Behind The Trends Driving The Uber Economy

Martin Romjue
Posted on September 4, 2014
The 1980 bestseller by futurist Alvin Toffler that predicted an economy of Ubers.

The 1980 bestseller by futurist Alvin Toffler that predicted an economy of Ubers.

The 1980 bestseller by futurist Alvin Toffler that predicted an economy of Ubers.
The 1980 bestseller by futurist Alvin Toffler that predicted an economy of Ubers.

A recent article in the Huffington Post puts the TNC/Uber controversy into the perspective of the wider trends animating what is called the sharing economy. It upends all the traditional dynamics of conventional capitalism.

While threatening certain businesses, the prosumer/sharing economy will empower consumers in the long run, which will counteract the the effects of falling median incomes, income inequality and lackluster economic growth of recent years.

The prosumer/sharing economy actually was hypothesized and predicted back in 1980 by futurist Alvin Toffler in his best-selling book, "The Third Wave." All of his forecasts for the future have evolved over the last few decades with the ascendance of the Internet economy. Toffler has updated his initial research and projections in the 2006 book, "Revolutionary Wealth."

What does all this theory and trends mean for limousine operators? Well, the prosumer/sharing economy is the best argument of all for deregulation of ground transportation. If Uber is allowed to prosper in the Internet-driven prosumer/sharing economy, then traditional brick-and-mortar, equipment driven businesses should no longer be shackled by the rules, fees and constraints of governments regulating conventional capitalism. Every company would be able to figure out its own free and unencumbered business model, deploying technology, connections and transportation networks of choice.

But until TNCs, taxicabs and limousines are regulated fairly, or de-regulated to the same level, look for more legal and regulatory fights to come. Regulations must match reality.

Related Topics: business trends, economic outlook, Editor's Edge Blog, Martin Romjue, operations, technology, TNCs, Uber, vehicle apps

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