What Do Uber, the Freed Market, and Feminists Have in Common? Mickey Beaves January 24, 2015 1856 (Houston, Tx) Uber just released data results from their first year in business and those fighting for equality of women in the workforce, might want to take a look. This new company and similar ones are examples of what I believe the taxi industry would look like in a ‘free market’. Uber is a ridershare phone App that acts similar to a taxi service, think of it like a new take on an old system. Users of the App are able to rate drivers and drivers are able to rate riders, something that the taxi industry (that has been entangled with lobbyists, the governments and of course unions) does not offer. The benefits of such a rating system at your fingers tips can easily be seen and this is simply a result of where we are technologically and innovatively as a culture. And even though I do not stand alone in this thinking, there has been much pushback against Uber and similar companies not only by the levels of government, but also by taxi driver unions and similar organizations. It is my assessment that these entities are still stuck in the old ways of business and are simply standing against progress and change driven by new ideas in the market. I see old influence clinging to it’s power and comfort. This old way of doing things though, doesn’t just apply to business and money, but also to the employment of women. The latest Uber results to come out show that 14% of their drivers are women, versus the 2% of women who are taxi drivers. So what we have here is a case of an old, institutionalized industry that is appearing to not be willing to adapt to the needs of women and a new industry that is already making strides for increased women employment in it’s first year of operation. This then begs the question of, are unions and the government actually looking to help women and the cause of feminists? And then one might ask is the free market place better equipped to help cultivate such causes? Though Uber’s results don’t warrant an argument against all unions and all aspects of government, it does help argue that innovative ideas based around technology are making steps to address the needs and wants of women. And these results do make arguments against market regulation, arguments that I think those looking for equality in the workforce may want to look more into it, as the old industry looks to use market regulation to cripple those making these much needed strides in workplace equality. Not only is Uber making strides in more equal employment, Uber drivers also are making an average of $7 more an hour than taxi drivers. And they offer much more flexible hours than taxi services do, which is one factor that I believe is accounting for the increased number of women drivers. It is my hope, that when results such as these come out, results that show increased diversity, we rally behind these ideas and businesses and industries and question the authorities and entities that look to cripple them. It is also my hope that we recognize the role of freedom in such cases, as we look to understand the motives behind controlled markets and the results of these actions. Are we enabling innovation and change or are we disabling it with government control via lobbyist and union support? I see the rights of us all as equal and look forward to more equality in the workforce and elsewhere, I just know it will take us all becoming free to get there and that must be done together.