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There are about a thousand lessons to be learned from a flawed MIT study on Uber drivers supposedly making $3.37 per hour; on NPR’s eagerness to run unquestioning a story that raised blaring questions; and of course on AOC’s just boundless font of knee-jerk ignorance.
The lack of common sense and the most basic understandings of economics in the media and in Congress is a sight to behold — if you have a strong stomach.
NPR - Story - Uber - Lyft - Drivers
First, NPR ran a story entitled “Uber, Lyft Drivers Earning A Median Profit Of $3.37 Per Hour, Study Says” in which it explained the study by a trio of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When I first saw the number, it was clear something was amiss. But then NPR led with this:
“The vast majority of Uber and Lyft drivers are earning less than minimum wage and almost a third of them are actually losing money by driving, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
Sense - Half - Wage - Work - Loss
Well that makes no sense. Who would work for half of minimum wage, or even work for a loss? The answer, obviously, is no one. If NPR reporters grasped the free market and voluntary exchange of time and talents for money — capitalism — they would have seen red flags everywhere. But they just ran with the story.
“A working paper by Stephen M. Zoepf, Stella Chen, Paa Adu and Gonzalo Pozo at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research says the median pretax profit earned from driving is $3.37 per hour after taking expenses into account. Seventy-four percent of drivers earn less than their state’s minimum wage, the researchers say. Thirty percent of drivers “are actually losing money once vehicle expenses are included,” the authors found.”
Authors - Fact
That’s just so declaratory. “The authors found,” as though it is fact. But read...
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