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If you were wondering about the fate of Uber, take it from the president: It may just be the next American mega company.

In part one of his interview with Vox, Barack Obama was asked whether the government has a role in redistributing wealth.

The president replied that it does — and that it can do so in a way that doesn't curb what he apparently sees as America's most important innovators and most valuable companies.

"There's no evidence that would hurt the incentives of folks at Google or Microsoft or Uber not to invent what they invent or not to provide services they provide. It just means that instead of $20 billion, maybe they've got 18, right? But it does mean that Mom can go to work without worrying that her kid's not in a safe place."

Despite being just a few years old, Uber, the ride dispatching phone app, is now valued at over $41 billion, making it worth more than many large American public companies. It now operates in 250 cities worldwide.


We also know that many members of Congress use the service, which could presumably affect any federal legislation of services like Uber (although right now Uber's fights are almost entirely with local regulations).

The president may also have some sympathy for Uber drivers who've been complaining about recent price cuts.

His full argument to Klein was that large corporations like the ones he mentioned — although Uber is not yet public — face short-sighted pressures from investors that can end up putting pressure on wages and benefits that exacerbate inequality.

"Today what you have is quarterly earning reports, compensation levels for CEOs that are tied directly to those quarterly earnings," he said. "You've got international capital that is demanding maximizing short-term profits. And so what happens is that a lot of the distributional questions that used to be handled in the marketplace through decent wages or health care or defined benefit pension plans — those things all are eliminated. And the average employee, the average worker, doesn't feel any benefit."


So while Uber's economic footprint is now approaching that of America's best-known behemoths, it also has the same responsibilities.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.