“The predicted “blue wave” didn’t happen.”
—That’s only because there are far more batshit-crazy, far-right wanna-be fascists than we counted on. We thought Trump had jumped the shark, but what we learned was there’s no new low that Republicans would say they’ve had enough of. Historically, the country always does better under Democrats. It’s not partisan, you can look it up. Under Democrats less people die of health issues, suicide rates drop, violent crime goes down, contrary to what Republicans think government actually spends less, the people earn more money, education scores rise, but most republicans see things like those are a major problem because our corporate overlords lose control of the people. And pretty much all Republicans care about is the 1%. The ideal Republican world is George Orwell’s “1984”, or possibly Wells’ “Time Machine”, or modern day Russia or North Korea. Of course, I suspect most Republicans never read either of those books, because they’re books and all, and as such “Liberal propaganda”. But if they had their way we’d live under a totalitarian regime. That’s why they say things like the only fair election is one in which they win.
“”Drivers do not want to be employees, full stop. We’ll immediately appeal this ruling and continue to fight for their independence. Ultimately, we believe this issue will be decided by California voters and that they will side with drivers,” the spokesperson said.””
—They’re half-right on this issue. Drivers actually do NOT want to be employees, that is true, but Uber and Lyft keep lowering the pay, increasing their prices for passengers and food delivery to customers and restaurants, and they’re pricing drivers out of it. For example: On UberEats deliveries used to pay something like 20 cents a minute and like 75 cents a mile. Plus a pick-up and drop-off fee. They cut the pay by 60% and then told all of us that WE asked them for lower pay because figuring out how we got paid was too hard. We never asked them to do that. They always lie when they cut rates and make up an excuse that we asked them to do it. We didn’t. Who would want to make less? So like last night I got an offer to deliver from from Fairfield, CT to Darien, CT. The total trip was 14 miles. The offer to do it was $7. That’s 50 cents a mile. That’s below the IRS mileage rate so right off the bat you’re losing money. If the customer doesn’t tip you get just the $7. The trip alone is like 15 minutes, but you also have to go to the restaurant, and typically wait 10 minutes or so for the food. So you’re talking about $7 for half an hour’s worth of work if you’re lucky. Now subtract the gas and wear and tear on the car. That trip will actually pay closer to $6 depending on your car’s mpgs. Prior to the pay change it would be $1.25 to pick it up, 75 cents to drop it off, $3 for the time from starting the trip to dropping it off, and another $10.50 for the mileage. So that trip used to pay $15.50. Now don’t think that Uber cut the rates on their end when they changed the rates. That extra $8.50 we no longer get goes into their pockets. It’s why most of us won’t take most UberEats deliveries any more.
They did the same thing with driver pay for taking passengers. The rates have gone down several times. Now the average passenger trip pays I think 65 cents a mile and 20 cents a minute. That’s it. And if it’s under a certain distance it’s capped at $3. Which, again, is why drivers don’t accept a lot of trips. I take short trips, but a lot of drivers don’t. When they changed the pay they lowered the per mile rate and slightly bumped the per minute rate saying WE asked for it. We never did. We make our money on the miles traveled, not the time. It used to be around $1 a mile, and higher before that. Their excuse was drivers wanted more per minute for traffic jams. Bullshit, we’re almost never stuck in a traffic jam. Even driving people to NYC it rarely happened to me. I no longer take long trips because of it. It’s not worth it. A trip from here to NYC could take 60-90 minutes. There are tolls, traffic, different rules driving in Manhattan than other areas, and you really have to pay attention. But those trips pay on average $40. And you can’t pick up in NYC so you drive back empty. So you’re looking at 2 hours of driving for $40 less gas. Not worth it.
I’m sure you know about surge pricing. Like 3X. They changed that, too, and told us we couldn’t understand the pay, so the made it easy to understand by offering a flat fee. Passengers got no such deal. They’ll still pay 3x or whatever it is. So if it’s 3X, and the trip is $5, the surge is $15. Before we’d get around $18 for that trip. We got 100% of the surge, and our cut from the base pay. Now we’ll get maybe $5 extra, meaning that other $10 Uber pockets. So when Uber says we don’t want to be employees, they are correct about that, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of even more. You have no idea the horrors of being a driver. Aside from being one of the most dangerous jobs in America, look it up, transportation is in the top 5 most dangerous jobs, WE do not get any information about our passengers other than a name, not even a picture. There are no background checks for passengers. On top of that, people throw up in your car, they pee in your car, spill food and drinks, and even have sex in the car. Yup, had all of that happen. Multiple times. Delivery drivers and passenger drivers get robbed and aren’t supposed to avoid certain areas because it’s “discrimination” but we all do it for our own safety, we’re not allowed to have weapons of any kind, you’re not even allowed the bulletproof shield behind you.
So as long as they control every aspect of what we do, LIKE employers do, they maybe as well pay us like employees everywhere that they lose these cases.
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The thing that gets me is Republicans think we want to “play it safe” as some sort of scam. Just because we believe in science and medicine, while you prefer to pray to imaginary people in the sky doesn’t make us the nuts. But let’s say your deity were real: Don’t you think they’d tell you they created ALL humans, including the doctors and scientists, and that they gave them the gifts of healing and knowledge to protect the rest of us?
You act as if we want you to get sick and die from this. We want the opposite of that (unlike how most of you think of us). We want you to be safe. We don’t have to agree with your politics or even like you personally to not want you to suffer or even die from this. It’s called being human, and compassionate. We have empathy for you. The struggle you’re going through, we’re all going through, but we’re willing to do it to prevent needless deaths. And when you minimize that by saying things like more people die in car accidents, you miss the point. You can choose to not drive or be in a car and avoid that risk. You can’t avoid this. You can lower your risk greatly, though, and lower it for everyone else by doing what they’re asking us to do.
And if those models are correct, three times as many of our people could die in a year if we do this wrong than died in World War 2. That’s a lot more than people who die in car crashes or any other way. So we get pissed when you sit there telling other people they need to follow our laws, like illegals, but when you have towns and states passing laws to protect us and you say you’re not going to obey them, you put us all at much greater risk, and look like hypocrites in the process, as if laws are for other people, not you.
So, again, if you die by your own hands, as long as you don’t risk other people’s lives, I’m fine with that. More oxygen and food for the rest of us. But I’m not wishing it on you. I’m hoping you do the right thing. I’m hoping you stay safe, and keep your family safe. I’m hoping.
“While employers pay most of the costs of coverage, according to the survey, workers’ average contribution is now $6,000 for a family plan. That’s just their share of upfront premiums, and doesn’t include co-payments, deductibles and other forms of cost-sharing once they need care.” —That’s if you have an employer. If you’re self-employed you either pick a catastrophic plan, a bronze plan, neither of which cover very much, or pay a LOT more for Silver or Gold. Even then with Silver and Gold most things aren’t covered and you run into that deductible.
Here’s what I don’t get: places like Canada their health care costs are a tenth of what ours are for the same or better care. The US ranks around 20th in the world for quality of health care, so that idea republicans have that we have the best care simply isn’t true. How you “feel” doesn’t reflect reality. Like we all think our education is the best in the world, and that isn’t true, either. Both are very good, but how do countries with much longer life expectancies, with higher qualities of life, and more satisfaction manage to do it? Higher taxes. I don’t know, for me the trade-off is worth it. Americans are so greedy it’s sad. Instead of having the most people in the developed world die who could’ve been saved we choose profit. Instead of rehabilitating people who run afoul of our laws we choose to piss away tax dollars to lock them up. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and with many prisons being for profit, you can see why. And those people are statistically more likely to hit that revolving door because we’d rather spend tax money to give to for profit prisons because it “feels better” to punish people, than to divert them to programs that are proven to work and end those cycles.
Mr. Medal of Freedom, Rush Limbaugh is a great example of that. He’s a hardliner when it comes to drug abuse. He says we should “put them in jail and throw away the key”. But having means, when he himself became addicted and got busted with illegal prescriptions wanted our compassion and understanding, then bought his way out of trouble. He now has no sympathy for other people without means in the same boat and still thinks we should lock them up and throw away the key. He’s a hypocrite. Especially when we know the programs he benefited from can actually work for other people, too, if they want the help. But, yeah, let’s keep pissing away tax dollars on things that don’t work to avoid spending them on things that do.
And Trump’s latest plan to gut the ACA further than he has, and to dismantle Social Security and Medicare to pay for his tax cuts to the top will only make the situation much worse. Everyone over 65 reading this probably gets one or both of those programs. If they go away completely you’d be fine? If so, why are you using either right now?
Using tax dollars in ways that make sense isn’t Socialism. Not even that Socialism is a dirty word. Republicans love using Venezuela as the ONLY example of what will happen to the United States if we take care of the poor, if we have decent free education, and make sure everyone has food, and medicine when they need it. It’s funny how you never use countries like Norway in your examples. Or New Zealand. Or Canada. Or Japan. Japan has one of the longest life expectancies on Earth, the lowest murder rate in the world, and somehow the people manage to make a decent living, and have pretty decent lives. But, yeah, let’s keep saying the US can only turn out to be like Venezuela. That assumes the majority of Americans are too stupid to go in any other direction. That sounds like a red state problem to me. The life expectancy in the United States is longer in Blue states with Connecticut having the longest life expectancy in America. Blue states also have lower crime rates, lower health problems, lower amounts of suicide, higher test scores, less teen pregnancy, less abortion, more college graduates, higher per capita GDP. We can do it if we all work together.
We just need to eliminate greed, and be willing to compromise and use some common sense,