims against Uber, Uber’s CEO, and Santander in cities where Uber unilaterally cut rates, making these financed vehicles even less affordable. The discovery process would be interesting….

Our prediction is that unless Uber raises its UberX rates, the only people who will drive for UberX will be people who really have no other options. We also predict that you will start to see more UberX drivers pushing for tips to supplement the “new” rates that result in many UberX drivers making less than minimum wage even before their expenses: fuel, maintenance, depreciation, self employment taxes, state and federal income taxes). (And unlike cab drivers who often get paid in cash and get cash tips that often go unreported at tax time, Uber actively discourages riders from tipping drivers and thus UberX drivers do not get tips from most riders. UberX driver income is reported by Uber on 1099s.) So tip your UberX driver.

Uber does not “talk” with its drivers, at least not most UberX drivers, other than using form replies to emails. And Uber can take days to respond to driver inquiries.

You UberX riders are really the high-tech version of hiring the brown gardener, and you don’t even need a garden! Your own private underpaid driver of color in many cases. And think how you look down on the people who drive a cab or UberX, and also how you complain about them to your friends. It’s easy to love people of color from afar, harder to do it up close…. How does that feel now?

And Uber hiring David Plouffe is just another sign of the political class and (aspiring) crony capitalists working together.

(UberX drivers, maybe you should consider Sidecar, which allows drivers to set their own prices.)

For more, see:


UberDrivers on reddit. See
- “Prediction: Uber will continue to lower fare prices (and driver incomes) until drivers either protest or quit
- Has anyone used the Uber vehicle purchase program? What do you think?



Truth About Uber

Uberx drivers – Facebook (Ramzi Reguii)

UberLawsuit, a class action by attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan in Boston. See
- Judge to Uber: Let drivers join class-action lawsuit, by Carolyn Said
- One Miami UberX Driver Disillusioned by Company’s Promises, by Eli Stiers
- “New lawsuit claims Uber exploits its drivers
- Drivers: Uber Is Skimming Our Tips, by Josh Harkinson

Beautiful Illusions: The Economics of UberX, by Justin Singer

How big of a deal is Uber? by Justin Singer

New Jersey Uber Driver Says He Gets ‘Short-Changed In Virtually Every Way Possible’, by Jim Edwards

Uber London – 15% Price Drop for UberX, by uberdriverlondon

Uber Strikes Deal To Lower The Cost Of Car Ownership For Drivers, by Ryan Lawler

This is Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft, by Casey Newton

Uber’s Ratings Terrorize Drivers And Trick Riders. Why Not Fix Them? by Jeff Bercovici

UberX drivers slam new low rates aimed at undercutting taxis, by Dan Rivoli

Lyft says Uber’s recruiting tactics caused drivers to lose money, by Russell Brandom

Uber’s War on Lyft Could Prompt Federal Investigation, by Dustin Volz

Lyft claims Uber cost its drivers major money with recruitment tactics, by Carmel DeAmicis

A bad sign for the future of Uber? UberX lowers rates 25 percent in LA, by Ben Bergman

UberX vs. Lyft: One Driver’s Perspective, by Dave Chung

Uber ‘brand ambassadors’ using burner phones, credit cards to sabotage Lyft, by Chris Bruce

UberX drivers honk horns in downtown Seattle to protest low wages, by Taylor Soper

Angry Uber drivers complain about company: ‘We’re treated a little better than slaves’, by Taylor Soper

Sidecar CEO [Sunil Paul] responds to Uber’s questionable recruiting tactics: ‘I can’t say I’m surprised’, by Taylor Soper

Uber Drivers Honking Their Horns in Downtown Seattle to Protest Pay Cut, by Ansel Herz

Ride-share service Uber drivers say pay is shrinking, by William D’Urso

Uber’s Battle Against Its Drivers Continues, by Olivia Nuzzi

We Talked To Uber Drivers — Here’s How Much They Really Make, by Megan Rose Dickey

Taxi Drivers Are Using Apps to Disrupt the Disruptors, by Katy Steinmetz

Uber Drivers Team Up With Teamsters Union, by Dennis Romero
- UBER Drivers in Southern California form Association with Teamsters Local 986

Driving for Uber Sounds Like a Nightmare, by Connor Simpson

Why Uber Driving Is For Introverts, And Other Ridesharing Tales, by John Boitnott

UberX Dodged a Possible Driver Strike—For Now, by Steve Annear

Uber ‘partners’ protest in front of Santa Monica office, by KPCC Staff (Ben Bergman)

Despite backlash, Uber says it’s rapidly expanding, by Dara Kerr

Do UberX Drivers Really Take Home $90K A Year On Average? Not Exactly, by Dan Kedmey

Life as an Uber Driver: It’s Just Not Fare, by David Fagin

Driving for dollars: Thousands sign up to work for UberX and other ride-share services, by Steve Hendrix and Lori Aratani

Uber Drivers Say They Need a Union, by Ansel Herz

How Much Do uberX Drivers Really Make, Anyhow? by David Murphy

How many UberX drivers actually make $70k a year? – Quora

Why cab drivers should love Uber, by Felix Salmon

Local UberX Driver Says Working for Company Is a Rip-Off, by Trevor Bach

UberX drivers turn in company phones, effectively going on strike, by Graham Johnson

Uber is tapping into the too-drunk-to-drive market, user data suggest, by Emily Badger

Too Bad There’s No Regulatory Authority to Protect UberX Drivers, by Goldy

What Uber Isn’t Telling uberX Drivers, by Nate Boroyan

Uber’s Biggest Danger Is Its Business Model, Not Bad PR, by Marcus Wohlsen

Tip or Bribe? Taxi Drivers Say Illegal Payments to Dispatchers Are Routine, by Jon Brooks

How Many Ride-Share Drivers Are Hiding Status From Insurers? by Jon Brooks

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Peace in the Middle East!

Let Israel run the Middle East.

“Here’s the difference between us,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained on Fox News Sunday. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
. . .
It’s just a hunch, but if the Israelis wanted to wipe out as many Palestinians as possible, never mind commit genocide, they probably wouldn’t issue warnings to Gazans (by phone and leaflet) to get out of harm’s way. Nor would Israel continue to allow hundreds of trucks of food and medical aid to enter Gaza even as hundreds of rockets leave Gaza.

And if Hamas were chiefly concerned with protecting Palestinian lives, it would not implore Gazans to stay in their homes — serving as human shields and inflating the body count as a propaganda prop to increase international pressure on Israel.

One perverse complaint, often subtly echoed in the mainstream media, is that it is somehow unfair that Israelis are not dying, so far, from Gaza rocket strikes. The Israelis have the Iron Dome defense system, which intercepts the rockets aimed at civilians. They also have bomb shelters; the Palestinians do not. They have these things because, as Netanyahu said, Israelis are interested in protecting their citizens.

As Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin notes, no one is asking why the Palestinians don’t have bomb shelters. The assumption seems to be that the Gazans don’t have the wherewithal to build them. This is untrue because they do have bomb shelters — they just reserve them for Hamas’s leaders and fighters. Indeed, Hamas has dug thousands of tunnels under Gaza, largely so it can smuggle in, and store, more rockets to fire on Israel. Better that those tunnels were used as shelters for civilians, but that would mean not letting them die for the greater “good.”

The Palestinian ‘Genocide’ Lie

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Feminists Seem To Believe that Girls are Fragile and Delicate Little Flowers Not Suited for Welding

This manic need to get girls into science and technical fields is just wierd to me anyway, is there something inherently superior to these fields, or something shameful if girls just don’t care to go into them? Where’s the PSA bemoaning the lack of girls in welding and digging ditches?

The entire exercise is part of the latest feminist jag to get more women into fields they don’t seem terribly inclined to be part of, even if they have to be forced to. The idea that maybe, just maybe girls aren’t as interested in these areas seems to completely elude the people behind this stuff.


Feminists seem to believe that girls are fragile and delicate little flowers, because they have apparently not been around real girls. Because the feminists who write are concentrated on the coasts, where your education pedigree and credentials are the most important thing EVER, most feminists have no clue about the real world.

Girls and young women who are interested in science and math pursue those as vigorously as they want, and indeed are encouraged far more than boys with similar inclinations.

And anyone who has spent any time around girls knows that they are not fragile and delicate little flowers. Go watch a co-ed soccer game played by talented teenagers and you will see that the girls are just as physical as the boys, but the girls are slower. Slower doesn’t make them any less physical or competitive.

Let’s encourage more girls to become welders where they can make real money. And ask the feminists to confine their moral preening and elitist perspective and advice to the wealthy neighborhoods where welders are way down the social scale.

Let’s encourage all boys and girls to Work Smart And Hard.

Who, us?!?

Nevertheless, every time feminists complain about normal women who refuse to identify themselves as feminists, it is claimed that “the negative view of feminism” as being an anti-male lesbian advocacy movement is a false stereotype rooted in ignorance. The same feminists, meanwhile, insist that one cannot oppose their radical gay agenda “unless you are part of the extremely extreme extremist right wing.” One almost wonders if these feminists have ever read any feminist literature, or even if they are capable of comprehending the logic of their own words.
. . .
A man who expresses romantic interest in a female has dehumanized her as a sex object, feminism tells us, and if this male expression of heterosexuality occurs in the workplace, the man is guilty of sexual harassment — he has violated her civil rights.

No such condemnation can be made of women expressing their lesbian interest in other women. In fact, any woman who objected to a lesbian’s sexual advances could be accused of homophobia — possibly violating the civil rights of her lesbian pursuer!

Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’

Feminism to me was a lot of very unhappy women telling stories to each other about how they had been hurt. They were getting ready to change the world and I didn’t want to be in front of that train when it started rolling.

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Son Describes Abuse by Feminist Pagan Fiction Author

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BDS is a Cult

BDS is a BS cult, made up of a bunch of moral-preening rube tools. But you can’t fix stupid.


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You Can’t Fix Stupid

You Can’t Fix Stupid. Stupid is forever.

It is baffling that my progressive friends lament the influence of so-called big money on government while at the same time proposing to expand the very scope and scale of that government that makes influencing it such a good investment. Where government means constables, soldiers, judges, and precious little else, it is not much worth capturing. Where government means somebody whose permission must be sought before you can even begin to earn a living, when it determines the prices of products, the terms of competition, and the interest rates on your competitors’ financing, then it is worth capturing. That much is obvious. Progressives refuse to see the inherent corruption in the new ruling class — and, make no mistake, we now have a ruling class — because it is largely made up of them, their colleagues, and people who are socially and culturally like them and their colleagues.

Politics Pays: No society can long thrive by making its innovators subservient to its bureaucrats.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

In a Salon essay published today, Alecia Phonesavanh recalls the night her 19-month-old son, Bounkham (a.k.a. Bou Bou), was horribly injured by a flash-bang grenade tossed into his crib during a fruitless drug raid in Habersham County, Georgia. “It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby,” she writes, “and he’s still covered in burns. There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.”
. . .
The ACLU mentions declining public support for the War on Drugs as one reason to reconsider the ferocity with which it is waged. But while de-escalation would be welcome, it does not address the fundamental immorality of responding to peaceful transactions with guns and handcuffs. Even if reforms like those recommended by the ACLU encourage police to be more judicious in their use of force, unjustifiable violence will always be a defining feature of drug prohibition.

Burned Babies and the Militarization of American Policing

The “War on Drugs” is immoral and has turned the DEA and many police departments into armed gangs of thugs.

Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and 30s and it isn’t working today.

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Hubris and Moral Preening

Environmentalism is a fundamentalist religion with hubris and moral preening “baked in”.

“Carbon Calvinism”

When people think man can stop climate change patterns that last tens of millions of years, when people think a map of the last 100 or even 1000 years of climate change predicts the futures, and when Republicans tout big government to stop big government even though the results are “baked in”, the appropriate words to describe the setup are indeed “climate bubble”.

Is There a Climate Bubble?

Calculations suggest that a mere 800,000 years of this process of forming and burying Azolla, along with all the carbon it had sucked out of the atmosphere as it grew, would have been enough to account for the 80% drop in atmospheric CO2 that other rocks suggest happened during the mid Eocene. This, by greatly reducing the greenhouse effect, cooled the Earth from temperatures in which palm trees grew at the poles to the sort that are experienced today.

Much of the Azolla which sank then still remains buried, and with it the Earth-warming carbon it contains. But that carbon has been transformed over the millennia. A good proportion is now oil and gas. And many people are interested in drilling in the Arctic to extract these fossil fuels, burn them and return the carbon to the atmosphere—there, perhaps, to reverse the events of 49m years ago.

Nitrogen-fixing ferns: Aquatic alfalfa

49 million years….

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Leviathan – We Don’t Believe You

John Koskinen is the new face of beadledom in Washington, DC.

Serious as are the policy disagreements roiling Washington, none is as important as the structural distortion threatening constitutional equilibrium. Institutional derangement driven by unchecked presidential aggrandizement did not begin with Barack Obama, but his offenses against the separation of powers have been egregious in quantity and qualitatively different.

Regarding immigration, health care, welfare, education, drug policy and more, Obama has suspended, waived and rewritten laws, including the Affordable Care Act.
. . .
Some say the judicial branch should not intervene because if Americans are so supine that they tolerate representatives who tolerate such executive excesses, they deserve to forfeit constitutional government. This abstract doctrine may appeal to moralists lacking responsibilities.

Stopping a lawless president

So, do we have a coverup at the IRS? Has a crime been committed? I don’t know. What I do know is that I am deeply disturbed by all this.

Maybe it’s just sloppy record-keeping, which would be bad enough. Most of the government’s business is now conducted digitally, and those records need to be properly handled. Or is it worse? Is the IRS deliberately keeping things from the public? Excuse my cynicism, but the IRS’s penchant for secrecy is what led Tax Analysts, using the new Freedom of Information Act, to sue the agency in the 1970s to force it to release private letter rulings. There have been several subsequent lawsuits to pry records that should have been public out of the agency’s hands.
. . .
The exempt organization issue is now more than just fodder for conservative blogs. The IRS and the Treasury Department need to start being square with the American people and their Congress. Even if you hate the IRS — and I do not — a wounded and compromised tax collector (whether or not most of its wounds are self-inflicted) does no good for the country.

The Coverup Is Usually Worse Than the Crime

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Dr. House of Cards

Jenny McCarthy is a moral preening idiot. You Can’t Fix Stupid.

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