Capitalism   and Socialism: Case Study: Uber

Ashford 3: – Week 2 – Discussion


Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses.


Capitalism   and Socialism: Case Study: Uber


This   discussion assignment requires you to submit at least four posts: an   initial post, two reply posts to fellow students in threads other than your   own, and a revised post.

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 One 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 3.4 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 One (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.

Revise: Read the feedback provided by   your professor to your initial post, either directly to you or to your fellow   students. Use this as an opportunity to learn from your professor, especially   with regard to the best ways to apply the course material and your research   to your analysis. On the basis of what you have learned in this process, post   an improved revision of your initial post that applies the additional   knowledge that you have gained.

Remember   that your grade depends on the quality of your initial and revised responses,   not just on the submission of an attempt at improvement. It is thus to your   advantage to post the best initial post you can and then to also improve that   best effort as much as you can through revision. Taking this process   seriously will help you develop the skills you need to do well on the Final   Project.


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, including Section 1.3 of the textbook on        Starbucks, 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. Your initial post for this discussion should be        submitted no later than the end of Thursday (11:59 pm, U.S. Mountain        time).


Requirements   for Replies to Other Threads:

  • At least two of the four        posts required should be in the form of replies to fellow classmates in        threads other than your own.
  • Each of your replies should        be at least 200 words, and informed by the course material. As such, the replies must        have citations and references in APA notation. Your list of references        for each reply should include all of the course material that has        informed your reply, in addition to any research that you have obtained        on your own.
  • Your replies should focus on        the specific examination presented by your fellow students. Address (a)        the characteristics of the relevant economic system as presented by your        fellow student, (b) the analysis of how laws and/or the economic system        affect Uber, as presented by your fellow student, or (c) the        moral judgment presented by your fellow student. For any of these        choices, you should examine whether the examination or analysis was        carried out accurately and successfully. You are encouraged to disagree        and challenge what was presented by your fellow student. This does not        constitute an attack on your fellow student but an attempt to arrive at        a better understanding and application of the material. But you need to        provide reasons and support for your disagreement or challenge and        propose a more accurate or defensible alternative.
  • As mentioned in the Week One        discussion, keep in mind that although the notion of the moral good will        vary among ethical theories, they often produce the same or similar        results. So make sure to distinguish (a) the intent and (b) the        consequences of the action under examination.


Requirements   for Revising Your Initial Post:

  • Submit a revision of your        initial post by either replying to your own post or to the feedback        provided to you by your professor.
  • There is no minimum word        requirement for your revised initial post. But you should always explain        the reasons for revising your post so that it is clear what you are        doing. If you are revising only a few words, or an application of an        ethical theory, you should avoid submitting a post with vague language        such as: “duty ethics works better here” or “I did not consider the        economic system.” It is important to recognize that no one can read your        mind so you need to provide the setting for your revision (Why? What        prompted it? What course material informed you?), and it is important to        write in clear language and complete sentences.
  • Your revised initial post is        your chance to correct any oversights or errors in your initial post, or        to show your improved understanding of the material and its applications        to the case at hand. You may, for example, come to the realization that        another ethical theory is better than the one that you initially        employed to support your position. Accordingly, your revision should        indicate that you chose another ethical theory and an explanation why        you find the replacement more suitable. Or, you might have realized that        your conclusion did not take into account important factors necessary        for your evaluation of the situation.
  • You should maximize the        improvement of your initial post by employing your professor’s feedback        as a guide.        Keep in mind that you may not always receive direct feedback from your        professor. But your professor will have submitted feedback in the        discussion to other posts. So read your professor’s feedback whether it        is addressed to you directly or to other fellow students. This will give        you much to think about and apply to your own post.
  • If your professor or a fellow        classmate responds to your revised initial post, and on this basis, you        find good reason to submit yet another revision, then by all means do        so. The more you improve your initial post, the more you will benefit        both in terms of your learning and most likely your grade.


Carefully   review the Discussion Forum   Grading Rubric   for the criteria that will be used to evaluate this Discussion Thread.

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