Uber has gotten a lot of “mileage” as a proponent of the “sharing economy” claiming that it’s drivers are not Uber employees but independent business people who it is helping by connecting them and their cars with people who need rides. Now that Uber has lured 1.7 million people into driving for them they’re apparently planning on replacing them with self-driving cars. Since they claim that the people being replaced by automation aren’t their employees but “free agents” in the “sharing economy” they will not be entitled to severance pay or unemployment benefits. In the “Uber alles” version of the “sharing economy” Uber gets the entire share.
Its ironic that the only employee in Herman Melville’s 1853 short story Bartleby the Scrivener who could not be replaced by a computer is title character, Bartleby, whose famous reply to his boss whenever he was asked to work was “I would prefer not to.”
As a real estate “developer” Donald Trump bragged about his ability to get investors and lenders to put up most of the money and take most of the risk on a deal while he got most of the rewards. As Trump put it on September 20, 2016 “It’s called OPM. I do it all the time in business. It’s called other people’s money. There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money because it takes the risk—you get a good chunk out of it and it takes the risk.” The reality is that Trump’s record with OPM has been so bad that most lenders and investors will no longer give him their money. As Timothy L. O'Brien, a Trump biographer put it, he has become a “human shingle” who is paid to hang his name on other people’s buildings. Substitute U.S. Citizens (the majority against their will according to the popular vote) for OPM and you’ll know what kind of “deal” we’re in with President Trump.
SUICIDE BY VOTE
Donald Trump and those in the Republican Party leadership who support him have just pushed millions of people toward suicide. I’m not talking about the millions who are deeply depressed by his election as president but the many white working class people over age forty-five that voted for him. According to recent research this the same demographic group that is already experiencing a dramatic increase in death rates, an increase that it is in sharp contrast to the decreasing death rate among this same demographic group in other wealthy countries. The researchers, Nobel Prize winner Angus Deacon and his wife and fellow scientist, Anne Case “concluded” in their study, according to the New York Times in a story on November 2, 2015, “that the big killers were not heart disease or diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and affliction stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids". Rather than promoting policies and approaches that address the underlying causes and end this epidemic, Trump and his supporters in the GOP leadership, pushed them to take a suicide drug mixed from fear, divisiveness and hatred. The result from taking this delusional drug was that members of this group voted for policies and practices promoted by Trump and co-pushers that benefit the "fat cats" (Trump is technically obese) and destroy those that would actually help them. The heady rush of fantasy from this lethal concoction will be followed by the hard and devastating crash of reality and fuel the epidemic of direct and indirect suicides among older, working class white people. Their deaths will be written off as being caused by their personal weakness and failure and they’ll be buried in the cemetery of quiet desperation. (TW)