The Gig Economy’s False Promise – The New York Times

“The promises Silicon Valley makes about the gig economy can sound appealing. Its digital technology lets workers become entrepreneurs, we are told, freed from the drudgery of 9-to-5 jobs. Students, parents and others can make extra cash in their free time while pursuing their passions, maybe starting a thriving small business.

In reality, there is no utopia at companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart and Handy, whose workers are often manipulated into working long hours for low wages while continually chasing the next ride or task. These companies have discovered they can harness advances in software and behavioral sciences to old-fashioned worker exploitation, according to a growing body of evidence, because employees lack the basic protections of American law.”

I posted the following comment at the NYT:

Is there a way through technology, to allow uber like drivers without uber the company, taking a huge cut of the work?
It would have to be a driver’s co-op, like REI, only for people who want to drive for profit.

There was one reply to my post:

Dan Broe

East Hampton NY 20 hours ago

All is premised on avoiding payroll taxes and insurance, benefits, etc. by the employer pretending their workers are independent contractors. Without this end run around labor regulations, these companies could not and would not exist. All this actually does is transfer costs to the society as a whole since a growing percentage of workers have nothing but ongoing earnings to sustain themselves. Yet these people too depend on social supports when they cannot work either temporarily or permanently.


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