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February 26, 2014

UBER caught keeping drivers off the road to increase fares

On Valentine's Day Uber prevented some of their contractors from working just so they could jack up the rates. This is the opposite of what Uber has always claimed it does. Uber Forced Driver Shortage to Boost Surge Pricing
The news comes by way of a San Diego Uber user, whose driver read aloud a message he'd received from the transit startup: This Valentines day, while traveling through San Diego in an Uber car, Lane heard something that disturbed him. "The driver had a Ford Sync system, and it read his text messages out loud." The message, which came wedged between numerous texts about a promotion for free roses, said, "UberX is very close to SURGE. It's Valentine's Day! People will be out all night and we didn't activate new drivers to make earnings even higher this weekend." Emphasis added. It can't be overstated: this is the exact opposite of what Uber says it tries to do, which is boost driver supply accordingly when demand increases. Here, we have a case of Uber suppressing driver supply to exploit increased demand. Kalanick screams the gospel of unfettered market forces, and yet his company is now caught manipulating that very market, like the sort of Red Soviet bogeyman you imagine haunting his cashmere-lined dreams.

February 14, 2014

The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing Incredible Corruption Inside PBS

PBS is public broadcasting. It has no business takes money from a billionaire sociopath to attack public pensions. This asshole funded a TWO-YEAR program to discredit pensions. Where did he get his money? ENRON, so clearly he speaks from an honest position of moral authority. The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the secret corruption inside PBS’s news division | PandoDaily
On December 18th, the Public Broadcasting Service’s flagship station WNET issued a press release announcing the launch of a new two-year news series entitled “The Pension Peril.” The series, promoting cuts to public employee pensions, is airing on hundreds of PBS outlets all over the nation. It has been presented as objective news on major PBS programs including the PBS News Hour. However, neither the WNET press release nor the broadcasted segments explicitly disclosed who is financing the series. Pando has exclusively confirmed that “The Pension Peril” is secretly funded by former Enron trader John Arnold, a billionaire political powerbroker who is actively trying to shape the very pension policy that the series claims to be dispassionately covering. In recent years, Arnold has been using massive contributions to politicians, Super PACs, ballot initiative efforts, think tanks and local front groups to finance a nationwide political campaign aimed at slashing public employees’ retirement benefits. His foundation which backs his efforts employs top Republican political operatives, including the former chief of staff to GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey (TX). According to its own promotional materials, the Arnold Foundation is pushing lawmakers in states across the country “to stop promising a (retirement) benefit” to public employees. Despite Arnold’s pension-slashing activism and his foundation’s ties to partisan politics, Leila Walsh, a spokesperson for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), told Pando that PBS officials were not hesitant to work with them, even though PBS’s own very clear rules prohibit such blatant conflicts. (note: the term “PBS officials” refers interchangeably to both PBS officials and officials from PBS flagship affiliate WNET who were acting on behalf of the entire PBS system).

Jerky billionaire thinks rich people should get more votes

When he says that poor people don't pay taxes he is either lying or stupid. Everyone pays sales taxes, gas taxes, and a host of other taxes. This guy is the worst. How One Billionaire's Idea To Give Rich People More Votes Is Already In The Works | ThinkProgress
Asked for an idea that could “change the world” by FORTUNE’s Adam Lashinsky, billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins told an audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Thursday that Americans shouldn’t be able to vote unless they pay taxes and that the wealthy should have more votes. “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said. “But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?” Watch the full interview here. The audience laughed at the idea, though CNN Money notes that the billionaire did not indicate that he was joking. Afterwards, he suggested that he was being purposely controversial, “I intended to be outrageous, and it was,” he said, adding that the comments “make you more angry than my letter to the Wall Street Journal.” Last month, Perkins used a Holocaust analogy to describe his concerns for the safety of the top 1 percent of income earners, writing, “I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’”