Thinking about picking up Uber or Lyft as a side job? Well, think again: an MIT study finds that Uber and Lyft drivers, once they're done paying all the costs like gas and insurance and repairs that Uber and Lyft don't pay, make a median income of $3.37 an hour. The paper's co-author says "(t)his business model is not currently sustainable," though perhaps he's too polite to say that this model doesn't actually aim to sustain itself per se, but rather aims to redistribute income upward from workers to executives and shareholders.
Ho hum, American corporations spend over $200 billion in stock buybacks over the last two months. But the President's votaries will go to the polls with BUT TEH THOUZANDZ DOLLARZ BONUZEZ!!!!! on their minds, even though some of them would react badly to the news that corporations mainly use their big tax cuts to consolidate their power so that they're less accountable to their shareholders, of whom there are generally many fewer after a stock buyback.
The incomparable Michael Hiltzik notes that the current Administration will spend $33 billion more next year to cover almost nine million fewer Americans, which might strike fiscal conservatives, if any remain, as unconscionably stupid. In a related note, the Genius-in-Chief told the CPAC crowd that his Administration is bringing out "tremendous plans" "at a fraction of the cost that are much better than Obamacare," though he's actually bringing out expanded short-term plans that are cheap because they cover almost nothing -- and siphon off younger, healthier folk from the bigger pools, which makes their health care more expensive. Why does our President tell us cheaper equals better? Because that's how he's made money his whole life.
The equally-incomparable David Dayen reminds us that Republicans and Democrats can't agree on gun control in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting, but can "come together" on gutting financial regulations. Well, that's what "bipartisanship" is all about, after all: Democrats and Republicans coming together to give Republicans whatever they want. Over two-thirds of the biggest banks in America will benefit from "loosened" regulations, with the help of at least three Democrat Senators up for re-election in 2018; why folks like Jon Tester don't figure that "bucking the party" and "bucking the banksters" could actually be the same thing I'll never understand.
Finally, a Project on Government Oversight report finds that our government has been routinely screwing Americans out of royalties when corporations drill for oil and gas on public lands. Our government used to charge about $40 in royalties for ever dollar they do now; how would you feel if that was your money? Oh, wait: it is your money. One of the tricks they use, apparently, is to declare a certain tract of land or oceanfloor "non-viable," and then act all surprised, I guess, when some low-bidding corporation drills the crap out of it and makes a killing. They say if we charge what it's worth we'll kill jobs, but it won't -- it'll only deprive a few corporate executives of some unearned money. Besides, we're the boss here.