The absurdity of Chicago’s rally of Uber & Lyft drivers

Today, drivers for Lyft and Uber are planning a rally to protest their low “wages” and the abuse some have taken while driving. It is absurd because they are all independent contractors and have the option to leave and do something else.

One female driver said she was tired of being “hit on” by riders. Another driver complains that he is only making a net profit of between $10-12 an hour. Then stop driving and do something else. It’s a far better idea than standing around, spending hours protesting for no money when you could be spending those protesting hours finding another gig or driving.

Perhaps these disgruntled drivers could change their mindset from that of an employee to that of a business owner. This can be seen when a driver describes the revenue and profit he or she generates as “wages.” When I have taken rides with Lyft and Uber, I can tell within a minute or two if the driver is thinking like an entrepreneur or an employee. Almost universally, the experience with the entrepreneurial thinking driver is far better than those who think as an employee.

 

This quarter I have set myself a goal of helping 100 people earn $100,000 in 2019

This quarter I have set myself a goal of helping 100 people earn $100,000 in 2019. Now, while many may scoff at such a goal, it is doable and even might I say, likely. Are you going to be one of the 100? For some I know, $100,000 would be a life changer while others I know, the $100,000 would be a nice addition but nothing too remarkable. Whichever group you are in, you are welcome to join my team to make this come to fruition for you. This is NOT a lottery, this is a business which requires work and dedication to earn honest money.
 
Some of my business background is being a franchisor, so in deciding which vehicle I could use to propel this goal forward it seems like this is the best business model for rapid growth. The only issue with my particular franchise company is that the average investment is around $300,000 — an amount unattainable by most people. So, similar to franchising is direct selling which has many of aspects to franchising, but with a much lower threshold initial investment. This is a business model that I have also been involved, which has been very good to me in the past. As with any new business, participants will need to work hard and follow a proven system to succeed; and though there are no guarantees, I genuinely believe we can have a winning team of 100 people, each earning over $100,000 next year.
 
In my search for which company to align myself with, I chose the long-standing and well-respected company Shaklee.
 
Through my Blue Shark Health entity, I am seeking 100 people devoted to growing an international business — your own international business. We will show you exactly what to do based on a proven success model. Do not deviate from this model and we will all benefit, very similar to a typical franchise business model.
 
We are operating in the United States as well as several countries around the world. Joining now is ideal for your future growth and your future earnings.
 
So, I ask that you take a leap of faith by joining my team TODAY so that by the close of this year, your bank account is greater, the vacations you take (some fully paid for by Shaklee) are in the very best locations on Earth, and you ease the stress associated with NOT HAVING ENOUGH MONEY.
 
Lastly, if you think earning $100,000 is too lofty, that perhaps you’ve never earned that much in any year, then, even though we’ll help you get there, set your goal at $50,000, because I know if you dedicate yourself, you can do that! JOIN NOW to make 2019, your best year ever.
 

PERFECT TIMING TO BE YOUR OWN BOSS!

job

As they say, timing is everything. And the timing for Vasayo simply could not be better—for several reasons.

  1. Direct Sales Exploding. Building a home-based business has never been more mainstream or more lucrative. In fact, the number of people involved in home-based direct sales rose more than 11% last year, with more than 20 million Americans participating.
  2. Modern Technologies. With the surge in social media and other technologies, sharing from your home offers flexibility and potential like never before.
  3. Early Entry. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can take advantage of Vasayo’s powerful Rewards Plan.
  4. Leadership and Vision. Finally, Dallin’s proven track record, disruptive product technologies, and vision for Vasayo’s future tie it all together to create the perfect timing.

15977218_1071566372971988_1012912832795942481_n.jpg

 

A word about GMOs – based on science

The battle of genetically modified foods is being waged in a mire of confusion and bad science. Scare stories over “frankenfoods” and “mutant crops” have insidiously manipulated the framing of the debate into a crisis over the definition of “natural”, away from the far more pertinent question of how to combat malnutrition and promote food sustainability across the globe.

But today, science has hit back. The Royal Society, a UK organisation dedicated to the promotion of science, has published a 40-page report on GM plants, answering 18 common questions and tackling every pseudoscientific claim out there.

And they have a lot of misconceptions to work with. In the introduction, Royal Society President Venki Ramakrishnan notes that in the UK half the population do not feel well informed about GM crops, while 6 percent have never heard of them. He goes on to say:

“GM is a contentious subject and not all public discussion has been informed by independent scientific evidence. This discussion has taken place against a backdrop of the debate about how we ensure that we have sufficient food, grown in as sustainable a way as possible, to feed the world’s growing population. Our goal with this project is to present the scientific evidence in an accessible way.”

In the interest of promoting science, technology and progress, here are five questions answered in the report that dispel the most damaging myths about GM foods.

Is it safe to eat GM crops?

This is, of course, the main concern about GM foods. The answer is a resounding yes.

There is no evidence that a crop is dangerous to eat just because it is GM. There could be risks associated with the specific new gene introduced, which is why each crop with a new characteristic introduced by GM is subject to close scrutiny. Since the first widespread commercialization of GM produce 18 years ago there has been no evidence of ill effects linked to the consumption of any approved GM crop. …

All reliable evidence produced to date shows that currently available GM food is at least as safe to eat as non-GM food.

Despite this unambiguous answer, there will undoubtedly be GM skeptics who still prefer to take the “better safe than sorry” approach. But such an attitude has consequences. 777 million people in developing countries are undernourished. The UN estimated in 2009 that world food production will have to double by 2050 to cope with population growth. Environmental changes, pest infestations and highly resistant strains of bacteria threaten global food production. GM crops can help address all of these issues. Given the risks we are facing, surely the question should be: is it safe not to eat GM foods?

Which genes have been introduced into GM crops so far and why?

GM technologies have been used to help combat some of the challenges outlined above. Specifically, the report highlights the development of crops that are resistant to herbicides, insects, and viruses. Resilient crops mean higher yields, but they also benefit the environment. In particular, crops modified with a gene for Bt toxins, which are naturally toxic for certain insects, have reduced the reliance on traditional insecticides.

Over the last 20 years, it is estimated that the application of 450,000 tons of insecticide has been avoided due to the use of Bt toxin genes in crops.

The environmentalists who are prominent in the war against GM crops need to rethink their priorities.

Have GM crops caused damage to the environment?

This question gets to the heart of why we are embroiled in a fight about GM crops at all. Over the past twenty years, the pushback against GM foods has mainly come from the environmentalists, in particular Greenpeace. William Saletan at Slate has documented the environmental lobby’s assault on GM technologies, from issuing fraudulent scare stories and commissioning factually inaccurate papers, to blocking scientific trials and demanding mandatory labelling of genetically engineered foods.

While the Royal Society report is unlikely to change the minds of die-hard GM warriors, it outlines how GM crops pose no greater risk to the environment than non-GM crops. Issues surrounding the overuse of herbicides and damage to biodiversity are genuine concerns about modern farming, but they are in no way specific to GM crops. In fact, in some circumstances the GM solution to a farming problem is environmentally superior to the non-GM alternative, such as the aforementioned use of the Bt toxin gene.

It is ironic and sad that the green lobbyists, in their rush to attack GM crops in principle, have hindered progress that can lead to more efficient, less environmentally damaging farming methods, and even mitigate climate change.

How are GM crops regulated?

The regulations surrounding the development of GM crops in the UK are exceedingly tight. The report details exactly what regulatory hoops developers need to jump through before crops can be sold, which include a full environmental assessment.

What becomes immediately clear is the stark contrast between the regulatory landscapes in the EU and the US.

Since 1992, the EU has approved 2404 experimental GM field trials for research. In comparison, over the same time there have been 18,381 GM trials for research in the USA. In crops for commercial use, there is only one GM crop, an insect resistant maize variety, that is grown commercially in the EU and no GM crops have yet been approved for human consumption as fresh fruit or vegetable.

In comparison there have been 117 commercial releases in the USA since 1992 and in other countries outside Europe.

The EU is lagging painfully behind the rest of the world when it comes to the development of GM crops. (CapX has already documented how EU policy on GM foods is having a devastating effect on African farmers.) While it is important to ensure new food technology is safe, it is obvious that the precautionary over-regulation of GM crops in the EU far outweighs the risk.

Could eating GM food have an effect on my genes?

No. Not at all. In no way, shape or form. As any GCSE science student will tell you, our own genetic makeup is determined before we are born. Putting food that contains DNA in your body will not transfer their properties to your own genes. Regardless, almost all food contains genes, and we eat DNA from plants and animals every day.

The fact that this question was even included in the report shows the sheer scale of the misinformation surrounding GM food. The green lobby has succeeded in branding a technology that has the potential to alleviate world hunger as unnatural and sinister, akin to science fiction horror stories.

This view is not just misguided, it is downright dangerous. We have the tools to lift millions of people out of starvation and sustain food production over the next century, but thanks to these spurious scare tactics, we are not using them. For too long, politicians and journalists have let environmentalists get away with defamatory pseudoscience. Today, science is fighting back.

Cross-posted from CapX.

Rachel Cunliffe


Rachel Cunliffe

Rachel Cunliffe is the Deputy Editor of CapX.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Palm Beach Libertarians help Delray tattoo shop owner fight city hall and win

20160605_134125.jpg
Rebecca Loveless, the owner of Tradition Tatoo, gives Paul Collinson his first tattoo.

 

 

Last night, Tradition Tattoo shop owner Rebecca Loveless had a quasi-judicial hearing with the Delray Beach City Commission regarding whether she could move her Boca Raton tattoo salon to the City of Delray Beach. She won! For your reference, I wrote an article on the issue this past Monday. Many members of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County (LPPalmBeach) both wrote the city commission and appeared at last night’s hearing to support Loveless and her small business effort. Although I was the only Libertarian who spoke in favor of allowing Loveless to open, several members showed up to show their support, including (but not limited to) LPPalmBeach Chair Shane George, Vice-Chair Marc Tancer, and Treasurer Larry Stone. No one at the meeting spoke out against Tradition Tattoo. But don’t get too excited, as city commissioners didn’t want Delray residents to have too much freedom because they restricted Loveless to only doing tattoos, no piercings allowed!

Loveless, who lives in Delray Beach, had signed a lease for a space in the south end of Delray after meeting with Delray’s planning and zoning earlier this year who recommended she open up shop there. So, she signed a lease and had to stop renovations once some members had concerns about Delray having its first tattoo shop. Loveless has now been paying rent on both spaces, even though the Delray location has remained empty. The city commission refused to give her final approval even though there was nothing restricting a tattoo shop from opening in the city. No one spoke against the tattoo shop from opening and ultimately, last night, all the city commissioners did the right thing by voting in favor of Loveless. After stating earlier that the case would be determined based on fact and not the character of tattoos or tattoo recipients, the mayor finished the quasi-judicial hearing with a long list of derogatory statements concerning tattoo shops and their effect on surrounding neighborhoods. A video of last night’s meeting can be found here: http://delraybeach.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=938

Unfortunately, it was only a half win for Libertarians as, even though city commissioners voted to permit Loveless to open Tradition Tattoo in Delray Beach, last night they voted on at least a 90-day moratorium of future tattoo shops from opening until the city can update their zoning regulations as they pertain to tattoo shops (Reso 26-16 Zoning in Progress ResolutionTattooStudio (1)-Delray). As mentioned earlier, there is nothing in the city’s code that restrict a tattoo shop from operating in the city limits.

Libertarians are not for or against tattoo shops and are free marketers when it comes to individuals transacting voluntary business with others. This is especially true in Loveless’ case  because her business has the added benefit of artistic expression which is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Uber and Lyft Have Shuttered Their Services in Austin — Fortune

On-demand ride companies Uber and Lyft suspended their services in Austin, Texas, on Monday after a stinging loss in a weekend vote where they had spent heavily to repeal a city ordinance requiring them to conduct fingerprint background checks for their drivers. The defeat in Austin could encourage other cities to back the fingerprint-based criminal…

via Uber and Lyft Have Shuttered Their Services in Austin — Fortune

Primary Advocate Groups Will Be At International Canna Pro Expo

steve-edmonds
Steve Edmonds supports hemp and cannabis legalization and is running for Florida House in District 28.

The International Canna Pro Expo will be taking place from October 2 – 4, 2015, at Caribe Royal All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center. The organizers for the event are excited to announce that it will be open to the public, not just those in the medical field, and the upcoming event will host the 3 primary advocate groups driving petitions in the state of Florida on medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.  These are as follows:  United for Care, Florida CAN and Regulate Florida.

Candidate for State House of Representatives District 28  Steve Edmonds stated,  “I am so encouraged by the citizen engagement regarding cannabis. There are multiple petitions calling for the medical or recreational availability. I think it would be an outstanding message to send to  Tallahassee and our political leaders that the citizens of the state  want control of their own bodies. The more that make the ballot, the  stronger our movement is.”

For many years, marijuana has been considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. As such, opportunities for study in the United States have been severely limited. Now, changing laws and eager medical professionals have contributed to a significant amount of research in recent years that will help to incorporate the countless benefits of the herb into modern medicine.

This event will focus on bringing together skilled professionals within the business and medical fields. It’s also expected that they will discuss the implications and implementations of medical marijuana. The agenda includes topics ranging from PTSD, cancer, anxiety disorders, and even movement disorders.

Attendees can expect to hear testimonies from patients that benefit by medical marijuana. Providers, which have studied the many positive effects of marijuana within the health occupations industry, will grace those in attendance with a great deal of information and experience. There will also be ample time for networking opportunities. More information can be found at http://InternationalCannaProExpo.com .

The International Canna Pro Expo offers a platform where health care and business professionals, patients, and the general public can convene to network and learn about the science of medical cannabis.

My two days as a Lyft driver

lyft

Some who know me well, know I like to do “experiments” and experience things a bit out of the ordinary. For instance, since it has become mainstream to have a smartphone, I went almost all summer with a “dumb” phone — no camera, no apps. It was both liberating and occasionally frustrating. I have since come to my senses and am again using a smartphone.

As part of another experiment, this past Friday, September 11, 2015, I was approved to become a Lyft driver. If you are not familiar with Lyft, it is very similar to Uber, but a bit more casual and IMO, fun. If you do not know what Uber is, when even my mother knows what it is, then I can only assume you are not from this Earth, in which case, this post will be meaningless. This past summer, all around good guy Earl Stewart of Earl Stewart Toyota gave me the idea, as he had become an Uber driver. As well, I have written extensively about the regulations facing ride share tech companies like Lyft and Uber for some time, even including a couple of posts here on this blog. So, I thought I would immerse myself in this new age of sharing rides which has the taxi companies all up in a huff. And just to qualm any fears, I did not drive around town with a large pink mustache attached to the grill of my BMW.

Uber and Lyft drivers come from all walks of life, some are retired, some are millionaires looking for interesting experiences, some are young people trying to get by and some are your typical “soccer moms” who are looking to earn a little extra money for the family. Heck, even politicians  have become Uber drivers.

I started off early Saturday morning and my Lyft ride was this person’s first Lyft – so we already had something in common since he was my first Lyft. What a great guy — interesting and fun. I picked him up on A1A as he was leaving his girlfriend’s place and needed a Lyft to his office. We had a great conversation on the ride to West Palm Beach. My next Lyft was for a great young guy, in college for sports medicine and aspring to become a sports doctor and open a sports management company in the future. He was leaving an overnight shift and needed a Lyft home — super interesting guy.Another was taking a young guy to work in Boynton Beach who had come to Florida by way of San Diego following a girl. According to him, it was a big mistake as he was now “stuck” in South Florida without the girl and without his prior job, which he loved — working on a sports fishing boat.  My last Lyft of the day (I was only on the driver platform for two hours) was driving a nice young lady to her work in the West Palm Beach area.

All and all, though I was only out two hours, I derived this could be a good way for someone needing some extra cash, or someone to do this full time. I have calculated I would net $13 per hour after car expenses, which is more than many low-wage Palm Beachers make. If they had a quality car, like one from Earl Stewart Toyota (shameless plug, even though I have no financial connection to the company), they could do alright. Admittingly, I did not drive during the reportedly more lucrative times (at night during the weekends and special events) so the $ per hour number could rise substantially if drivers drove during those times. One friend said he made over $1,000 driving on a recent Friday and Saturday night.

I went out Sunday, intermittingly — in the morning for a time, mid-day, and for an hour later in the afternoon. I had six Lyfts which were mostly people going to or from work and one Lyft was from a group of people leaving the beach. I ended the weekend doing ten Lyfts and getting a 5 out of 5 rating from those who rode with me.

What I discovered in this admittingly limited window into the ridesharing world, is that most people using Lyft (and I assume all ridesharing companies) are hardworking, honest people just looking to get ahead in this world. It was inspiring, frankly.

I do not know how much more Lyfting I will do, but overall it was fun and interesting. As you can also guess, I feel the regulation stranglehold our elected officials are trying to use to ruin the future of transportation is appalling. Those calling for more regulation are doing so at the behest of the old, traditional cab companies, which according to everyone I’ve asked, offer far worse service than either Lyft or Uber. Rather than scale up their businesses, they are attempting to use the strong arm of the government to shut down their competition. Commissioners say they are doing it in the name of “safety” but NOT ONE person has come forward to offer ANY evidence Lyft or Uber are any less safe than traditional taxi companies and there is even mounting evidence that companies like Lyft and Uber are making things SAFER on the roads. Heck, even MAAD has come out in support of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Bureaucrats have temporarily succeeded in beating down the high-tech newcomers in Broward County where Lyft and Uber are  no longer permitted by the county government to pick up rides and the county is far worse off for doing so. Fortunately, Broward County Commissioners are meeting this month to fix what they screwed up due to high demand from citizens who are fans of both Uber and Lyft.

One last thing, if you want to try Lyft, use this link to get a free $20 first ride!

IF you think you may want to become a driver, use this link to get a BONUS!

BROWARD UPDATE: Since this blog post, Lyft and Uber are legally back in Broward County with the added ability to pick up and drop off and the Fort Lauderdale Airport and the cruise port.

GENERAL UPDATE: I will be doing another Lyft experiment the week of November 9, 2015, driving for 40+ hours to see what it is like full-time. What can I make financially? Will I continue to enjoy it or will it seem more like a job? Find out the following week when I post here on my blog. Follow this blog to find out!

Americans work to reverse Uber's ban on firearms

uber-driver

Last week we learned that Uber was going to begin prohibiting drivers and customers from carrying legal weapons in Uber vehicles. Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, has a similar policy. Customers have been vocal about their displeasure with the company’s decision and a petition was started online hoping to reverse the ban.

The ban is a clear violation of the driver’s right to carry as the driver is using their own car, not Uber’s car. It also makes the driver less safe from a potential carjacking, robbery or assault. It also makes those seeking a ride via Uber’s app vulnerable as they will no longer be able to carry their firearm, even though they would otherwise it would be legal to do so. Uber classifies their drivers as “independent contractors,” not employees. So Uber does not have the right to prohibit one’s constitutional right of self-defense and ability to bear arms.

Licensed permit-holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens in the country and have undergone a very extensive background check. Much more extensive than Uber’s own background check.  Prohibiting weapons doesn’t make anyone safe, except the criminals. Even a licensed Uber driver in Chicago saved lives by firing on a criminal shooting into a crowded street.  Prosecutors declined to press charges against the driver because he defended others.

Americans work to reverse Uber’s ban on firearms

uber-driver

Last week we learned that Uber was going to begin prohibiting drivers and customers from carrying legal weapons in Uber vehicles. Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, has a similar policy. Customers have been vocal about their displeasure with the company’s decision and a petition was started online hoping to reverse the ban.

The ban is a clear violation of the driver’s right to carry as the driver is using their own car, not Uber’s car. It also makes the driver less safe from a potential carjacking, robbery or assault. It also makes those seeking a ride via Uber’s app vulnerable as they will no longer be able to carry their firearm, even though they would otherwise it would be legal to do so. Uber classifies their drivers as “independent contractors,” not employees. So Uber does not have the right to prohibit one’s constitutional right of self-defense and ability to bear arms.

Licensed permit-holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens in the country and have undergone a very extensive background check. Much more extensive than Uber’s own background check.  Prohibiting weapons doesn’t make anyone safe, except the criminals. Even a licensed Uber driver in Chicago saved lives by firing on a criminal shooting into a crowded street.  Prosecutors declined to press charges against the driver because he defended others.

Do women make less money than men? Yes, because they work less hours

equal-pay

We often hear women make less money than men and there is a move afoot for government mandated equal pay for equal work legislation. But there is already such a law on the books and has been since the early 1960s. In addition, there is no evidence women and men are not being paid equally. Yes, it is often quoted that women make 77 cents for each dollar a man makes, but that’s a bumper sticker, and further investigation is needed to see what’s up.

So, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own numbers: men worked 146,322 million hours while women worked 111,782 million hours. This accounts for the disparity and if women simply worked the same hours as men, then they would have the same yearly income.

Despite knowing the facts, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren tout the need for legislation to fill this mythical pay gap. There is no need for additional legislation to fix a problem that does not exist.

Kratom under attack in Florida legislature and Palm Beach County – unbalanced business regulation

Today, March 10, 2015, kratom is being discussed by the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners and in the Florida Senate. Elected officials are seeking ways to regulate kratom. Kratom is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia, for which some will use the leaves to relieve the symptoms of PMS, general pain relief, depression, lowering blood pressure, decrease anxiety, diarrhea relief and increased mental acuity.

There is no reason for talk of kratom’s regulation except for the outspoken voice of a parent who blames kratom on the death of her child’s suicide. Ignoring facts from the medical examiner’s office that kratom did not cause the death of her child, the parent continues her crusade with Palm Beach County Commissioners and in the Florida legislature. Even though there has never been one proven case where kratom was responsible for the death of anyone, elected officials are willing to regulate the tree, throwing reason and science out the window.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Boca Raton vaping ban introduced at city council meeting, vaping could land you in jail if you do it in the wrong spot in Boca

At last night’s Boca Raton City Council meeting Ordinance 5296 was introduced to ban vaping (the act of using an electronic cigarette) and will be taken up for passage at a future meeting. If passed, the ordinance would fine vapers $500 or put them in jail for up to 60 days if they vape in the “wrong place”. The measure is a violation of a small business owner’s right to operate their business as they see fit. It should be, that a business owner should be able to ban or not ban vaping in their establishment. It should not be the local government’s draconian ordinance to put people in jail for such “offenses.” The ordinance takes that away business owner’s right.

Here is an article on the issue: http://www.examiner.com/article/boca-raton-vapers-could-go-to-jail-under-proposed-ordinance

If you would like to voice your disapproval of this proposed ordinance, please write your Boca Raton City Council members TODAY and say so! Let your voice be heard. Copy and paste their email addresses (below) and send them a quick email. Feel free to use some of the information found in the above linked article.

shaynie@ci.boca-raton.fl.us
mmullaugh@ci.boca-raton.fl.us
cscott@ci.boca-raton.fl.us
rweinroth@ci.boca-raton.fl.us

The issue will likely be taken up for initial votes at the February 24, 2015 meeting. Subscribe to this blog and we will let you know!