PHI445 Week 2 – Discussion

 Prepare: Your initial post in this discussion must be  informed by the required material for this discussion. The required  material for this discussion will introduce you to what is new about  Uber as a business model, the profit incentive in business, and how laws  can make or break innovation in business. Your preparation should focus  on the characteristics of capitalism and socialism, as well as other  business concepts presented in the required material. Since your initial  post in this discussion will examine the relation between running a  business such as Uber and the laws and economic system of the nation(s)  in which it operates, make sure to comb the material on Uber for laws,  regulations, and the economic setting that affect its operations. You  are encouraged to research relevant laws and regulations to make sure  that you have current information. You will also need to review the  material on the three ethical theories employed in the Week 1 Discussion  as you will draw from that material for this week’s discussion too. 
   
Reflect: Keep in mind that Uber has presented itself  into the market not as a transportation service but as a service that  pairs consumers with ride sharing services by means of a unique phone  app. But some sources—including the taxi industry and one California  court finding (details in the required material), as well as the  characterization of Uber presented in Section 2.5 of the textbook—seem  to challenge this branding. According to these sources, Uber is avoiding  laws that apply to the transportation industry and, thereby, usurping a  rightful place that the taxi industry has carved for itself. Consumers,  on the other hand, have shown their preference for Uber by a high  demand for its services in the USA and abroad, including those countries  in which Uber has been banned. Compared to taxis, Uber offers consumers  an efficient system for procuring a ride even in remote areas where  taxis do not frequent, a convenient payment method (no need for cash,  and fares can be split among different users on the same ride), and  significantly cheaper fares compared to taxis. In many instances, Uber  cars come equipped with water, candy, and magazines, all for free. Uber  drivers are also better off because they keep the majority of the fares  for the rides that they service, which is exactly the opposite case of  taxi drivers, and they can choose when they want to work. Clearly, this  is a controversial case and thus very apt for the examination for this  discussion.
Keep in mind that a nation’s economic system is shaped by the laws  that are in place. Accordingly, laws (including state regulations and  local ordinances) will give you a clue for the kind of economic system  that exists. Keep in mind also that most nations have mixed economies  and there is probably no economic system that purely represents  socialism or capitalism. So you will find a different combination of  both socialism and capitalism in any nation that you are examining.
 Write: You have four tasks for your initial post. In  order to present an organized post, address each one of these tasks in a  separate paragraph and in the following order. Your first task is to  articulate the economic system (or combination of characteristics of  both socialism and capitalism) that such laws depict. Your second task  is to examine the laws that either support or limit the operations by  Uber. Your third task is to analyze how your findings from your first  and second tasks affect Uber. And your fourth task is to present your  moral position with regard to Uber. For this latter task, you will need  to identify one of the three ethical theories covered in the Week 1  (utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics) as support for the moral  position that you are taking. For example, you may hold the moral  position that Uber is morally justifiable because it provides a good for  consumers that fills in a gap that had not been met by the taxi  industry. Or you may take the position that Uber’s positioning in the  market is morally wrong. 
 
Requirements for Your Initial Post:

Your initial post should be at least 400 words in length and have citations and references in APA notation.  It should address the prompt in its entirety. This means that you  should not split your response to the prompt in multiple posts. Your  examination should be both thorough and succinct. This is a combination  that demands time and thought, so give yourself sufficient time to draft  and revise.
Please be advised that until you post, you will not see what your  fellow students are posting. Once you submit your post, you will be able  to view the posts from your other classmates. You can then proceed to  reply to at least two different threads based on the required material  for this discussion.
Your list of references for your initial post should include the  video and the other required material for this discussion, as well as  the Instructor Guidance and any other announcements presented to you by  your professor. Use all of the material presented to you in the course  and by your professor, in addition to any other sources that you  consulted to inform yourself about the case (but not Wikipedia or  similar sources).
Your research should seek scholarly articles or articles that offer  factual or otherwise verifiable information. 

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