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Plain Talk: Uber IPO Classic case of rich get richer Dave Zweifel



Of course, there is no return now. The market has spoken, and shipping companies like Uber and Lyft are here to stay.

But there have been thousands of middle-class pay and benefit jobs that taxi drivers, especially in the big cities, have been holding down since Advent of the car.

Some of it was their fault. Cab companies have always been notoriously bad in the PR department. Customers were not always treated well and made sure that cabs were clean and never odorless at the top of the list. And they were notoriously slow to keep up with the times. For example, how many years did they go before accepting credit cards that were already ubiquitous everywhere else?

But in this era of the ever-growing pay gap in America, as the rich become richer and poorer poorer, Ubers and lies in the world give us another lesson on why that is so.

Next month, Uber will make an initial public offering ̵

1; or IPO, as Wall Street calls them.

The bright young technicians at the top of the company will get away millionaires and a few billion, and a whole lot of wall street money manipulators will cash in. After the IPO, the ride-sharing outfit that has flouted local laws and regulations to give itself an unfair advantage over cabs is expected to be worth $ 100 billion.

Among the lucky winners will be Uber's founders (one of them, the infamous Travis Kalanick, already raised $ 1.4 billion by selling one-third of his shares when he was forced out of the management), the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, the public investment fund in Saudi Arabia, mutual fund associations and other venture capitalists.

Not so fortunate are the thousands of Uber drivers who use their private cars to retrieve and get rid of people who once used taxis and then share

Although the most outdated finances should agree that is not reasonable.

If Union representatives of drivers of old people have health insurance and pensions, Uber drivers are classified as "independent contractors". They get no benefits, and every April 15, they have to pay taxes on the money they have earned as there is no restraint to make it less painful.

In a business segment story earlier this week, the New York Times reported on this inconsistently by interviewing a number of uber drivers starting to feel abandoned.

Among them was a driver who has been with Uber since it was founded in 2012. He has made more than 25,000 trips these years. Peter Ashlock's Nissan Altima has 218,000 miles on it. His passengers say the paper gives him 4.93 out of five stars. Yet his adjusted gross income for 2018, his best yet, was about $ 40,000. He had to maximize his credit card for car repair, and he had to come up with $ 5,000 to pay tax on April 15.

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A former driver himself, he says that Uber's greatest innovation, which he can tell, causes drivers to pay overhead instead of businesses.

Ashlock told Times that he is proud of his high rating from his

His favorite search of his passengers?

"Dude ran like a cab driver."

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com, 608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.

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