Those promotional codes Uber has been handing out for its IPO? Only one guess who gets screwed.

There is a new blog entry, entitled “The lesser of two evils? The more successful con artist.


So. I have just found out the hard way that Uber won’t allow me Instant Pay unless my riders, that is, the people they offered promotional codes to, accept orders from, and send me on, have actually paid them. I’ve been driving in Pittsburgh for Uber now for all of four days (Lyft for six because Lyft didn’t require me to resubmit to a background check). And this, already.

Uber says that if I take enough trips—here’s where it really gets rich—and the number of people who’ve paid once again exceeds the number who haven’t, I’ll have access to Instant Pay again.FireShot Capture 058 - I have an issue with my Instant Pay - benfell@disunitedstates.org - D_ - mail.google.comWhen I informed them first that my name is David, not Kenneth, and second, that this is unacceptable, they responded with this:FireShot Capture 059 - I have an issue with my Instant Pay - benfell@disunitedstates.org - D_ - mail.google.com

I should still get the weekly payout. What this means is that I can’t get paid instantly up to five times a day.

But Uber has this backwards. In an exchange system, there’s supposed to be exchange. And in the gig economy, relationships are explicitly transactional. Uber’s cash flow is not my problem, except that they’ve made it my problem. And they clearly have much more money available than I do.

No pay, no work. Lyft seems to treat me better here anyway.


Donald Trump

Susan Glasser expresses skepticism that Donald Trump’s stonewalling of Congressional investigations is really a constitutional crisis. She thinks it could easily become one, however.[1]

The fact is, we’re playing word games here. The term “constitutional crisis” isn’t any better defined than “high crimes and misdemeanors.” These terms mean what politicians and pundits want them to mean, and not much else.

Susan B. Glasser, “Is This the Official Trump Constitutional Crisis?” New Yorker, May 9, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/is-this-the-official-trump-constitutional-crisis

David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell, “Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting,” Washington Post, May 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-prized-doral-resort-is-in-steep-decline-according-to-company-documents-showing-his-business-problems-are-mounting/2019/05/14/03cc701a-6b54-11e9-be3a-33217240a539_story.html

Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman, and Daniel Lippman, “How would you explain the Democratic investigations to a Washington outsider?” Politico, May 15, 2019, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2019/05/15/how-would-you-explain-the-democratic-investigations-to-a-washington-outsider-436677


Pacific Gas and Electric

That Pacific Gas and Electric would be found culpable for the Camp fire in November last year[2] was pretty much expected.

Joseph Serna and Taryn Luna, “PG&E power lines caused California’s deadliest fire, investigators conclude,” Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-paradise-camp-fire-cal-fire-20190515-story.html


  1. [1]Susan B. Glasser, “Is This the Official Trump Constitutional Crisis?” New Yorker, May 9, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/is-this-the-official-trump-constitutional-crisis
  2. [2]Joseph Serna and Taryn Luna, “PG&E power lines caused California’s deadliest fire, investigators conclude,” Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-paradise-camp-fire-cal-fire-20190515-story.html

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