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The true test for a neoliberal swine is whether you accept that the gig economy workers should be left without protections. Some of those companies that build their entire business model on gig workers are going to close if you give their workers costly protections, so the workers may be left without a source of income. It's a conundrum that needs a nuanced compromise to both keep the jobs and protect the workers, similar to the minimum wage arguments.
Does anyone here have a good solution? I'm stuck with the neoliberal dogma "they don't have to work there if they don't like it, all hail business".
 

Count Delinard

Lord of Uxkhal
Global Moderator
WBNWVC
Apps could charge an extra 5% that transparently goes to a benefits plan for all drivers that fulfill certain requirements, but that’d mean every single app would have to do it or whoever doesn’t gets a pricing advantage.
 

Adorno

Bedroom Assassin
Archduke
WBNWM&BVC
Does anyone here have a good solution? I'm stuck with the neoliberal dogma "they don't have to work there if they don't like it, all hail business".
What you have now is a company taking over the taxi business where drivers have basic protections and benefits, with a gig model where drivers have few rights and no benefits. Uber calling them private contactors is absurd, when Uber controls everything (mainly fare prices and contracts that are non-negotiable). Well, not everything, because they leave out things that could be a liability. E.g. if the driver crashes the car that hasn't been inspected for 10 years.
That neoliberal dogma is pretty flawed since it would apply to any poor workplace, leaving all the responsibility for proper working conditions on individuals rather than the companies (and government regulations). It's the political consumer argument: if they use child/slave labour then just don't buy from them (as if consumers could magically regulate the market with their omniscience).
 
The true test for a neoliberal swine is whether you accept that the gig economy workers should be left without protections. Some of those companies that build their entire business model on gig workers are going to close if you give their workers costly protections, so the workers may be left without a source of income. It's a conundrum that needs a nuanced compromise to both keep the jobs and protect the workers, similar to the minimum wage arguments.
Does anyone here have a good solution? I'm stuck with the neoliberal dogma "they don't have to work there if they don't like it, all hail business".

Gig economy parasite companies like uber and airbnb spawn wherever local authorities are too laissez-faire to caire about infrastructure or planning, so if we want them better regulated it's local or even national government that should try to get rid of them, because it's kind of their fault and responsibility that these things exist in the first place. However I'm not naive enough to assume governments will just re-employ all these Ubers, so either way its a pack of cards ready to collapse, but at least with good infrastructure they won't come back.
 

Count Delinard

Lord of Uxkhal
Global Moderator
WBNWVC
Then again, these apps (Amazon flex deliveries, door dash, ifood, delivery hero, etc) have given an opportunity for income to hundreds of thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t get anything.

I also know some young people (usually university students) use these apps from time to time to get extra cash for something specific they want to buy.

As long as the app works in a completely flexible model where the driver can log in or out as they please, then I’m fine with them.

Nobody is forcing the driver to use the app to make some cash and they can always try and apply to a formal job with all the good (regular salary, benefits, etc) and bad (lack of flexibility or autonomy, etc) things that entails.
 

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Dancing to electro-pop like a robot since 1984
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What you have now is a company taking over the taxi business where drivers have basic protections and benefits, with a gig model where drivers have few rights and no benefits.
Gig economy parasite companies like uber and airbnb spawn wherever local authorities are too laissez-faire to caire about infrastructure or planning
especially because things like uber are predicated on being able to just throw infinite venture capital money into inherently unprofitable business models.
they lose billions every year and their plan for eventual profitability unironically basically boils down to "once we are the only form of transport and also self driving cars exist and function flawlessly, we will totally be super profitable, we promise".

they can always try and apply to a formal job
yes. they can try. good choice of word.

adorno actually has it right -
That neoliberal dogma is pretty flawed since it would apply to any poor workplace, leaving all the responsibility for proper working conditions on individuals rather than the companies (and government regulations). It's the political consumer argument: if they use child/slave labour then just don't buy from them (as if consumers could magically regulate the market with their omniscience).
 
Then again, these apps (Amazon flex deliveries, door dash, ifood, delivery hero, etc) have given an opportunity for income to hundreds of thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t get anything.

This is workhouse logic, people are forced into those jobs because there is literally nothing else. If there was something like this 40 years ago not even immigrants would have accepted it. It's found a niche because everyone is desperate and even cities are dirt poor. Gig companies are a really bad sign that a country and its socioeconomic base is kind of rekt.

Nobody is forcing the driver to use the app to make some cash and they can always try and apply to a formal job with all the good (regular salary, benefits, etc) and bad (lack of flexibility or autonomy, etc) things that entails.

Nobody is "forcing" anybody to do anything, but that's basically irrelevant when there are economic forces at play. I could leave home and become a German singer if I really wanted, but I would die of starvation or cold within days. I could rent an apartment if I wanted, but I would go bankrupt in months. This is how liberal power structures function. There is no moustache wearing dictator who beats me if I step out of line, because there doesn't need to be. I have a "choice" to do what I want but 99.9% of those choices lead to a quick death. This is why gig companies are so insidious, because they exploit people's desperation while also denying them basic rights and protections as an employee. The people who work for these jackasses aren't lazy or stupid, if there was honestly something better for them they would have gone to that.

Also "flexibility" and "autonomy" are the scariest words to ever come out of an employers mouth.
 
Given the amount of money that these companies bring in, they can afford to pay for benefits.


And workers who want the flexibility can still do it, they can work part time. Or at least one should give them the choice between working as contractors or working as proper employees, with no retaliation possible from the company if they choose to be employees (e.g. the take home pay needs to be comparable etc.).

I do agree that the implementation of these regulations would be nuanced, the direction to follow however seems pretty clear to me.
 
Maybe the experiences I've had are extraordinary, IDK but the Dashers I see often have other jobs which pay the bills while food delivery for the tips is extra cash they would not have had.
 

Marko͘

Section Moderator
WBNWM&BWF&SVC
Wild idea but wouldn't it be cool if people didn't need to work a full time job and be expected to find side gigs all the time to have basic sustenance
 

Sundeki

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
A lot of people doing this sort of crappy on-demand gig job is because there is nothing else, which does highlight significant failings in every level of modern economics. But the one time I used one of these services, the guy doing the driving was a chef with a full time job, and he worked for this service during peak hours for the extra money. Clearly the pull for this guy was that he could work (or not work) whenever he wanted, and I find it unlikely he wanted any more than what he was getting, in terms of hours, etc. I wouldn't want to penalize anyone for working more, if that's what they want.

The problem with involving a bloated government bureaucracy in this is that it is extremely easy to sidestep. Uber(and now others) was clearly set up as a gig-job deal, even if it is being overused by those who can't get anything better/more. So you seemingly end up with one of 3 scenarios:

1): The government overregulates these services into taxi services, which defeats the whole purpose for a lot of these jobs, which kills the industry in it's current form(and not everything about it is bad, like the aforementioned anecdote), and these "entrepreneurs" find out what level of interaction is required, and set up dozens/hundreds of smaller companies, so the regulation of the larger ones like Uber doesn't apply to them, which kills the larger companies, but does nothing to the smaller companies, just wasting everyone's time and money
2): The government regulates it, but sets up a bunch of arbitrary lines, which in terms of hours/revenue/miles driven (or whatever) determines level of pay/benefits/etc., and as a result the people running these services simply sidestep it (much the same way Amazon does), by changing their terms of employment before the regulation comes into effect, that allows them to choose how many hours drivers can work, and everyone ends up on the "gig job" side of the line.
3): The government half-asses it, for whatever reason, and the problems discussed don't change.

I don't really see a good outcome here, the government is simply too slow and incompetent to deal with the information age in a great many things, and the shift to a completely global mode of economics means there will never be anything better for these people without a complete change in the trade systems of the entire world. The issues as I see it isn't with e.g Uber, they're functioning mostly as intended, even though a great many of the people working for them are doing so because they have nothing else. The Uber problem is just a symptom, and if regulated improperly will just end up with these desperate people getting nothing, instead of the little they are getting, and the more that most of them deserve. And unless I am just being thick, I don't see how any level of regulation will actually solve this symptom-problem unless the root causes are dealt with first.
 
@Sundeki but wouldn't giving full employment status as an option fix all of that? If you work more than X hours you can decide to be turned into a full time employee, but if you want to stay as a gig worker you can. Looks to me like that would keep the good and remove the bad.

I do agree that this is more a symptom than the root problem though. A big reason why this is a big issue in the US especially is healthcare. Not receiving health insurance means that you have to buy it on your own, and that is very expensive.
 

Sundeki

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
@Sundeki but wouldn't giving full employment status as an option fix all of that? If you work more than X hours you can decide to be turned into a full time employee, but if you want to stay as a gig worker you can. Looks to me like that would keep the good and remove the bad.
I highly doubt these companies would do that voluntarily, though, and forcing them to do it will create a temporary problem for them that they will eventually get around anyway. I can't remember the specific details, but I remember Amazon essentially assigning the maximum amount of work to their workers that kept them at no more than part-time status, or whatever it was, so Amazon didn't have to provide full pay/benefits. I expect any attempted regulation of Uber-type companies would end up the same or something similar.
 
Regulations can be just as creative as to both plug loopholes and avoid putting extra burden on legit business models. At least they could increase the cost of abusing loopholes and that is still better than waiting for the overthrow of capitalism or Elon's new world order or whatever fixes this.
 
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