Yet more doubts on Uber’s potential for profit

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 8, 2021, at 8:09 pm.

  2. July 8, 2021, 11:29 pm:

    • CNN has a better explanation of what Pfizer and BioNTech are doing in terms of a booster shot. It seems a third shot of their original vaccine may be appropriate within six to twelve months, but they are also developing a booster that’s tailored to recent variants, which they expect to begin trials on in August.[1]

    • Rudy Giuliani had already lost his license to practice law in the state of New York.[2] Now he’s lost it in Washington, D.C.[3]



It appears at long last that my new car should arrive anywhere from the 15th through the 19th. I just received word this evening (July 8).


Voting rights

David Gans, “Selective originalism and selective textualism: How the Roberts court decimated the Voting Rights Act,” SCOTUSblog, July 7, 2021, https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/07/selective-originalism-and-selective-textualism-how-the-roberts-court-decimated-the-voting-rights-act/


Pandemic

Even as the delta variant of COVID-19 zeroes in on states which voted for Donald Trump,[4] here’s Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing vaccine outreach workers to Nazi thugs.[5] It may be tempting to think Trump’s supporters are dying to kill themselves off, but as I’ve previously noted,[6] vaccine refusal invites the novel coronavirus to mutate into new variants, some of which may eventually “break through” vaccines, thereby threatening even the dutifully fully vaccinated.[7] Indeed, despite the efficacy of the vaccines already developed against the delta variant,[8] Pfizer announced that they are developing a booster shot to target that variant.[9]

Ron Kampeas, “In latest Nazi analogy, Marjorie Taylor Greene invokes ‘medical brown shirts’ in decrying vaccination outreach,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 7, 2021, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/in-latest-nazi-analogy-marjorie-taylor-greene-invokes-medical-brown-shirts-in-decrying-vaccination-outreach

Joel Achenbach, “New study on delta variant reveals importance of receiving both vaccine shots, highlights challenges posed by mutations,” Washington Post, July 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/delta-variant-vaccines/2021/07/08/05b1bc5e-df75-11eb-ae31-6b7c5c34f0d6_story.html

Berkeley Lovelace, Jr., “Pfizer says it is developing a Covid booster shot to target the highly transmissible delta variant,” CNBC, July 8, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/08/pfizer-says-it-is-developing-a-covid-booster-shot-to-target-the-highly-transmissible-delta-variant.html

Paul Waldman, “Right-wing anti-vaccine hysteria is increasing. We’ll all pay the price,” Washington Post, July 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/08/right-wing-anti-vaccine-hysteria-is-increasing-well-all-pay-price/


Gig economy

Edward Ongweso, Jr., “Uber and Lyft Can’t Find Drivers Because Gig Work Sucks,” Vice, July 8, 2021, https://www.vice.com/en/article/7kvej4/uber-and-lyft-cant-find-drivers-because-gig-work-sucks


Gig economy

Whizy Kim is only the latest[10] to raise doubts about Uber’s (and, really, Lyft’s) path to profitability.[11] As Kim notes, however, the business model depends on treating drivers like shit.[12] What’s apparent is that even that isn’t enough.[13]

Whizy Kim, “Let’s Talk About The Real Reason Ubers Are So Expensive Now,” Refinery29, July 7, 2021, https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/07/10553126/why-uber-fares-expensive-profit-millennials


Donald Trump

Zoe Tillman, “Trump’s Social Media Lawsuits Feature A Mashup Of Arguments Courts Have Already Rejected,” Buzzfeed, July 7, 2021, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/trump-twitter-facebook-youtube-lawsuits-rejected-arguments

Amanda Marcotte, “Right-wing Twitter imitations don’t work — and Trump desperately wants back on real social media,” Salon, July 8, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/07/08/right-wing-twitter-imitations-dont-work–and-trump-desperately-wants-back-on-real-social-media/


  1. [1]Maggie Fox, “Pfizer sees waning immunity from its Covid-19 vaccine, says developing new booster,” CNN, July 8, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/08/health/pfizer-waning-immunity-bn/index.html
  2. [2]Erica Orden, Veronica Stracqualursi, and Katelyn Polantz, “Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York state,” CNN, June 24, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/24/politics/rudy-giuliani-suspended-law/index.html
  3. [3]Jaclyn Diaz, “An Appeals Court Has Suspended Rudy Giuliani’s Ability To Practice Law In D.C.,” National Public Radio, July 8, 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/07/08/1014047881/an-appeals-court-has-suspended-rudy-giulianis-ability-to-practice-law-in-d-c
  4. [4]Philip Bump, “A third of White conservatives refuse to get vaccinated — a refusal shown in polling and the real world,” Washington Post, July 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/06/third-white-conservatives-refuse-get-vaccine-refusal-shown-both-polling-real-world/; Dhruv Khullar, “One half of America is protected. The other is approaching a perilous moment in the pandemic,” New Yorker, June 23, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-delta-variant-is-a-grave-danger-to-the-unvaccinated
  5. [5]Ron Kampeas, “In latest Nazi analogy, Marjorie Taylor Greene invokes ‘medical brown shirts’ in decrying vaccination outreach,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 7, 2021, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/in-latest-nazi-analogy-marjorie-taylor-greene-invokes-medical-brown-shirts-in-decrying-vaccination-outreach
  6. [6]David Benfell, “No more excuses: Get vaccinated,” Not Housebroken, June 23, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/23/no-more-excuses-get-vaccinated/
  7. [7]Joel Achenbach, “New study on delta variant reveals importance of receiving both vaccine shots, highlights challenges posed by mutations,” Washington Post, July 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/delta-variant-vaccines/2021/07/08/05b1bc5e-df75-11eb-ae31-6b7c5c34f0d6_story.html; Maggie Fox, “Unvaccinated people are ‘variant factories,’ infectious diseases expert says,” CNN, July 3, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/health/unvaccinated-variant-factories/index.html; Natalie Grover, “New Covid vaccines needed globally within a year, say scientists,” Guardian, March 29, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/30/new-covid-vaccines-needed-within-year-say-scientists; Melissa Healy, “California’s coronavirus strain looks increasingly dangerous: ‘The devil is already here,’” Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-02-23/california-homegrown-coronavirus-strain-looks-increasingly-transmissible-and-dangerous; German Lopez, “Got the vaccine? Experts say you can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really,” Vox, May 11, 2021, https://www.vox.com/22423098/covid-19-vaccine-coronavirus-protection-herd-immunity; Berkeley Lovelace, Jr., “Pfizer says it is developing a Covid booster shot to target the highly transmissible delta variant,” CNBC, July 8, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/08/pfizer-says-it-is-developing-a-covid-booster-shot-to-target-the-highly-transmissible-delta-variant.html; Apoorva Mandavilli, “Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe,” New York Times, May 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/health/covid-herd-immunity-vaccine.html; Christopher Rowland, Emily Rauhala, and Miriam Berger, “Drug companies defend vaccine monopolies in face of global outcry,” Washington Post, March 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/20/covid-vaccine-global-shortages/; Lena H. Sun, “CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks outdoors, except in crowded settings,” Washington Post, April 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/27/cdc-guidance-masks-outdoors/; Zeynep Tufekci, “The Fourth Surge Is Upon Us. This Time, It’s Different,” Atlantic, March 30, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/03/fourth-surge-variant-vaccine/618463/
  8. [8]Talal Ansari and Jason Douglas, “Delta Covid-19 Variant Likely to Become Dominant in U.S., CDC Director Says,” Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/delta-covid-19-variant-likely-to-become-dominant-in-u-s-cdc-director-says-11624047575; Dhruv Khullar, “One half of America is protected. The other is approaching a perilous moment in the pandemic,” New Yorker, June 23, 2021, ttps://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/the-delta-variant-is-a-grave-danger-to-the-unvaccinated
  9. [9]Berkeley Lovelace, Jr., “Pfizer says it is developing a Covid booster shot to target the highly transmissible delta variant,” CNBC, July 8, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/08/pfizer-says-it-is-developing-a-covid-booster-shot-to-target-the-highly-transmissible-delta-variant.html
  10. [10]Whizy Kim, “Let’s Talk About The Real Reason Ubers Are So Expensive Now,” Refinery29, July 7, 2021, https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/07/10553126/why-uber-fares-expensive-profit-millennials
  11. [11]Rich Alton, “Basic economics means Uber and Lyft can’t rely on driverless cars to become profitable,” MarketWatch, August 12, 2019, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/basic-economics-means-uber-and-lyft-cant-rely-on-driverless-cars-to-become-profitable-2019-08-12; Matthew Beedham, “Uber: Is this the beginning of the end for the ride-hailing Goliath?” Next Web, March 2, 2021, https://thenextweb.com/shift/2021/03/02/uber-is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-the-ride-hailing-goliath/; Eliot Brown, “Uber Wants to Be the Uber of Everything—But Can It Make a Profit?” Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-wants-to-be-the-uber-of-everything-11556909866; Eliot Brown, “Lyft Raises 2019 Revenue Outlook and Sees Smaller Annual Loss,” Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lyfts-raises-2019-revenue-outlook-and-sees-smaller-annual-loss-11565208387; Eliot Brown, “Uber Posts Its Largest Quarterly Loss,” Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-posts-its-largest-ever-quarterly-loss-11565295373; Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber lays off 435 people across engineering and product teams,” TechCrunch, September 10, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/10/uber-lays-off-435-people-across-engineering-and-product-teams/; Richard Durant, “Uber’s Profitability Problem Is Structural,” Seeking Alpha, August 21, 2019, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4287055-ubers-profitability-problem-structural; Ryan Felton, “Uber Is Doomed,” Jalopnik, February 24, 2017, https://jalopnik.com/uber-is-doomed-1792634203; Laura Forman, “Uber, Lyft Face a No-Sharing Economy,” Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-lyft-face-a-no-sharing-economy-11603710180; Edward Helmore, “Will Uber ever make money? Day of reckoning looms for ride-sharing firm,” Guardian, August 4, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/04/uber-ride-share-lyft-ipo-earnings; Sebastian Herrera and Heather Somerville, “Uber Shares Hit New Low as Post-IPO Lockup Expires,” Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-shares-face-more-pressure-as-post-ipo-lockup-is-set-to-expire-11573041602″; Kirsten Korosec, “Uber in talks to sell ATG self-driving unit to Aurora,” TechCrunch, November 13, 2020, https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/13/uber-in-talks-to-sell-atg-self-driving-unit-to-aurora/; Timothy B. Lee, “Uber, losing billions, freezes engineering hires,” Ars Technica, August 9, 2019, https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/08/uber-freezes-engineering-hires-amid-mounting-losses/; Megan McArdle, “Uber can’t keep bleeding money, can it? It apparently thinks it can,” Washington Post, November 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/uber-cant-keep-bleeding-money-can-it-it-apparently-thinks-it-can/2019/11/05/4aa4fec0-000b-11ea-8501-2a7123a38c58_story.html; Tom McKay, “Surprising No One, Uber Continues to Hemorrhage Cash,” Gizmodo, November 4, 2019, https://gizmodo.com/surprising-no-one-uber-continues-to-hemorrhage-cash-1839625062; Patrick Howell O’Neill, “Just In Time For Its Big IPO, Uber Loses $1 Billion,” Gizmodo, April 26, 2019, https://gizmodo.com/just-in-time-for-its-big-ipo-uber-loses-1-billion-1834331980; Annie Palmer, “Uber falls to all-time low as investors grow more skeptical,” CNBC, August 12, 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/12/uber-stock-falls-to-all-time-low-as-investors-grow-more-skeptical.html;Preetika Rana, “Uber Ridership Fails to Recover as Pandemic Drives Another Big Loss,” Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ridership-fails-to-recover-as-pandemic-drives-another-big-loss-11596744389; Erik Sherman, “Yesterday, Shareholders Bailed on Uber. Today, Insiders Got Their Chance,” Fortune, November 6, 2019, https://fortune.com/2019/11/06/uber-stock-insiders-growth-profit-lockup-period/; Faiz Siddiqui and Greg Bensinger, “Uber’s first day of trading ended deep in the red over gig-economy fears,” Washington Post, May 10, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/10/uber-ipo/; Heather Somerville, “Uber Shedding About 350 Jobs to Shore Up Business,” Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-shedding-about-350-jobs-to-shore-up-business-11571092680; Heather Somerville, “Uber Booked Another Quarterly Loss as Revenue Climbed,” Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-booked-another-quarterly-loss-as-revenue-climbed-11572901549; Heather Somerville and Mark Maurer, “Uber Cuts More Than 400 Technical Jobs,” Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-cuts-more-than-400-technical-jobs-11568144111; Georgia Wells, “Uber Cites Tight Competition After Posting $1 Billion Loss,” Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-first-quarter-loss-tops-1-billion-11559246846; Stephen Wilmot, “Uber’s Long Road to Profits,” Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-long-road-to-profits-11566471068; Julia Carrie Wong, “Disgruntled drivers and ‘cultural challenges’: Uber admits to its biggest risk factors,” Guardian, April 12, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/11/uber-ipo-risk-factors; Michael Wursthorn, “Lyft Shares Rally on Hopes Price Increases Will Drive Profit,” Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lyft-shares-rally-on-hopes-price-increases-will-drive-profits-11566845457
  12. [12]Whizy Kim, “Let’s Talk About The Real Reason Ubers Are So Expensive Now,” Refinery29, July 7, 2021, https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/07/10553126/why-uber-fares-expensive-profit-millennials
  13. [13]Jessica Bursztynsky, “Uber CEO is ‘not happy’ with how long it’s taking to pick riders up or prices being charged,” CNBC, May 25, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/25/uber-ceo-is-not-happy-with-driver-supply-pricing.html; Laura Forman, “Uber and Lyft Need a Sharper Turn,” Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-and-lyft-need-a-sharper-turn-11618311794; Michael Hiltzik, “Uber reneges on the ‘flexibility’ it gave drivers to win their support for Prop. 22,” Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-05-28/uber-flexibility-prop-22; Aarian Marshall, “Gig Companies Fear a Worker Shortage, Despite a Recession,” Wired, March 5, 2021, https://www.wired.com/story/gig-companies-fear-worker-shortage-despite-recession/; Mariella Moon, “Uber and Lyft rides are pricier due to a lack of drivers (and the waits are longer, too),” Engadget, June 1, 2021, https://www.engadget.com/uber-lyft-surge-pricing-lack-of-drivers-035835230.html; Edward Ongweso, Jr., “Uber and Lyft Can’t Find Drivers Because Gig Work Sucks,” Vice, July 8, 2021, https://www.vice.com/en/article/7kvej4/uber-and-lyft-cant-find-drivers-because-gig-work-sucks; Rida Qadri and Alexandra Mateescu, “Uber and Lyft: woo drivers with stable pay, not short-term honeypots,” Guardian, June 20, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/20/gig-economy-companies-uber-lyft-drivers-pandemic; Preetika Rana, “Uber, Lyft Sweeten Job Perks Amid Driver Shortage, Lofty Fares,” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-lyft-sweeten-job-perks-amid-driver-shortage-lofty-fares-11625223601; Faiz Siddiqui, “Where have all the Uber drivers gone?” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/05/07/uber-lyft-drivers/; Faiz Siddiqui, “You may be paying more for Uber, but drivers aren’t getting their cut of the fare hike,” Washington Post, June 9, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/06/09/uber-lyft-drivers-price-hike/; Alissa Walker, “Why Your Uber Ride Is Suddenly Costing a Fortune,” New York, June 4, 2021, https://www.curbed.com/2021/06/uber-lyft-expensive-new-york-city.html

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