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Employment And The Gig Economy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by wallyj84, May 16, 2019.

  1. wallyj84

    wallyj84 Superior Member

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    Uber Drivers Are Not Employees, National Relations Board Rules. Drivers Saw It Coming

    This recent decision by the NLRB has got me thinking about the gig economy. It looks like it is here to stay and in its current form.

    What do you guys think of it? Do you think the gig economy is good or bad for the country as a whole? Are its problems due to greedy companies or stupid people not doing their due diligence? As gig workers become a bigger part of the workforce how should society adapt to this drastic change to employment?
     
  2. sodominsane

    sodominsane Legendary Member

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    Uber ....just an way to skit the Labour and taxi laws
     
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  3. keenobserver

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    Yes, the gig economy is here to stay. In a broad sense it has always been here in the forms of industrial progress (the cotton gin, the assembly line, automation in general) but it is on steroids now and for the foreseeable future. It is what it is - bad for some, maybe many, good for others, initially the few at the top, maybe more later. It will not change back. As this happens we are concerned about the jobs that are eliminated - which for the most part were jobs that eliminated or consolidated other jobs before those jobs existed.

    The Uber decision is not a surprise. In most areas livery and taxi drivers (who replaced horse drawn carriages) are independent contractors. Taxi drivers tend to "rent" their vehicles from a fleet or medallion owner and get to keep what they make over the rent they will pay out. Uber as a model just shifted the major costs to the driver, away from the fleet owner. Now Uber gets the "rent" disguised as a commission and the driver has to buy and maintain a vehicle to their standards, accept their pricing and be at the mercy of their pricing system. Of course this screws the fuck out of the driver who has a bad day, or needs to divert his capital to something silly like food for the kids, a visit to the emergency room (with little insurance). He just winds up getting fewer rides or terminated. Great fucking system.

    Media, specifically newspapers have shifted the costs to the consumer as well - presses don't print nearly as many papers because people get it online, behind a paid firewall but take on the cost of a computer or other device, the internet access fees, and the need to update or replace the devices as they age. It costs more than a 25 cent paper. Food markets are chucking staff left and right with on line apps and shopping services that pick up your order and put it in the car. Banks - well - the countdown on brick and mortar buildings is on and tellers are starting to be as rare as blacksmiths in some area.

    To the larger question - Greedy companies or stupid people - its not really either. Obviously greed is a factor, but that is a name for something else - economic efficiency. It is Adam Smith's "invisible hand of the market place," that sets demand, price and profit. Uber became a thing because it responded specifically to demand - cost rise in peak hours, decline in others, labor adjusts its own schedule, works the hours they want on need and don't work when they don't "want" to. If a competitor uses a different model that requires more people he has higher costs and loses market share and eventually his business. The drive to lower prices and costs is always present but that is how the markets work and it forces initiative and efficiency - brutally. It doesn't do this out of evil motivation, it is a survival need.

    When unions existed it slowed the process down somewhat, and good unions worked hand in glove with management to keep the doors open to adapt in tough economic times but those don't exist as much - the gig era organizers have not been able to adapt to the fast changing market.

    The "stupid" issue is subtle. Let's make a distinction between "stupid" and "under educated" or better still "poorly educated." American public education educates most people far below the capacity to know much beyond basics, and these days not even that. The election of Donald Trump and the alt. right is a direct result of the dumbing down of almost all public education. We educate a workforce to get a low end job and the rest is on the worker when he is not needed. Workers have a hard time adapting in their 50's because they did not learn shit in their teens and twenties to make decent decisions socially and politically. A man got a job as a railroad worker, he was done - his goals were met, he had a good job, insurance, pension, and security. Now the trains can drive themselves, be moved from one location in Florida by computer in Chicago or Mississippi. The same dude in Florida can move the train. Meanwhile the railroad worker is chucked - "see ya, wouldn't want to be ya," but hey - the 7-11 needs someone to be robbed at gunpoint in a high crime area at 20% or what you made at the railroad so the #MAGA crowd says "Hey we created a job for a worker." It is a spiraling pit. I can't call a worker "stupid" for getting caught by technology. When that happens it is a hard place to rebuild from. The dream that workers can get to a place of economic stability has always been precarious at times, but the gig economy has just accelerated the pressure and the speed. It is scary.

    Right now only Andrew Yang appears to be trying to address the issues but as interesting as he is be is trying to educate a public that as Obama correctly noted "clings to Bibles and Guns", wants to go back to mythical old days that never were and has been taught that more unleased irresponsible capitalism is the only way to fix the problem. This guy is not even registering on the scales and is probably 5 generations ahead of people who want to be 3 generations behind.

    Solutions are going to be hard coming.
     
  4. keenobserver

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    To continue a bit - the social safety net needs to be reset and aggressively funded with higher, much high taxes to keep education an on going thing and to force a dramatically different standard on what a "basic" education actually requires. This needs to go beyond "skills" and deal with history of our nation and of all nations. We know little about Russia, China and even Europe, except how they have negatively impacted the US. Africa is a massive unknown to everyone - the people, the nations, the problems and their origins. Science is denied daily and it is killing us. People who try to address the issues are mocked by the monied elite that control the political hacks and voters just sing along because it is the only song they know. As a group we have no idea of social and economic pressures, we just deal with the slogans and talking points.

    Until the populace is "un-dumbed down" were doomed. Just is a vacuum it would take three generations to purge ourselves of the Trump-ism that will infect us to our end of days.
     
  5. Perados

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    My interpretation of the current for of gig economy is that it undermines labour rights. It's used to lower costs or maximize the win, to the disadvantage of workers.

    Uber really is a good example. The taxi market is heavily regulated, this lowers competition, but also increases labour standards and quality.
    Uber tries to avoid the regulations and the "high" labour costs and says it's all up to their drivers...
     
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  6. sodominsane

    sodominsane Legendary Member

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    Nice post....you have earned you handle as a keen observer
     
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  7. sodominsane

    sodominsane Legendary Member

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    No suprised by ruling.....not surprised at all when a big business wins a battle

    What I don't understand

    I'm am curious.....what do insurance companies feel.about uber ....private cars pay about a third of what a taxi pays in insurance....

    I never drive for uber but I'm guessing most people don't report their uberlisious job to their insurance......

    So uber cuts into insurance profits and exposes them to a lot more liability.....

    I am surprised that such a deep pocketed and heavy lobby group such as insurance hasn't done much
     
  8. sargon20

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    Great synopsis! Precisely why Uber is banned in Germany and France. Two countries with strong worker rights quite clearly read the tea leaves. It’s too bad taxi companies didn’t embrace the app model which is Uber’s crown jewel. It takes the uncertainty out of the entire process.

    Capitalism is like fire/combustion we need it but if we can’t control it we’re dead. And right not the trend is towards the let it burn freely and we won’t think about what it’s destroying.
     
  9. keenobserver

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    Generally yes, in terms of standards, at least safety standards, but if you've ever had a taxi driver in NYC or DC, it is not high quality labor - they usually will have a job as long as they pay their rent to the car owner. You don't get to see a rating on them and they have to be criminal to actually lose a job.
     
  10. tanstaafl16

    tanstaafl16 Sexy Member

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    Now I can see the advantage of becoming a cop. You can be shitty at your job and never get fired, no worries.
     
  11. wallyj84

    wallyj84 Superior Member

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    You wrote a lot and nothing that I really disagreed with.

    It was a bit harsh of me to call some people stupid. I apologize for that.

    Something I've noticed is that a lot of people think that gig economy jobs are just supposed to be a side hustle and not a "real job". You see the same kind of thinking when it comes to raising the minimum wage. I think there is a strong element of classism in these arguments.
     
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  12. keenobserver

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    Oh, yes, very much so. Every generation views change with derision and skepticism. I never though cell phone would be a It was fair to mention it because it is an issue in how people perceive these situations when they are not directly affected.
     
  13. sargon20

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    Many of us were “dumped” into the gig economy with no choice as company after company decided to shut down entire departments and hand the function and the people if you were lucky over to “service providers”. And working for a service provider is nothing but a gig with a thin buffer between engaged in a contract and the unemployment line. Goodbye lifetime employment, goodbye pension. Welcome to savage capitalism and corporate serfdom. Have a seat. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy life of toil, stress and uncertainty.

    The Gig Economy” Is the New Term for Serfdom
     
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  14. sodominsane

    sodominsane Legendary Member

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    I have said this for a while....
    The elites won't be happy till it's serfs and nobles again....

    Unfortunately for most of human history you have small group with opulent life while most live in abject poverty

    Perhaps a strong middle class is but a blip on the screen
     
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  15. twoton

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    For a long time I thought gig stood for gigabyte. As in, the Internet-based economy. :rolleyes:
     
  16. jacenx

    jacenx Sexy Member

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    gig is simply an euphemism for slaves. uber drivers are slaves.
     
  17. jacenx

    jacenx Sexy Member

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    and I will add that the only winner is the uber owner who collects all the money and give only tiny pennies to the drivers.
    capitalism, you say ? no, they only spit. This is how i look at the US, a country losing his humanity.
     
  18. wallyj84

    wallyj84 Superior Member

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    The interesting thing with Uber is that it doesn't turn a profit. I'm no financial expert, but I bet that played a big part in why its IPO failed.

    The economy is fundamentally changing and I'm kinda wondering why we're even trying to fight it. It just seems irreversible at this point.
     
  19. thirteenbyseven

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    A diamond post among the myriad lumps of coal we read here at LPSG. I wish that were an op-ed article in a major newspaper.
     
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  20. sargon20

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    Humanity is but a blip in the 5 billion year old planet Earth. We are in the middle of another mass extinction event now and chances are not high we’ll make it out.

    Tesla hasn’t turned in a yearly profit in 15 yrs yet it can still attracts investors. Uber has hit the wall for growth that nasty word that investors need to hear and is at an inopportune time to now have an IPO.
     
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