This weekend, after boozy Super Bowl parties, people will have more options to get home safely because of rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. A new report issued by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving shows that booming ridesharing services are not just convenient and affordable—they are lifesavers.
Some observers of the Fed were complaining Wednesday that the FOMC statement should have rolled back plans for a mid-2015 rate increase. In their view, reduced rates of inflation observed currently, along with the strong dollar and weak nominal wage growth, should lead the Fed to postpone any rate increases. Such concerns are dead wrong.
One of the last votes the Senate made in December before adjourning was to yet again pass a bill of so-called “tax extenders” to renew a long list of temporary tax provisions. While all tax extenders provide an advantage vested interests—rum producers, race horse owners, farmers, small businesses, NASCAR race tracks, etc.—many do so at the disadvantage of others, and should be eliminated.
Before the Super Bowl this Sunday, one winner is already determined—local New England Patriots fans. NFL owners are professionals at extracting taxpayer money from local fans to fund generous subsidies for their lavish stadiums, and the NFL is tax-exempt. But Patriots owner Robert Kraft took a different, more taxpayer-friendly, approach and arranged 100 percent private funding for the construction and maintenance of Gillette Stadium. In contrast, the public’s share of financing for the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field was 64 percent ($300 million).
Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has published his latest estimates on income concentration in the United States, extending a series he has produced with Thomas Piketty. He concludes that the top 1 percent captured 91 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2012. These types of results are some of the most popular depictions of inequality trends, but it is not clear that they are saying what people think they are.
During National School Choice Week groups from all over the country are showcasing the many benefits of school choice. But the vast coalition of politicians and organized labor who are pushing for an increase in the federal hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 or $15.00 are silent.
A recent report released by Uber sheds some much-needed light on those who drive for the technology company, and why they choose to do so. Its findings add some empirical evidence to the bitter debate over ridesharing’s effect on the economy, and put opponents of the new technology on the defensive.
As Storm Juno bears down on the Northeast, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking a strong stand against price gouging. One company that the Attorney General will not have to worry about is Uber. The AG’s office came to an agreement to cap the company’s “surge pricing” during emergencies and natural disasters. Though the agreement may help Uber in terms of public relations, it will harm New Yorkers when they need the ridesharing service the most.
Americans are free to choose where to live and work, what products to buy, and which services to use. But there is one important sphere in which Americans do not have freedom of choice—education, both primary and secondary.
It appears that Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party has won the Greek election, although as of Sunday night, it remains unclear whether he will need to form a coalition government or be able to control parliament on his own.