A platform corporation really only owns two things. It owns algorithms hosted on servers, and it owns network effects—or people’s dependence. While the old corporation had to get financing, invest in physical assets, hire workers to run those assets, and take on risk in the process, a corporation like Uber outsources its risk to independent workers who must self-finance the purchase of their cars, while also absorbing losses from their cars’ depreciation or the failure of their operations. This not only separates corporate managers from ground-level workers, it places the major burden of financing and risk on the workers.
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This is a fair point in whole, but it also exaggerates the “burden” placed on Uber drivers. Contrary to popular assumptions about Uber, the reality is that over 80 percent of its drivers work fewer than 20 hours per week, and as such suffer a negligible amount from vehicular depreciation. (On top of that, Uber drivers are both paid for the use of their vehicles and allowed to deduct 56 cents per mile for depreciation on their tax returns.)

It also ignores Uber’s endgame of running a fleet of autonomous vehicles, and while they haven’t explicitly stated as much, it’s a reasonable assumption that many or most of said vehicles will be owned by Uber.

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