The Uber Experience from Around the World

McDonald’s is probably still loving all the free publicity the Big Mac Index has generated for the fast food company, but I think it’s perhaps time for a new kid on the block to take over the reins as the ground-level yard-stick with which to measure the cost of living index. I’m talking about the Uber experience of course and I think how much it costs to ride in an Uber makes for a better means through which to measure the cost of living in a particular country.

Uber as the new cost-of-living index yard-stick perhaps even goes a little bit beyond that however and can perhaps also be used to measure other elements which make up the quality of life enjoyed in a particular country. So I guess the Uber service as experienced in any country you visit as a traveller will give you great insight into what the cost of living and quality of life is like.

Economic stability

Isn’t it quite interesting how it appears as if those countries around the world whose economies are a little bit more stable than many of the others don’t seem to have any real problems with the Uber service as well as other similar services like Taxify? In economies where the majority of the population can earn a decent living wage if they just go out and try, Uber as a tech disruption is just that – nothing more than a tech disruption and not an economic disruption.

The technology is embraced by a good portion of the competitors fighting for their market share in the transport industries, whereas in countries where jobs are scarce as an extension of scarce economic advancement opportunities, the likes of Uber are seen to be a threat to the livelihoods of many people active in the existing transportation services market.

Political standing

Since politics is very closely linked to economics, the presence of Uber in many countries shines a light on the political issues faced by the people of those countries. An extreme case is how China has its own version of Uber and the funding thereof was a politically-motivated move by the government, citing a need to give such opportunities for economic advancement to citizens of its own country over letting a multi-national from the United States run things locally and basically suck profits straight out of an economy which supports over a billion people.

The local advantage

At the end of the day the local advantage enjoyed by Uber drivers in countries like those which have oil and subsequently cheap fuel prices sort of gets passed on to Uber itself. For example, as much as Uber is super cheap in a place like Egypt because of the low fuel price amongst other things, the Uber drivers in that country don’t really make a lot of money, but the company itself rakes in big profits.

So as much as the likes of Uber create local jobs, it’s more like a redistribution of opportunities, administered by just another Silicon Valley start-up.

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