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There is not one right definition of capitalism and socialism, actually there is a lot of misinformation out there. Capitalism increases the opportunities in the marketplace for personal economic growth. It expands opportunities for entrepreneurs to increase their personal wealth and for societies to grow as well. In a capitalist economy, hard work is rewarded. In capitalism, economic production is more likely privately owned, not governmentally owned (Frieser, 2015). This brings a competitive market which results in a wide variety of products and services to choose from. Socialism is governmentally owned and it searches to promote equality among people by providing them with social benefits, such as education and healthcare. Socialism means paying for something without expecting a financial return, simply for the greater good. In a way, socialism seems to be a way of achieving slow and peaceful progress.
The operations of Uber is caught in the middle of the two. The questions is, are the drivers considered independent contractors or are they an employee of the company? An Uber spokeswoman said to TIME that its drivers consider their status as independent contractors. “It’s important to remember that the number one reason drivers choose to use Uber is because they have complete flexibility and control, “ she says. “The majority of them can and do choose to earn their living from multiple sources, including other ride sharing companies” (Steinmetz, 2015). There are laws that support the operations of Uber indicating that since it is an independent third party transportation service, the written agreements between Uber and affiliates (“Third Party Providers”) makes it legal. This agreement has made the service available for personal use, not commercially.
My findings affect Uber through the economic system and the environment directly. Capitalism is brought out by the competitive market, mainly competing with the taxi services. The ridesharing service operates on city streets around the world, so one can imagine the amount of money to be made by this simple transportation. Like most businesses, Uber is not merely concerned with profit, they also have social responsibilities such as; providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else the “social conscience” requires (Friedman, 1970). As Uber grows, the environmental issues of greenhouse gas emissions rises. The initiative Uber is taking is a carpool option, which customers can share the car with other passengers traveling along similar routes. This benefits everyone; the customers ride at a discounted rate, drivers make more by driving longer routes, and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced because less cars are being driven.
Uber is obviously filling the gap that had not been met by the taxi industry. The utilitarian type thinking of this company is benefitting the greater number of people. Taxi’s are often seen driving around with no passengers, wasting time and money while filling the air with pollution, while Uber drivers typically stop driving until they are requested by a customer. Uber is focused on relieving traffic congestion, expanding public transportation, helping to manage urban growth, and reducing greenhouse gasses.
Fieser, J. (2015). Introduction to business ethics [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Friedman, M. (1970, September 13). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073524697/910345/Appendices.pdf
Steinmetz, K. (2015, June 17). Why the California ruling on Uber should frighten the sharing economy. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/3924941/uber-california-labor-commission-ruling/