A CALM BEFORE A STORM?

If I were to have read this book as a kid I probably would have wanted to become a Taxi Driver, it looks like so much fun. However, I became a Taxi Driver anyway, by accident. One day out of a job a friend suggested I apply at Yellow Taxi and that’s where I settled my bones. Over the years Taxi driving was one of the first jobs to become marginalized. There used to be a union, retirement plans and other benefits that could be taken for granted. The 1980’s was the beginning of the era of going from the status of employee to the status of independent contractor (Gig workers in today’s language). Other industries soon followed as employers saw a way to save the expenses of worker’s compensation insurance, and other benefit plans. Employees were then given the false impression that they are in business for themselves, and in a sense they were, but in reality they were only really responsible for themselves. Some worked hard and made money and even saved and invested wisely. They were a very small group. Others worked hard, made money and blew it all away, but the majority who also worked hard and didn’t make much more than a living have become the largest group of all and the income kept on dwindling. At the end of the day, no one has a retirement plan outside of Social Security, including yours truly here who didn’t wise up until too late in the game. If I win the lottery I’ll be fine.

During this pandemic business has really slowed down. The airlines have claimed to have lost 85% of their business, which I can believe. There are armies of commuters who live in one city and work in another and they were catching those planes like the rest of us would catch a bus. Those airline commuters also needed rides to and from the airport.

Luckily I’ve been able to stay home and get unemployment. The federal supplement was great but didn’t last long. As an Uber/Lyft driver now I’ve been able to make that choice myself. I expect I’ll have to pay all this money back someday, somehow but I’m not going to worry about that. Avoiding this deadly disease is more important and I don’t think I can trust the public with all the rumors of it all being a big hoax that has a lot of people confused and over time, complacent. Now that the electoral votes have counted in a new president the roads are as quiet as the shut-down was in the spring. I just went for my weekly lottery ticket and noticed that there was no traffic. The old president isn’t happy that he wasn’t voted back in office and neither are his supporters. There’s lots of shouting about fraud. I expect protesters will be out in force while the new president’s supporters party in the streets. A lot of us are probably anticipating more than just street brawls in the coming days. Businesses are already buying riot insurance and boarding up. That’s right folks! You’re not insured against civil unrest or war. Read your policies and take care. These could be Halcyon days or the calm before the storm. Meanwhile, taxi’s are still in business and there are Uber/Lyft drivers still on the roads, it is an industry that may never go away after all.

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