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Nowadays, technological advancement and new services have impacted people’s daily life in Latin American urban areas. It is common to see people request a Uber ride than hailing a taxi. It is not rare to see Rappi or many other more food delivery workers delivering foods to residential areas. Sharing economy has generated more opportunities, but also brought challenges along the way. The news article by Jorge Galindo is titled as “Uber, Rappi and many more: Who, how and why work in those platforms” provided a detailed and comparative analysis of the technological impact in Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico over the recent years. Even though the new models have provided job opportunities for people who live in the region, not everyone benefit from this new form of life. The writer argues that these new platforms have improved urban life as a result of higher efficiency and lower cost because people who live in urban areas spend a large amount of time commuting. The presence of these new platforms have saved money and facilitated many things. Nevertheless, the recent phenomenon does not represent the whole development of sharing economy.
The writer analyzed and provided recent data to examine the impact and change of these new platforms. Ride sharing programs besides Uber have been widely used across Latin American major cities. For example, besides Uber, Cabify has been widely used in Brazilian (8) and Mexican (6) cities for transportation. Didi, a Chinese ride sharing program, was also introduced to Brazil and Mexico. Even though these new platforms are becoming popular in the region, there is no adequate laws from governments to regulate those platforms. Obviously these new platforms have provided new job opportunities, but the labor law between the employees and employers are loose. Cities that implemented Uber did not have labor contracts between the company and drivers. The employees who have cars simply register. Another question about the new platforms is that if these new job opportunities provide equal opportunities to everyone. For instance, Rappi workers are mostly young men because of the danger in food transportation process. Many Rappi workers who participated in a survey in Colombia expressed their desire for better security and healthcare. Even though sharing economy is booming in Latin America and improving people’s daily life, the writer stressed the challenges to this new model by talking about workers’ rights, legality and economic opportunities. To look into the future, the writer proposes 3 methods for future economic and social development in Latin America regarding the new services and platforms across cities. These countries could either go back to the old style like dominating with taxi services, or do not guarantee equal job opportunities. Possibly the third method is uniting a group of investors, or having legislations passed specifically towards these new emerging platforms.
This article was published in El País, which is a news source from Spain. Latin America was presented in a neutral way with solid statistical data and workers’ survey. The article focused on both the advantages and disadvantages of sharing economy and the influence on Latin American cities with a bigger picture. The writer gave readers an image of developing Latin America with new economic forms clashing with old businesses and inadequate laws. He described problems and inconvenience of living in big cities as a result of a poor administrative system as a social representation of Latin America. However, not all the cities in Latin America are like Galindo’s narration because their municipal and provincial government might administrate differently based on the structure. For instance, the Province of Mendoza, Argentina allows and legalizes ride sharing programs such as Uber and Cabify while the buses, trams and taxis are still in service. Galindo wrote the article in a more generalized way and ignored the outliers and uniqueness of each major city. Those cities have similarities and differences. His analysis and data are not adequate enough to include the whole picture of Latin America. Readers might build a general image of Latin American countries socially progressive in response to sharing economy but governments or minority groups are slow to changes.
Modernization is always a theme in Modern Latin American history, as they look up to the West and think about the “civilized” or the “barbarian”. Sharing economy in the 21st Century represents part of the modernization process. Nevertheless, law, market, architecture and norms are the four essential models for progress to happen according to pathetic dot theory. Latin American cities currently with Rappi, Uber and other platforms have attracted markets because of people’s demands. Sharing economy has also changed the norms and architecture of Latin American societies. However, not all the laws could follow up quickly to all these rapid changes over time. For example, in Colombia, Uber will stop its ride sharing service starting February. https://elpais.com/economia/2020/01/10/actualidad/1578687805_061669.html. http://cdsa.aacademica.org/000-023/618.pdf
From this news article and the sociological analysis of sharing economy, it is important to look at development from multiple perspectives. Even though Uber, Rappi and other apps have generated new job opportunities, but this new form of labor relations and economy does not have equal participation in the labor market. It is likely that the corporations have large amount of revenues while the workers dedicate themselves with no enough security and health guarantee. Sharing economy without corresponding governmental regulations could eventually create new inequalities in societies. Modernization is changing people’s life, but also generating new problems.
Galindo, Jorge. “Uber, Rappi y las demás: quién, cómo y por qué trabaja en las plataformas.” El País, January 19 2020. Accessed January 20 2020. https://elpais.com/internacional/2020/01/17/america/1579301590_165800.html
Torrado, Santiago. “Uber saldrá de Colombia a patir de febrero.” El País, January 10 2020. https://elpais.com/economia/2020/01/10/actualidad/1578687805_061669.html
Campiti, Nicolás. “Puntos de contacto entre neoliberalism y economía colaborativa.” XIII Jornadas de Scoiología. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Buenos Aires.