Americans are on their way back to the food cart, a staple of their lives.
They are making new friends, buying groceries and making new friendships in the process.
They’re even getting some back on their plates.
But for the first time in the last 20 years, the United States will have no public transportation, a reality that will be even more difficult in the months ahead.
And when the country is on a roll, the national debt will be so high that the government will have to cut services to make up for it.
The robo-chauffeur is an American phenomenon, but one that is still very much in its infancy.
The company is the brainchild of a group of college students and entrepreneurs, including David and Jessica Ruppersberger, a former senior executive at the American Express.
A native of New York, Jessica is now a senior at Harvard University and David works in finance and policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.
They were working on their first venture when the Ruppetts started making robo taxis, which use the GPS technology in their cars to navigate around congested roads and avoid pedestrians.
A year later, the company went public.
In the fall of 2018, they started the American Funds Retirement Fund, which is now the largest independent retirement plan in the country.
It’s funded by Americans, mostly retirees, and by a mix of state and federal funds, including the Social Security trust fund.
The funds were supposed to begin taking deposits in 2021, but their goal was pushed back to 2024, because of the ongoing recession.
In the first half of 2019, they received $1.3 billion in contributions from Americans.
“I think we’re going to see an uptick,” Jessica Roopp said.
The Ruppets are part of a growing number of young Americans, with their parents’ generation, who are taking on a new role in society: taking charge of their own retirement savings and saving for their kids’ college educations.
But while there is a lot of talk about the American Dream of college, millennials are also beginning to realize that it’s not the dream that they had when they started their careers.
The robo taxi industry has helped the Roopps, and their son is now working in the business, too.
David Rupper is a veteran of the financial services industry, and he’s also a part of the robo group, which operates out of a warehouse in Manhattan.
The company sells robo cabs to businesses across the country, and has an office in California, too, but they’ve been busy lately making the first payments to its investors.
“We’re getting really excited about our investors,” Jessica said.
“We have $20 million in cash, and we have to do this.
And we have an investor in New York.”
Jessica and David have set aside $1 million each for the next three years to buy a second robo car.
If they keep investing and working hard, they will eventually have enough to cover their retirement.
“In 20 years from now, we will be at a point where we can retire comfortably,” Jessica told me.
“This is the beginning of the American dream.”
This article was first published by Axios and was translated by Jonathan Gold.