Our generation is resourceful

Brianna Klipp

Brianna Klipp

When a millennial walks in to a bar, a few things will happen. They will order off the happy-hour menu, electronic device in hand, as they make small talk with the date sitting across from them whom they just met on Tinder just 7 hours before. They can’t afford the tab, but they’ve accepted this fact months ago.

Our contradictory actions have established patterns, which reveal that as the world advances, we believe our lifestyles should be easier with access to unlimited options. The paradox has given birth to what the world now sees as the “Ride-Sharing Economy.”

The “Ride Sharing Economy” culture exists because technology and the desire for connectivity created a new market. As a result, access to simpler lives contributes to the paradigm approaching us: millennial don’t really want to enter the work force.

It’s easy for older generations to blame a dwindling economy, terrorist stricken and technologically advancing society on our unique behavior, but as the new generation grows to the age of reckoning, the world is also coming to terms with the paradox of our livelihoods.

Millennials are restless in nature because the world has been telling them for 10 years that their world is falling apart. We are creatures unlike any generation: we require a certain type of marketing that speaks to our individual values and dismisses gender norms. We want to play beer-pong with CEO’s but still have time to travel the world.

We see the “Ride Sharing Economy” at the tips of our fingertips. Uber, Lyft, Postmates and AirnB have created a world where strangers can act as couriers, cabbies and vacation-home owners through the installation of an app and annoying surcharges.  Professor of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley Robert Reich explains, “Uber is estimated to be worth some $40 billion, and has 850 employees. Uber also has over 163,000 drivers (as of December – the number is expected to double by June), who average $17 an hour in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and $23 an hour in San Francisco and New York.”

According to Inc.com, ” labor market participation among teenagers and young adults has declined in recent years compared with the late 1990s, according to a report from Stanford University released last month. The overall participation of teenagers fell from 46 percent between 1998 and 1999 to 33 percent between 2011 and 2013.”

The Atlantic argues, It’s easy to exaggerate the growth of the part-time economy but equally easy to underestimate it. There is no evidence from official government numbers that part-time work is growing today. But it is possible that the official figures are missing the quiet rumbling of a new religion of work, where young workers in major cities are combining gigs, jobs, and downtime Uber lifts in such a way that makes it difficult for the Bureau to account for the demise of the traditional office job.”

There has been much debate about whether the Ride Sharing Economy empowers the market or destroys it. As of now, employees through Uber are considered “contractors” and don’t have to pay the same amount of taxes as a regular part time job. Before we can see the long-term results of it though, controversy has begun to rise as the millennials ponder between maintaining security or financial stability.

In December 2014, Lyft and Uber were both subject to civil law suits where Uber is facing up to $41 billion dollars in fees for illegally providing service at airports without authorization and charging unnecessary fees such as the “Safe Ride” fees.

Meanwhile, New Delhi, India has banned Uber for the alleged rape of a passenger by an Uber driver. Netherlands, Germany, and Canada a attempt to follow suit and requires Uber to have “taxi license”, but in the meantime, have tried to ban Uber altogether as well.

As millennials pioneer the world with ride-sharing technology, we will embark a world where sharing a ride is eliminated for good or heavily regulated.