Rideshare companies have created tools that enable drivers to earn money on their own terms. Millions of people have increased their standard of living and, with it, their happiness, self-esteem, and sense of control over their lives. Because of rideshare platforms, it is easier for these people to support themselves and their families and to save for the future. Every day, hundreds of thousands of drivers take advantage of this value as they log on to earn.

Despite this, rideshare companies are under attack by labor unions and politicians who claim that they exploit drivers. Recently, this campaign against rideshare companies entered the legal system and now threatens rideshare operations in California. What gave rise to these ideas, and how do their proponents justify them? . . .


1. Matt McFarland, “Uber’s Remarkable Growth Could End the Era of Poorly Paid Cab Drivers,” Washington Post, May 27, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/05/27/ubers-remarkable-growth-could-end-the-era-of-poorly-paid-cab-drivers/; Jillian D’Onfro, “Uber Says Its Drivers Are Making $75,000–$90,000 a Year,” Business Insider, May 27, 2014, https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-drivers-salary-90000-2014-5.

2. Ankita Rao, “Uber Was Designed to Exploit Drivers,” Vice, May 8, 2019, https://www.vice.com/en/article/3k3kdn/uber-was-designed-to-exploit-drivers.

3. Greg Bensinger, “Uber and Lyft Just Can’t Stop Flouting the Law,” New York Times, April 19, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/19/opinion/uber-lyft-shutting-down-california.html.

4. Suhauna Hussain, “California Labor Commissioner Sues Uber and Lyft, Alleging Wage Theft,” Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2020-08-05/california-labor-commissioner-sues-uber-lyft-for-wage-theft.

5. “Labor Commissioner Sues Uber/Lyft,” Rideshare Drivers United, August 5, 2020, https://drivers-united.org/p/labor-commissioner-sues-uber-lyft-for-wage-claims.

6. Angel Au-Yeung, “Uber Drivers Stage Protest outside Uber CEO’s House in San Francisco,” Forbes, June 24, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2020/06/24/uber-drivers-stage-protest-outside-uber-ceos-house-in-san-francisco/#26d61c4570d6.

7. Nicole Karlis, “Uber Drivers Protest in Front of CEO’s Home, Urge Him to Stop Funding Anti-Worker Ballot Measure,” Salon, June 25, 2020, https://www.salon.com/2020/06/25/uber-drivers-protest-in-front-of-ceos-home-urge-him-to-stop-funding-anti-worker-ballot-measure/.

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