Uber has been legally enjoined by the courts from operating in Nevada while the Legislature gets a chance to decide what to do with it. Meanwhile, two articles in the Nation magazine suggest that Uber itself—the corporation, not the drivers—is fat that can be trimmed away.
The drivers must pay for their own cars, which is nearly the entire value of the company, so why do they need Uber? the magazine asks.
“Almost all of the actual capital is already owned by the workers, in the form of cars that they pay for and maintain themselves,” the magazine reported. “And these workers labor individually, doing the same tasks, so there's no need for a management class to control their daily operations. The capital owners maintain the phone app, but app technology isn't the major cost, and it's getting cheaper and easier by the day.”
One thing the corporation does do is take 20 percent of the drivers' earnings. Otherwise, in contrast to its claims of being innovative, it acts much like any other corporation—“They are fighting regulators and hiring lobbyists in order to bring down the incumbent taxi-medallion business.”
Then there's Uber's use of an old National Rifle Association tactic. The Wall Street Journal reports that in Washington, D.C., the corporation dealt with regulators by calling on internet denizens to drown the regulators in emails and tweets, which the obedient Uber buffs did, a technique that also worked in Virginia where the governor and other officials collapsed before the flood and gave Uber its way.
In that state the corporation hired four different lobbying firms. In Nevada its lobbyists are Scott Bensing, Chelsea Capurro, Tia Dietz, John Griffin, Josh Griffin, Matthew Griffin, Erik Jimenez and Mary Sarah Kinner.
And like airlines, whose ticket prices fluctuate like crazy, Uber has something called “surge” pricing. Prices can change at any time, depending on availability of drivers and the degree of demand.