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2023-09-29 00:04:04


本文摘要:As Uber has grown to become one of the world’s most valuable start-ups, its ambitions often seem limitless.随着Uber茁壮为全世界最不具价值的初创企业之一,其野心看上去也是永无止境的。

As Uber has grown to become one of the world’s most valuable start-ups, its ambitions often seem limitless.随着Uber茁壮为全世界最不具价值的初创企业之一,其野心看上去也是永无止境的。But of all the ways that Uber could change the world, the most far-reaching may be found closest at hand: your office. Uber, and more broadly the app-driven labor market it represents, is at the center of what could be a sea change in work, and in how people think about their jobs. You may not be contemplating becoming an Uber driver any time soon, but the Uberization of work may soon be coming to your chosen profession.但是在所有Uber能转变世界的方式之中,影响最深远影响的却有可能近在咫尺:你的办公室。Uber,以及更加广义来说,它所代表的由应用软件驱动的劳动力市场,正处于一个工作上的,及人们如何看来自己的工作的巨变的核心。

你或许没在近期内沦为Uber司机的点子,但是你所自由选择的职业有可能迅速就不会被Uber化。Just as Uber is doing for taxis, new technologies have the potential to chop up a broad array of traditional jobs into discrete tasks that can be assigned to people just when they’re needed, with wages set by a dynamic measurement of supply and demand, and every worker’s performance constantly tracked, reviewed and subject to the sometimes harsh light of customer satisfaction. Uber and its ride-sharing competitors, including Lyft and Sidecar, are the boldest examples of this breed, which many in the tech industry see as a new kind of start-up — one whose primary mission is to efficiently allocate human beings and their possessions, rather than information.就像Uber对出租车行业的影响一样,新兴科技享有这样一个创造力——它可以把大量的传统工作拆分成相互独立国家的任务,并在必须时将之分配过来。

适当的报酬将由供需关系动态要求,而且每一位工作者的展现出将被大大地跟踪、评估并偶尔受到严苛的顾客满意度监督。Uber以及它车辆共计乘类的竞争对手,还包括Lyft和Sidecar,是这类全新工作方式的最佳代表。科技界的很多人将它们视为一种新型的初创公司——他们的首要愿景是高效地分配人以及他们的财产,而非信息。Various companies are now trying to emulate Uber’s business model in other fields, from daily chores like grocery shopping and laundry to more upmarket products like legal services and even medicine.从日常琐事如卖杂货和洗衣服,到更高端的产品如法律服务甚至医药行业,许多有所不同行业的公司都在仿效Uber的商业模式。

“I do think we are defining a new category of work that isn’t full-time employment but is not running your own business either,” said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s business school who has studied the rise of the so-called on-demand economy, and who is mainly optimistic about its prospects.纽约大学商学院教授阿伦·桑达拉拉吉(Arun Sundararajan)说,“我的确指出我们正在定义一种新型工作方式——它既非全职工作也远比是个体户”。他对按须要经济的蓬勃发展进行研究,并对这种工作方式的前景较为悲观。

Uberization will have its benefits: Technology could make your work life more flexible, allowing you to fit your job, or perhaps multiple jobs, around your schedule, rather than vice versa. Even during a time of renewed job growth, Americans’ wages are stubbornly stagnant, and the on-demand economy may provide novel streams of income.Uber化有它的益处:技术不会让我们的工作生活更加有弹性,让我们根据自己的时间来决定一个或多个工作,而不是根据工作来决定自己的时间。即便现在低收入早已在新的快速增长,美国人的工资却依旧停滞不前,所以按须要的经济模式或许能获取全新的收益来源。“We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the work force would do a portfolio of things to generate an income — you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit,” Dr. Sundararajan said.桑达拉拉吉博士说道,“我们的未来可能会是这样的——一小部分劳动力不会以做到很多有所不同的工作维生:你可以做到Uber司机,替Instacart卖东西,在Airbnb上租房子以及在Taskrabbit上揽外包”。

But the rise of such work could also make your income less predictable and your long-term employment less secure. And it may relegate the idea of establishing a lifelong career to a distant memory.但是这种工作方式的兴起可能会让收益更加不能预测,也可能会让长年雇佣更加没确保。而且它或许让人们记得创建一个毕生的事业是一个什么样的概念。“I think it’s nonsense, utter nonsense,” said Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. “This on-demand economy means a work life that is unpredictable, doesn’t pay very well and is terribly insecure.” After interviewing many workers in the on-demand world, Dr. Reich said he has concluded that “most would much rather have good, well-paying, regular jobs.”“我指出这就是胡扯,纯粹是胡扯,”曾任克林顿政府劳工部部长,加州大学伯克利分校的经济学家罗伯特·B·赖希(Robert B. Reich)说道。

“这种按需型经济意味著你的工作生活会显得不能预测、低薪而且十分没确保。”在专访过很多专门从事按需型工作的人之后,赖希博士得出结论的结论是“多数人都宁愿专门从事好的、高薪的普通工作”。It is true that many of these start-ups are creating new opportunities for employment, which is a novel trend in tech, especially during an era in which we’re all fretting about robots stealing our jobs. Proponents of on-demand work point out that many of the tech giants that sprang up over the last decade minted billions in profits without hiring very many people; Facebook, for instance, serves more than a billion users, but employs only a few thousand highly skilled workers, most of them in California.的确,很多这类初创公司都在建构新的就业机会。

这是一个技术界的新趋势,特别是在考虑到现在我们都在担忧机器人不会偷走我们的工作。按须要工作的支持者们认为,很多在过去十年间兴起的科技巨头在没雇用很多人的情况下,建构了数十亿的利润;比如说,Facebook为十亿以上用户获取服务,但意味着雇用几千名技术水平很高的员工,而且多数在加利福尼亚。To make the case that it is creating lots of new jobs, Uber recently provided some of its data on ridership to Alan B. Krueger, an economist at Princeton and a former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Krueger’s report — which he said he was allowed to produce without interference from Uber — paints Uber as a force for good in the labor market.为了展示出自己建构了很多新的就业机会,Uber最近向普林斯顿大学经济学家阿兰·B·克鲁格(Alan B. Krueger)获取了一些乘车数据。他同时也是奥巴马总统经济顾问委员会的前主席。

不出所料,克鲁格博士的报告将Uber描绘成一股对劳动力市场不利的力量。克鲁格博士说道他的报告的产生过程没受到Uber的阻碍。Dr. Krueger found that at the end of 2014, Uber had 160,000 drivers regularly working for it in the United States. About 40,000 new drivers signed up in December alone, and the number of sign-ups was doubling every six months.克鲁格博士找到在2014年末,Uber有16万名司机定期在美国工作。仅有十二月份就有约4万名司机重新加入Uber。

而且每六个月新的重新加入的司机数目就不会翻番。The report found that on average, Uber’s drivers worked fewer hours and earned more per hour than traditional taxi drivers, even when you account for their expenses. That conclusion, though, has raised fierce debate among economists, because it’s not clear how much Uber drivers really are paying in expenses. Drivers on the service use their own cars and pay for their gas; taxi drivers generally do not.这份报告找到,即使乘以他们的支出,Uber司机平均值比出租车司机每小时赚得更加多且工作时间更加较短。

但是这个结论引发了经济学家之间白热化的争辩,因为Uber司机的支出只不过并不具体。此项服务的司机进自己的车,自付油费,而出租车司机则不然。The key perk of an Uber job is flexibility. In most of Uber’s largest markets, a majority of its drivers work from one to 15 hours a week, while many traditional taxi drivers work full time. A survey of Uber drivers contained in the report found that most were already employed full or part time when they found Uber, and that earning an additional income on the side was a primary benefit of driving for Uber.Uber的关键益处是灵活性度。


Dr. Krueger pointed out that Uber’s growth was disconnected to improvements in the broader labor market. “As the economy got stronger, Uber’s rate of growth increased,” he said. “So far, it’s not showing signs of limitations in terms of attracting enough drivers.”克鲁格博士认为Uber的快速增长与劳动力市场的整体提高牵涉到。他说道,“随着经济快速增长,Uber增长率也有所增加。目前还没经常出现更有新的司机的瓶颈”。

One criticism of Uber-like jobs is that because drivers aren’t technically employees but are instead independent contractors of Uber, they don’t enjoy the security and benefits of traditional jobs. The complication, here, though, is that most taxi drivers are also independent contractors, so the arrangement isn’t particularly novel in the ride business. And as on-demand jobs become more prevalent, guildlike professional groups are forming to provide benefits and support for workers.一项对Uber式工作的抨击是它的司机严苛意义上说道不是雇员而是独立国家的承包商,所以他们不拥有传统工作的确保和待遇。可简单的是,多数出租车司机也是独立国家的承包商,所以Uber的决定在租车行业并远比新奇。而且随着按须要工作更加普及,行会形式的的组织也正在构成,来为人们获取适当待遇和反对。

The larger worry about on-demand jobs is not about benefits, but about a lack of agency — a future in which computers, rather than humans, determine what you do, when and for how much. The rise of Uber-like jobs is the logical culmination of an economic and tech system that holds efficiency as its paramount virtue.关于按须要工作,更大的忧虑并非是待遇,而是缺少管理机构——忧虑在未来,电脑而非人要求你做到什么、什么时候做到、给你多少钱。Uber式工作的兴起是将效率奉若神明的经济和科技体系发展的合理结果。

“These services are successful because they are tapping into people’s available time more efficiently,” Dr. Sundararajan said. “You could say that people are monetizing their own downtime.”“这些服务的顺利之处在于他们可以更加有效地利用人们的能用时间,”桑达拉拉吉博士说道。“可以说道人们在利用下班时间赚。”Think about that for a second; isn’t “monetizing downtime” a hellish vision of the future of work?稍等一下,怎么会“利用下班时间赚”不是极为差劲的未来的工作方式吗?“I’m glad if people like working for Uber, but those subjective feelings have got to be understood in the context of there being very few alternatives,” Dr. Reich said. “Can you imagine if this turns into a Mechanical Turk economy, where everyone is doing piecework at all odd hours, and no one knows when the next job will come, and how much it will pay? What kind of private lives can we possibly have, what kind of relationships, what kind of families?”“如果人们讨厌为Uber工作的话,我当然很高兴了。

但我们在解读这些主观感觉时必需考虑到他们并没什么其他的自由选择,”赖希博士说道。“你能想象如果这变为一个土耳其人国际象棋傀儡(Mechanical Turk)型的经济吗——每个人都在零散时间做到累赘工作,不告诉什么时候不会收到下一份工作,也不告诉它的报酬不会是多少?这样的话,我们还能有什么样的个人生活,什么样的人际关系,什么样的家庭?”The on-demand economy may be better than the alternative of software automating all our work. But that isn’t necessarily much of a cause for celebration.按须要经济有可能比把工作完全软件自动化很强吧,但也不一定有一点庆典。