gig economy

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pages: 207 words: 59,298

The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction by Jamie Woodcock, Mark Graham

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, global value chain, informal economy, information asymmetry, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, Lyft, mass immigration, means of production, Network effects, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, precariat, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

CONTENTS Cover Front Matter Introduction What do we mean by the gig economy? Why did we write this book? What will the book cover? Notes 1 Where did the gig economy come from? The preconditions that shape the gig economy The rise of the gig economy Notes 2 How does the gig economy work? What is a platform? The case of Uber The geographically tethered model The cloudwork model Understanding how platforms work Notes 3 What is it like to work in the gig economy? Delivery work Taxi work Domestic and care work Microwork Online freelancing Notes 4 How are workers reshaping the gig economy? Emerging forms of resistance in geographically tethered work Cloudwork and resistance Towards a new kind of trade unionism? Notes Conclusion: What next for the gig economy? Future #1: Transparency Future #2: Accountability Future #3: Worker power Future #4: Democratic ownership What can you do?

The fourth is ‘a growth of non-standard work arrangements and contingent work’, which we have already identified in the gig economy. The fifth is an ‘increase in risk-shifting from employers to employees’, a process that we also argue is taking place in the gig economy. This leaves us with the question of the implications of the growth of the gig economy, a topic we return to later in the book. We have outlined this brief history of work to make the point that the precarious nature of work in the gig economy is not new. However, the gig economy represents a transformation and reorganization of work significant enough for us to be concerned about it. In the rest of this chapter, we argue that there are three key factors that have facilitated the growth of the gig economy. Firstly, broad political shifts taking place in the economy including worker power, state regulation and globalization and outsourcing.

These preconditions certainly vary in importance between places and times, but we would argue that, together, they influence how most people think about today’s gig economy. Although we use the term ‘gig economy’ in its singular form, we acknowledge that there are actually myriad gig economies all over the world that are experienced in significantly different ways. In other words, the experiences, practices and labour processes within gig economies are far from homogeneous. Nonetheless, speaking about the ‘gig economy’ allows us to draw out broad similarities amongst those practices and experiences. Platform infrastructure While we will return to the concept of ‘platforms’ in detail in chapter 2, it is worth noting how important platform infrastructure is as a precondition to the gig economy. The basic idea in the architectures of platforms that mediate work is to create a digital context in which buyers of labour power are able to connect with sellers of labour power (what economists call a ‘two-sided market’).


pages: 491 words: 77,650

Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

L. 176 Chen, Keith 122 Davies, Paul 174 Cherry 38 Davies, Rob 151 Cherry, Miriam 97, 99, 132, 173, 174, 184 Day, Iris 177 chess robots 1, 6 Deakin, Simon 36, 112, 130, 131, 152, 172, China 12, 38, 153 174, 177, 178, 184, 185 Chowdhry, Amit 181 deductions from pay 15, 19, 60, 63, 67 Christenson, Clayton M. 39 Deep Blue 1 ‘churn’/worker turnover 68 Deliveroo 2, 11, 12, 13, 115 Clark, Shelby 46 collective action by drivers 113 classificatory schemes 13, 28–9, 147 contractual prohibitions 66–7 misclassification 95, 96–100 employment litigation 99 Clement, Barrie 162 internal guidelines 43–4 Clover, Charles 153 safety and liability 122–3 Coase, Ronald 19, 94, 101, 172 wage rates 65 Coase’s theory 19, 20 delivery apps 2 Codagnone, Cristiano 150 demand fluctuations 78 Cohen, Molly 36, 37, 152, 157 Denmark 36 ‘collaborative consumption’ 42 deregulation 37, 40 (see also regulation) collective action 113–15 Dholakia, Utpal 150 collective bargaining rights 48, 65, 82 Didi 2, 12, 38 commission deductions 15, 19, 60, 63, 67 differential wage rates 109–11 commodification of work 76, 77, 110 digital disruption 49, 50 competition 88 ‘digital feudalism’ 83 consumer demand 17–18 digital innovation see innovation consumer protection 10, 112, 121, 128–9 digital market manipulation 123 safety and liability 122–3, 128–9 digital payment systems 5 * * * Index 193 digital work intermediation 5, 11, 13–16 borderline cases 100 disability discrimination 62, 121 identifying the employer 100 discriminatory practices 62, 94, 113, easy cases 102–3 121, 180 functional concept of the disputes 66 employer 101–2, 104 disruptive innovation 39–40, 49, 50, 95 genuine entrepreneurs 103 dockyards 78, 79–80 harder cases 103–4 ‘doublespeak’ 31–50, 71, 95, 97–8, 133 multiple employers 103 Doug H 160, 163 platforms as employers 102–3 down-time 60, 65, 76, 77 ‘independent worker’ 48 Downs, Julie 180 misclassification 95, 96–100 Drake, Barbara 168 ‘personal scope question’ 93 drink driving 133, 184–5 employment taxes 125–7 Dzieza, Josh 163 Engels, Friedrich 81, 168 ‘entrepreneur-coordinator’ 101 economic crises 145 entrepreneurship 6, 8, 21, 32, 42, 43, economic drivers 7, 18–24 45–6, 50, 52 (see also micro- Edwards, Jim 146 entrepreneurs) efficiency 7 autonomy 53–5 Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia 175 algorithmic control and 55–8 ‘elite worker’ status 61, 67 sanctions and 61–3 ‘emperor’s new clothes’ 71 wages and 58–61 empirical studies 28–9 freedom 8, 14, 27, 29, 47, 49, 51, 52, employer responsibility 104 53, 55, 65–8, 69, 85, 96, 108, 110, employment contracts 94 112, 113 bilateral relationships 100 on-demand trap and 68–70 employment law 4, 9, 10, 38, 84 risk and 86 (see also regulation) genuine entrepreneurs 102, 103 continuing importance 139–40 misclassification 96–7, 98, 101 control/protection trade-off 93–4, 95 ‘personal scope question’ 93 European Union 107, 111, 112, 178 self-determination 63–5 flexibility and environmental impacts 21, 26 innovation and 90 Estlund, Cynthia 137, 185 measuring working time 105–7 Estonia 127 mutuality of obligation 174 Estrada, David 41 new proposals 46–9 euphemisms 44–5 rebalancing the scales 107–8 European Union law 107, 111, 112, 178 collective action 113–15 exploitation 26–7 portable ratings 111–13 Ezrachi, Ariel 150 surge pricing 108–11 ‘risk function’ 131, 132 Facebook 35, 57 workers’ rights 105 FairCrowdWork 114, 179 rights vs flexibility 115–17 Farrell, Sean 164 employment litigation FedEx 97 FedEx 97, 173 feedback 5, 15–16 France 99 Feeney, Matthew 35, 151 Uber 45, 48, 54–5, 98, 99, 106, 115 Field, Frank 26 UK 45, 48, 98–9, 106, 115 financial losses 22–3 US 54–5, 97, 98, 99 ‘financially strapped’ 29 employment status 21, 45, 47 Finkin, Matthew 74, 84, 166, 169 * * * 194 Index Fiverr 12, 13, 24, 78 historical precedents and CEO 17 problems 72, 73–85 Fleischer, Victor 20, 147 rebranding work 4–6, 32 flexibility 8, 10, 12, 107, 108 labour as a technology 5–6 vs rights 115–17 market entrants 88 food-delivery apps 12 matching 13, 14, 18–20 Foodora 2, 12 monopoly power 23–4, 28 Foucault, Michel 55, 159 network effects 23–4 founding myths 34–5 overview 2–3 Fox, Justin 182 perils 6, 26–8, 31 fragmented labour markets 83, 84, 86, platform paradox 5 90, 113 platforms as a service 7–8 France 78 consumer protection 10 employment litigation 99 potential 6, 7, 12, 24–6, 31 Labour Code 114, 176, 179 regulation 9–10 (see also regulation) regulatory battles 36 real cost of on-demand services 119, tax liability 126 121–2 (see also structural ‘free agents’ 28–9 imbalances) Freedland, Mark 174, 175 regulation see regulation Freedman, Judith 111, 178 regulatory arbitrage 20–2 freedom 8, 14, 27, 29, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, size of the phenomenon 16–17, 145–6 55, 65–8, 69, 85, 96, 108, 110, work on demand 11–29 112, 113 gigwork 13 on-demand trap and 68–70 Giliker, Paula 183 risk and 86 global economic crises 145 Frey, Carl 136, 185 Goodley, Simon 173 Fried, Ina 183 GPS 5, 57 Greenhouse, Steven 66, 164 Gardner-Selby, W. 185 Griswold, Alison 164, 181 gender parity 144 (see also Grossman, Nick 46 discriminatory practices) Gumtree 20 Germany Gurley, Bill 161 regulatory battles 36 Guyoncourt, Sally 178 workers’ rights 114 gift vouchers 105 Hacker, Jacob 86, 170 gig economy Hall, Jonathan 60, 162, 165 business models 12–13, 44, 100 Hammond, Philip 126, 182 cash burn 22–3 Hancock, Matthew 46, 166 clash of narratives 8 Handy 18 classification 13, 28–9 Hardy, Tess 176 critics 2, 3, 8 Harman, Greg 163 digital work intermediation 5, 11, Harris, Seth 48, 49, 105, 157, 175 13–16 Hatton, Erin 82, 169 economic drivers 7, 18–24 Heap, Lisa 177 empirical studies 28–9 Helpling 2 employment law and see employment Hemel, Daniel 147, 170 law Hesketh, Scott 181 enthusiasts 3, 4, 8 hiring practices: historical gigwork vs crowdwork 13 perspective 78, 79 growth 17–18 historical perspective 72, 73–85 ‘humans as a service’ 3–6 Hitch 38 * * * Index 195 Hitlin, Paul 162 Internet Holtgrewe, Ursula 169 collective action 113 HomeJoy 132 Third Wave 73 Hook, Leslie 153 Irani, Lilly 6, 114, 142, 162, 179 Horan, Hubert 22, 148 Isaac, Mike 170, 171 Horowith, Sara 144 Issa, Darrell 41 hostile takeovers 111–12 Howe, Jeff 7, 11, 142 jargon 42–5 Huet, Ellen 153 Jensen, Vernon 167, 168, 170 Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) 60, 93 Jobs, Steve 35 ‘humans as a service’ 3–6 joint and several liability 104 historical precedents and problems 72, Justia Trademarks 143 73–85 rebranding work 4–6, 32, 40–50 Kalanick, Travis 43, 86 Hunter, Rachel 106, 176 Kalman, Frank 16, 144 Huws, Ursula 27, 141, 150 Kaminska, Izabella 22–3, 44, 90, 148, 156, 169, 171, 172 ‘idle’ time 60, 65, 76, 77 Kaplow, Louis 184 illegal practices 57 Kasparov, Garry 1 immigrant workers 77 Katz, Lawrence 16 incentive structures 67–8 Katz, Vanessa 116, 179 independent contractors 21 Kaufman, Micha 17, 145, 149 Independent Workers Union of Great Kempelen, Wolfgang von 1 Britain (IWGB) 113, 179 Kennedy, John F. 135, 185 industrialization 75 Kenya 36 industry narratives 32–3, 49–50 Kessler, Sarah 151 information asymmetries 32, 54, 87, 131 Keynes, John Maynard 135, 185 innovation 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 32, 42, 45–6, King, Tom, Lord King of Bridgwater 71 110 cheap labour and 89 Kirk, David 133, 184 disruptive innovation 39–40, 49, 95 Kitchell, Susan 166 historical precedents and problems 72, Klemperer, Paul 165 73–85 Krueger, Alan 16, 48, 49, 60, 105, 106, incentives 86–90 157, 162, 165, 175 myths 72, 83 Krugman, Paul 170 obstacles to 88–90 Kucera, David 186 paradox 72, 87 problematic aspects 85–90 labour law see employment law productivity and 87 Lagarde, Christine 86, 170 shifting risk 85–6 Leimeister, Jan Marco 13 workers’ interests and 89–90 Leonard, Andrew 33, 151 innovation law perspective 36 Lewis, Mervyn 168 ‘Innovation Paradox’ 9 Liepman, Lindsay 184 insecure work 9, 10, 12, 27, 42, 107 Lloyd-Jones, Roger 168 historical perspective 80, 81 loan facilities 68 insurance 123 lobbying groups 32, 47, 48 intermediaries 83 (see also digital work Lobel, Orly 11, 37–8 intermediation) low-paid work 9, 26–7, 40–2, historical perspective 79–80 59, 61 International Labour Organization low-skilled work 76, 77, 82 (ILO) 4, 83, 97, 169, 173 automation and 138 * * * 196 Index Lukes, Steven 159 Murgia, Madhumita 182 Lyft 2, 12, 13, 38, 41, 42, 76 mutuality of obligation 174 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 network effects 23–4 regulatory battles 35 Newcomer, Eric 148, 165 Uber’s competitive strategies 88 Newton, Casey 164 Nowag, Julian 183 McAfee, Andrew 137, 138, 185 Machiavelli, Niccolo 93, 172 O’Connor, Sarah 43, 155 machine learning 136, 137 ODesk 60 McCurry, Justin 186 O’Donovan, Caroline 144, 164, 181 Malone, Tom 73 Oei, Shu-Yi 124, 125, 132, 147, 182, 184 Mamertino, Mariano 161, 163 Ola 2, 12 market entrants 88 on-demand trap 68–70 market manipulation 123 on-demand work 11– 29 Markowitz, Harry 184 real cost of on-demand services 119, Marsh, Grace 182 121–2 (see also structural Marshall, Aarian 186 imbalances) Martens, Bertin 150 Orwell, George 31, 151 Marvit, Moshe 142 Osborne, Hilary 164 Marx, Patricia 119–20, 180 Osborne, Michael 136, 185 matching 13, 14, 18–20 outsourcing Maugham, Jolyon 182 agencies 40 Mayhew, Henry 77, 78, 79, 167 ‘web services’ 2 Mechanical Turk 1, 2, 6 outwork industry 74–5, 76–7, 79, 80, 89 mental harm 57–8 Owen, Jonathan 178 Meyer, Jared 149 ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ 8, 21, 46, 49, Padget, Marty 186 52–3, 63 Pannick, David, Lord Pannick 110 ‘micro-wages’ 27 Pasquale, Frank 8, 40, 154 middlemen 80 Peck, Jessica Lynn 26 minimum wage levels 3, 9, 21, 26, 27, 59, peer-to-peer collaboration 42, 43 94, 104, 105 Peers.org 32–3 minimum working hour guarantees 108 performance standard probations 61 misidentification 95, 96–100 personal data 112, 178 mobile payment mechanisms 5 ‘personal scope question’ 93 monopoly power 23–4, 28 Pissarides, Christopher 19, 147 Morris, David Z. 171 platform paradox 5 Morris, Gillian 174 platform responsibility 122–3, 128 MTurk 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 24–5, 76, 139, platforms as a service 7–8 161–2, 163 consumer protection 10 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 regulation 9–10 (see also regulation) business model 100, 101, 103, 104 Plouffe, David 154 commission deductions 63 Poe, Edgar Allen 1 digital work intermediation 14, 15 Polanyi’s paradox 138–9 matching 19 political activism 114 payment in gift vouchers 105 portable ratings 111–13 quality control 120 Porter, Eduardo 171 TurkOpticon 114 ‘postindustrial corporations’ 20 wage rates 59, 60, 61 Postmates 57, 63, 121 * * * Index 197 Poyntz, Juliet Stuart 168 structural imbalances 130, 131 Prassl, Jeremias 174, 175, 176, 177, robots 136–7 178, 183 Mechanical Turk 1, 6 precarious work 9, 10, 12, 27, 42, 107 Rodgers, Joan 177 historical perspective 80, 81 Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald 181 price quotes 121–2 Rönnmar, Mia 175 surge pricing 58, 108–11, 122 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 133, 185 Primack, Dan 148 Rosenblat, Alex 54, 56, 65, 123, 131, 159, productivity 87 160, 163, 164, 182, 184 public discourse 69 Rosenblat, Joel 165 public health implications 27 Rubery, Jill 84, 169 punishment 57 (see also sanctions) Ryall, Jenny 181 quality control 5, 80, 120 safe harbours 47, 49 safety and liability 122–3, 128–9 rating mechanisms 5, 15–16, 53–4 sanctions 61–3 (see also punishment) algorithms 54, 55, 87–8 Sandbu, Martin 87, 170 discrimination 62, 113 Scheiber, Noam 164 portable ratings 111–13 Schmiechen, James 167, 168, 169 sanctions and 61–3 Schumpeter, Joseph 133 rebranding work 4–6, 32, 40–50 self-dealing 123 regulation 9–10 (see also employment law) self-determination 36–7, 47, 63–5 industry narratives 32–3, 49–50 (see also autonomy) new proposals 31, 46–9, 50 self-driving cars 89, 137 opponents 31, 33–4 sexual assaults 121, 180–1 Disruptive Davids 34–7 sexual discrimination 62, 144, 180 disruptive innovation theory ‘sham self-employment’ 97 39–40, 49 sharing economy 7, 20, 51 New Goliaths 37–40 critics 32–3 regulatory battles 35–7, 47–9 disruptive innovation 39, 49 safe harbours 47, 49 enthusiasts 61 self-regulation 36–7, 47 Sharing Economy UK 33, 37 shaping 32–3, 45–9 sharing platforms 116 regulatory arbitrage 20 –2, 147 Shavell, Steven 184 regulatory experimentation 36 Shleifer, Andrei 111, 178 Reich, Robert 108, 176 Shontell, Alyson 161 Relay Rides 46 Silberman, Six 61, 114, 162, 163, 179 ‘reluctants’ 29 Silver, James 156, 158 reputation algorithms 54 Singer, Natasha 43, 155, 156 ride-sharing/ridesharing 2, 21, 38, 41 Slee, Tom 32, 53, 142, 151, 155, 158, 159 (see also taxi apps) Smith, Adam 73 algorithmic control mechanisms 55–6 Smith, Jennifer 170 business model 102–3 Smith, Yves 148 discriminatory practices 62, 121 social media 114 maltreatment of passengers 121 social partners 10, 94 ride-sharing laws 47 social security contributions 21, 125–7 Ries, Brian 181 social security provision 3, 48, 131 Ring, Diane 124, 125, 132, 147, 182, 184 sociological critique 27–8 Risak, Martin 102, 175 specialization 75 risk shift 85–6 Spera 51, 158 * * * 198 Index Sports Direct 40–1 taxi regulation 21, 36, 37, 38, 114 Standage, Tom 141 vetting procedures 121 standardized tasks 76 tech:NYC 33 Stark, Luke 54, 56, 65, 159, 160, 163, 164 technological exceptionalism 6, 128 start-up loans 68 technological innovation see innovation Stefano, Valerio De 84, 169 technology 5–6, 27 Stigler, George 32, 151 unemployment and 135, 137, 140 Stone, Katherine 67, 165 terminology 42–5 structural imbalances time pressure 57 business model 130–2 Titova, Jurate 183 digital market manipulation 123 TNC, see transportation network levelling the playing field 127–32 company platform responsibility 122–3, 128 Tolentino, Jia 166 real cost of on-demand services 119, Tomassetti, Julia 20, 147, 156, 171 121–2 Tomlinson, Daniel 163 safety and liability 128–9 trade unions 65, 113, 114, 178, 179 sustainability 132–3 transaction cost 19 tax obligations 123–4, 129, 131, 132 transport network company (TNC) employment taxes and social regulation 47–8 security contributions 125–7 Truck arrangements 105 VAT 124–5, 129 Tsotsis, Alex 151 Stucke, Maurice 150 TurkOpticon 114, 162, 163, 179 Sullivan, Mike 180 Summers, Lawrence 111, 131, 178, 184 Uber 2, 11, 12, 43 Sundararajan, Arun 36, 37, 41, 73, 74, 75, algorithmic control mechanisms 56, 151, 152, 157, 166, 167 57, 58 Supiot, Alain 130–1, 177, 184 arbitration 165 surge pricing 58, 108–11, 122 autonomous vehicles and 89 survey responses 120 ‘churn’/worker turnover 68 Swalwell, Eric 41, 154 commission deductions 63 competitive strategies 88 takeovers 111–12 consumer demand 18 ‘task economies’ 76, 77, 79 control mechanisms 54 Task Rabbit 2, 12, 13, 46, 143–4, 163 creation of new job business model 100, 101, 160 opportunities 77–8 company law 56 digital work intermediation 14, 15 contractual prohibitions 66 disruptive innovation 39 digital work intermediation 14, 15–16 driver income projections 51 financial losses 22 Driver-Partner Stories 25, 149 founding myth 34–5 driver-rating system 158, 160 regulatory arbitrage 20 employment litigation terms of service 44, 53, 122, 158, 181 France 99 wage rates 64 UK 45, 48, 98, 106, 115 working conditions 57 US 54–5, 99 Taylor, Frederick 52–3, 72, 158 financial losses 22, 23 tax laws 84 ‘Greyball’ 88, 170 tax obligations 123–4, 129, 131, 132 ‘Hell’ 88, 170 employment taxes and social security loss-making tactics and market share 64 contributions 125–7 monopoly power 23 VAT 124–5, 129 positive externality claims 132–3 taxi apps 12, 20 regulatory arbitrage 20 * * * Index 199 regulatory battles 35, 36 Vaidhyanathan, Siva 40, 154 resistance to unionization 65, 178 value creation 18–19, 20 risk shift 86 van de Casteele, Mounia 182 safety and liability 122–3, 180–1 VAT 124–5, 129 sale of Chinese operation 38 Verhage, Julie 147 surge pricing 58, 122 vicarious liability 128 tax liability 125, 126, 127 unexpected benefits 26 wage rates 58–61, 64, 65 wage rates 58, 59, 60–1, 64, 65, 127 Wakabayashi, Daisuke 171 working conditions 113, 178 Warne, Dan 115 UberLUX 14 Warner, Mark 16 UberX 14, 51, 60 Warren, Elizabeth 127, 183 UK Webb, Beatrice and Sidney 80, 168 collective action 113 Weil, David 83, 169 employment litigation 45, 48, 98–9, 106 welfare state 130, 131 tax liability 124–5, 126 Wilkinson, Frank 84, 130, 131, 169, unemployment 135, 137, 140, 145 172, 184, 185 Union Square Ventures 46 Wong, Julia Carrie 170 unionization 10, 65, 113, 114, 178, 179 work on demand 11–29 ‘unpooling’ 147 worker classification 28–9, 147 Unterschutz, Joanna 178 misclassification 95, 96–100 Upwork 12, 76, 144 workers’ rights 105 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 vs flexibility 115–17 business model 100, 160 working conditions 57, 68–9 commission deductions 63, 67 historical perspective 77, 81 US Uber 113, 178 discriminatory practices 121 working time 105–7 employment litigation 54–5, 97, 98, 99 Wosskow, Debbie 157 regulatory battles 36, 47 Wujczyk, Marcin 178 tax liabilities 126–7 taxi regulation 36, 114 Yates, Joanne 73 transport network company (TNC) YouTube 58 regulation 47–8 user ratings 5, 15–16, 53–4, 55 Zaleski, Olivia 165 portable ratings 111–13 zero-hours contracts 40, 41, 107 sanctions and 61–3 Zuckerberg, Mark 35 * * * Document Outline Cover Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy Copyright Dedication Contents Introduction Welcome to the Gig Economy Humans as a Service Rebranding Work The Platform Paradox Labour as a Technology Making the Gig Economy Work Platforms as a Service Exploring the Gig Economy Charting Solutions A Broader Perspective 1. Work on Demand Understanding the Gig Economy Digital Work Intermediation How Big Is the Gig Economy? Explosive Growth The Economics of the Gig Economy Matching and Intermediation Regulatory Arbitrage Cash Burn Network Effects and Monopoly Power The Promise—and the Perils—of On-Demand Work Looking on the Bright Side of Life The Dark Side of the Moon What Is Going On?

As Jeff Howe, the journalist who coined the very language of ‘crowd- sourcing’, notes in the introduction to his enthusiastic book on ‘the power of the crowd [to drive] the future of business’, companies who ‘view the crowd as a cheap labor force are doomed to fail’.15 The promise of the gig economy is great—but we need to make sure it lives up to its full potential, for everyone. Humans must never become a service; platforms should. Platforms as a Service To this end, the book is loosely structured into three parts. We will, first, explore the reality of life and work in the gig economy, before attempting to chart solutions to the problems identified. Finally, we will take a step back to think about the broader implications of the gig economy for consumers, taxpayers, and markets at large. Exploring the Gig Economy The thorniest of these tasks comes first—and will take up most of the first four chapters. Chapter 1 sets the scene, looking at ‘Work on Demand’ in the gig economy and illustrating platform’s role in digital work intermediation through several archetypical examples.

upwork.com/press/2014/09/03/53-million-americans-now-freelance-new- study-finds-2/, archived at https://perma.cc/P3Q4-WJH4 13. Frank Kalman, ‘Yes, the gig economy is great—but it isn’t the future of work’, Talent Economy (18 November 2016), https://medium.com/talent-economy/ yes-the-gig-economy-is-great-but-it-isnt-the-future-of-work-a5629f2b9e2d, archived at https://perma.cc/Q8MD-4A8C 14. Ibid. 15. For some of the most promising work at the time of writing, see McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy (McKinsey & Co. 2016), 36; Brhmie Balaram, Josie Warden, and Fabian Wallace- Stephens, Good Gigs: A Fairer Future for the UK’s Gig Economy (RSA 2017), 18. 16. MGI, Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy (McKinsey & Co. 2016), 36, citing Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, ‘The rise and nature of alter- native work arrangements in the United States, 1995–2015’ (2016) NBER Working Paper No. 22667; Patrick Gillespie, ‘The rapidly growing gig econ- omy is still super small’, CNN Money (6 May 2016), http://money.cnn.


pages: 246 words: 68,392

Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work by Sarah Kessler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, financial independence, future of work, game design, gig economy, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, law of one price, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, payday loans, post-work, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

JP Morgan Chase Institute. November 2016. 4   Kessler, Sarah. The Gig Economy Is Also a Management Style. Quartz. January 17, 2017. https://qz.com/862319/the-gig-economy-is-also-a-management-style/. 5   70%: Manyika, James, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Kelsey Robinson, Jan Mischke, and Deepa Mahajan. Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy. McKinsey Global Institute. October 2016. 80%: Wartzman, Rick. Working in the Gig Economy Is Both Desirable and Detestable. Fortune. April 27, 2016. http://fortune.com/2016/04/27/uber-gig-economy/. 85%: Wartzman, Rick. Working in the Gig Economy Is Both Desirable and Detestable. Fortune. April 27, 2016. http://fortune.com/2016/04/27/uber-gig-economy/. 6   Wartzman, Working in the Gig Economy. 7   Oisin, Hanrahan. We Must Protect the On-Demand Economy to Protect the Future of Work.

Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, long a proponent of strengthening the government-provided safety net, finally won headlines for the position after pairing it with the gig economy. “The much-touted virtues of flexibility, independence and creativity offered by gig work might be true for some workers under some conditions,” she said in a speech at an annual conference for the New America Foundation in Washington, “but for many, the gig economy is simply the next step in a losing effort to build some economic security in a world where all the benefits are floating to the top 10 percent.”21 The speech wasn’t exactly about the gig economy: “The problems facing gig workers are much like the problems facing millions of other workers,” Warren noted. But the headlines were definitely about the gig economy: “Elizabeth Warren Takes on Uber, Lyft and the ‘Gig Economy’”;22 “Elizabeth Warren Calls for Increased Regulations on Uber, Lyft, and the ‘Gig Economy’”;23 “Elizabeth Warren Slams Uber and Lyft.”24 In her speech, Warren had acknowledged that talking about TaskRabbit, Uber, and Lyft was “very hip.”

So perhaps when entrepreneurs described for me a world in which work would be like shopping at a bazaar (a gig economy startup had picked up this concept in its name, Zaarly), it appealed to me more than it would have to someone with more gray hairs: I’ll take that vision of the future—no need to play that horrifying mass unemployment and poverty vision that I had all lined up and ready to go. I wrote my first story about the gig economy in 2011, long before anyone had labeled it the “gig economy.” The headline was “Online Odd Jobs: How Startups Let You Fund Yourself.”2 Though my job changed throughout the next seven years, my fascination with the gig economy didn’t. I first watched as the gig economy became a venture capital feeding frenzy, a hot new topic and a ready answer to the broader economy’s problems.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

A 2014 Gallup poll found that less than one-third of employees are engaged and passionate about their jobs.3 In fact, during the past decade, the majority of Americans haven’t been satisfied with their jobs.4 Surveys of independent workers, in contrast, indicate that they are more satisfied with their work, and more engaged.5 They value the autonomy, flexibility, and greater control they have by not being a full-time employee, and in many cases they earn more.6 The Gig Economy is a new way of work that seems to be working. These changes have enormous implications about how we think about managing our careers and structuring our lives. The traditional arc of American life—graduate from college, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, send kids to college, retire—is still available, but it’s more challenging to achieve without the solid foundation of a stable job and a steady and increasing income to support it. The Gig Economy offers more possibilities to arc our own journey and create our own path. As it continues to grow, we can expect the Gig Economy to change not only the way we work, but also the way we live. How to Succeed in the Gig Economy The intention of this book is not simply to educate you about the Gig Economy but to guide you through it and provide a toolkit for succeeding in it.

The employer will not have to make contributions to Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and health insurance, will save the administrative expense of withholding, and will be relieved of responsibility to the worker under labor and employment laws.”14 It’s been over two decades since that report, yet our labor policies have remained the same . . . even though they make less and less sense in a world where fewer and fewer workers have a full-time job with a single employer. The Gig Economy is an economy of work, but our labor policies only offer benefits and protections to employees who work in traditional jobs. How Big Is the Gig Economy? It’s hard to know for sure how big the Gig Economy is or precisely how quickly it’s growing. Normally, the responsibility for collecting data on employment and labor market trends falls to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS has so far done a poor job attempting to quantify the growth in the Gig Economy. Their last survey on contingent workers was conducted in 2005.15 Finally, though, a few recent studies provide early evidence that the Gig Economy is significant and growing rapidly. Economists Larry Katz from Harvard and Alan Krueger from Princeton conducted detailed analyses of tax data and found that:16 The percentage of Americans engaged in alternative work increased by more than 50 percent over the past decade, from 10 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2015.

Like elevator pitches, a personal pitch is a compelling statement that conveys your value proposition and skills. Traditional pitch: I’m a VP at an investment bank. Gig Economy pitch: I help companies raise the money they need to finance their growth. The difference is that the traditional pitch relies on a static title while the Gig Economy pitch emphasizes what value you deliver, and to whom. The challenge of the Gig Economy pitch is to consolidate and summarize your varied work experiences into a single compelling pitch: Bad Gig Economy pitch: Listing all your marketing gigs and projects over the past several years. Better Gig Economy pitch: “I help technology companies explain what their product is and the problem it solves so they can recruit the right customers, investors, and employees.” Designed to be brief, personal pitches give us the chance to connect the dots and communicate the common themes in our narrative.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

I argue that the anonymity of the sharing economy can make it easier to source otherwise law-abiding workers for drug deliveries and can lead to unsuspecting workers involved in various scams. In many ways, the gig economy creates a new future for criminal activity even as it rolls back worker protections. Finally, in chapter 7, I discuss gig economy workers whose higher skills and capital give them many more choices in the sharing economy: successful Airbnb hosts and Kitchensurfing chefs. I found that workers on these two platforms were much more likely to view themselves as entrepreneurs and to take advantage of the outsourcing opportunities of the gig economy to hire others. By juxtaposing the stories of those who are thriving with those who are barely surviving, I highlight the role of capital and skills in the gig economy. My concluding chapter provides interviews with the leaders of services who are working to change the sharing economy status quo by paying their workers a living wage and providing benefits and workplace protections.

While food swaps and makerspaces are useful and raise a number of theoretically interesting issues regarding race, class, and the creation of “belonging,” I am especially interested in sharing economy platforms that provide a source of work and income and that claim to be bringing entrepreneurship or financial sustainability to the masses.18 I categorize these platforms as part of the gig economy, owing to their focus on short-term income opportunities. While not all aspects of the sharing economy are part of the gig economy, platform-based gig-economy services fall under the sharing economy heading, and I use these two concepts interchangeably. The guiding questions of my research are: What is life in the sharing economy like for workers? To what extent do the workers consider or experience themselves as entrepreneurs, workers, or sharers who are creating a new type of economy? What types of skills and capital do workers bring to the gig economy? My research draws on three main theoretical themes: the Gemeinschaft/Gesellschaft trust divide; the increasing casualization of labor with a related shift in risk; and the resulting increase in social inequalities.

The sharing economy is upending generations of workplace protections in the name of disruption and returning to a time when worker exploitation was the norm. This book explores contradictions between the lofty promises of the gig economy and the lived experience of the workers, between app-enabled modernity and the reality of rolling back generations of workplace protections. The sharing economy promises flexibility and work-life balance, but while Baran works only four days a week, those days are twelve-hour shifts. Sarah and Shaun are free from reporting to a single employer, but the gig economy increasingly tethers them to work: they’re constantly on call, hustling to make money. Thanks to service algorithms, the decision to work isn’t always in their hands. The gig economy offers “flexibility,” but if they spend too much time away from the platform, they may discover they’ve been “removed from the community,” or “deactivated.”


pages: 343 words: 91,080

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

Lauren Weber, “Some of the World’s Largest Employers No Longer Sell Things, They Rent Workers,” Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2017, www.wsj.com/articles/some-of-the-worlds-largest-employers-no-longer-sell-things-they-rent-workers-1514479580. 31. Vili Lehdonvirta, “Considering the Taylor Review: Ways Forward for the Gig Economy,” Policy and Internet Blog, July 21, 2017, http://blogs.oii.ox.ac.uk/policy/considering-the-taylor-review-ways-forward-for-the-gig-economy/. 32. See, e.g., Barth, Davis, Freeman, and Kerr, “Weathering the Great Recession.” 33. Even companies that emerged at about the same time as Uber, like Airbnb, or preceded Uber, like TaskRabbit, are overshadowed by Uber’s prominence as the face of the sharing economy. For discussion of the “Uber for X” phenomenon, see Nathan Heller, “Is the Gig Economy Working?” New Yorker, May 15, 2017, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/15/is-the-gig-economy-working. 34. Juggernaut, “11 Uber for X Startups That Failed— Are You Making the Same Mistakes?” April 28, 2015, http://nextjuggernaut.com/blog/11-uber-for-x-startups-that-failed-are-you-making-the-same-mistakes/. 35.

Vili Lehdonvirta, “The Online Gig Economy Grew 26% over the Past Year,” iLabour Project, July 10, 2017, http://ilabour.oii.ox.ac.uk/the-online-gig-economy-grew-26-over-the-past-year/. 38. The terms ascribed to the sharing economy also include the peer-to-peer economy, the collaborative economy, and others. 39. Uber Under the Hood, “Uber Partners with NAACP to Increase Flexible Work Opportunities,” January 5, 2016, https://medium.com/uber-under-the-hood/uber-partners-with-naacp-to-increase-flexible-work-opportunities-78cfc51695b3. 40. Uber, “Uber | MADD,” www.uber.com/partner/madd/. 41. See also Gabriel Thompson, “What We Talk about When We Talk about the Gig Economy,” Capital and Main, July 27, 2017, https://capitalandmain.com/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-the-gig-economy-0727; on income volatility in the gig economy, see JP Morgan Chase, “Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy Big Data on Income Volatility,” February 2016, www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/institute/report-paychecks-paydays-and-the-online-platform-economy.htm. 42.

Its marketing is almost exclusively organized around the archetypical image of the “millennial.” Born between the 1980s and the early twenty-first century, millennials are touted as society’s most active technology users, and they often find their work in the on-demand, gig economy. The CEO of Intuit, a company that offers tax accounting software for independent contractors that is particularly popular with Uber drivers, echoed the idea that the gig economy is a millennial phenomenon when he commented, “We know the gig economy is real. It’s here. It’s a secular trend. It didn’t just start with Uber and Lyft. It started years ago. It’s a lifestyle choice for millennials.”62 Even though they have been the butt of jokes about their limited employment prospects, millennials are simultaneously credited with access to the boundless opportunities of the Internet.


pages: 256 words: 79,075

Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, call centre, clockwatching, collective bargaining, congestion charging, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, gig economy, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Network effects, new economy, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, post-work, profit motive, race to the bottom, reshoring, Silicon Valley, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, working poor, working-age population

‘An extraordinary and unsettling journey into the way modern Britons work. It is Down and Out In Paris and London for the gig economy age.’ Matthew d’Ancona, Guardian columnist and bestselling author of Post-Truth ‘A tautly written exposé of the swindle of the gig economy and a call to arms.’ Nick Cohen, journalist and author of What’s Left? ‘I emerged from James Bloodworth’s quietly devastating and deeply disturbing book convinced that the “gig economy” is simply another way in which the powerful are enabled to oppress the disadvantaged.’ D. J. Taylor, author of Orwell: The Life ‘A truly devastating examination of the vulnerable human underbelly of Britain’s labour market, shining a bright light on the unjust and exploitative practices that erode the morale and living standards of working-class communities.’

I mean, I’m self-employed!’ Ultimately, it is judges who will decide whether or not the ‘gig’ economy workforce is genuinely self-employed. But it did feel as if there was an overwhelming wave of misinformation being unleashed on both those who used the apps for work and the wider public about the nature of the ‘gig’ economy. In his book on Dickens, the biographer Peter Ackroyd wrote that if a person living today were to somehow find themselves in a tavern or house of the period in which Dickens was writing, he or she would ‘be literally sick – sick with the smells, sick with the food, sick with the atmosphere around him’. I suspect that if some of those who today make a comfortable living writing newspaper columns extolling the virtues of the ‘gig’ economy were to find themselves doing some of the lowly jobs that keep London afloat, they too would eventually sink to their knees prostrate with illness.

‘Stop acid attacks, bike theft, motorcycle crime.’34 There has been a huge rise in acid attacks in London over recent years,35 with some of those falling victim delivery drivers whose mopeds have been targeted by vicious thieves. Some of the most important work in the ‘gig’ economy is being done by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain and – for drivers – by United Private Hire Drivers, a branch of the IWGB. The IWGB was, at the time of writing, fighting, inter alia, for Deliveroo to recognise the first collective bargaining agreement in the ‘gig’ economy. It was the General Secretary of the IWGB, Jason Moyer-Lee, who said something that would stick with me when I asked him why customers ought to worry about the terms and conditions of Uber drivers and the people who delivered their takeaway meals. ‘The point is if we don’t nip this type of stuff in the bud, because this type of work is spreading ... tomorrow we’re all going to wake up and we’re not going to have any employment rights.’


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

But lately many have ended up in the gig economy, driving for Uber or running errands via TaskRabbit. The gig economy is the second way in which Silicon Valley has helped drive down wages. Instead of hiring employees, companies use the Internet to assemble a workforce of contract employees. The shift to gig work was helped along by the Great Recession, which put 8.7 million people out of work between 2007 and 2010—just as companies like Uber and Airbnb were being formed. The problem is that the jobs people lost had provided them with health insurance and some kind of retirement plan. Gig work pays almost nothing and provides no benefits. Apps like Uber might feel like magic for consumers, but the gig economy is not so magical for the people trying to make a living in it. Nevertheless, gig-economy jobs represented 34 percent of the U.S. economy in 2017 and will hit 43 percent by 2020, according to software company Intuit, maker of TurboTax.

Nevertheless, gig-economy jobs represented 34 percent of the U.S. economy in 2017 and will hit 43 percent by 2020, according to software company Intuit, maker of TurboTax. Consulting firm McKinsey estimates there are sixty-eight million gig-economy “freelancers” in the United States, and that twenty million of them, or roughly 30 percent, have resorted to gig-economy work not because they find it appealing, but in desperation, as a last resort, because they can’t find real jobs with better pay. The gig-economy model is coming for white-collar workers, too. Gig-economy lawyers get hired on short-term contracts or by the project. WorkMarket, a New York start-up, runs online “on-demand labor clouds” of graphic designers, copywriters, editors, and computer technicians who get hired as contractors to work for big companies like Walgreens and are paid by the gig.

I would rather be dead.” Silicon Valley promotes the gig economy as an innovative new industry that is creating jobs for millions of people. But the jobs being created are mostly bad ones. Meanwhile, gig-economy companies threaten established industries. Airbnb steals business from hotels. Uber and Lyft have hurt business at car-rental companies like Hertz and Avis, and have utterly decimated the taxi and livery business. Pundits like to talk about “creative destruction” as if it were an abstract concept, but the sight of a driver parked in front of City Hall with his head blown off served as a reminder that all this change and so-called progress is coming at a very high cost to actual human beings. As the New York Times reported, Schifter “was not a participant in the gig economy; he was a casualty of it.” There are many others.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

See also Mark Graham, Isis Hjorth, and Vili Lehdonvirta, “Digital Labour and Development: Impacts of Global Digital Labour Platforms and the Gig Economy on Worker Livelihoods,” Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 23, no. 2 (2017): 135–62, https://doi.org/10.1177/1024258916687250. [back] Conclusion 1. See Siou Chew Kuek, Cecilia Paradi-Guilford, Toks Fayomi, Saori Imaizumi, Panos Ipeirotis, Patricia Pina, and Manpreet Singh, “The Global Opportunity in Online Outsourcing,” World Bank Group, June 2015; for related, in some cases more conservative, estimates, see Lawrence Mishel, Uber and the Labor Market, Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute, 2018, https://www.epi.org/publication/uber-and-the-labor-market-uber-drivers-compensation-wages-and-the-scale-of-uber-and-the-gig-economy/; James Manyika et al., Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy (Washington, DC: McKinsey Global Institute: October 2016), http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy; James Manyika et al., Harnessing Automation for a Future That Works (Washington, DC: McKinsey Global Institute: January 2017), http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/digital-disruption/harnessing-automation-for-a-future-that-works; Till Alexander Leopold, Saadia Zahidi, and Vesselina Ratcheva, The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, 2016.

These jobs, dominated by freelance and contingent work arrangements rather than full-time or even hourly wage positions, have no established, legal status. Sometimes these jobs are given heft as harbingers of the “Second Machine Age” or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or part of a larger digital or platform economy. Other times, they’re simply, glibly called gigs.9 No employment laws capture the on-demand gig economy’s odd mix of independence from any single employer and dependency on a web-based platform. As the taskmasters of the gig economy, on-demand platforms make their money by matching those buying and selling human labor online, generating a two-sided market of myriad businesses and anonymous crowds of workers. And, importantly, as media scholar and sociologist Tarleton Gillespie points out, platforms may not create the content that they host, “but they do make important choices about it.”10 On-demand work platforms can easily become silent business partners more aligned with the interests of those willing to pay a fee to find workers than with the workers searching for jobs.

Harnessing Automation for a Future That Works. Washington, DC: McKinsey Global Institute, January 2017. http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/digital-disruption/harnessing-automation-for-a-future-that-works. Manyika, James, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Kelsey Robinson, Jan Mischke, and Deepa Mahajan. Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy. Washington, DC: McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016. http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy. Marwick, Alice E. Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013. Mason, Winter, and Siddharth Suri. “Conducting Behavioral Research on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.” Behavior Research Methods 44, no. 1 (March 2012): 1–23. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-011-0124-6.


pages: 116 words: 31,356

Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, deskilling, disintermediation, future of work, gig economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mittelstand, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, platform as a service, quantitative easing, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, TaskRabbit, the built environment, total factor productivity, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unconventional monetary instruments, unorthodox policies, Zipcar

‘Uber Losing $1 Billion a Year to Compete in China’. Reuters. 18 February. http://www.reuters.com/article/uber-china-idUSKCN0VR1M9 (accessed 27 May 2016). Joyce, Michael, Matthew Tong, and Robert Woods. 2011. ‘The United Kingdom’s Quantitative Easing Policy: Design, Operation and Impact’. Quarterly Bulletin, Q3: 200–212. Kamdar, Adi. 2016. ‘Why Some Gig Economy Startups Are Reclassifying Workers as Employees’. On Labor: Workers, Unions, and Politics. 19 February. http://onlabor.org/2016/02/19/why-some-gig-economy-startups-are-reclassifying-workers-as-employees (accessed 27 May 2016). Kaminska, Izabella. 2016a. ‘Davos: Historians Dream of Fourth Industrial Revolutions’. Financial Times, 20 January. http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/01/20/2150720/davos-historians-dream-of-fourth-industrial-revolutions (accessed 30 June 2016). Kaminska, Izabella. 2016b.

‘Can Germany Beat the US to the Industrial Internet?’ Bloomberg Businessweek, 18 September. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-18/can-the-mittelstand-fend-off-u-s-software-giants- (accessed 29 May 2016). Wheelock, Jane. 1983. ‘Competition in the Marxist Tradition’. Capital & Class, 7 (3): 18–47. Wile, Rob. 2016. ‘There Are Probably Way More People in the “Gig Economy” Than We Realize’. Fusion. Accessed 24 March. http://fusion.net/story/173244/there-are-probably-way-more-people-in-the-gig-economy-than-we-realize (accessed 29 May 2016). Wittel, Andreas. 2016. ‘Digital Marx: Toward a Political Economy of Distributed Media’. In Marx in the Age of Digital Capitalism, edited by Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco, pp. 68–104. Leiden: Brill. World Bank. 2016. ‘World Development Reports, 2016: Digital Dividends’. Washington, DC. http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2016 (accessed 29 May 2016).

Alex Andrews was an immensely helpful technical advisor, and thanks to everyone else who read earlier drafts – Diann Bauer, Suhail Malik, Benedict Singleton, Keith Tilford, Alex Williams, and two anonymous reviewers. Last but not least, thanks to Helen Hester for supporting me and for always being my most intellectually challenging and insightful critic. Introduction We are told today that we are living in an age of massive transformation. Terms like the sharing economy, the gig economy, and the fourth industrial revolution are tossed around, with enticing images of entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility bandied about. As workers, we are to be liberated from the constraints of a permanent career and given the opportunity to make our own way by selling whatever goods and services we might like to offer. As consumers, we are presented with a cornucopia of on-demand services and with the promise of a network of connected devices that cater to our every whim.


pages: 336 words: 95,773

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials' Economic Future by Joseph C. Sternberg

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, centre right, corporate raider, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, job-hopping, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

Gigs Bite And of course we ended up with the biggest Millennial labor-market distortion of them all: the gig economy. What exactly is the “gig economy”? One thing it isn’t is new. Freelancers and part-timers have always been important parts of the economy. What also isn’t as special about the gig economy as many people think is the thing that always catches everyone’s attention about it—the technology. Smartphone apps like Uber or Lyft or TaskRabbit make it a lot easier for workers to offer themselves as temporary employees without going through an agency, and the lower cost thresholds associated with hiring individuals to do jobs via an app mean that “temporary” can become as short as a single car ride. But the technology is an important part of the story of the gig economy less because it has created revolutionary new gig work than because it proves the bigger point of this chapter: enormous quantities of investment capital have flowed into companies creating these apps because making an app that will take the middleman out of temporary hiring is currently a lot cheaper than investing in almost any business activity that would create a full-time job.

Will Kimball and Lawrence Mishel, “Nearly One-Third of Salaried Workers Will Be Guaranteed Overtime Under the New Rule, but That Falls Short of the Half Covered in the Mid-1970s,” Economic Snapshop, June 1, 2016, epi.org/publication/nearly-one-third-of-salaried-workers-will-be-guaranteed-overtime-under-the-new-rule-but-that-falls-short-of-the-half-covered-in-the-mid-1970s. 44. Acemoglu and Restrepo, “The Race Between Machine and Man.” 45. Josh Zumbrun and Anna Louie Sussman, “Proof of a ‘Gig Economy’ Revolution Is Hard to Find,” Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2015. 46. Prudential Insurance Company of America, “Gig Economy Impact by Generation,” 2018. 47. Eli Dourado and Christopher Koopman, “Evaluating the Growth of the 1099 Work Force,” Mercatus on Policy series, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, 2015. 48. Patrick Gillespie, “Intuit: Gig Economy Is 34 Percent of US Workforce,” CNN Money, May 24, 2017, money.cnn.com/2017/05/24/news/economy/gig-economy-intuit/index.html. CHAPTER 3: HUMAN-CAPITAL PUNISHMENT 1. Fidelity Brokerage Services, “2016 Fidelity Investments Millennial Money Study,” October 13, 2016. 2.

For instance, another survey found that 24 percent of Millennials had reported working a freelance or independent contractor gig in 2015, compared to only 9 percent of Baby Boomers.46 Meanwhile, measurements of what people actually do and how they actually work tend to point to a much bigger gig economy than surveys. The number of 1099 forms that record self-employment income for tax purposes has shot up by 22 percent since 2000, compared to a 3.5 percent decline in the W-2 tax filings that employers use to report pay for regular employment. There was a notable increase in 1099 issuance after 2008.47 The gig economy could encompass a whopping 43 percent of American workers by 2020, according to an estimate by Intuit CEO Brad Smith in 2017.†48 Certainly there are different kinds of gig work that allow different levels of skill development and provide different levels of job satisfaction. The problem is that the gig economy seems to be taking over large sections of the labor market, and Millennials will live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.


pages: 196 words: 55,862

Riding for Deliveroo: Resistance in the New Economy by Callum Cant

Airbnb, call centre, collective bargaining, deskilling, Elon Musk, future of work, gig economy, housing crisis, illegal immigration, information asymmetry, invention of the steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, Pearl River Delta, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, union organizing, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

Cliff (1970) The employers’ offensive: productivity deals and how to fight them. Pluto Press. 16. H. Beynon (1973) Working for Ford. Allen Lane, p. 20. 17. N. Christie and H. Ward (2018) The emerging issues for management of occupational road risk in a changing economy: a survey of gig economy drivers, riders and their managers. UCL Centre for Transport Studies. 18. M. Escalante (2018) The perilous gig economy: why Caviar must pay for bike courier’s death. Philadelphia Partisan. https://philadelphiapartisan.com/2018/05/17/the-perilous-gig-economy-why-caviar-must-pay-for-bike-couriers-death. 19. Marx, Capital, volume 1, p. 401. 20. F. Pasquale (2015) The black box society: the secret algorithms that control money and information. Harvard University Press. 21. M. Glaberman (2002). Punching out & other writings.

Paying attention to the everyday lives of workers has to start somewhere. In this book, it starts with Deliveroo. Deliveroo bears the marks of this wider crisis, whilst also being a ubiquitous part of urban life. But why pay attention to it specifically? The first reason is because of the role Deliveroo plays in the development of capitalism. You hear a lot about Deliveroo in relation to something called the ‘gig economy’. What exactly the ‘gig economy’ means isn’t very clear. It is a term that lumps together all different kinds of changes to society which only seem to share two things: they all look a bit tech and they all seem a bit new. This book junks that category. Instead, it uses ‘platform capitalism’, an idea developed by Nick Srnicek.14 The basic argument behind this change is that, rather than thinking about companies like Uber and Airbnb as tech start-ups with special tech start-up characteristics, we should think of them as capitalist companies with capitalist characteristics.

Wright (2002) Storming heaven: class composition and struggle in Italian Autonomous Marxism. Pluto Press. 11. F. Fukuyama (2012) The end of history and the last man. Penguin Books. 12. M. Roberts (2016) The long depression. Haymarket Books. 13. M. Fisher (2009) Capitalist realism: is there no alternative? Zero Books. 14. N. Srnicek (2017) Platform capitalism. Polity. 15. J. Woodcock and M. Graham (2019) The gig economy: a critical introduction to platform work. Polity. 16. Some estimates claim that 2.8 million people worked in the gig economy at some point in 2017. Of these, 700,000 earned below the living wage whilst they did so, and 21 per cent worked for food-delivery platforms. This would imply that around half a million workers worked for a food platform at some point in 2017, which intuitively seems very high. See R. Booth (2018) 700,000 gig workers paid below national minimum wage.


pages: 237 words: 67,154

Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet by Trebor Scholz, Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, capital controls, citizen journalism, collaborative economy, collaborative editing, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, deskilling, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

This is about the language of labor and living within it, its cardinal lesson, which is that in confrontation with the power of the employing class, individual solutions are not working.” Or, as one person in the audience at the Platform Cooperativism conference put it: “Please shut up and grow some class consciousness.” 11. PORTABLE REPUTATION IN THE ON-DEMAND ECONOMY KATI SIPP While the app-based gig economy derives a certain sexiness from its association with the tech world, the gig economy has existed offline for generations. Some workers have been pushed into the gig economy by circumstances beyond their control, while others have always chosen and will continue to choose it, either due to the nature of their occupations or for personal reasons. Workers in gig situations get new jobs through the strength of their reputations; the difference in the on-demand economy is that workers don’t own their reputations.

We should look beyond immediate commercial gain in favor of long-term value creation for society. Twenty-first century democracy depends on this task. 38. LEGAL AND GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES BUILT TO SHARE MIRIAM A. CHERRY To date, the dominant economic narrative for the gig economy has been one in which platform owners extract a share of the income generated from the workers who use their platforms. This is troubling, since many forms of crowd-work are situated at the crossroads of precarious work, automatic management, deskilling, and low wages. Recent lawsuits by workers in the gig economy claiming employee status contain the demand for better pay, hours, benefits, and working conditions. However, these misclassification lawsuits do not seek to change the ways in which the underlying business relationship between workers and platforms are structured.

Many advocates who seek to better the status of so-called shadow (“under the table”) workers have long advocated for worker-owned businesses through groups such as worker centers. Why would becoming owners make sense as opposed to unionizing and acting collectively to bargain with an employer? With certain endeavors such as home cleaning, day labor, and home health, there are individual contracts but no one common employer with whom the workers can bargain collectively. Likewise, in the gig economy there are many individual customers using the platforms. As workers continue to struggle in the gig economy, platform cooperatives have emerged as an appealing possible alternative. On a practical level, what legal tools are available to help those who are trying to set up platform cooperatives? Some states have enabling statutes that set out tailor-made rules for worker cooperatives. However, there is no uniform law across the states, and some states have passed enabling legislation only for consumer cooperatives.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Ziliak, “Decomposing Trends in Income Volatility: The ‘Wide Ride’ at the Top and Bottom,” Economic Inquiry, January 2014, http://www.bradleyhardy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Hardy-Ziliak-2014-Final-EI.pdf. 12 Tavia Grant, “The continuing decline of the ‘middle-skill’ worker,” Globe and Mail, June 3, 2013, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/the-continuing-decline-of-the-middle-skill-worker/article12303799/. 13 “Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy,” McKinsey & Company, October 2016, https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/Employment%20and%20Growth/Independent%20work%20Choice%20necessity%20and%20the%20gig%20economy/Independent-Work-Choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy-Executive-Summary.ashx. 14 Annie Lowrey, “What the Gig Economy Looks Like Around the World,” Atlantic, April 13, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/gig-economy-global/522954/. 15 Alana Samuels, “The Mystery of Why Japanese People Are Having So Few Babies,” Atlantic, July 20, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/07/japan-mystery-low-birth-rate/534291/. 16 Alison Griswold, “People are joining the gig economy because of a powerful myth,” Quartz, May 31, 2018, https://qz.com/1293741/people-join-the-gig-economy-to-be-their-own-boss-but-the-algorithm-is-really-in-charge. 17 Nathan Heller, “Is the Gig Economy Working?” New Yorker, May 8, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/15/is-the-gig-economy-working; Jeff Daniels, “Nearly half of California’s gig economy workers struggling with poverty, new survey says,” CNBC, August 28, 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/about-half-of-californias-gig-economy-workers-struggling-with-poverty.html; Leonid Bershidsky, “Gig-Economy Workers Are the Modern Proletariat,” Bloomberg, September 25, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-09-25/gig-economy-workers-are-last-of-marx-s-oppressed-proletarians. 18 Kate Aronoff, “How the On-Demand Economy Enables the Cycle of Racial Labor Discrimination,” Color Lines, July 5, 2017, https://www.colorlines.com/articles/how-demand-economy-enables-cycle-racial-labor-discrimination; Robert Reich, “The Share-the-Scraps Economy,” February 2, 2015, https://robertreich.org/post/109894095095. 19 Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (New York: Crown Forum, 2012), 125–27; Maria Koulogou, “The New Inequality; The Decline of the Working Class Family,” Quillette, June 13, 2019, https://quillette.com/2019/06/13/the-new-inequality-the-decline-of-the-working-class-family/. 20 E.

Ziliak, “Decomposing Trends in Income Volatility: The ‘Wide Ride’ at the Top and Bottom,” Economic Inquiry, January 2014, http://www.bradleyhardy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Hardy-Ziliak-2014-Final-EI.pdf. 12 Tavia Grant, “The continuing decline of the ‘middle-skill’ worker,” Globe and Mail, June 3, 2013, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/the-continuing-decline-of-the-middle-skill-worker/article12303799/. 13 “Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy,” McKinsey & Company, October 2016, https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/Employment%20and%20Growth/Independent%20work%20Choice%20necessity%20and%20the%20gig%20economy/Independent-Work-Choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy-Executive-Summary.ashx. 14 Annie Lowrey, “What the Gig Economy Looks Like Around the World,” Atlantic, April 13, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/gig-economy-global/522954/. 15 Alana Samuels, “The Mystery of Why Japanese People Are Having So Few Babies,” Atlantic, July 20, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/07/japan-mystery-low-birth-rate/534291/. 16 Alison Griswold, “People are joining the gig economy because of a powerful myth,” Quartz, May 31, 2018, https://qz.com/1293741/people-join-the-gig-economy-to-be-their-own-boss-but-the-algorithm-is-really-in-charge. 17 Nathan Heller, “Is the Gig Economy Working?”

Today, some 40 percent of the Japanese workforce are “irregular,” also known as “freetors,” and this group is growing fast while the number of full-time jobs is decreasing. The instability in employment is widely seen as one reason for the country’s ultra-low birth rate.15 Many of today’s “precariat” work in the contingent “gig” economy, associated with firms such as Uber and Lyft. These companies and their progressive allies, including David Plouffe (who managed Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008), like to speak of a “sharing” economy that is “democratizing capitalism” by returning control of the working day to the individual. They point to opportunities that the gig economy provides for people to make extra money using their own cars or homes. The corporate image of companies like Uber and Lyft features moonlighting drivers saving up cash for a family vacation or a fancy date while providing a convenient service for customers—the ultimate win-win.16 Yet for most gig workers there’s not very much that is democratic or satisfying in it.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Over the past several years, it has cemented its role as the most prolific and pugnacious among companies shaping the “gig economy,” including Airbnb, TaskRabbit, and dozens more. They are all emblematic of accelerating shifts in the way we work: 24/7, directed by technology, and without many of the traditional protections and benefits enjoyed by the middle class. On the one hand, there is something magical about the way these companies allow people to monetize resources they already possess—a home, a car, their free time. On the other, this model is a slippery slope that, some argue, ends with workers being taken advantage of. Many experts believe that the rise of the gig economy is a key reason for stagnating wages, as it has accentuated the power imbalance between workers and companies that has been increasing for the past forty years or so with the decline of unions, and the deregulation of industry in general.

From English textile workers to travel agents, new technology destroys job categories as fast as it creates them. History has shown that in the end technology is always a net job creator; the question is how long the creative destruction lasts. Today it seems to be happening faster than our political and social systems can handle it. The depth and breadth of change being effected by the gig economy is unprecedented, and while the sheer number of workers that labor solely in the gig economy relative to the traditional economy isn’t yet as high as some academics once predicted it would be,12 the changes are still happening in nearly every industry, across pretty much every geography. What happens when everyone is, to a greater or lesser extent, a freelancer? What happens when everyone has to have some kind of a side hustle, because a single job isn’t secure enough anymore?

Certainly, most don’t share in the equity value of the company that they have helped create. The result is that for a huge number of low-level workers (who represent the bulk of the gig economy), “you’ve got a labor market that looks increasingly like a feudal agricultural hiring fair in which the lord shows up and says, ‘I’ll take you, and you, and you today,’ ” says Adair Turner, chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, one of many nonprofit groups studying the effect of companies like Uber on local economies. Turner’s conclusion, which mirrors that of a growing number of economists, is that the gig economy reduces friction in labor markets, meaning it solves a real need and creates convenience, but it also creates fragmentation that tends to work better for employers, who can leverage superior technology and information, than for workers.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor

Thanks to the oil boom in that state since the early 2000s, the cost of living has risen unsustainably, while first-year teachers still make about $30,000 to $32,000 a year. Meanwhile, teachers working in increasingly expensive locales like San Francisco and Chicago are forced into the gig economy or have to work other side jobs, such as bartending, to survive. In 2016, I spoke to a number of schoolteachers besides Barry who were racking up miles as Uber chauffeurs. John Daniels, a history teacher at James Lick High School in East San Jose, California, started giving lifts for Uber in his Toyota 4Runner on Thursday and Friday nights. Anthony Arinwine, a first-grade teacher at Malcolm X Academy in San Francisco, started with the gig economy company last summer. He spent twenty hours a week giving rides in his Nissan Altima, sometimes driving until late into the night. Salaries for teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District average $65,240 a year.

Beyond Care and co-ops like it hope to provide a socially responsible challenge to gig economy cleaning companies like Handy, a domestic work platform, or Care.com, an online marketplace that helps millions of parents locate caregivers but is not worker-owned or worker-directed. The New School scholar Trebor Scholz, a platform cooperative expert, told me that he sees the tech-enabled co-op movement as “the antivirus to Ayn Rand.” In the aftermath of the 2008 downturn, with every third worker a freelancer, contingency and contract work became the norm for the middle class as well. Advocates of platform cooperativism hope that their movement can make the harsh, unpredictable gig labor market a little more humane. The hope is that consumers—maybe the types who sip fair-trade coffee—will support co-ops, disrupting the gig economy business-asusual. The cleaner apps of the past, in the words of one organizer, were “a faceless yellow dismembered hand that cleans your house for you.”

Dedication To my daughter, Cleo Contents Cover Title Page Dedication Introduction 1.Inconceivable: Pregnant and Squeezed 2.Hyper-Educated and Poor 3.Extreme Day Care: The Deep Cost of American Work 4.Outclassed: Life at the Bottom of the Top 5.The Nanny’s Struggle 6.Uber Dads: Moonlighting in the Gig Economy 7.The Second Act Industry: Or the Midlife Do-Over Myth 8.Squeezed Houses 9.The Rise of 1 Percent Television 10.Squeezed by the Robots Conclusion: The Secret Life of Inequality Acknowledgments Bibliography Notes Index About the Author Also by Alissa Quart Copyright About the Publisher Introduction Michelle Belmont’s debt haunted her. It was almost unspeakable, but it was a raw relief when anyone asked her about it. She wanted people to hear about her life as she lived it, how her debt trailed her like a child’s monster, how it was there when she went to the supermarket, to her son’s day care, and home to her one-bedroom apartment.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

., p. 4. 62 For my own treatment of Gordon and Cohen and DeLong’s books, see ‘Is robust American growth a thing of the past?’, Financial Times, 19 February 2016, <https://www.ft.com/content/80c3164e-d644-11e5-8887-98e7feb46f27>. 63 Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, p. 13. 64 James Manyika, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Kelsey Robinson, Jan Mischke and Deepa Mahajan, ‘Independent Work: Choice, necessity and the gig economy’, McKinsey Global Institute report, October 2016, <http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy>. 65 Ibid. 66 Ibid. 67 Ibid. 68 Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2013 (ebook)). 69 Edward Luce, ‘Obama must face the rise of the robots’, Financial Times, 3 February 2013, <https://www.ft.com/content/f6f19228-6bbc-11e2-a17d-00144feab49a>. 70 Lee Drutman and Yascha Mounk, ‘When the Robots Rise’, National Interest, 144 (July–August 2016), <http://nationalinterest.org/feature/when-the-robots-rise-16830>. 71 Espen Barth Eide, ‘2015: the year geopolitics bites back?’

Roughly a third are free agents doing independent work because they want to, such as web designers or artists working for themselves. These are the last people we need worry about. Indeed, many of us might envy their freedom. But a third are full-time independents because they are financially strapped. In other words, there are already about 50 million Westerners trying to earn their living in the gig economy out of necessity rather than choice. France and Spain have the highest share of independent workers, with almost a third of their labour force doing so either full- or part-time. The US and Britain are somewhat lower, at just over a quarter. The largest platforms are household names, such as Uber, with 1 million drivers, Freelancer.com with 18 million users and Airbnb with 2.5 million listings.

In the US, formal employment has shrunk by 0.1 per cent a year since the 2008 financial meltdown. All of America’s new jobs have been generated by independent work, which has risen by 7.8 per cent a year.65 The next time an economist boasts about America’s low unemployment rate, remember that number means something very different from what it used to. This is not your parents’ economy. It is not even your older sister’s. Nor is the gig economy dominated by millennials. Britain has more pensioners doing independent work than people under thirty. In America, the labour force participation rate for people aged between sixty-four and seventy-five has jumped by 4.7 per cent in the last decade, a time when the overall rate has dropped.66 We like to call it the sharing economy. But the fact that older people are doing such a large share of the work suggests a less charitable force is at play.


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Amy Mitchell and Katerina Eva Matsa, “The Declining Value of U.S. Newspapers,” Pew Research Center, May 22, 2015, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/22/the-declining-value-of-u-s-newspapers/. 25. Don Irvine, “Newspaper Jobs at 50-Year Low,” Accuracy in Media, January 1, 2010, https://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/newspaper-jobs-at-50-year-low/. 26. Tina Brown, “The Gig Economy,” The Daily Beast, January 12, 2009, updated July 14, 2017, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/01/12/the-gig-economy.html (accessed June 26, 2019). 27. Stacey Vanek Smith, “An NPR Reporter Raced a Machine to Write a News Story. Who Won?,” Morning Edition, NPR, May 20, 2015, http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/05/20/406484294/an-npr-reporter-raced-a-machine-to-write-a-news-story-who-won (accessed June 26, 2015). 28. Michael Sebastian, “Huffington Post Said to Break Even on $146 Million Revenue Last Year,” Ad Age, June 30, 2015, http://adage.com/article/media/huffington-post-broke-146-million-revenue/299293/ (accessed June 26, 2019); and Alex Weprin, “Buzzfeed Passes $100M in Revenue for 2014,” Politico, https://www.politico.com/media/story/2014/11/buzzfeed-passes-100-m-in-revenue-for-2014-003140/ (accessed June 26, 2019). 29.

“BlaBlaCar,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlaBlaCar (accessed June 27, 2019). 47. Kirsten Korosec, “GM Makes Big Push into a Hot New Business,” Fortune, January 21, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/01/21/gm-car-sharing-maven/ (accessed June 27, 2019). 48. Darrell Etherington, “GM’s Maven Gig Is a Car Sharing Service Tailor-Made for the Gig Economy,” TechCrunch, May 3, 2017, https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/03/gms-maven-gig-is-a-car-sharing-service-tailor-made-for-the-gig-economy/ (accessed June 27, 2019). 49. Andrew J. Hawkins, “Car2Go Thinks We’d Rather Share Luxury Mercedes-Benz Sedans Than Smart Cars,” The Verge, January 30, 2017, https://www.theverge.com/2017/1/30/14437770/car2go-daimler-mercedes-benz-cla-gla-carsharing (accessed June 27, 2019). 50. “Millennials,” special advertising section, Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/brand-connect/millennials/ (accessed June 27, 2019). 51.

The management model that the railroads developed was quickly adopted by other businesses.43 Vertically integrated, professionally administered firms grew to massive scales, dominating markets.44 Today, in the early years of the Autonomous Revolution, the forms of organizations are changing again. Some hugely profitable corporations employ relatively few full-time workers, drawing instead on the services of people who work in the “gig” economy. Others are in the process of replacing their human workers with robots. Some service providers are moving their whole operation into virtual space, because they no longer need physical places of business to accommodate their customers and their workers are mostly robots. ACCELERATING TRANSFORMATION There is now talk of a Fourth Industrial Revolution.45 However, those words do not fit the future that we envision.


pages: 173 words: 53,564

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes

"side hustle", basic income, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, end world poverty, full employment, future of journalism, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, oil rush, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, TaskRabbit, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, universal basic income, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

The same forces that enabled the rise of Facebook, Google, and Amazon have undermined the stability and economic opportunity that most Americans have a right to expect. Of all of the effects that these economic forces have unleashed, the most pronounced is the destruction of full-time jobs and the rise of contract labor, often symbolized by the Uber drivers of the “gig economy.” Ironically, technology has taken us backward and made jobs look more like what they were for most of our country’s history: poorly paid and precarious. We tend to think that the gig economy is a new phenomenon, but the mid-twentieth century was a brief interlude in a long history in which jobs were more often than not unreliable. Before the second half of the twentieth century, work was more likely to be at home on the farm or in a short-term stint somewhere, in the kinds of jobs my grandfather had as a young man.

“Cash-on-Hand and College Enrollment: Evidence from Population Tax Data and Policy Nonlinearities.” Working Paper no. 19836, National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2016. http://www.nber.org/papers/w19836. Manyika, James, Jacques Bughin, Susan Lund, Jan Mischke, Kelsey Robinson, and Deepa Mahajan. “Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy.” McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016. https://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy. Marinescu, Ioana. “No Strings Attached: The Behavioral Effects of U.S. Unconditional Cash Transfer Programs.” Roosevelt Institute, May 11, 2017. http://rooseveltinstitute.org/no-strings-attached/. Marr, Chuck, Chye-Ching Huang, Arloc Sherman, and Brandon Debot. “EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and Support Children’s Development, Research Finds.”

A family of four making $38,000 a year would see their annual income rise to $50,000, a huge boost to their bottom line. A single worker at Walmart who works 25 hours a week for $10 an hour would see her income increase from $13,000 to $19,000. The guaranteed income would create a floor below which people could not fall, a reliable foundation for people to build on. It wouldn’t be enough money on its own for anyone to live on. It would supplement income from other sources like formal labor, a job in the gig economy, informal work, or other government benefits. Everyone who contributes to their community would earn the income, even if they’re not making money in the formal economy. That would include mothers and fathers of young kids, adults caring for aging parents, and college students. A fruit picker or Lyft driver would have a monthly cash stipend they could plan on, even if it were a bad season or if fewer people needed rides one particular month.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

This is not to say that there are not salutary benefits for gig-economy workers, including Uber drivers. Many appreciate the flexibility that working for the car-sharing service allows. And they said that they often used Uber to smooth their income, hitting the road when their other earnings were low and doing less when they were flush. I asked McGrath if there were other options for supplementing his income in Pittsburgh. Why did he decide to work with Uber, as opposed to freelancing or picking up a shift at a local store? “I have a car,” he told me. “I’m able to afford the additional insurance. I keep my car relatively clean, which is hard to do with a seven-year-old. For me, it was the flexibility in the time and [the fact] that the barriers to entry were really low.” In public, the firms of the gig economy venerate that flexibility and independence as a way of casting themselves as the champions of today’s millennial entrepreneurs, rather than corporations that are stiffing the proletariat.

And they are more likely to be on government assistance, with taxpayers picking up the tab that businesses do not pay. “Do these companies deserve all their tax breaks?” one labor activist asked me. “Do they deserve all the subsidies and all the things that we give them and their employees have to still have low-income housing and food stamps and assistance?” * * * On a sunny spring afternoon, I was sitting with a few Uber drivers, talking about the “gig economy” over beers and fries at the back of a Pittsburgh burger joint. All of them had been working with Uber to make ends meet, and in some cases were struggling to do so. They had problems with their cars, problems paying bills, problems accessing medical care, problems with insurance, problems trying to save, problems getting food on the table. Like many other Rust Belt cities, Pittsburgh was ravaged by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

“Well, they didn’t compensate for me doing the calls and stuff like that, but once I would meet with the person and do a mentor session, which is usually like thirty minutes, forty-five at the max, then I would be paid $35 just for that session,” she said. “That’s pretty good money,” I said. “If you can line them up, you can do really well.” “Was that enough to live on in Pittsburgh?” “No.” Companies like Uber can pay their workers so little because they are often not employees. On-demand, gig-economy firms usually do not hire their drivers or shoppers or delivery workers, instead classifying them as contractors and buying their services. That means that the companies are not subject to minimum-wage rules. They do not need to divert their workers’ paychecks into unemployment-insurance funds or Social Security. They are not required to offer health care to workers who spend full-time hours on the clock.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Zipcar

Beyond Owyang’s “collaborative economy”—favored over “sharing economy” by the authors Rachel Botsman and Robin Chase, and, somewhat ironically, by OuiShare—writers and thinkers since 2010 have experimented with the use of the terms “gig economy,” “peer economy,” “renting economy,” and “on-demand economy” (the latter deemed most accurate by the venture capitalist Chris Dixon11). A study by Fortune magazine of term usage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post revealed that “sharing economy” was used five times as frequently as “on-demand economy” and “gig economy” in the first six months of 2015, but that the latter two terms were gaining popularity.12 Before I delve into the intellectual precursors to today’s sharing economy, I’d like to consider the definitions implicit in two influential books that have appeared concurrent with the mainstream emergence of the sharing economy—Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers’s What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (2010) and Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh (2010)—and look as well at the ideas in Alex Stephany’s more recent book, The Business of Sharing (2015).

I have heard Teran discuss this at two separate events in the second half of 2015: the TAP Conference in New York on October 1, and the White House Summit on Worker Voice, October 7. See an op-ed by Sapone at http://qz.com/448846/the-on-demand-economy-doesnt-have-to-imitate-uber-to-win/. 6. Mark Warner, “Asking Tough Questions about the Gig Economy,” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/asking-tough-questions-about-the-gig-economy/2015/06/18/b43f2d0a-1461-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html. 7. Quoted in Christina Reynolds, “Reality Check: Hillary Clinton and the Sharing Economy,” The Briefing, July 16, 2015. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/updates/2015/07/16/reality-check-sharing-economy/. 8. Robert Reich, “The Share-the-Scraps Economy,” Robert Reich, February 2, 2015. http://robertreich.org/post/109894095095. 9.

John J Horton, “Should Online Labor Markets Set a Minimum Wage?,” Blog posted October 29, 2011. http://john-joseph-horton.com/should-online-labor-markets-set-a-minimum-wage/. 16. Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board, v. 344, December 16, 2004, through August 17, 2005. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 17. Mark R. Warner, “Asking Tough Questions about the Gig Economy.” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/asking-tough-questions-about-the-gig-economy/2015/06/18/b43f2d0a-1461-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html. 18. ”Common Ground for Independent Workers,” WTF, November 10, 2015, https://medium.com/the-wtf-economy/common-ground-for-independent-workers-83f3fbcf548f#.nxpr7mck5. 19. https://fu-web-storage-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/content/filer_public/c2/06/c2065a8a-7f00-46db-915a-2122965df7d9/fu_freelancinginamericareport_v3-rgb.pdf. 20.


pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

WORKERS’ RIGHTS As more jobs become precarious, the middle class will depend increasingly on secure rights and decent pay. Enforcement of minimum wages and sick pay in the gig or broader ‘precarious’ sector is derisory and needs to be toughened up. We also need to reverse the trend of profit accruing disproportionately to capital rather than labour. One way to do that is for governments to make it easier for members of the gig economy – drivers, cyclists, handymen – to become unionised, for example requiring gig economy companies to support a platform for their workers to organise. A competitive economy and an independent civil society FAIR TRADE BROWSING We users have built the modern mega-monopolies, and our ongoing addiction to free digital services (and cheap taxis) is making them stronger. Some of the responsibility lies with people who use these apps or services.

* For now at least – plenty of robotics companies are working to overcome Moravec’s Paradox, especially as computing power increases. * Uber and Deliveroo are part of an increasingly important sort of industry: the gig economy encompasses companies that monetise everything from borrowing cars (RelayRides), helping with daily tasks (TaskRabbit), lending bikes (Liquid) or money (Lending Club) and selling home Wi-Fi (Fon) or clothes (NeighborGoods). According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, approximately 1.3 million people are already working in the gig economy in the UK this number is predicted to grow substantially in the next few years. * Some of them are no doubt thinking of Karl Marx’s vision of a communist paradise, where people could ‘hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner’

For much of the twentieth century, the ratio of national wealth in the US between labour and capital was 66/33. It is now 58/42. The great defence against these trends for much of the twentieth century were trade unions, which ensured that the spoils of corporate profit were spread around. The unions’ slow decline has been disastrous for wealth equality and – in a cruel twist – new technology is likely to further militate against worker unionisation, by both making it harder for ‘gig economy’ workers to band together, and by giving bosses new ways to monitor and control their workforce.* At the most extreme end of this economic bifurcation, the world’s richest eight men own more than the bottom half of the world’s population – and four of them are the founders of technology companies.8 * * * • • • This is not a book about the economics of digital technology – there are plenty of those already – but about politics.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

In addition to Morning Star, organizations such as Semco, Bruggink & Van der Velden (BvdV), Incentro, Hanno, elbdudler, Premium-Cola, and AES have each allowed employees to set their own salaries without breaking the bank. But beyond that, the benefits in financial acumen, stewardship, and collective responsibility that this approach produces are unparalleled. Gig Economy. The platforms behind the gig economy like to talk about their movement as the savior of the American worker, empowering otherwise underemployed individuals to be their own bosses and live the entrepreneurial dream. After all, the drivers and laborers who make Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Fiverr, and TaskRabbit work can choose when and where they work with unprecedented control. Realistically, though, many of the workers in the gig economy need money. That’s why they’re side hustling. They’re underemployed or unemployed, and the minimal extra income they earn from these services—85 percent make less than $500 a month—is helping them make ends meet.

salary you’d earn if you worked there: “Buffer’s Transparent Salary Calculator,” Buffer, accessed September 1, 2018, https://buffer.com/salary/software-engineer-mobile/average; “Calculate Your Salary,” Stack Overflow, accessed September 1, 2018, https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/salary. “title ‘Director of Engineering’”: Reed Hastings, “Netflix Culture: Freedom and Responsibility,” SlideShare, August 1, 2009, www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664. deck to invent the future: Stacey Leasca, “These Are the Highest Paying Jobs in the Gig Economy,” Forbes, July 17, 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/sleasca/2017/07/17/highest-paying-jobs-gig-economy-lyft-taskrabbit-airbnb/#e2d9eeb7b644. wage policy and productivity: MIT Press, summary of Wage Dispersion: Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently? by Dale T. Mortensen, accessed September 1, 2018, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/wage-dispersion. But it simply isn’t so: Joshua Isaac Smith, “The Myth of Rational Decisions—How Emotions Flavour Our Choices,” Adapt Faster, May 17, 2017, www.adaptfaster.com/the-myth-of-rational-decisions-how-emotions-flavour-our-choices.

They’re underemployed or unemployed, and the minimal extra income they earn from these services—85 percent make less than $500 a month—is helping them make ends meet. That doesn’t sound like the ultimate in entrepreneurial freedom. But there’s something more troubling about the fact that one in four Americans is now participating in the gig economy. By turning work into a series of app-mediated transactions, we’re actually narrowing the scope of their participation to something closer to the opposite of entrepreneurialism. When you work at Lyft full time, you’re (hopefully) looking for ways to grow and serve Lyft all the time. If you see something worth doing, you might just do it. But when you drive for Lyft as a gig, your relationship is read-only. You transact, but you do not serve the bigger picture. Why would you? And that’s the problem. If we move toward an economy where everyone is paid “by the drink,” we run the risk of eliminating good corporate citizenship.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

Etsy makes it possible for the person who made a hobby of creating sewing-sampler wall hangings with rock lyrics to find people who want to pay money for just such a product, and perhaps to sell enough as a result to earn a modest income.11 Some analyses suggest that these sorts of niche work could become part of a ‘gig economy’ that provides supplemental income and work for lots of people. That is, as ‘regular’ work, in well-defined jobs for large employers, provides workers with less wage growth and fewer hours, they will increasingly turn to a few hours driving an Uber, or a side business selling craft goods, to top up their income. In time, perhaps, the gig economy could become the regular economy; the flow of earning opportunities could grow large enough that workers could feel secure in their ability to earn a living through piecework. In emerging economies, the gig economy could permit workers to make the leap directly from the poverty of the developing world to full participation in global markets; a handful of residents of Mumbai slums have boosted their incomes tremendously through participation in a programme offered by eBay, which allows them to sell their wares (such as handmade leather goods) to customers around the world rather than to those in nearby Mumbai neighbourhoods.

In emerging economies, the gig economy could permit workers to make the leap directly from the poverty of the developing world to full participation in global markets; a handful of residents of Mumbai slums have boosted their incomes tremendously through participation in a programme offered by eBay, which allows them to sell their wares (such as handmade leather goods) to customers around the world rather than to those in nearby Mumbai neighbourhoods. How powerful could this gig economy become? It is growing every day, though from a very small base. Uber, one of the larger contributors to it, has several hundred thousand drivers worldwide.12 In a global labour force of billions that doesn’t begin to move the needle. Part-time work increased in importance during the economic crisis of 2008–9, but has ebbed as economic conditions have improved. Still, there is indisputably the opportunity for significant growth in the future. The question is whether the gig economy will lead to the suspension of the trilemma. The trilemma implies that to scare up enough consumer demand for ‘gigs’, the price – of the Uber trip or the TaskRabbit errand, for example – must be low.

A suspension of the trilemma means the arrival of a world of hyper-specialization, in which the market-expanding, match-generating power of the web becomes so powerful that most of the world’s billion workers can find themselves a tiny niche that is nonetheless lucrative enough to keep them fed and housed, but which isn’t, in the end, doable with software. We can hold out hope for that odd, intriguing world, but we probably should not hold our breath. The more probable future scenario is one in which new opportunities created by technology – through fracking, or through the disruption of service industries, or through the gig economy – destroy more work than they create, but also reduce the cost of critical goods and services for most consumers. That world has the potential to be a better one, and real standards of living could increase in that world even as pay to workers stagnates. But realizing that world almost certainly implies a significant evolution in societies’ social-safety institutions. As more workers compete for available jobs, wages for people without exceptional skills will stagnate or fall.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

If a machine carries out a job, there is no point a human replicating the work it is doing: she will not be paid, so she will have to look for some other way to generate an income. The gig economy We saw in chapter 3.2 how consultants at McKinsey noted that jobs can be analysed into tasks, some of which can be automated with current machine intelligence technology, and some of which cannot. This is an important insight and suggests that jobs will be sliced and diced, with some tasks being automated, and other tasks being retained by the human who previously did the whole job. Some would argue that this process is already under way. Parts of the economies of developed countries are being fragmented, or Balkanised, with more and more people working freelance, carrying out individual tasks which are allocated to them by platforms and apps like Uber and TaskRabbit. There are many words for this phenomenon: the gig economy, the networked economy, the sharing economy, the on-demand economy, the peer-to-peer economy, the platform economy, and the bottom-up economy.

Are the people hired out by these organisations “micro-entrepreneurs” or “instaserfs” - members of a new “precariat”, forced to compete against each other on price for low-end work with no benefits? Are they operating in a network economy or an exploitation economy? Is the sharing economy actually a selfish economy? Whichever side of this debate you come down on, the gig economy is a significant development: a survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many as 7% of US adults were involved in it.[cclxv] But our concern here is not whether the gig economy is a fair one. It is whether it can prevent the automation of jobs by machine intelligence leading to widespread unemployment. The answer to that is surely No: as time goes by, however finely we slice and dice jobs into tasks, more and more of those tasks are vulnerable to automation by machine intelligence as it improves its capabilities at an exponential rate.

The unloading bays at the retail end are also standardised for efficiency: a system which automates the entire unloading process from a truck into the retailer's receiving area is technically feasible today, and with the exponential improvement in robotics and AI, it won't be long before it is economically feasible as well. As we have seen, robots are becoming increasingly flexible, nimble and adaptable. They can also increasingly be remotely operated. Most of the situations a driver could deal with on the open road will soon be within the capabilities of a robot which does not need sleep, food or salary. On the rare occasion when human intervention is needed, the gig economy[ccx] can probably furnish one quickly enough. Once it is economically feasible to replace human drivers with machines, it is a very short step to being economically compelling. Drivers account for 25-35% of the cost of a trucking operation.[ccxi] You can't escape the invisible hand of economics for long. In a free market, once one firm replaces its drivers the rest will have to follow suit, or go out of business.


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Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

something that affects them all: OECD Employment Outlook 2012, 118–119. displaces blue-collar and low- and middle-income: Ibid., 115–116. temporary gigs with limited or no benefits: Ian Hathaway and Mark Muro, “Tracking the Gig Economy: New Numbers,” Brookings Institution, October 13, 2016, https://www.brookings.edu/research/tracking-the-gig-economy-new-numbers; the gig economy is not limited to advanced economies; see, e.g., Mark Graham, Isis Hjorth, and Vili Lehdonvirta, “Digital Labour and Development: Impacts of Global Digital Labour Platforms and the Gig Economy on Worker Livelihoods,” Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, March 16, 2017, http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/3FMTvCNPJ4SkhW9tgpWP/full. shrinking role of labor: Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014).

For example, labor-participation statistics capture workers employed by a firm as well as the self-employed, thus obfuscating fluctuations between these two categories. The number of self-employed workers with no employees has increased substantially in the United States, from 15 million in 1997 to nearly 24 million in 2014. Researchers at the Brookings Institution believe that in part, this shift is the result of a growing “gig economy.” When self-employed white-collar workers take on temporary gigs with limited or no benefits, assignments that are often coordinated through digital platforms, they have little bargaining power over their incomes. Unlike unionized workers in old-fashioned manufacturing, they are rarely organized, and the supply of workers often outstrips demand. This contributes—albeit to a limited extent—to overall wages being out of sync with the actual value labor generates.

See Great Recession/financial crisis financial intermediaries, 12, 146–156 choice expansion in, 215–216 payment solutions and, 146–147 regulations affecting, 139–140 traditional role of, 138–139 See also banks Finkel, Eli, 83, 84 Finland, 147, 191 fintechs, 11 banks investing in, 149–156 niche markets targeted by, 147, 152 worldwide investments in, 149 firms, 87–107, 109–131 Amazon as, 88–89, 106 automation in, 109, 111–112, 113–120, 128, 130–131 centralization in (see centralization) cognitive constraints and, 102–104 communicative coordination and, 26, 28–33, 90, 102 comparison of markets and, 28, 111 competition between markets and, 30, 107 decline in influence of, 12–13, 33 delegation in, 97–101, 106, 117 efficiency as focus of, 112–113 estimated number of, 28 human-centric, 214–215 internal talent management in, 126–129 intuition and heuristics in, 104–106 key difference between markets and, 32–33, 90 “noise” reduction strategies in, 100–101 organizational innovation in, 97, 110–111, 120–131 profits of, 195–197 reporting methods in, 90–97 rise in importance of, 33 shift to markets from, 10–11, 30–32, 125–126 structure of, 29–30 superstar, 195–197 tax credits for job creation proposed, 200–202 Flores, Fernando, 175–176 flying shuttle, 111 Forbes, 209 Ford, Henry, 29–30, 114 Ford Motor Company, 29–30, 31, 33, 98, 99–100 Fortune magazine, 208 Fox News, 178 Freightliner, 182 Friedman, Milton, 190 Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance, 109, 110–111, 113–114, 117, 120, 183, 188 fully automated luxury communism, 221 fundamental attribution error, 103 Funding Circle, 152, 163 Gates, Bill, 187 Gawande, Atul, 101 General Motors (GM), 98–99, 101 Germany, 134, 135, 136 gig economy, 186 Gigerenzer, Gerd, 105 Giza pyramids, 21 Glassdoor, 88 GoDaddy, 161 gold standard, 48 “Goobles,” 51 Google, 78, 110, 148, 151, 161, 196 antitrust case against, 165 feedback effects and, 30, 163, 169 prediction markets and, 50–51 Google Glass, 138 Google Shopping, 52 government, central planning for, 175–179 grain (as currency), 47 Great Depression, 51, 136 Great Famine (Soviet Union), 177 Great Recession/financial crisis, 134–135, 136, 215 See also subprime mortgage crisis Great Wall of China, 21, 24 Grünenthal, 42 Guardian, 221 Hagel, John, 31 Harvard Business Review, 99 Harvard Business School, 96 Harvard Medical School, 101 Harvard University, 45 Hayek, Friedrich August von, 39, 46–47 health care sector, 213–214 heuristics, 104–106 Higgs boson, 22 Hollerith, Herman, 96, 99 Holvi, 147 Honda, 30, 32 Huawei, 196 human choice.


pages: 394 words: 57,287

Unleashed by Anne Morriss, Frances Frei

"side hustle", Airbnb, Donald Trump, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Jeff Bezos, Netflix Prize, Network effects, performance metric, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, women in the workforce

Ton’s research is a provocative counterpoint to assumptions embedded in many of today’s business models, including the so-called “gig economy.” The standard gig business model creates a massive amount of customer delight by meeting a basic human need (e.g., food, transportation, the trash bags you just ran out of) with lightning fast, push-button convenience, all for ludicrously low prices. Because many of these services appear undifferentiated to the market, low price has emerged as a key competitive attribute, delighting consumers even further. The model seems to work as long as labor suppliers—contractors providing the final, consumer-facing step in the service—can capture a reasonable surplus.16 Many companies have struggled to pull this off, but an inspirational exception is TaskRabbit, the company that in many ways launched the gig economy. One of the lessons of TaskRabbit’s evolution is that even gig companies can create business models where everyone wins: customers, companies, and, yes, even suppliers.

QuikTrip, “QuikTrip Opens 800th Store, Celebrates Huge Growth Milestone in Its 60-Year History,” QuikTrip News, April 3, 2019, https://www.quiktrip.com/About/News/quiktrip-opens-800th-store-celebrates-huge-growth-milestone-in-its-60-year-history. 15. Joe Nocera, “The Good Jobs Strategy,” New York Times, July 7, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/opinion/joe-nocera-the-good-jobs-strategy.html. 16. Neil Irwin, “Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers after All,” New York Times, September 15, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/upshot/gig-economy-limits-labor-market-uber-california.html. 17. David Gelles, “Stacy Brown-Philpot of TaskRabbit on Being a Black Woman in Silicon Valley,” New York Times, July 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/business/stacy-brown-philpot-taskrabbit-corner-office.html. 18. David Lee, “On the Record: TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot,” BBC News, September 15, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49684677. 19.

INDEX absence leadership, 131–132 culture and, 165–192 strategy and, 135–163 Adams, John, 3 Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), 62 after-action reviews, 79 agony of the super smart (ASS), 40 AirBnB, 102 “A” leaders, 132 Amazon, 158 Anheuser-Busch, 107–108 Apple, 113, 143 Aristotle, 34 attribute maps, 137, 139–140 auftragstaktik, 17 authenticity in digital age, 52–54 triggers, 52–53 trust and, 34–37, 47–54, 57 Average You, 139 Azzarello, Patty, 139 “balanced slates,” 103–104 Basch, Michael, 165–166 Bee, Samantha, 102–103 belonging, 12, 13, 87, 89–127 Bezos, Jeff, 158 bias, 47, 92, 93, 115, 116 Bird, Larry, 45 Black Googlers Network, 5 Black Lives Matter, 24 black working moms, 126–127 Blendoor, 103 blind submissions, 102 bro culture, 180 Brown-Philpot, Stacy, 5, 148–152, 161 Bummer You, 139 Burns, Ursula, 101 Carlzon, Jan, 159–160 change beginning, 90–91 to culture, 167, 182–185, 186–190 managing, 152 resistance to, 92–94 Chouinard, Yvon, 42 Coleman, Debi, 77 common information effect, 48–49 communal workspaces, 40 communication of change, 152 of devotion, 82–84 directness in, 22–23 effective, 45–46 of strategy, 156–161 communication triangle, 46, 56 compensation, 121–122, 146–148 constructive advice, 75–76 Corning, 80–81 Costco, 44 cultural fit, 102–104 cultural values, 166–172 at Netflix, 168–169, 172 at Riot Games, 124, 181 at Uber, 32, 55 culture, 12–14, 132, 165–192 changing, 167, 182–185, 186–190 defined, 166–169, 172 examining your, 176–178 humor and, 170–172 of inclusion, 104–108 problems, 172–182 role of, 165–166 Culture Change Playbook, 182–185 culture of inclusion, creating, 104–107 culture warrior, 168, 177, 182 Curl-Mix, 157 deeply/simply communication, 158 #deleteUber, 31 DeLong, Tom, 90–91 Dempsey, Martin, 16–17 development, 109, 112–114 devotion, 62–67, 72–73, 74, 81, 82–84 diverse teams, 48–49 diversity, 89–90 attracting diverse talent, 95–104 celebrating, 105, 107 cherishing, 105, 107–108 Doukeris, Michel, 107–108 Drucker, Peter, 132 Drybar, 157 Dunaway, Cammie, 96–97, 102 Duolingo, 96–97 Dweck, Carol, 72–73, 74, 191 Edmondson, Amy, 107 1844 organization, 96 empathy constructive advice and, 75 future of work and, 42–44 trust and, 34–41, 51, 57 empathy wobble, 39–41, 42 employees attracting diverse, 95–104 development of, 109, 112–114 firing, 84, 85–86 investment in, 44, 55–56 outside lives of, 83–84, 100–101 promotion process for, 114–115, 116 retaining, 120–122 selection of, 102 supporting queer, 110–113 toxic, 123 wages of, 146–148 empowerment leadership, 4–5, 10–15, 18–21 in action, 16–18 belonging and, 90 commitment to, 116 development of, 71–87 getting started with, 22–23 Endeavor, 121 equal opportunity, 104–114 equal pay, 121–122 Escobari, Marcela, 43–44 exit interviews, 175 Facebook, 102 FedEx, 165–166 feedback giving effective, 22–23 positive, 73–76 fidelity, 61, 63, 64, 66, 73 firing, with respect, 85–86 forgiveness, 123 Fowler, Susan, 31, 174 Franco-Prussian War, 17 Freire, Paulo, 44 Gandhi, Mohandas, 24 Gelb, Scott, 124–126 gender bias, 117–118 gender equity, 91, 115 gender identities, 110–112 gig economy, 148 GLAAD, 110 good jobs research, 147–148 Google, 5, 79 grace, 123, 124–126 Grace Hopper Celebration, 96 Gross, Terry, 82 growth mindset, 72–73, 191 Hannenberg, Emily, 17–18 Harvard Business School, 91, 115, 122, 186–190 Hastings, Reed, 169, 172 high standards, 77–81 hiring quotas, 104 Hoffman, Reid, 9, 11 Hogan, Kathleen, 116, 191 Holder, Eric, 51 homogenous teams, 48–49 Hoobanoff, Jamie, 98 HP, 139 Hsieh, Tony, 146 Huffington, Arianna, 7, 32 human resources life cycle, 90 Human Rights Campaign, 110 humor, 170–172 identity gender, 110–112 letting go of, 71–72 implicit bias, 116 improv, 20–21 inclusion, 50, 89–91 attracting diverse talent and, 95–104 commitment to, 116 culture of, 104–108 dial, 104–105 equal opportunity to thrive and, 104–114 growth and, 124 levels of, 104–108 promotions process and, 114–115, 116 of queer people, 110–112 resistance to, 92–94 at Riot Games, 124–126 talent retainment and, 120–122 working toward full, 126–127 inclusive hiring, 97 inclusive meetings, 108–109, 112–114 inclusive teams, 49, 89 “indignities” list, 101 informal development, 112–114 information common information effect, 48–49 learning from new, 54 Innova Schools project, 69–70 Intel, 79 Intercorp, 67–70 Isaac, Mike, 172–173 Isaacson, Walter, 77 JetBlue, 44, 167 Jobs, Steve, 77, 80–81 Johnson, Claire Hughes, 14 jokes, 170–172 Jordan, Michael, 3 Joyce, Meghan, 31 justice, 60–61, 63, 65, 66, 67, 71, 87, 122–123 Kalanick, Travis, 31–32, 51, 54, 172–176, 178–179 Kelleher, Herb, 136–138, 161 Khosrowshahi, Dara, 55, 56, 178–179 Krause, Aaron, 157 Landit, 14 language, “I” vs.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, women in the workforce, young professional

In thinking of possible lives for Jane’s 100 years, the flexibility that the ecosystem model offers makes the prospect of self-employment at certain stages a viable option. The technology that connects an individual to companies who want to buy their skills is becoming more global, cheaper and more sophisticated. These connecting platforms are already proliferating, leading to growing commentary about the ‘gig economy’ and the ‘sharing economy’. Technological change reduces information costs and so enables buyers and sellers to find each other more easily as well as determine the reliability and quality of each other from independent sources. The gig economy refers to the idea that there will be a rising number of people earning their income not through full- or part-time employment, but rather through providing a series of specific tasks and commissions to multiple sequential buyers. It’s possible right now to sell your skills through platforms like Upwork, or to make a creative contribution on InnoCentive or Kaggle, which can attract top project work for cash or prize awards.

These platforms will become more significant as large corporations increasingly look to small groups or individuals for their insight and innovation, and small groups look to connect with each other to build scale and reach. Corporations will engage interested individuals and teams with prizes, partner with them for a specific project, or buy them – much as Uber bought the robotics team from Carnegie Mellon. Similar to the gig economy, the sharing economy as a commercial entity provides the promise of a flexible source of income. Through renting out spare room capacity with Airbnb, the most high-profile example, individuals can generate useful income. As well as providing a source of income, we expect these ecosystems will also help people better blend work, leisure and home. As people work more flexibly in small and focused teams where they feel passionate about what they are doing, so the barriers between work and leisure become eroded.

The emergence of Yahoos Although these new stages will be experienced by all ages, right now it is the 18–30-year-olds who are really embracing them. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, Jane’s generation has the greatest need to adapt to longevity and also the greatest flexibility to do so. So it is they who will lead the way in experimentation and the adoption of new stages. Being an explorer, an independent producer and creating a portfolio (for this age group by utilizing the gig economy) will all be actively used and developed. This is an age group that, perhaps more than any other, realizes the value of options and is prepared to work hard to investigate and create them. In financial theory, an option is the right to buy an asset at a fixed price. The longer the period over which an option works, the greater its value. Moreover, the greater the uncertainty around the asset, the greater the value of the option.


pages: 243 words: 76,686

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Airbnb, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Filter Bubble, full employment, gig economy, Google Earth, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Minecraft, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Port of Oakland, Results Only Work Environment, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, source of truth, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, union organizing, white flight, Works Progress Administration

Here, the idea that you would even withhold some of that time to sustain yourself with food is essentially ridiculed. In a New Yorker article aptly titled “The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death,” Jia Tolentino concludes after reading a Fiverr press release: “This is the jargon through which the essentially cannibalistic nature of the gig economy is dressed up as an aesthetic. No one wants to eat coffee for lunch or go on a bender of sleep deprivation—or answer a call from a client while having sex, as recommended in [Fiverr’s promotional] video.”17 When every moment is a moment you could be working, power lunch becomes power lifestyle. Though it finds its baldest expression in things like the Fiverr ads, this phenomenon—of work metastasizing throughout the rest of life—isn’t constrained to the gig economy. I learned this during the few years that I worked in the marketing department of a large clothing brand.

Eric Holding and Sarah Chaplin, “The post-urban: LA, Las Vegas, NY,” in The Hieroglyphics of Space: Reading and Experiencing the Modern Metropolis, ed. Neil Leach (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2005), 190. 14. Franco Berardi, After the Future (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2011), 66. 15. Ibid., 129. 16. Bernardi, 35. 17. Jia Tolentino, “The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death,” New Yorker, March 22, 2017: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/the-gig-economy-celebrates-working-yourself-to-death. 18. Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution (New York: Penguin, 2008), 11. 19. Berardi, 109. 20. David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology (New York: Vintage, 2011), 128–129. 21. David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (New York: Vintage, 1997), x. 22.


pages: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

One of the most dramatic consequences of the internet has been the creation of platforms that allow work to be organised in a fundamentally more fragmented way. We all know Uber, eBay, and Airbnb, which connect buyers and providers of transport, goods, and lodging in one-off, fragmented interactions, thereby eliminating the need for businesses such as taxi firms, shops, and hotels. The actual taxis, goods delivery, and rooms still have to be where the customers physically find themselves. But the “gig economy” facilitated by online platforms also brings with it a global market for service jobs—or, rather, for piece-rate service tasks—in anything that can be done digitally and remotely. Coding, translation, copyediting, and other high-skilled and middle-class jobs are opening up to global competition even as computerised pattern recognition and artificial intelligence mean fewer people are required to accomplish the same amount of work.

For all these reasons, policies that improve employee representation in decision-making can potentially boost an economy’s productivity as well as enhance workers’ autonomy, agency, and sense of control directly.20 Statutory rights for nonemployment work relationships. Internet platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit have made it possible to procure and offer work in a much more fragmented way than through traditional employment relationships. The “gig economy” may not yet be as extensive in proportion to the entire economy as the media attention would lead you to believe, but it constitutes a significant share of new jobs since the Great Recession of 2008, and it is likely to continue to grow as it becomes practical to outsource more and more tasks as “gigs”—including cognitive ones.21 That model is, moreover, well suited to technological developments that will require more frequent job changes.

The “gig economy” may not yet be as extensive in proportion to the entire economy as the media attention would lead you to believe, but it constitutes a significant share of new jobs since the Great Recession of 2008, and it is likely to continue to grow as it becomes practical to outsource more and more tasks as “gigs”—including cognitive ones.21 That model is, moreover, well suited to technological developments that will require more frequent job changes. But a fragmented workforce is a workforce with less of an organised voice or none at all, so there is a trade-off between flexibility (and the productivity that may come with it) and worker autonomy. Policy should aim to overcome this trade-off, which means finding ways to accommodate the new forms of freedom and flexibility the gig economy increasingly offers without returning to the exploitable informality of old piece-rate labour markets. In broad terms, the goal must be to ensure that workers enjoy the same balance of power vis-à-vis those they work for, regardless of their type of contract or the state of unionisation in their line of work. (Again, policies that achieve this may not always be in the interest of existing unions if it shows them up as obsolete.)


pages: 263 words: 80,594

Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation by Grace Blakeley

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land value tax, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transfer pricing, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

The next day, his older brother found his body in the woods where they used to play as children. Jerome Rogers, nineteen years old and with no history of mental illness, had killed himself because he was overwhelmed by debt. Jerome’s story — recently covered in a BBC documentary Killed By My Debt — is not unique. According to recent estimates, almost three million people had worked in the gig economy over the twelve months to February 2018, and the majority of them are aged between eighteen and thirty-seven.1 The same survey found that 25% of people working in the gig economy earned £7.50 per hour or less — not counting any additional expenses. Many people in the survey reported working several jobs just to make ends meet. Jerome’s reliance on various forms of unsecured debt are also a hallmark of the modern economy. Household debt increased substantially between 1979 and 2007, reaching a peak of 145% of households’ disposable incomes in 2007.2 Since the crash, the situation hasn’t improved, and unsecured household debt — debt not backed up by an asset like housing — has now reached its highest levels ever.3 This has taken place alongside the longest period of wage stagnation since the Napoleonic wars.4 The financialisation of the corporation could not have proceeded had Thatcher not smashed the single greatest source of resistance to it: the union movement.

, European Central Bank. https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/conferences/shared/pdf/20170626_ecb_forum/T_Philippon_Is_there_an_investment_gap_in_advanced_economies_If_so_why_with_R_Dottling_and_G_Gutierrez.pdf 57 Foorhar, R. (2018) “Tech Companies are the New Investment Banks”, Financial Times, 11 February. https://www.ft.com/content/0ee3bef8-0d87-11e8-8eb7-42f857ea9f09 58 Eurostat (2018) “Non-Financial Corporations — Statistics on Financial Assets and Liabilities”, Eurostat. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Non-financial_corporations_-_statistics_on_financial_assets_and_liabilities 59 Ibid. Chapter Three Let Them Eat Houses: The Financialisation of the Household 1 Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2018) The Characteristics of Those in the Gig Economy, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/687553/The_characteristics_of_those_in_the_gig_economy.pdf 2 Harari, D. (2018) “Household Debt: Statistics and Impact on the Economy”, House of Commons Briefing Paper 7584, 21 December. 3 BBC News (2019) “UK Household Debt Hits New Peak, Says TUC”, 7 January. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46780279 4 IPPR (2018) 5 Crouch, C. (2009) “Privatised Keynesianism: An Unacknowledged Policy Regime”, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 11 6 Strange, S (1986) Casino Capitalism, Manchester: Manchester University Press 7 Bank of England (2019) “Monthly 12 month growth rate of M4, seasonally adjusted”, Bank of England dataset LMVQJW. 8 Ryan-Collins, J., MacFarlane, L. and Lloyd, T. (2017) Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing, London: Zed Books 9 This analysis draws on: Hein (2012); Arestis, P.

Yet the proportion of families experiencing in-work poverty has increased. This is partly due to the stagnation in earnings described above, but it also comes down to changes in working practices that have taken place since the crisis. Work has not just become less well-paid; it has also become more insecure. The numbers of people working part-time, on zero-hour contracts or on non-permanent contracts have all increased. Many of those working in the “gig economy” for companies such as Uber or Deliveroo also sacrifice benefits such as pensions and sick pay, meaning that their effective remuneration is even lower than what is captured in the headline wage statistics. Today, eight million people in poverty live in a working household.11 The link between employment and rising living standards has been severed. High levels of employment have also coincided with a stagnation in productivity — the amount of output produced for every hour worked.


pages: 151 words: 39,757

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

I suspect that even though you might say it doesn’t bother you, on some level you know it does, and there’s no point in being angry because you can’t see any way to do anything about it. But there is. Delete your accounts.33 ARGUMENT EIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO HAVE ECONOMIC DIGNITY DOUBLE BUMMER Since BUMMER showed up, the economic lives of many people in the developed world have taken on an uncomfortable quality. More and more people rely on the gig economy, which makes it hard to plan one’s life. Gig economy workers rarely achieve financial security, even after years of work. To put it another way, the level of risk in their financial lives seems to never decline, no matter how much they’ve achieved. In the United States, where the social safety net is meager, this means that even skilled, hardworking people may be made homeless by medical bills, even after years of dedicated service to their profession.

Everyone knew that software would eventually become more important than law, so the prospect of a world running on hidden code was dark and creepy. Therefore, the transparency that must underlie democracy, literacy, and decency was thought to be incompatible with any business model but free. Free and open would be forever bound together. But how would programmers make a living if their code was freely copied? Maybe they could give away the code and make money from being paid to solve problems that came up. They’d enter a gig economy instead of a royalty economy. They’d be laborers instead of accruing capital. But at least source code would remain visible, so an open, democratic society would flourish. Nice sentiment, but it didn’t work. In the era when activists first demanded that software be made open, the computers weren’t connected yet. Now they are; they have been for decades. That means that a BUMMER company can build a model of you in software—and control what you see in a manipulative feed—by running programs exclusively on their own computers.


pages: 411 words: 98,128

Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives and What the World's Best Companies Are Learning From It by Brian Dumaine

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, call centre, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, natural language processing, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

For most people, the pink-slip-bearing robots haven’t arrived yet. But all signs point to the fact that they’re coming, except for those who exist in certain insulated professions—often ones that are high-touch or have an emotional component. Some of the dispossessed will find new jobs, others will survive on a universal basic income provided by their government, and others still will turn to the gig economy, trying to eke out a living any way they can. One way to do this, of course, is to start a business that sells stuff on Amazon. That, however, would mean having to compete directly with Amazon’s relentless AI flywheel. CHAPTER 9 Dancing with the Devil John Morgan looks back wistfully on his days running a kitesurfing shop on the coast of Spain. His biggest worries during his twelve sun-filled years as a small retailer were making sure he had the right selection of North Face and Patagonia gear in stock and that the waves were big enough to attract surfers to his beachfront store.

To lower costs and boost speed, Amazon over the years has tried to outsource some of its local deliveries to smaller, independent couriers that charge less than FedEx or UPS. Amazon Flex is its same-day delivery service, which operates in some ways like Uber, using independent contractors who drive their own cars and get paid by the delivery. In fact, some Amazon Flex drivers are actually moonlighting Uber drivers. As is the case with many gig economy workers, these drivers find it hard to make a living. They might get paid $18 to $24 an hour for delivering Amazon packages to homes and apartment buildings, but after deducting gas, insurance, and maintenance costs, their pay ends up much less than that. Also, the Flex drivers, because they’re independent contractors, don’t receive corporate benefits, even though some wear Amazon uniforms and report to an Amazon manager.

She described how she was “battling a growing rage as I lugged parcels to offices of tech companies that offered free food and impressive salaries to their employees, who seemed to spend their days ordering stuff online. Technology was allowing these people a good life, but it was just making me stressed and cranky. ‘NOT. A. GOOD. DEAL,’ I scrawled in my notebook after having walked down nine flights of stairs, sick of waiting for a freight elevator that may or may not have been broken, and returned to my car for another armful of packages.” In addition to the swarms of gig economy workers racing around neighborhoods delivering packages, Amazon hires small trucking companies that help handle the ever-increasing number of same-day deliveries. This approach saves Amazon money, but it comes with a slew of headaches. In 2018, Business Insider reported that some drivers who worked for these companies drove in trucks with “broken windows, cracked mirrors, jammed doors, faulty brakes, and tires with poor traction.”


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The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Airbnb, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, centre right, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, gig economy, industrial robot, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, post-industrial society, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, software studies, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, WikiLeaks

The bulk of new jobs that have been created by the digital revolution and its transformation of the world of work tend instead to be lowly qualified and lowly paid jobs. This trend is epitomised by the rapid growth of causalised workers such as call centre workers, riders for delivery companies such as Deliveroo, Uber drivers or warehouse workers as those of Amazon104 among many other typical profiles of the so-called ‘gig economy’.105 These figures can be considered as part of the ‘precariat’, an emerging class which, in his General Theory of the Precariat, Italian activist and theorist Alex Foti describes as ‘the underpaid, underemployed, underprotected, overeducated, and overexploited’.106 What is more, many fear the job-destroying avalanche of the incoming second automation revolution, with robots predicted to eliminate many manual jobs such as drivers substituted by self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence threatening to destroy clerical jobs, such as those in the legal and accounting sectors.

Nick Dyer-Witheford, Cyber-proletariat: global labour in the digital vortex (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015). 104. A good account of this development is provided in Trebor Scholz, Uber-worked and underpaid: how workers are disrupting the digital economy (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2017). 105. Valerio De Stefano, ‘The rise of the just-in-time workforce: on-demand work, crowdwork, and labor protection in the gig-economy’, Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 37 (2015): 471. 106. Alex Foti, General theory of the precariat: great recession, revolution, reaction (Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2017). 107. Nicholas Kulish, ‘Direct Democracy, 2.0’, New York Times Sunday Review, 5 May 2012, retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/sunday-review/direct-democracy-2-0.html. 108. Alessandro Gilioli, ‘Chi sono gli elettori del Movimento 5 Stelle e di Beppe Grillo’, L’Espresso, 30 January 2014, retrieved from espresso.repubblica.it/palazzo/2014/01/30/news/chi-sono-gli-elettori-del-movimento-5-stelle-1.150530#gallery-slider=undefined. 109.

Dalton, Russell J., and Martin P. Wattenberg, eds. Parties without partisans: political change in advanced industrial democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. De Montesquieu, Charles. Montesquieu: the spirit of the laws. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989. De Stefano, Valerio. ‘The rise of the just-in-time workforce: on-demand work, crowdwork, and labor protection in the gig-economy.’ Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 37 (2015): 471. De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America, Vol. 10. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2003. Debray, Régis. Media manifestos. Trans. Eric Rauth. London and New York: Verso, 1996, p.161. Della Porta, Donatella, Joseba Fernandez, Hara Kouki and Lorenzo Mosca. Movement parties against austerity. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Deuze, Mark.


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The American Dream Is Not Dead: (But Populism Could Kill It) by Michael R. Strain

Bernie Sanders, business cycle, centre right, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, feminist movement, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, job automation, labor-force participation, market clearing, market fundamentalism, new economy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, upwardly mobile, working poor

Nor does the left deny the benefits of the revolutionary innovations wrought by technological change. What they insist upon is that the fruits of this transformation should be distributed equitably, and that the bargaining power of Americans negatively affected by it should be enhanced. Here, for example, is what Warren, who takes the brunt of some of Strain’s attacks, said when she offered a plan to protect the rights of workers in the gig economy in 2016: “Massive technological change is a gift—a byproduct of human ingenuity that creates extraordinary opportunities to improve the lives of billions. But history shows that to harness those opportunities to create and sustain a strong middle class, policy also matters. To fully realize the potential of this new economy, laws must be adapted to make sure that the basic bargain for workers remains intact, and that workers have the chance to share in the growth they help produce.”52 These are not the words of a utopian, a nostalgist, or a Luddite.

Seventy-eight and 61 percent of sons raised in the bottom and second quintiles, respectively, went on to out earn their fathers. Median labor earnings for sons is approximately $62,000 and for fathers is approximately $56,000. 51.OECD, “A Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility,” Published June 15, 2018. 52.Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator for Massachusetts, “Senator Warren Lays Out Steps to Protect Workers in the ‘Gig Economy,’” speech given May 19, 2016. 53.Jay Schambaugh and Ryan Nunn, “Why Wages Aren’t Growing in America,” Brookings Institution, November 14, 2017. 54.Lawrence Mishel, Elise Gould, and Josh Bivens, “Wage Stagnation in Nine Charts,” Economic Policy Institute, January 6, 2015. 55.David H. Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson, “The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States,” American Economic Review (2013) 103, no. 6. 56.National Conference of State Legislatures, “State Minimum Wages: 2019 Minimum Wage by State,” January 6, 2019. 57.FRED Economic Data, “All Employees, Manufacturing,” December 6, 2019; Heather Long, “U.S.


pages: 236 words: 62,158

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

The browser-based game starts by asking the player, “Can you make it in the gig economy?” Then the player is allowed to explore what it is like to work for Uber, making choices along the way. The game ends with the total earnings the player has managed to make, but then Uber’s cut of the fares, along with all the expenses—the lease on the car, gas, insurance, any repairs, and so on—are taken off. When the player sees how much they have actually made, they see “they’ve often been earning only half of the minimum wage.” As Didžgalvytė explains, “The game’s point is obvious and its effect is striking, not least because it’s in a place to be played by the Financial Times readership—a group of people that generally praise the gig economy, and its lack of bothersome unionisation.”26 Again, here, the rules of the game provide a reflection of society’s unequal rules.

., 91–92 US Army, 54–55 US Department of Defense, 20 US Marine Corps, 54, 116 USS Enterprise, 23 Ustwo Games, 40 Utopia, 31 V Valve, 39, 52–53, 70 Victorian Britain, 63 Video Computer System, 24 Video Games Tax Relief, 42 Vietnam War, 21 Virtual Battlespace 2, 54 Void, The, 105 W Walker, John, 143 Walker, Martin, 122–23 Warcraft, 160 Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, 28 WarGames, 19 Warner Communications, 23, 26 WashTech, 91 Westwood Studios, 28 Wii, 30 Wii U, 32 Williams, Ian, 96, 108, 160 Williams, Raymond, 107 Windows, 28, 61 Wolfenstein 3D, 115 Woods, Don, 23 Workerism, 69 World at War, 117 World of Tanks, 32 World of Warcraft, 2, 31, 101, 149, 154 World’s Fair, 18 Wright, Will, 127 Wu, Brianna, 154 X Xbox, 30 Xbox 360, 30 Xbox One, 31, 48, 50, 86 Xbox One X, 31 Y Yee, Leland, 41 YouTube, 39 Yu, Tian, 141 Z Zimmerman, Eric, 15 Dr Jamie Woodcock is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He is the author of Working The Phones, a study of a call center in the UK inspired by the workers’ inquiry. His research focuses on labor, work, the gig economy, platforms, resistance, organizing, and videogames. Jamie is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism. Haymarket Books is a radical, independent, nonprofit book publisher based in Chicago. Our mission is to publish books that contribute to struggles for social and economic justice. We strive to make our books a vibrant and organic part of social movements and the education and development of a critical, engaged, international left.


pages: 504 words: 129,087

The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter

"side hustle", 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Hangouts, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, passive income, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, white picket fence, working poor, Works Progress Administration

See War on Terror for-profit colleges, 52 4chan, 61 Fox News, 222, 265, 266, 272, 273 Foy, Jennifer Carroll, 212 Francis, Lotoya, 120 Franklin, Danquirs, 137 Frelinghuysen, Rodney, 206 Frey, Jacob, 135 Fukuyama, Francis, 213 Full House (tv show), 33 Gaetz, Matt, 158, 252, 255 Gallagher, Mike, 67, 158 Garner, Eric, 118 Garza, Alicia, 118, 119–20 Geithner, Tim, 106, 108 Gelman, Andrew, 151–52, 153 Generation Me (Twenge), 34 Generation Opportunity, 149 Generations (Strauss & Howe), xiv Generation X, xviii self-esteem and, 34 student debt of, 46 technological shift and, 55–56 turnout, in 2018 elections, 244 Generation Z, 55, 244, 293–94 gerrymandering, 152–53 Ghitza, Yair, 151–52, 153 GI Bill, 52 Gibson, Chris, 158 Gierzynski, Anthony, 40–41 gig economy, 98–99 Gilded Age, 216–17, 219 Gillespie, Ed, 211 Gillum, Andrew, 171, 172 Ginsburg, Ruth Bader, xiii Glass-Steagall Act, 31 Glezman, Chasten, 146, 282 Global Climate Strike, 190–191, 293–94 globalism, 177 GM, 102–4, 105 Golden, Jared, 270 González, Emma, 247 Good Morning Vietnam (film), 188 Google, 55, 197 Google Docs, 204 Goolsbee, Austan, 104 Gore, Al, 27, 31 Granholm, Jennifer, 84 Gray, Freddie, 121 Great Depression, 217 Greatest Generation, xiv, xviii, 29 Greatest Hoax, The (Inhofe), 159 Great Gatsby, The (Fitzgerald), 93 Great Recession, 50, 92–100 black and Hispanic families, impact on, 97–98 college graduates, impact on, 95–96 gig economy and, 98–99 long-term financial impact on millennials of, 98–99 poverty rates for millennials with high school diploma and, 96–97 renting versus ownership and, 99 risk, attitudes toward, 99 student debt and, 96 underemployment and, 96 unemployment rates during, 96 wealth of millennial households versus boomer households at same age, 97 Greenberg, Leah, 124, 125 Indivisible resistance and, 180, 204–5 Muslim travel ban protests and, 202 2012 presidential election and, 170–71, 172–73, 176, 178–80 Greenfield, Jerry, 115 Green New Deal, 191, 273–75, 278–79 Greimel, Tim, 236, 237 Grubb, W.

The recession had shifted the financial calculus for an entire generation of American workers. It changed the kinds of jobs they got (often precarious, part-time ones), what kinds of benefits they got (usually none), and what kind of schedule they kept (erratic and flexible). And unlike boomers and Gen Xers, who had the benefit of at least a few decades of twentieth-century-style employment, millennials may spend almost their entire careers in the gig economy. Their careers will be defined by a lack of definition. They are less likely to have the protection of unions (union membership has halved since 1983), less likely to have a set nine-to-five schedule (40 percent of young workers get their schedules just a few days in advance), and less likely to stay at one company for long enough to build a track record of good work. Not to mention the fact that rapid advances in technology in the early twenty-first century made it increasingly likely that automation would take over most low-wage, unskilled jobs.

When big purchases such as homes and cars were out of the question, many millennials figured they might as well spend their money on things like specialty cronuts and fancy coffees. They tended to prefer experiences over possessions. And a generation steeped in social networks became increasingly comfortable renting things instead of owning them: millennials rented rides (with Uber and Lyft), rented clothes (through Rent The Runway), and rented labor (through TaskRabbit). They also began to look to the gig economy for side hustles to supplement their meager incomes. By 2018, more than 40 percent of eighteen- to thirty-four-year-olds worked as freelancers. For almost half of the largest generation of workers, the traditional work structure that had defined twentieth-century professional life just wasn’t available anymore. A freelance life meant being constantly on, all the time. It meant working two or three jobs to make ends meet—partly to pay off those student loans, partly to pay that health insurance premium, and partly because technology made it possible to work all the time, from anywhere.


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New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

THE ATOMIZED AND UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF WORK Not only are workers becoming more transient, work itself is becoming more atomized and impermanent. The contingent workforce is growing rapidly, thanks in part to the rise of “gig economy” platforms. In a world of fraying loyalties, tour-of-duty professionals, downsizing, wannabe founders, and hybrid musician/coder/furniture designers, up to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce can now be counted as contingent. Some of this shift can be explained by the cultural dynamics we have laid out in this chapter, but much of it is also driven by hard economic realities: there are fewer well-paid, secure, full-time jobs up for grabs. The challenges of managing contingent and gig economy workers may be a glimpse into the future of management generally. If you’re a company with a large share of contingent workers (or your business model is dependent on them), the tropes of traditional HR can seem rather quaint.

Allowing workers to rate customers can maintain morale by weeding out the bad apples; workers in traditional service roles rarely get to impose real consequences on a mean or haranguing customer. But algorithmic management alone will only go so far. Creating a human connection among workers on a vast scale will also be critical. What a network like Buurtzorg is getting right is structuring for peer accountability and learning, which lightens the management burden and adds a powerful sense of shared endeavor. Gig economy platforms are shaping expectations about work and working conditions, and mostly for the worse. In 2017, one such platform, Fiverr, which offers up freelance jobs and tasks that pay as little as $5, released an ad featuring a hip but exhausted-looking millennial and this wisdom: “You eat a coffee for lunch. You follow through on your follow through. Sleep deprivation is your drug of choice. You might be a doer.”

In a world of fraying loyalties: Elaine Pofeldt, “Shocker: 40% of Workers Now Have ‘Contingent’ Jobs, Says U.S. Government,” Forces, May 25, 2015. “You eat a coffee for lunch”: Ellen Scott, “People Are Not Pleased with Fiverr’s Deeply Depressing Advert,” Metro, March 10, 2017. “The campaign positions Fiverr”: DCX Growth Accelerator, “Fiverr Debuts First-Ever Brand Campaign,” PR Newswire, January 9, 2017. “I’d guess that plenty”: Jia Tolentino, “The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death,” The New Yorker, March 22, 2017. With more than 24 million members: “Company Overview,” July 2017. www.care.com. “If we want to sustain”: Sheila Marcelo, discussion with authors, September 20, 2016. “Fair Care Pledge”: “Take the Fair Care Pledge Today!,” July 2017. www.faircarepledge.com. Now they are advocating on Capitol Hill: Julia Quinn-Szcesuil, “What Caregivers Need to Know About the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights,” Care.com, July, 2017. www.care.com.


pages: 218 words: 68,648

Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire: My Unlikely Escape From Corporate America by Dan Conway

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, financial independence, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, job satisfaction, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, rent control, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile

He is one of the best at explaining how the blockchain-based Internet could be the heart of a new, decentralized economy. Why does Ravikant think this is more likely to happen now, years after the migration to the gig economy and independent contractors is underway? Blockchains powered by cryptocurrency. He says, “The Internet evolved media from physical to digital, from paid to free, from editorial to social. Next up: from corporate to ownerless.” The gig economy provides some measure of freedom, but it still requires people to play by the corporate rules, like Google’s army of contractors, or hand over a disproportionate cut to its market maker, like Uber and Airbnb. In the gig economy, workers more or less still need to know the right people, laugh at the right jokes, and have the right credentials. On this open Internet, blockchains would allow independent agents to compete on an even playing field.


Work in the Future The Automation Revolution-Palgrave MacMillan (2019) by Robert Skidelsky Nan Craig

3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, anti-work, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data is the new oil, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, post-work, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, working poor

Thorstein Veblen’s idea of the leisure society was trampled somewhere under the theories of Smith, Marx and Keynes. Work is the protein, interacting with other resources, feeding our seemingly insatiable growth economies that, to our peril, ignore the wellbeing of both the planet and other species. As internet technologies transform our working patterns through self-­ organised platforms, often collectively described as Uberisation and the gig economy, there seems to be a yearning for greater understanding of our past, a need for clues that may lead us in to a sustainable future. One focus of contemporary studies has been the settlements and towns established at a fulcrum of history—the shift from hunter-gathering in to agrarian society capable of creating food surpluses that, in turn, needed finer organisation of work around specialisations such as accounting, planning and management.

Atypical and ‘precarious’ work has become more prevalent in recent years, although, as David Coats rightly notes, the so-called Uberisation of the economy has not occurred to the extent that media headlines often suggest (2018: 76). People in full-time work with permanent contracts still make up the majority of the labour force: the percentage of such workers dropped from 65 per cent to 63 per cent between 2008 and 2010 and has remained constant since. Nonetheless, it is not clear whether or how a statutory shortening of working time would affect gig-­economy workers. As mentioned, union membership in the UK is low, and there is a near total absence of sectoral bargaining: this makes it harder to translate the gains from automation into higher wages and/or more leisure time. Furthermore, the UK is already suffering from a shortage of technical skills: employers are struggling to fill hundreds of thousands of positions. The manufacturing and construction sectors are particularly affected by this shortage (Aubrey 2018: 240).

., 31 De Spiegelaere, Stan, 181, 183 205 Deep Blue, 91, 112, 129, 130 Dekker, Fabian, 180 Deliveroo, 136 Demand effects on automation, 4, 21, 86 elasticity, 86 of work, 4, 13, 15, 16, 76, 158, 164, 180, 199 Democracy, 28 Denmark, 68, 177, 180 Dennett, Daniel, 100, 102, 103 Developing countries, 145 Digital economy, 5, 19, 125–132, 140 Digital revolution, 70 Division of labour, 11, 35, 38, 43, 44, 55 Donkin, Richard, 3 Dosi, Giovanni, 192, 195 Do what you love, 73, 74, 76 Dreyfus, Herbert, 100 E Economics, 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15, 18, 29, 30, 53–62 Economic view of work, 53–62 Education, 41, 42, 48, 67–69, 126, 131, 169, 171, 196, 197 Efficiency, 5, 16, 75, 159, 168, 184 Empathy, 106, 107 Employment law, 68 rates, 67, 68, 70 English East India Company, 44 Entrepreneurs, 29, 70, 77, 190, 192, 197, 199 Environment, 25, 31, 56, 70, 87, 91, 109, 111, 113, 120, 178, 198 206 Index Equality of opportunity, 69 of outcome, 69 social, 163 Ethics of AI, 6, 110, 119, 145–153, 197 stagnation of, 151–152 of work, 28 Exit, 69 Experience, 36, 61, 85, 90, 94, 99–105, 116, 119, 189, 190 F Facebook, 136–141, 161 Factory system, 29–30 Families, 3, 26, 29, 37–48, 75, 76, 138, 159, 162, 178, 196 Feminist (arguments about work), 79 Finance, 48, 87, 170, 197 Fire, harnessing/discovery of, 29 Firestone, Shulamith, 159 Firms, 16, 17, 68, 70, 85, 87, 133, 148, 149, 151, 152, 168, 169, 172, 190 Flexicurity, 68 Ford, Henry, 30 Ford, Martin, 2, 59, 106 France, 4, 6, 66–70, 177, 181, 182 Franklin, Benjamin, 28 Freeman, Chris, 192 French Revolution, 43 Frey, Carl Benedikt, 4, 180 Friedman, Milton, 171 Fuzzy matching, 148, 149 G Galbraith, JK, 66 GDP, 19, 178 Gender, 38, 43, 44, 48, 151, 178 Gendered division of labour, 38, 43, 44 Germany, 6, 177, 180–182, 196 Gig economy, 27, 184 Globalisation, 20, 30, 90, 95 Google Google Cloud, 140 Google Home, 140 Google Maps, 35 Google Translate, 106 Google DeepMind, 112, 119 Gorz, A., 59 Graeber, David, 6, 76, 157, 161, 168 Greek ideas of work, 74 Growth, 2, 6, 7, 12, 25, 27, 30, 31, 55, 69, 75, 85, 86, 88, 110, 126, 128, 130, 135, 169, 176, 180, 183, 185, 190, 192, 198, 200 H Happiness, 5, 62, 195 Harrop, Andrew, 180 Hassabis, Demis, 119 Hayden, Anders, 182, 183 Healthcare, 3, 87, 94, 117, 165, 197 Heterodox economics, 54, 56, 62 Hierarchy, 46, 48, 55, 69, 170 High-skilled jobs, 128, 134 Homejoy, 135 Homo economicus, 56, 57 Homo laborans, 3 Homo ludens, 3 Household economy, 4, 38–40, 45, 47 Housewives, 42, 43, 46, 47 Housework, 39, 40, 42, 44, 47 Hunter-gatherers, 11, 26, 27, 30 Index I Idleness, 54 India, 44–47 Industrial Revolution, 2, 4, 14, 29, 37, 75, 93, 94, 175, 177, 190, 191 Inequality, 67–69, 86, 87, 192, 193, 199, 200 Informal economy, 47 Information technology, 86, 161 Infrastructure digital, 140 physical, 103 Innovation, 6, 10, 14, 16, 18, 34, 67, 69, 189–199 process innovation vs. product innovation, 16, 18, 190–191, 195 International Labour Organisation (ILO), 193 Internet of Things, 139, 191 Investment in capital, 114 in skills, 70 J Japan, 117 Jensen, C, 55 Job guarantee, 172 Jobs, Steve, 73 Journalism automation of, 118 clickbait, 118 Juries, algorithmic selection of, 150, 153 K Karstgen, Jack, 196 Kasparov, Garry, 91, 112, 129, 130 207 Katz, Lawrence, 198 Kennedy, John F., 160 Keune, Maarten, 180 Keynes, John Maynard, 6, 9, 11, 27, 60, 61, 160, 161, 176 King, Martin Luther, 171 Knowledge (tacit vs. explicit), 127 Komlosy, Andrea, 4, 75 Kubrick, Stanley, 26 Kurzweil, Raymond, 101, 103, 104 Kuznets, Simon, 190 L Labour, 3, 10, 11, 13–16, 18–21, 29, 34–36, 38, 43–46, 55, 59, 65–70, 73–76, 85–87, 89, 90, 93, 94, 96, 114, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 141, 158, 165, 176–180, 183–184, 189, 190, 192–196, 199–200 Labour market polarisation, 67, 70, 126 Labour markets, 67, 68, 70, 87, 90, 96, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 141, 178, 183–184, 189, 192, 193, 195, 196, 199–200 Labour-saving effect, 86 Lall, Sanjaya, 193 Language translation, 105, 106 Latent Damage Act 1986, 127 Law automation of, 145, 152, 153 ethics, 145–153 Lawrence, Mathew, 177 Layton, E., 58 Le Bon, Gustave, 101 Lee, Richard, 26 Legal search/legal discovery, 148–150 208 Index Leisure, 3, 10, 11, 19, 27, 48, 55, 56, 59–62, 65, 77, 79, 117, 118, 159, 161, 178, 180, 182, 184, 191, 195 Levy, Frank, 126 List, Friedrich, 193 Love, 55, 74, 76, 99, 103, 106, 112, 118 Low-income jobs, 96 Loyalty, 69 Luddites, 2, 14, 18, 35, 59, 94, 96 Lyft, 136 M Machine learning, 59, 84, 90, 91, 96, 138, 139 Machines, 2, 5, 10, 12–15, 17, 19, 20, 35, 36, 38, 59, 84–87, 90–96, 99–103, 105–107, 109–121, 127–131, 138, 139, 145, 147, 148, 160, 168, 191 Machine vision, 120 Malthusian, 19 Man, Henrik de, 79 Management, 27, 30, 41, 69, 70 management theory/ organisational theory (see also Scientific management) Mann, Michael, 46 Manual work, 1 Manufacturing, 86, 87, 90, 94, 95, 176, 184, 198 Markets/market forces, 5, 6, 21, 38, 44–46, 67, 68, 70, 79, 85–88, 90, 96, 120, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 140, 141, 150, 152, 159, 164, 165, 171, 178, 183, 189–193, 195, 196, 198–200 Marx, Karl, 17, 18, 27, 56–59, 61, 62, 78 Matrimonial relationships, 37 McCormack, Win, 159 Meaning, 4, 9, 10, 19, 25, 54, 57, 58, 66, 73, 76, 78, 79, 84, 106, 116, 176, 180 Mechanisation, 15, 17, 19, 20, 192 Meckling, W., 55 Méda, Dominique, 183 Medical diagnosis (automation of ), 128, 129 Menger, Pierre-Michel, 4 Mental labour, 3 Meritocracy, 28 Middle-income jobs, 90, 93, 94 Migration, 40, 47 Minimum wage, 67, 69 Mining, 26, 38, 197 Mokyr, J., 59 Monopolies, 6, 136, 138–140 Morals/morality, 48, 77, 159, 160, 162, 164, 166, 167 Moravec’s paradox, 131 Murnane, Richard, 126 N Nagel, Thomas, 100, 102 National Living wage, 184 Needs vs.


pages: 408 words: 108,985

Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, deindustrialization, discovery of DNA, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, mini-job, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open economy, patent troll, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, zero-sum game

A number of governments have tried to extend coverage to vulnerable workers, including those with multiple employers, those with irregular jobs, and those who are self-employed. In Austria and Spain, part-timers and the self-employed are allowed a more favorable way of calculating benefits for any given level of contributions. In Indonesia and Uruguay, taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, including those working through gig economy platforms, are covered by social insurance through payments via an online application.8 Formalization, or bringing workers onto the books, would have further benefits, including the improvement of working conditions of those in the informal economy. What these examples illustrate is that public pensions can be provided even to those in the informal economy. Several additional reforms of existing pension systems could also provide more security in old age.

That will require changing many rules governing corporate governance, labor relations, globalization, and competition to curb the market power of large firms. ■ Wages at the bottom of the income scale in many countries are simply too low. In many countries, it will be important to raise minimum wages and/or to supplement the incomes of low-wage earners. ■ A new problem that Europe has to confront is the emergence of precarious jobs, like those involved in the so-called gig economy. ■ In many countries, there has been an erosion of labor standards. Standards have to be raised and programs designed to bring the informal economy onto the books. ■ Europe has suffered from excesses of long-term unemployment and high rates of youth unemployment. Active labor market policies can help move these individuals into jobs, provided enough jobs are available. ■ More broadly, the state may have to actively intervene in labor markets to provide employment.

The paradox is that, in some respects, we seem to be reversing a long-term trend associated with development, which is the move from informal jobs to formal jobs with better protections. In some cases, firms like Uber have tried to take advantage of legalistic arguments by claiming that their workers are independent contractors—even as the company controls many details of what they do. In some countries, courts have ruled against these obvious ruses. Box 9.1: The Gig Economy in Europe, Its Problems, and Possible Solutions Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit are examples of internet-based companies that connect clients with service providers (mini-cab drivers, owners of accommodation, and domestic work, respectively) through easy-to-use mobile apps. They often operate in a legal vacuum. While owners and shareholders reap large profits from low labor costs, workers–contractors pay for fuel, maintenance, insurance, and other direct costs.


Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, means of production, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, purchasing power parity, remote working, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

The most obvious case is the commodification of activities that used to be conducted within extended families and then, as people became richer, within nuclear families. Cooking has now become outsourced, and families often do not eat meals together. Cleaning, repairs, gardening, and child-rearing have become more commercialized than before or perhaps than ever. Writing homework essays, which used to be “outsourced” to parents, can now be outsourced to commercial companies. The growth of the gig economy commercializes our free time and things that we own but have not used for commercial purposes before. Uber was created precisely on the idea of making better use of free time. Limousine drivers used to have extra time between jobs; instead of wasting that time, they began to drive people around to make money. Now anybody who has some free time can “sell” it by working for a ride-share company or delivering pizza.

The transformation of ourselves into objects of management and maximization was very well captured by the law professor Daniel Markovits in his address to the 2015 graduating class of Yale Law School: “Your own talents, training and skills—your self-same persons—today constitute your greatest assets, the overwhelmingly dominant source of your wealth and status.… [You have had] to act as asset-managers whose portfolio contains yourselves.”22 The increasing commodification of many activities along with the rise of the gig economy and of a radically flexible labor market are all part of the same evolution; they should be seen as movements toward a more rational, but ultimately more depersonalized, economy where most interactions will be one-off contacts. At some level, as in Montesquieu’s “doux commerce,” complete commercialization should make people act nicer toward each other. But on the other hand, the shortness of interactions makes investing in cooperative behavior prohibitively expensive.

See also Rich; Upper class Ellul, Jacques, 208–209 Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), to deconcentrate capital ownership, 48 The End of History and the Last Man (Fukuyama), 70 Engels, Friedrich, 1, 2, 3, 114, 224 Entrepreneurship, 25 Entry costs, rich and, 33–34 Equilibrium corruption, 121 Escaping Poverty (Vries), 115 Ethical imperialism, 126 Ethical vs. legal, 182 Ethics of ruling class, 66 Europe, performance of socialist vs. capitalist economies in, 84–85 Export pessimism, 149–150 Extractive institutions, 73 Fallacy: of the lump of labor doctrine, 198–199; of lump of raw materials and energy, 200–201; that human needs are limited, 199 Family, decreased usefulness of, 187–190 Fascism, explaining rise of, 70–72 Feldstein, Martin, 33 Ferguson, Niall, 72 Financial assets, rich and rate of return on, 32–33 Financial centers, corruption and global, 169–170 Financial deregulation, 183 Financial settlements, amorality and, 183–184 Finland, universal basic income in, 202 First Congress of the Peoples of the East, 223 Fischer, Fritz, 72 Fisher, Irving, 48 Fixed investment in China, 89–90 France: inherited wealth in, 62; minority support for globalization in, 9; share of capital as percent of national income in, 15 Frank, André Gunder, 148 Fraser, Nancy, 195 Freeman, Richard, 144, 198 Freund, Caroline, 50, 161–163 Fu, Zhe, 102 Fukuyama, Francis, 68, 70, 115, 120 Functional distribution of income, 233 Funding of political parties and campaigns, control of political process by rich and, 57–58 Future, inability to visualize, 197–201 GDP per capita: for China and India, 8, 211, 212; in countries with political capitalism, 97; decline in global inequality and, 213; growth rate in China, Vietnam, and United States, 86; household net wealth and, 27, 30, 31; in socialist vs. capitalist economies in Europe in 1950, 83–84; universal basic income and, 203 Gender, ruling class and, 66 Geopolitical changes, global inequality and, 211–214 Germany: cracking down on tax evasion in, 173; inequality in income from capital and labor in, 26–27, 29; limits of tax-and-transfer redistribution in, 44–45; migration and, 137, 242n47; share of global GDP, 9, 10; subcitizenship in, 136 Gernet, Jacques, 105–106, 115 Ghettoization, of migrants, 146–147 Gig economy, 190, 192, 194 Gilens, Martin, 56 Gini coefficients, 6, 27, 231, 241–242n40 Gini points, 6, 7, 239n22, 240n30 Gintis, Herbert, 209–211 Giving Pledge, 242n44 Global attractiveness of political capitalism, 112–113; Chinese “export” of political capitalism and, 118–128 Global capitalism, future of, 176–218; amorality of hypercommercialized capitalism, 176–187; atomization and commodification, 187–197; fear of technological progress and, 197–205; global inequality and geopolitical changes, 211–214; leading toward people’s capitalism and egalitarian capitalism, 215–218; political capitalism vs. liberal capitalism, 207–211; war and peace, 205–207 Global capitalism, globalization and, 153–155 Global GDP: China’s share of, 9, 10; Germany’s share of, 9, 10; India’s share of, 9, 10; United States’ share of, 9, 10 Global inequality, 6–9; decline in, 257n36; geopolitical changes and, 211–214; history of income inequality, 6–9; measurement of, 231–233 Global Inequality (Milanovic), 102 Globalization: capitalism and, 3; eras of, 150–155; facilitating worldwide corruption, 107; inequality in liberal meritocratic capitalism and, 22; malaise in the West about, 9–10; scenarios for evolution of, 209–211; support for in Asia, 9; tax havens and, 44; welfare state and, 50–55, 155–159; welfare state in era of, 50–55; worldwide corruption and, 159–175.


pages: 382 words: 107,150

We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck

airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Food sovereignty, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McJob, means of production, new economy, payday loans, precariat, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

And the corporations, hospitals, universities, and government agencies for which they work evade legal responsibility for meeting minimum wage, maximum hours, and safety standards by classifying them as “temporary” or as “contract” employees provided by third-party labor suppliers. In many countries, full-time employees are protected by federal and state labor laws, fought for by labor unions and passed between the 1910s and the 1950s. But few people are classified as full-time employees these days. Suddenly almost everyone is an “independent contractor.” Welcome to the so-called “gig economy.” Twenty dollars an hour, most studies show, is the minimum required to comfortably support a family with two children in the US. Nearly two-thirds of American workers earn less. And though the 2016 election sparked discussion of falling real wages among high school-educated white men, only a quarter of low-wage workers in the US are men. Two-thirds of the country’s lowest-paid workers are women.

We all know, or are, freelancers, home workers, service providers, car service/ride-sharing drivers, adjunct professors pulling together brief contract jobs to make ends meet. Most don’t earn enough to pay their bills. In 2016, more than 127,000 people slept in New York City homeless shelters. Many were working people and their kids.2 The cheerful pictures painted by Amazon, Uber, and McDonald’s are lies. Precarious workers are not plucky free agents creatively making their way in the “gig economy.” They are victims of what should be considered a vast criminal conspiracy. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that in 2016 alone, US workers were robbed of $50 billion in wages. Meanwhile, wealthy companies around the world were systematically denying precarious workers their rightful earnings—in fast-food restaurants, factories, nursing homes, and farms.3 McDonald’s is infamous for the practice.

See also education construction workers, hazards faced by, 22 consumers: consumer boycotts, 41, 216; educating, 158–59, 164; and fast-fashion industry, 129; focusing actions on, 194, 210–11; and ubiquity of low prices, 6; and ready availability of fresh produce, 220 contract labor: call center workers, 100; fast-food workers, 99–100; fostering solidarity among, 66–67; garment workers, 177; and the “gig” economy, 68; grape pickers, 209; and low wages, 67–68; as product of globalization, 68, 167; as strategy for avoiding corporate responsibility, 177; teachers, 66, 79, 91 Contreras, Miguel, 254 Conway, Jill Ker, 130 Cooper Union, New York, 37 Cordillera region, Philippines: heirloom rice project, 231, 233; indigenous farming communities, 227, 232; migration from, 232; traditional agroecology practices, rice rituals, 230–31; as a UNESCO “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site,” 231 corn production, Mexico, impact of NAFTA, 15–16 Corona, Bert (“El Viejo”), 94 Coronacion, Joanna Bernice (“Sister Nice”): concept of freedom, 12; on contractualizing fast-food workers, 99; and DUBS, 63; education, 48–49; on globalized social movement activism, 97; on need to dismantle patriarchy, 48; on wage theft, 101 corporations/transnational corporate imperialism: and corporate wealth, 4–5; and industrialized agribusiness, 13–14; and neoliberalism, 5.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Japan is still a prosperous and long-lived society, but its era of high growth looks gone for good. Across the OECD as a whole, demography started to be a drag on growth after 2010 and will continue to be so until 2040. Workers’ rights The gig economy (see Chapter 17) can be viewed as a way of enhancing the productivity of the entire economy – by bringing unused resources (in this case, labour) into play. Similarly, the growth of flat- and house-sharing services, such as Airbnb, allows property to be used for a greater percentage of the time; it is a more efficient use of resources. But the gig economy has raised questions about the issue of workers’ rights. Over the course of the late 19th century and the 20th century, workers demanded, and were granted, more rights: paid holiday, sick leave, maternity leave, pensions and healthcare.

A study by Deloitte, a consultancy, found that the number of British nursing assistants increased by 909% between 1992 and 2014, while the number of teaching assistants had grown by 580%, and care workers by 168%.40 Some of these jobs are not very well paid, however. That links to another worry, that some of the new technology companies are bypassing traditional employment laws to create new and insecure forms of employment. This so-called “gig economy” involves workers having uncertain hours, and no paid holidays, sick pay or pensions rights. Instead, the worker (such as an Uber driver) will be hired at the whim of the customer, or on an irregular basis at a services company (on a zero-hours contract at a warehouse, for example). Some workers may like the freedom that a gig job brings, but surveys suggest that most would prefer full-time employment.41 Still, there are many people who do want to work part-time, and there are many people who are looking for services, whether it is an odd job or a car ride.

Over the course of the late 19th century and the 20th century, workers demanded, and were granted, more rights: paid holiday, sick leave, maternity leave, pensions and healthcare. These tended to be associated with full-time employment, rather than part-time or casual work. From the employer’s point of view, they add significantly to the cost of hiring workers. The fear is that the gig economy represents a form of “regulatory arbitrage” in which companies replace full-time employees with casual or contract labour at less cost, and with fewer rights. These lines can be difficult to draw. If a worker performs a service almost exclusively for a single company, and the company imposes sufficient conditions on the way in which the job is performed, then it may be proved that the worker is an employee, not a contractor.43 Furthermore, such an employee may be entirely at the mercy of the platform provider. Comparisons have been drawn with the old system for employing dockers, who gathered at the port every day and were picked out by the foreman for work.


pages: 257 words: 76,785

Shorter by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

8-hour work day, airport security, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, cloud computing, colonial rule, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, game design, gig economy, Henri Poincaré, IKEA effect, iterative process, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, means of production, neurotypical, performance metric, race to the bottom, remote working, Second Machine Age, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

The development of sophisticated models for predicting labor demand and the growth of online freelance marketplaces have accelerated the expansion of the gig economy in advanced nations and the growing precariousness of work. Working hours from 1870 to 2018 in the US, UK, and Sweden. Working hours fell substantially between 1870 and 1930, and that decrease led Russell and Keynes to believe that they could fall much further by 2000, to as low as one thousand hours per year. Instead, especially since the 1970s, working hours have held relatively steady or fallen only modestly. The percentage of workers employed in temporary work, gig-economy jobs, or zero-hours contracts has grown dramatically in the US, with other advanced economies following. Executives learned they could boost profits by shredding workforces, tapping global manufacturing and transportation networks, or using “disruptive innovation” to drive established companies out of business.

This new paradigm not only offers leaders and companies a set of principles that can improve workplaces and working life today; they can help address some of the most pressing problems business, labor, and all of us will face in the future. IMPROVING THE FUTURE OF WORK The idea of using innovations in time and technology to improve work couldn’t be more timely or necessary. There’s a widespread unease with the way work has evolved over the last few decades, and what’s going to happen to it. We deal every day with problems like overwork, work-life balance, the gig economy, matching the demands of work and family, and the mismatch between the passion we’re expected to display at work and the loyalty companies feel themselves obliged to return. These connect to bigger problems with globalization and inequality. Globalization has produced increases in the living standards of many. But it’s also hollowed out older industries, decimated the economies and prospects of entire regions, and allowed elites to emerge, grow fabulously wealthy, and insulate themselves from the global economy’s worst problems and predations.


Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison by The Class Ceiling Why it Pays to be Privileged (2019, Policy Press)

affirmative action, Boris Johnson, discrete time, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, equal pay for equal work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Hyperloop, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, old-boy network, performance metric, psychological pricing, school choice, Skype, starchitect, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile

This is partly conscious, part of wider-ranging efforts to play down one’s privilege and emphasise one’s ‘ordinariness’.9 Yet our interviews suggest that more frequently it simply goes unacknowledged as people fail to see how their agency is scaffolded by the resources of others. Family fortunes It is well established that careers in the UK cultural and creative industries (often called the CCIs) are marked by intense precarity.10 An extensive body of research has documented how conditions of low or no pay and extreme competition are widespread across the sector.11 Such insecurity is particularly acute in our case study of acting, a long-time forerunner of the ‘gig economy’.12 Experiences of uncertainty, exhaustion and anxiety dominated our interviews with all actors – regardless of age, gender, racial-ethnic group or class origin. This was perhaps best illustrated when we asked, ‘What represents success in the acting profession?’ We expected actors to hold divergent views on this topic, but instead responses were strikingly uniform. Success, we were repeatedly told, simply equals ‘working’.

The aim was to look at one occupation with a small, statistically insignificant class pay gap, and two with larger gaps, but that differed from each other in other ways (later in this Appendix we explain the process through which we came to our particular case study occupations and organisations). Going inside organisations made sense for understanding most elite occupations, but what about professions where people tended to be self-employed or employed on freelance or short-term contracts? The so-called ‘gig economy’ has grown rapidly in recent years and, as Dave O’Brien from Goldsmiths College explained to us late in 2014, it is particularly important for understanding 241 The Class Ceiling Britain’s cultural industries. Working with Dave, and while we waited to hear about our research grant, we therefore decided to make the acting profession our first case study. Researching actors The case study first involved analysis of 402 actors within the GBCS.

Executives in accountancy preside over some of the UK’s largest and most powerful corporations, whereas leaders in television, architecture and acting play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s cultural identity via the media, performing arts and built environment. While these occupations share important characteristics, they also differ in four important ways. First, employment tends to be structured in very different ways. Accountancy and architecture are old and traditional professions, and jobs tend to be stable and permanent. Acting and television are, in contrast, exemplars of what is now called the ‘gig’ economy. Employment in television, for instance, often relies on negotiating a series of short-term contracts – particularly for those following the ‘creative’ pathway through television production (see Chapter Five for more on the significance of creative pathways in television). Acting is arguably even more precarious, and most actors are self-employed. Our choice of acting, then, was partly motivated by a desire to probe this association between self-employment and the class ceiling.


pages: 480 words: 119,407

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, lifelogging, low skilled workers, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, the built environment, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

A 2017 report described the predominantly female Vietnamese workforce as ‘victims of modern slavery’.12 Nail salons are the tip of an extremely poorly regulated iceberg when it comes to employers exploiting loopholes in employment law. Zero-hour contracts, short-term contracts, employment through an agency, these have all been enticingly rebranded the ‘gig economy’ by Silicon Valley, as if they are of benefit to workers. But the gig economy is in fact often no more than a way for employers to get around basic employee rights. Casual contracts create a vicious cycle: the rights are weaker to begin with, which makes workers reticent to fight for the ones they do still have. And so those get bent too. In the UK, which has seen one of the fastest growths in precarious work in the EU,13 TUC research uncovered a work environment that was rife with employers using casual contracts to illegally undermine workers’ rights.14 Naturally, the impact of what the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has termed the ‘startling growth’ of precarious work has barely been gender-analysed.15 The ITUC reports that its feminised impact is ‘poorly reflected in official statistics and government policies’, because the ‘standard indicators and data used to measure developments on labour markets’ are not gender-sensitive, and, as ever, data is often not sex-disaggregated, ‘making it sometimes difficult to measure the overall numbers of women’.

This is a problem for all workers, but can be especially problematic for women because evidence suggests that collective bargaining (as opposed to individual salary negotiation) could be particularly important for women – those pesky modesty norms again. As a result, an increase in jobs like agency work that don’t allow for collective bargaining might be detrimental to attempts to close the gender pay gap. But the negative impact of precarious work on women isn’t just about unintended side effects. It’s also about the weaker rights that are intrinsic to the gig economy. In the UK a female employee is only entitled to maternity leave if she is actually an employee. If she’s a ‘worker’, that is, someone on a short-term or zero-hours contract, she isn’t entitled to any leave at all, meaning she would have to quit her job and reapply after she’s given birth. A female worker is also only entitled to statutory maternity pay if she has worked for twenty-six weeks in the last sixty-six and if her average wage is at least £116 per week.

Australia gender pay gap gendered poverty Gillard ministries (2010–13) homelessness leisure time maternity. leave medical research military murders paternity. leave political representation precarious work school textbooks sexual assault/harassment taxation time-use surveys unpaid work Australia Institute Austria autism auto-plastics factories Autoblog autoimmune diseases automotive plastics workplaces Ayrton, Hertha Azerbaijan babies’ cries baby bottles Baker, Colin Baku, Azerbaijan Ball, James Bangladesh Bank of England banknotes Barbican, London Barcelona, Catalonia beauticians de Beauvoir, Simone Beer, Anna Beijing, China Belgium Berkman Center for Internet and Society Besant, Annie BI Norwegian Business School bicarbonate of soda Big Data bile acid composition biomarkers biomass fuels biomechanics Birka warrior Birmingham, West Midlands bisphenol A (BPA) ‘bitch’ bladder ‘Blank Space’ (Swift) blind recruitment blood pressure Bloom, Rachel Bloomberg News Bock, Laszlo body fat body sway Bodyform Boesel, Whitney Erin Boler, Tania Bolivia Boosey, Leslie Boserup, Ester Bosnia Boston Consulting Group Botswana Bouattia, Malia Boulanger, Béatrice Bourdieu, Pierre Bovasso, Dawn Boxing Day tsunami (2004) boyd, danah brain ischaemia Brazil breasts cancer feeding and lifting techniques pumps reduction surgery and seat belts and tactile situation awareness system (TSAS) and uniforms Bretherton, Joanne Brexit Bricks, New Orleans brilliance bias Brin, Sergey British Electoral Survey British Journal of Pharmacology British Medical Journal British Medical Research Council British National Corpus (BNC) Broadly Brophy, Jim and Margaret Buick Bulgaria Burgon, Richard Bush, Stephen Buvinic, Mayra BuzzFeed Cabinet caesarean sections Cairns, Alex California, United States Callanan, Martin Callou, Ada Calma, Justine calorie burning Cambridge Analytica Cameron, David Campbell Soup Canada banknotes chemical exposure childcare crime homelessness medical research professor evaluations sexual assault/harassment toilets unpaid work Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Canadian Institutes of Health cancer canon formation Cape Town, South A.ica carcinogens cardiac resynchronisation therapy devices (CRT-Ds) cardiovascular system care work and agriculture elderly people and employment gross domestic product (GDP) occupational health and paternity leave time-use surveys and transport and zoning Carnegie Mellon University carpenters cars access to crashes driving tests motion sickness navigation systems Castillejo, Clare catcalling Cavalli, Francesco cave paintings CCTV Ceccato, Vania cell studies Center for American Progress Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) Center for Talent Innovation Central Asia Centre of Better Births, Liverpool Women’s Hospital chemicals Chiaro Chicago, Illinois chief executive officers (CEO) child benefit child marriage childbirth childcare and agriculture cost of and employment and gross domestic product (GDP) and paternity leave time-use surveys and zoning children’s television China cholera Chopin, Frédéric Chou, Tracy chromosomes chronic illness/pain Chronic Pain Policy Coalition chulhas Cikara, Mina circadian rhythms Citadel classical music clean stoves cleaning climate change Clinton, Hillary clitoridectomies Clue coal mining coastguards Collett Beverly colon cancer Columbia University competence vs warmth composers Composers’ Guild of Great Britain computer science confirmation bias confounding factors Congo, Democratic Republic of the Connecticut, United States Conservative Party construction work contraception contractions cooking cookstoves Corbusier, Le Cornell University coronary stents Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) corrective rape cosmetology Cosmopolitan Cotton, Dany Coyle, Diane crash test dummies Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Crewe, Emma Crick, Francis Crime Prevention and Community Safety crime crime scene investigators Croatia crochet Crockety, Molly CurrMIT CVs (curriculum vitaes) Czech Republic daddy quotas Daly, Caroline Louisa Data2x Davis-Blake, Alison Davis, Wendy Davison, Peter defibrillators deforestation Delhi, India dementia Democratic Party Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic United Party dengue fever Denmark dental devices Department for Work and Pensions depression diabetes diarrhoea diet diethylstilbestrol (DES) disabled people disasters Ditum, Sarah diversity-valuing behavior DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) Do Babies Matter (Goulden, Mason, and Wolfinger) Doctor Who domestic violence Donison, Christopher Doss, Cheryl ‘draw a scientist’ driving dry sex Dyas-Elliott, Roger dysmenorrhea E3 Eagle, Angela early childhood education (ECE) Ebola economics Economist, The Edexcel education Edwards, Katherine Einstein, Albert elderly people Eliot, George Elks lodges Elvie emoji employment gender pay gap occupational health parental leave precarious work sexual assault/harassment and unpaid work ‘End of Theory, The’ (Anderson) endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) Endocrine Society endometriosis endovascular occlusion devices England national football English language ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) Enlightenment entrepreneurs epilepsy Equal Times Equality Act (2010) erectile dysfunction Estonian language Ethiopia EuroNCAP European Parliament European Union academia bisphenol A (BPA) chronic illnesses crash test dummies employment gap endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) gender-inflected languages life expectancy medical research parental leave precarious work sexual harassment taxation transport planning Evernote EverydaySexism evolution exercise extension services Facebook facial wrinkle correction fall-detection devices Fallout Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) farming Fawcett Society Fawlty Towers female Viagra feminism Feminist Frequency films Financial crash (2008) Finland Finnbogadóttir, Vigdís Finnish language firefighters first past the post (FPTP) First World War (1914–18) Fiske, Susan Fitbit fitness devices flexible working Folbre, Nancy Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) football forced marriage Ford Fordham, Maureen fragile states France Franklin, Rosalind Frauen-Werk-Stadt free weights Freeman, Hadley French language Freud, Sigmund From Poverty to Power (Green) funeral rites FX gaming GapJumpers Gates Foundation Gates, Melinda gathering Geffen, David gender gender data gap academia agriculture algorithms American Civil War (1861–5) brilliance bias common sense crime Data2x female body historical image datasets innovation male universality medical research motion sickness occupational health political representation pregnancy self-report bias sexual assault/harassment smartphones speech-recognition technology stoves taxation transport planning unpaid work warmth vs competence Gender Equality Act (1976) Gender Global Practice gender pay gap gender-fair forms gender-inflected languages gendered poverty genderless languages Gendersite General Accounting Office generic masculine genius geometry Georgetown University German language German Society of Epidemiology Germany academia gender pay gap gender-inflected language Landesamt für Flüchtlingsangelegenheiten (LAF) medical research precarious work refugee camps school textbooks unpaid work Gezi Park protests (2013) Ghana gig economy Gild Gillard, Julia GitHub Glencore Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Global Gender Gap Index Global Media Monitoring Project Golden Globes Google artificial intelligence (AI) childcare Images maternity leave News Nexus petabytes pregnancy parking promotions search engine speech-recognition software Translate Gosling, Ryan Gothenburg, Sweden Gove, Michael Government Accounting Office (GAO) Great Depression (1929–39) Greece Green, Duncan Greenberg, Jon groping gross domestic product (GDP) Grown, Caren Guardian Gujarat earthquake (2001) Gulf War (1990–91) gyms H1N1 virus Hackers (Levy) hand size/strength handbags handprints haptic jackets Harman, Harriet Harris, Kamala Harvard University hate crimes/incidents Hawking, Stephen Haynes, Natalie Hayward, Sarah Hazards Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) Health and Safety Executive (HSE) health-monitoring systems healthcare/medicine Hearst heart attacks disease medication rhythm abnormalities surgery Heat St Heinrich Böll Foundation Helldén, Daniel Henderson, David Henry Higgins effect Henry VIII, King of England Hensel, Fanny hepatitis Hern, Alex high-efficiency cookstoves (HECs) Higher Education Statistics Agency Himmelweit, Sue hip belts history Hodgkin’s disease Holdcrofity, Anita Hollaback ‘Hollywood heart attack’ Homeless Period, The homelessness hopper fare Hopper, Grace hormones House of Commons Household Income Labour Dynamics of Australia Survey housekeeping work Howard, Todd human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Human Rights Act (1998) Human Rights Watch human–computer interaction Hungary hunter-gatherer societies Huntingdon, Agnes Hurricane Andrew (1992) Hurricane Katrina (2005) Hurricane Maria (2017) hyperbolic geometry hysterectomies hysteria I Am Not Your Negro Iceland identity Idomeni camp, Greece Illinois, United States images immune system Imperial College London Inc Income of Nations, The (Studenski) indecent exposure Independent India Boxing Day tsunami (2004) gendered poverty gross domestic product (GDP) Gujarat earthquake (2001) political representation sexual assault/harassment stoves taxation toilets unpaid work Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) Industrial Revolution (c. 1760–1840) influenza Inmujeres innovation Institute for Fiscal Studies Institute for Women’s Policy Research Institute of Medicine Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) institutionalised rape Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) International Agency Research on Cancer International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and 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Leicester, Leicestershire leisure time lesbians Lesotho lethal violence Levy, Steven Lewis, Brandon Leyster, Judith Liberal Democrats Liberia libertarianism life expectancy Life of Pi Lilla, Mark Lim, Angelica Limpsfield Grange, Surrey Lin Qing Linder, Astrid literacy literature Littman, Ellen liver failure Liverpool, Merseyside lobotomies Local Government Act (1972) London, England Fire Brigade general election (2017) precarious work sexual assault/harassment transportation London School of Economics (LSE) London Review of Books Long Friday long-hours culture longevity Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California Loughborough University Louisiana, United States Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia lubricant lung capacity lung diseases Macedonia Mackinnon, Catherine Maconchy, Elizabeth Made by Many Madrid, Spain malaria Malawi male universality Malmö, Sweden Malta mammary carcinogens ‘Man the Hunter’ Manchester University Martínez-Román, Adi Martino, Tami Marvel Comics maternal mortality maternity leave mathematics Mazarra, Glen McCabe, Jesse McCain, John McGill University McKinsey McLean, Charlene Medela medicine/healthcare Medline Memorial University Mendelssohn, Felix Mendes, Eva Mendoza-Denton, Rodolfo menopause menstruation mental health meritocracy Messing, Karen meta gender data gap MeToo movement Metroid mewar angithi (MA) Mexico Miami, Florida mice Microsoft migraines military Milito, Beth Miller, Maria Minassian, Alek Minha Casa, Minha Vida miscarriages Mismeasure of Woman, The (Tavris) misogyny Mitchell, Margaret Mogil, Jeffrey Mongolia Montreal University Morgan, Thomas Hunt morphine motion parallax motion sickness Motorola multiple myeloma Mumbai, India murders Murray, Andrew muscle music My Fair Lady myometrial blood ‘Myth’ (Rukeyser) nail salons Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad naive realism National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) National Autistic Society National Democratic Institute National Health Service (NHS) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National Institute for Health and Case Excellence (NICE) National Institute of Health Revitalization Act (1993) National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Union of Students (NUS) natural gender languages Nature Navarro, Jannette Naya Health Inc Nea Kavala camp, Greece Neitzert, Eva Neolithic era Netflix Netherlands neutrophils New Jersey, United States New Orleans, Louisiana New Statesman New York, United States New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH) New York Philharmonic Orchestra New York Times New Yorker New Zealand Newham, London Nigeria Nightingale, Florence Nobel Prize nomunication Norris, Colleen Norway Nottingham, Nottinghamshire nurses Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane O’Neil, Cathy O’Neill, Rory Obama, Barack Occupational Health and Safety Administration occupational health Oedipus oestradiol oestrogen office temperature Olympic Games Omron On the Generation of Animals (Aristotle) orchestras Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Organisation for the Study of Sex Differences Orissa, India osteopenia osteoporosis ovarian cancer Oxfam Oxford English Dictionaries Oxford University oxytocin pacemakers pain sensitivity pairing Pakistan Pandey, Avanindra paracetamol parental leave Paris, France Parkinson’s disease parks passive tracking apps paternity leave patronage networks pattern recognition Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia peace talks pelvic floor pelvic inflammatory disease pelvic stress fractures pensions performance evaluations periods Persian language personal protective equipment (PPE) Peru petabytes Pew Research Center phantom-limb syndrome phenylpropanolamine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philippines phobias phthalates Physiological Society pianos Plato plough hypothesis poetry Poland police polio political representation Politifact Pollitzer, Elizabeth Portland, Oregon Portugal post-natal depression post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poverty Powell, Colin PR2 Prada prams precarious work pregnancy Pregnant Workers Directive (1992) premenstrual syndrome (PMS) primary percutaneous coronary interventions (PPCI) Prinz-Brandenburg, Claudia progesterone projection bias prolapse promotions proportional representation (PR) Prospect Union Prospect Public Monuments and Sculptures Association public sector equality duty (PSED) public transport Puerto Rico purchasing authority ‘quantified self’ community Quebec, Canada QuiVr radiation Rajasthan, India rape RateMyProfessors.com recruitment Red Tape Challenge ‘Redistribution of Sex, The’ Reference Man Reformation refugees Renaissance repetitive strain injury (RSI) Representation of the People Act (1832) Republican Party Resebo, Christian Reykjavik, Iceland Rhode Island, United States Rio de Janeiro, Brazil risk-prediction models road building Road Safety on Five Continents Conference Roberts, David Robertson, Adi robots Rochdale, Manchester Rochon Ford, Anne Rudd, Kevin Rukeyser, Muriel Russian Federation Rwanda Sacks-Jones, Katharine Saenuri Party Safecity SafetyLit Foundation Sánchez de Madariaga, Inés Sandberg, Sheryl Sanders, Bernard Santos, Cristine Schalk, Tom Schenker, Jonathan Schiebinger, Londa School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) school textbooks Schumann, Clara science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Scientific American scientists Scotland Scythians ‘sea of dudes’ problem Seacole, Mary seat belts Second World War (1939.45) self-report bias September 11 attacks (2001) Serbia Sessions, Jefferson severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) sex Sex Discrimination Act (1975) sex robots sex-disaggregated data agriculture chemical exposure conflict employment fall-detection devices fitness devices gendered poverty medical research precarious work smartphones taxation transport urban design virtual reality voice recognition working hours sexual violence/harassment shape-from-shading Sherriff, Paula Shield, The shifting agriculture Sierra Leone sildenafil citrate Silicon Valley Silver, Nate Singh, Jyoti single parents single-member districts (SMD) Siri Skåne County, Sweden skeletons skin Slate Slocum, Sally Slovenia smartphones snow clearing social capital social data Social Democratic Party (SDP) social power socialisation Solna, Sweden Solnit, Rebecca Somalia Sony Ericsson Sounds and Sweet Airs (Beer) South Africa South Korea Soviet Union (1922–91) Spain Spanish language Speak with a Geek speech-recognition technology Sphinx sports Sprout Pharmaceuticals Sri Lanka St Mark’s, Venice St Vincent & the Grenadines stab vests Stack Overflow Stanford University staple crops Star Wars Starbucks Starkey, David statins statues stem cells Stevens, Nettie Stockholm, Sweden Stoffregen, Tom stoves Streisand, Barbra streptococcal toxic shock syndrome stress strokes Strozzi, Barbara Studenski, Paul Sulpicia Supreme Court Sweden Birka warrior car crashes councils crime depression gender pay gap heart attacks murders paternity leave political representation refugee camps snow clearing sports taxation unpaid work youth urban regeneration Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute Swift, Taylor swine flu Swinson, Joanne Kate ‘Jo’ Switzerland Syria Systran tactile situation awareness system (TSAS) Taimina, Daina Taiwan Tate, Angela Tatman, Rachael Tavris, Carol taxation teaching evaluations Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) tear gas tech industry television temperature Temperature Temporary Assistance to Needy Families tennis tenure-track system text corpora thalidomide ThinkProgress Thor three-stone fires time poverty time-use surveys TIMIT corpus Tin, Ida toilets Toksvig, Sandi tools Toronto, Ontario Tottenham, London Toyota Trades Union Congress (TUC) tradition transit captives transportation treadmills trip-chaining troponin Trump, Donald tuberculosis (TB) Tudor period (1485–1603) Tufekci, Zeynep Turkey Twitter Uberpool Uganda Ukraine ulcerative colitis Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher Umeå, Sweden Understanding Girls with ADHD (Littman) unemployment unencumbered people Unicode Consortium Unison United Association of Civil Guards United Kingdom academia austerity autism banknotes breast pumps Brexit (2016–) Fire Brigade caesarean sections children’s centres chronic illness/pain coastguards councils employment gap endometriosis Equality Act (2010) flexible working gender pay gap gendered poverty general elections generic masculine gross domestic product (GDP) heart attacks homelessness Human Rights Act (1998) leisure time maternity leave medical research military murders music nail salons occupational health paternity leave pedestrians pensions personal protective equipment (PPE) police political representation precarious work public sector equality duty (PSED) Representation of the People Act (1832) scientists Sex Discrimination Act (1975) sexual assault/harassment single parents statues stress taxation toilets transportation trip-chaining universities unpaid work Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Commission on the Status of Women Data2x Economic Commission for Africa Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) homicide survey Human Development Report and peace talks Population Fund Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and stoves and Switzerland and toilets and unpaid childcare Women’s Year World Conference on Women United States academia Affordable Care Act (2010) Agency for International Development (USAID) Alzheimer’s disease banknotes bisphenol A (BPA) breast pumps brilliance bias Bureau of Labor Statistics car crashes chief executive officers (CEO) childbirth, death in Civil War (1861–5) construction work councils crime early childhood education (ECE) employment gap endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) endometriosis farming flexible working gender pay gap gendered poverty generic masculine Great Depression (1929–39) gross domestic product (GDP) healthcare heart attacks Hurricane Andrew (1992) Hurricane Katrina (2005) Hurricane Maria (2017) immigration detention facilities job interviews ‘just in time’ scheduling so.ware leisure time maternity leave medical research meritocracy military mortality rates murders nail salons National Institute of Health Revitalization Act (1993) occupational health personal protective equipment (PPE) political representation precarious work presidential election (2016) school textbooks September 11 attacks (2001) sexual assault/harassment single parents soccer team Supreme Court taxation tech industry toilets transportation Trump administration (2017–) universities unpaid work universal credit (UC) universality universities University and College Union University of California, Berkeley University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) University of Chicago University of Liverpool University of London University of Manchester University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of North Carolina University of Stirling University of Sussex University of Washington University of York unpaid work agriculture and algorithms and gross domestic product (GDP) and occupational health and stoves and transport in workplace and zoning upper body strength upskirting urinals urinary-tract infections urination uro-gynaecological problems uterine failure uterine tybroids Uttar Pradesh, India Uzbekistan vaccines vagina Valium Valkrie value-added tax (VAT) Van Gulik, Gauri Venice, Italy venture capitalists (VCs) Veríssimo, Antônio Augusto Viagra Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom video games Vienna, Austria Vietnam Vikings Villacorta, Pilar violence virtual reality (VR) voice recognition Volvo voting rights Vox voyeurism Wade, Virginia Walker, Phillip walking wallet to purse Walmart warfare warmth vs competence Warsaw Pact Washington Post Washington Times Washington, DC, United States WASHplus WaterAid Watson, James We Will Rebuild weak contractions Weapons of Math Destruction (O’Neil) West Bengal, India whiplash Wiberg-Itzel, Eva Wikipedia Wild, Sarah Williams, Gayna Williams, Serena Williams, Venus Williamson, £eresa Willow Garage Wimbledon Windsor, Ontario Winter, Jessica Wired Wolf of Wall Street, The Wolfers, Justin Wolfinger, Nicholas ‘Woman the Gatherer’ (Slocum) Women and Equalities Committee Women Will Rebuild Women’s Budget Group (WBG) Women’s Design Service Women’s Engineering Society Women’s Refugee Commission Women’s Year Woolf, Virginia workplace safety World Bank World Cancer Research Fund World Cup World Economic Forum (WEF) World Health Organization (WHO) World Meteorological Organisation worm infections Woskow, Debbie Wray, Susan Wyden, Robert XY cells Y chromosome Yale University Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, Bedford Yatskar, Mark Yemen Yentl syndrome Yezidis Youth Vote, The youthquake Zambia zero-hour contracts Zika zipper quotas zombie stats zoning Zou, James Photo by Rachel Louise Brown CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ is a writer, broadcaster, and feminist activist and was named Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year and OBE by the Queen.


pages: 404 words: 95,163

Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce by Natalie Berg, Miya Knights

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business intelligence, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, computer vision, connected car, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Elon Musk, gig economy, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, market fragmentation, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, QR code, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, remote working, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Skype, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, trade route, underbanked, urban planning, white picket fence

This is why it also quickly followed up on its initial launch of Prime Now with the introduction of Amazon Flex, a platform for independent contractors to provide delivery services, towards the end of 2015. The platform capitalizes on the expanding gig economy popularized by Uber and other express delivery rivals to first meet the demand for Prime Now, but it now manages regular Amazon deliveries too.4 In the same way as Uber matches drivers with what it calls ‘riders’ and Instacart matches customers with ‘shoppers’, the Amazon Flex Android-based app directs ‘Flexers’ to delivery locations within a radius local to them. Flex is interesting for two main reasons: the first is that its entry into the ‘gig economy’ by employing independent contractors over its last mile hasn’t exactly proved the most customer-centric solution to last-mile express delivery Amazon might have hoped for.

Some plaintiffs who were sub-contracted by Amazon.com via Amazon Logistics and local courier firms, claimed Amazon should pay them as full-time employees because they worked out of its warehouses and were highly supervised by Amazon, who also provided their customer service training.6 Perhaps staff working for its Whole Foods acquisition could carry out deliveries after work to lessen the litigious risk from gig economy-based models, just like Walmart said it was testing in 2017. In yet another attempt to cut e-commerce fulfilment costs, Walmart can exploit not only its extensive store estate to promote click & collect, but also began looking to its large store staff base to carry out home deliveries. The retailer was offering to pay staff extra to use an app that could direct them to deliver up to 10 customer orders per commute.


pages: 667 words: 149,811

Economic Dignity by Gene Sperling

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, job automation, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, liberal world order, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, obamacare, offshore financial centre, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, speech recognition, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System, traffic fines, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

If, for example, the need to support family or to pursue economic potential leads millions to experience harmful abuse or harassment at work, or compromises their capacity to care for their children or other loved ones, why should that not be seen as a major economic issue—whether or not it shows up in a traditional economic metric? Economic dignity will never be moneyball. Painful as it is to consider, it took a political and media focus on the “gig economy” to train national economic attention on the number of people who are considered independent contractors and lack true economic security or worker protections. It was never a first-tier economic issue before the obsession with Uber drivers. Call it the invisibility of the “pre-gig workers.” It should not have required the experience of wealthier Americans using the services of Uber drivers for the national economic dialogue to focus on the fact that millions and millions of workers—such as taxi drivers, domestic workers, and contract construction workers—have long faced the same economic insecurity and lack of protections.

Yes, this should include the families in small, rural towns and manufacturing communities and the harder hit sections of Appalachia and the millions of mostly men whose jobs as truck drivers could be put at risk by automation and driverless cars.33 But such discussions of dignity gaps must always include the diverse segments of our country that face denials of economic dignity. Certainly, this should include the millions struggling in lower-wage service jobs, such as pre-gig-economy workers—often minority women who care for households and the elderly—and poor children whose chances to pursue potential are deeply diminished by the accident of birth. Focusing on the dignity gaps of certain groups also misses the universal power of appeals to economic dignity: to help draw on unifying values and desire to care for family, pursue purpose and potential, and participate economically with respect.

Another idea that should be in the mix is to expand on the innovative Shared Security System first proposed by Nick Hanauer and David Rolf.11 Their proposal would create Shared Security Accounts “encompassing all of the employment benefits traditionally provided by a full-time salaried job,” collected “via automatic payroll deductions, regardless of the employment relationship, and, like Social Security, these benefits would be fully prorated, portable, and universal.”12 We should consider how to take their proposal to an even more sweeping level. Imagine, for example, a future system where a fraction of any dollar paid for any work—including that done by full-time workers, contractors, household employees, care workers, and gig economy workers—was added to individualized federal government accounts that would support a larger economic dignity net. With a singular and stable federal account, many problems of portability would vanish. These accounts could serve as a form of universal withholding and employer or customer contribution to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits, unemployment assistance, paid leave, a new universal pension, and any other benefits for which there has not been a public provision de-linked from work.


pages: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Because market forces are softened in such a contract, an alternative form of governance is required, which is the firm. Coase argued that the degree to which the firm stands in for the market will vary with changing circumstances. Eighty years on, the boundary between the two might appear to be dissolving altogether. The share of self-employed contractors in the labour force has risen. The “gig economy”, exemplified by Uber drivers, is mushrooming. Yet firms are not withering away, nor are they likely to. Prior to Uber, taxi-drivers in most cities were already self-employed. Spot-like job contracts are becoming more common, but their flexibility comes at a cost. Workers have little incentive to invest in firm-specific skills, so productivity suffers. The supply chains for complex goods, such as an iPhone or an Airbus A380 superjumbo, rely on long-term contracts between firms that are “incomplete”.

For more explainers and charts from The Economist, visit economist.com Index A Africa child marriage 84 democracy 40 gay and lesbian rights 73, 74 Guinea 32 mobile phones 175–6 see also individual countries agriculture 121–2 Aguiar, Mark 169 air pollution 143–4 air travel and drones 187–8 flight delays 38–9 Akitu (festival) 233 alcohol beer consumption 105–6 consumption in Britain 48, 101–2 craft breweries 97–8 drink-driving 179–80 wine glasses 101–2 Alexa (voice assistant) 225 Algeria food subsidies 31 gay and lesbian rights 73 All I Want for Christmas Is You (Carey) 243 alphabet 217–18 Alternative for Germany (AfD) 223, 224 Alzheimer’s disease 140 Amazon (company) 225 America see United States and 227–8 Angola 73, 74 animals blood transfusions 139–40 dog meat 91–2 gene drives 153–4 size and velocity 163–4 and water pollution 149–50 wolves 161–2 Arctic 147–8 Argentina gay and lesbian rights 73 lemons 95–6 lithium 17–18 Ariel, Barak 191 Arizona 85 arms trade 19–20 Asia belt and road initiative 117–18 high-net-worth individuals 53 wheat consumption 109–10 see also individual countries Assange, Julian 81–3 asteroids 185–6 augmented reality (AR) 181–2 August 239–40 Australia avocados 89 forests 145 inheritance tax 119 lithium 17, 18 shark attacks 201–2 autonomous vehicles (AVs) 177–8 Autor, David 79 avocados 89–90 B Babylonians 233 Baltimore 99 Bangladesh 156 bank notes 133–4 Bateman, Tim 48 beer consumption 105–6 craft breweries 97–8 Beijing air pollution 143–4 dogs 92 belt and road initiative 117–18 betting 209–10 Bier, Ethan 153 Bils, Mark 169 birds and aircraft 187 guinea fowl 32–3 birth rates Europe 81–3 United States 79–80 black money 133–4 Black Power 34, 35 Blade Runner 208 blood transfusions 139–40 board games 199–200 body cameras 191–2 Boko Haram 5, 15–16 Bolivia 17–18 Bollettieri, Nick 197 bookmakers 209–10 Borra, Cristina 75 Bosnia 221–2 brain computers 167–8 Brazil beer consumption 105, 106 Christmas music 243, 244 end-of-life care 141–2 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 45, 46 shark attacks 202 breweries 97–8 Brexit, and car colours 49–50 brides bride price 5 diamonds 13–14 Britain alcohol consumption 101–2 car colours 49–50 Christmas music 244 cigarette sales 23–4 craft breweries 98 crime 47–8 Easter 238 gay population 70–72 housing material 8 inheritance tax 119 Irish immigration 235 life expectancy 125 manufacturing jobs 131 national identity 223–4 new-year resolutions 234 police body cameras 191 sexual harassment 67, 68, 69 sperm donation 61 see also Scotland Brookings Institution 21 Browning, Martin 75 bubonic plague 157–8 Bush, George W. 119 C cables, undersea 193–4 California and Argentine lemons 95, 96 avocados 90 cameras 191–2 Canada diamonds 13 drones 188 lithium 17 national identity 223–4 capitalism, and birth rates 81–2 Carey, Mariah 243 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 21 cars colours 49–50 self-driving 177–8 Caruana, Fabiano 206 Charles, Kerwin 169 cheetahs 163, 164 chess 205–6 Chetty, Raj 113 Chicago 100 children birth rates 79–80, 81–3 child marriage 84–5 in China 56–7 crime 47–8 and gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 obesity 93–4 Chile gay and lesbian rights 73 lithium 17–18 China air pollution 143–5 arms sales 19–20 avocados 89 beer consumption 105 belt and road initiative 117–18 childhood obesity 93 construction 7 dog meat 91–2 dragon children 56–7 flight delays 38–9 foreign waste 159–60 lithium 17 rice consumption 109–10 Choi, Roy 99 Christian, Cornelius 26 Christianity Easter 237–8 new year 233–4 Christmas 246–7 music 243–5 cigarettes affordability 151–2 black market 23–4 cities, murder rates 44–6 Citizen Kane 207 citrus wars 95–6 civil wars 5 Clarke, Arthur C. 183 Coase, Ronald 127, 128 cocaine 44 cochlear implants 167 Cohen, Jake 203 Colen, Liesbeth 106 colleges, US 113–14 Colombia 45 colours, cars 49–50 commodities 123–4 companies 127–8 computers augmented reality 181–2 brain computers 167–8 emojis 215–16 and languages 225–6 spam e-mail 189–90 Connecticut 85 Connors, Jimmy 197 contracts 127–8 Costa Rica 89 couples career and family perception gap 77–8 housework 75–6 see also marriage cows 149–50 craft breweries 97–8 crime and avocados 89–90 and dog meat 91–2 murder rates 44–6 young Britons 47–8 CRISPR-Cas9 153 Croatia 222 Croato-Serbian 221–2 D Daily-Diamond, Christopher 9–10 Davis, Mark 216 De Beers 13–14 death 141–2 death taxes 119–20 democracy 40–41 Deng Xiaoping 117 Denmark career and family perception gap 78 gender pay gap 135–6 sex reassignment 65 Denver 99 Devon 72 diamonds 13–14, 124 digitally remastering 207–8 Discovery Channel 163–4 diseases 157–8 dog meat 91–2 Dorn, David 79 Dr Strangelove 207 dragon children 56–7 drink see alcohol drink-driving 179–80 driverless cars 177–8 drones and aircraft 187–8 and sharks 201 drugs cocaine trafficking 44 young Britons 48 D’Souza, Kiran 187 E e-mail 189–90 earnings, gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 Easter 237–8 economy and birth rates 79–80, 81–2 and car colours 49–50 and witch-hunting 25–6 education and American rich 113–14 dragon children 56–7 Egal, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim 40–41 Egypt gay and lesbian rights 73 marriage 5 new-year resolutions 233 El Paso 100 El Salvador 44, 45 emojis 215–16 employment gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 and gender perception gap 77–8 job tenure 129–30 in manufacturing 131–2 video games and unemployment 169–70 English language letter names 217–18 Papua New Guinea 219 environment air pollution 143–4 Arctic sea ice 147–8 and food packaging 103–4 waste 159–60 water pollution 149–50 Equatorial Guinea 32 Eritrea 40 Ethiopia 40 Europe craft breweries 97–8 summer holidays 239–40 see also individual countries Everson, Michael 216 exorcism 36–7 F Facebook augmented reality 182 undersea cables 193 FANUC 171, 172 Federer, Roger 197 feminism, and birth rates 81–2 fertility rates see birth rates festivals Christmas 246–7 Christmas music 243–5 new-year 233–4 Feuillet, Catherine 108 films 207–8 firms 127–8 5G 173–4 flight delays 38–9 Florida and Argentine lemons 95 child marriage 85 Foley, William 220 food avocados and crime 89–90 dog meat 91–2 lemons 95–6 wheat consumption 109–10 wheat genome 107–8 food packaging 103–4 food trucks 99–100 football clubs 211–12 football transfers 203–4 forests 145–6, 162 Fountains of Paradise, The (Clarke) 183 fracking 79–80 France career and family perception gap 78 Christmas music 244 exorcism 36–7 gender-inclusive language 229–30 job tenure 130 sex reassignment 66 sexual harassment 68–9 witch-hunting 26, 27 wolves 161–2 G gambling 209–10 games, and unemployment 169–70 Gandhi, Mahatma 155 gang members 34–5 Gantz, Valentino 153 gas 124 gay population 70–72 gay rights, attitudes to 73–4 gender sex reassignment 65–6 see also men; women gender equality and birth rates 81–2 in language 229–30 gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 gene drives 153–4 Genghis Khan 42 genome, wheat 107–8 ger districts 42–3 Germany beer consumption 105 job tenure 130 national identity 223–4 sexual harassment 68, 69 vocational training 132 witch-hunting 26, 27 Ghana 73 gig economy 128, 130 glasses, wine glasses 101–2 Goddard, Ceri 72 Google 193 Graduate, The 207 Greece forests 145 national identity 223–4 sex reassignment 65 smoking ban 152 Gregg, Christine 9–10 grunting 197–8 Guatemala 45 Guinea 32 guinea fowl 32–3 guinea pig 32 Guinea-Bissau 32 Guo Peng 91–2 Guyana 32 H Haiti 5 Hale, Sarah Josepha 242 Hanson, Gordon 79 Hawaii ’Oumuamua 185 porn consumption 63–4 health child obesity 93–4 life expectancy 125–6 plague 157–8 and sanitation 155 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) 53 Hiri Motu 219 holidays Easter 237–8 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 summer holidays 239–40 Thanksgiving 241–2 HoloLens 181–2 homicide 44–6 homosexuality attitudes to 73–4 UK 70–72 Honduras 44, 45 Hong Kong 56 housework 75–6, 77–8 Hudson, Valerie 5 Hungary 223–4 Hurst, Erik 169 I ice 147–8 Ikolo, Prince Anthony 199 India bank notes 133–4 inheritance tax 119 languages 219 rice consumption 109 sand mafia 7 sanitation problems 155–6 Indonesia polygamy and civil war 5 rice consumption 109–10 inheritance taxes 119–20 interest rates 51–2 interpunct 229–30 Ireland aitch 218 forests 145 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 same-sex marriage 73 sex reassignment 65 Italy birth rate 82 end of life care 141–2 forests 145 job tenure 130 life expectancy 126 J Jacob, Nitya 156 Jamaica 45 Japan 141–2 Jighere, Wellington 199 job tenure 129–30 jobs see employment Johnson, Bryan 168 junk mail 189 K Kazakhstan 6 Kearney, Melissa 79–80 Kennedy, John F. 12 Kenya democracy 40 mobile-money systems 176 Kiribati 7 Kleven, Henrik 135–6 knots 9–10 Kohler, Timothy 121 Kyrgyzstan 6 L laces 9–10 Lagos 199 Landais, Camille 135–6 languages and computers 225–6 gender-inclusive 229–30 letter names 217–18 and national identity 223–4 Papua New Guinea 219–20 Serbo-Croatian 221–2 Unicode 215 World Bank writing style 227–8 Latimer, Hugh 246 Leeson, Peter 26 leisure board games in Nigeria 199–200 chess 205–6 gambling 209–10 video games and unemployment 169–70 see also festivals; holidays lemons 95–6 letter names 217–18 Libya 31 life expectancy 125–6 Lincoln, Abraham 242 lithium 17–18 London 71, 72 longevity 125–6 Lozère 161–2 Lucas, George 208 M McEnroe, John 197 McGregor, Andrew 204 machine learning 225–6 Macri, Mauricio 95, 96 Macron, Emmanuel 143 Madagascar 158 Madison, James 242 MagicLeap 182 Maine 216 Malaysia 56 Maldives 7 Mali 31 Malta 65 Manchester United 211–12 manufacturing jobs 131–2 robots 171–2 summer holidays 239 Maori 34–5 marriage child marriage 84–5 polygamy 5–6 same-sex relationships 73–4 see also couples Marteau, Theresa 101–2 Marx, Karl 123 Maryland 85 Massachusetts child marriage 85 Christmas 246 Matfess, Hilary 5, 15 meat dog meat 91–2 packaging 103–4 mega-rich 53 men career and family 77–8 housework 75–6 job tenure 129–30 life expectancy 125 polygamy 5–6 sexual harassment by 67–9 video games and unemployment 169 Mexico avocados 89, 90 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 44, 45 microbreweries 97–8 Microsoft HoloLens 181–2 undersea cables 193 migration, and birth rates 81–3 mining diamonds 13–14 sand 7–8 mobile phones Africa 175–6 5G 173–4 Mocan, Naci 56–7 Mongolia 42–3 Mongrel Mob 34 Monopoly (board game) 199, 200 Monty Python and the Holy Grail 25 Moore, Clement Clarke 247 Moretti, Franco 228 Morocco 7 Moscato, Philippe 36 movies 207–8 Mozambique 73 murder rates 44–6 music, Christmas 243–5 Musk, Elon 168 Myanmar 118 N Nadal, Rafael 197 national identity 223–4 natural gas 124 Netherlands gender 66 national identity 223–4 neurostimulators 167 New Jersey 85 New Mexico 157–8 New York (state), child marriage 85 New York City drink-driving 179–80 food trucks 99–100 New Zealand avocados 89 gang members 34–5 gene drives 154 water pollution 149–50 new-year resolutions 233–4 Neymar 203, 204 Nigeria board games 199–200 Boko Haram 5, 15–16 population 54–5 Nissenbaum, Stephen 247 Northern Ireland 218 Norway Christmas music 243 inheritance tax 119 life expectancy 125, 126 sex reassignment 65 Nucci, Alessandra 36 O obesity 93–4 oceans see seas Odimegwu, Festus 54 O’Reilly, Oliver 9–10 Ortiz de Retez, Yñigo 32 Oster, Emily 25–6 ostriches 163, 164 ’Oumuamua 185–6 P packaging 103–4 Pakistan 5 Palombi, Francis 161 Papua New Guinea languages 219–20 name 32 Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 203 Passover 237 pasta 31 pay, gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 Peck, Jessica Lynn 179–80 Pennsylvania 85 Peru 90 Pestre, Dominique 228 Pew Research Centre 22 Phelps, Michael 163–4 Philippe, Édouard 230 phishing 189 Phoenix, Arizona 177 Pilgrims 241 plague 157–8 Plastic China 159 police, body cameras 191–2 pollution air pollution 143–4 water pollution 149–50 polygamy 5–6 pornography and Britain’s gay population 70–72 and Hawaii missile alert 63–4 Portugal 145 Puerto Rico 45 punctuation marks 229–30 Q Qatar 19 R ransomware 190 Ravenscroft, George 101 Real Madrid 211 religious observance and birth rates 81–2 and Christmas music 244 remastering 207–8 Reynolds, Andrew 70 Rhodes, Cecil 13 rice 109–10 rich high-net-worth individuals 53 US 113–14 ride-hailing apps and drink-driving 179–80 see also Uber RIWI 73–4 robotaxis 177–8 robots 171–2 Rogers, Dan 240 Romania birth rate 81 life expectancy 125 Romans 233 Romer, Paul 227–8 Ross, Hana 23 Royal United Services Institute 21 Russ, Jacob 26 Russia arms sales 20 beer consumption 105, 106 fertility rate 81 Rwanda 40 S Sahara 31 St Louis 205–6 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 salt, in seas 11–12 same-sex relationships 73–4 San Antonio 100 sand 7–8 sanitation 155–6 Saudi Arabia 19 Scotland, witch-hunting 25–6, 27 Scott, Keith Lamont 191 Scrabble (board game) 199 seas Arctic sea ice 147–8 salty 11–12 undersea cables 193–4 secularism, and birth rates 81–2 Seles, Monica 197 self-driving cars 177–8 Serbia 222 Serbo-Croatian 221–2 Sevilla, Almudena 75 sex reassignment 65–6 sexual harassment 67–9, 230 Sharapova, Maria 197 sharks deterring attacks 201–2 racing humans 163–4 shipping 148 shoelaces 9–10 Silk Road 117–18 Singapore dragon children 56 land reclamation 7, 8 rice consumption 110 single people, housework 75–6 Sinquefeld, Rex 205 smart glasses 181–2 Smith, Adam 127 smoking black market for cigarettes 23–4 efforts to curb 151–2 smuggling 31 Sogaard, Jakob 135–6 Somalia 40 Somaliland 40–41 South Africa childhood obesity 93 diamonds 13 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 45, 46 South Korea arms sales 20 rice consumption 110 South Sudan failed state 40 polygamy 5 space elevators 183–4 spaghetti 31 Spain forests 145 gay and lesbian rights 73 job tenure 130 spam e-mail 189–90 sperm banks 61–2 sport football clubs 211–12 football transfers 203–4 grunting in tennis 197–8 Sri Lanka 118 Star Wars 208 sterilisation 65–6 Strasbourg 26 submarine cables 193–4 Sudan 40 suicide-bombers 15–16 summer holidays 239–40 Sutton Trust 22 Sweden Christmas music 243, 244 gay and lesbian rights 73 homophobia 70 inheritance tax 119 overpayment of taxes 51–2 sex reassignment 65 sexual harassment 67–8 Swinnen, Johan 106 Switzerland sex reassignment 65 witch-hunting 26, 27 T Taiwan dog meat 91 dragon children 56 Tamil Tigers 15 Tanzania 40 taxes death taxes 119–20 Sweden 51–2 taxis robotaxis 177–8 see also ride-hailing apps tennis players, grunting 197–8 terrorism 15–16 Texas 85 Thailand 110 Thanksgiving 241–2 think-tanks 21–2 Tianjin 143–4 toilets 155–6 Tok Pisin 219, 220 transgender people 65–6 Trump, Donald 223 Argentine lemons 95, 96 estate tax 119 and gender pay gap 115 and manufacturing jobs 131, 132 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin 183 Turkey 151 turkeys 33 Turkmenistan 6 U Uber 128 and drink-driving 179–80 Uganda 40 Ulaanbaatar 42–3 Uljarevic, Daliborka 221 undersea cables 193–4 unemployment 169–70 Unicode 215–16 United Arab Emirates and Somaliland 41 weapons purchases 19 United Kingdom see Britain United States and Argentine lemons 95–6 arms sales 19 beer consumption 105 chess 205–6 child marriage 84–5 Christmas 246–7 Christmas music 243, 244 drink-driving 179–80 drones 187–8 end of life care 141–2 estate tax 119 fertility rates 79–80 food trucks 99–100 forests 145 gay and lesbian rights 73 getting rich 113–14 Hawaiian porn consumption 63–4 job tenure 129–30 letter names 218 lithium 17 manufacturing jobs 131–2 murder rate 45, 46 national identity 223–4 new-year resolutions 234 plague 157–8 police body cameras 191–2 polygamy 6 robotaxis 177 robots 171–2 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 sexual harassment 67, 68 sperm banks 61–2 Thanksgiving 241–2 video games and unemployment 169–70 wealth inequality 121 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) see drones V video games 169–70 Vietnam weapons purchases 19 wheat consumption 110 Virginia 85 virtual reality (VR) 181, 182 Visit from St Nicholas, A (Moore) 247 W Wang Yi 117 Warner, Jason 15 wars 5 Washington, George 242 Washington DC, food trucks 99 waste 159–60 water pollution 149–50 wealth getting rich in America 113–14 high-net-worth individuals 53 inequality 120, 121–2 weather, and Christmas music 243–5 Weinstein, Harvey 67, 69 Weryk, Rob 185 wheat consumption 109–10 genome 107–8 Wilson, Riley 79–80 wine glasses 101–2 Winslow, Edward 241 wireless technology 173–4 witch-hunting 25–7 wolves 161–2 women birth rates 79–80, 81–3 bride price 5 career and family 77–8 child marriage 84–5 housework 75–6 job tenure 129–30 life expectancy 125 pay gap 115–16 sexual harassment of 67–9 suicide-bombers 15–16 World Bank 227–8 World Health Organisation (WHO) and smoking 151–2 transsexualism 65 X Xi Jinping 117–18 Y young people crime 47–8 job tenure 129–30 video games and unemployment 169–70 Yu, Han 56–7 Yulin 91 yurts 42–3 Z Zubelli, Rita 239


pages: 190 words: 62,941

Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky

"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

Just as Microsoft defined the personal computer revolution, Apple wrote the next chapter of digital entertainment, and Facebook created the twenty-first century’s most powerful publishing platform, Uber perfectly exemplifies all the attributes of the information-technology industry’s next wave. A mobile-first company, if there had been no iPhone there would have been no Uber. Uber expanded globally almost from its beginning, far earlier than would have been possible in an era when packaged software and clunky computers were the norm. It is a leader of the so-called gig economy, cleverly marrying its technology with other people’s assets (their cars) as well as their labor, paying them independent-contractor fees but not costlier employee benefits. Such “platform” companies became all the rage as Uber rose to prominence. Airbnb didn’t need to own homes to make a profit renting them. Thumbtack and TaskRabbit are just two companies that matched people looking for project-based work with customers—without having to make any hires themselves.

“I by no stretch hated those jobs, but I wasn’t super passionate about them,” he tells me over lunch in Manhattan Beach, a tony community near Los Angeles International Airport and not far from Campbell’s current home in Long Beach. “I just wasn’t excited to go to work on Monday.” What was getting Campbell excited was what he calls his “side hustle,” a trendy expression associated with the so-called gig economy that once would have been called moonlighting. He was intrigued by personal finance, suddenly having some considerable disposable income, and so in 2012 he started a blog targeted at people like himself. It’s called Your Personal Finance Pro, with the tagline “Financial Advice for Young Professionals.” The blog was a small-scale success and generated good income for Campbell, nearly a couple thousand dollars a month for not very much effort.


pages: 232 words: 63,803

Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food by Chase Purdy

agricultural Revolution, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Donald Trump, gig economy, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs

Learning how to navigate that world is a full-time job for policy journalists, lawyers, and lobbyists, who are tasked with untangling the politics of competing interests, the high emotions, and the steady pressure that Silicon Valley has increasingly pushed onto Washington. Lawmakers are increasingly challenged to reimagine a world that breaks from the conventions of the past, molded in the likeness of new technological possibilities. That has been the case with artificial intelligence, privacy concerns, the labor and business implications of the gig economy, and certainly the proposition of lab-grown, cell-cultured meat. Beneath the surface, the policy challenges around cell-cultured meat are many. But on its face, the two biggest questions seem simple: “Is this stuff real? And is it safe?” These are two issues that, for a while, were grappled with mostly in private, as nervous ranchers and farmers watched with cocked eyebrows as more headlines and stories detailed the efforts of the companies pushing to make cultured meat a reality.

., 66–67, 130–31, 153–78 American Egg Board and Just Mayo, 90–93 beef industry and cell-cultured meat, 15, 154–58, 162–76 cell-cultured meat, 15, 153–78 margarine and dairy industry, 158–60, 164, 165, 167–68 political lobbying, 168–74, 176–77 use of terminology, 160–62 food security, 115–16, 183–84 food yields, 199–200 Ford, Henry, 211 Fox Business, 161, 166 Fredriksson, Lynn, 141–44 Freedom of Information Act, 92 Friedrich, Bruce, 140, 141–46, 148, 152, 160–61 funding. See venture capital Fung, Nan, 104–5 Future Food-Tech Summit, 173 Future Meat Technologies, xv, 30, 40, 114, 118–20 “gap junction,” 41 Gates, Bill, xiii–xiv, 110, 149 gay identity of author, 207–8 Genack, Menachem, 190–91 General Mills, 80, 147 genetics, 3, 33–34, 127–28 Gesner, Abraham Pineo, 211 Gibson, William, 17, 18 gig economy, 153 Glassdoor, 100 GlassWall Syndicate, 147–48 Global Food Security Index, 115–16 globalization, 194–95 global warming. See climate change Goldman Sachs, 148–49 Good Food Institute, 140, 146, 155, 160–61, 170 Gottlieb, Scott, 173 government regulations. See food regulations Grant, Ulysses S., 231–32 GRA Quantum, 108 greenhouse gases, 5–7, 210 “growth factors,” 36–37 growth medium, 33–40, 46–47, 116–17, 201 halal, 191, 204 Hampton Creek, 9.


pages: 555 words: 80,635

Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital by Kimberly Clausing

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, investor state dispute settlement, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, zero-sum game

And social norms help to determine labor outcomes. For example, in Germany, excellent labor market outcomes are often attributed to the fact that labor stakeholders are more involved in business decision-making.6 Finally, there are several useful ways to modernize labor laws for today’s economy that warrant consideration. As one example, labor laws likely need updating to account for the fact that many workers work independently in the “gig economy” (for example, for online intermediaries like Lyft or Uber).7 Flying the Friendly Skies? Recently, American Airlines announced a plan for pay raises for their pilots and flight attendants, in part due to competitive pressures associated with higher wages at Delta and United. In response, stock market analysts wrote disapproving commentary about how shareholders would be harmed by this undue generosity toward labor, and American Airlines’ stock price fell 5 percent in one day.

See Economic inequality Information, 289–292 Infrastructure, 175–176, 235–237 Institutions, 64, 189–190, 237–238 International borrowing and lending, 118–121 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 105, 298 International trade: disruption from, 73–81; effects on economic growth, 63–67; effects on income inequality, 73–81; effects on international relations, 101–106; effects on jobs, 57–63, 73–81; effects on poverty, 65–67; effects on the one percent, 74–75; efficiency of, 53–57; gains from variety, 93; gains to consumers, 92–95; political support, 106–111; public opinion, 79, 109; trends, 30–32 Interstate highway system, 237 Irwin, Douglas, 315n2 Japan, demographic burdens, 185–188 Jeep, 146 Katz, Lawrence, 88 Kleinbard, Edward, 319n27 Kraay, Aart, 63 Krugman, Paul, 63 Labor force participation, 58–59 Labor rights, 162; and gig economy, 282 Labor share of income, 20–22 Labor unions, 42–43 Lewis, Ethan, 196 Luck, 37–39 Macroeconomic policy, 175, 237–238 Macron, Emmanuel, 298 Mariel boatlift, 193–195 Market power: effect on labor share of income, 42, 150; and efficiency, 152; and inequality, 152; trends, 39–42, 90–91, 147–149 McKinsey Global Institute, 147 Medicare, 241–242 Mercantilism, 70 Microsoft, 153 Minimum tax on foreign income, 172, 262 Mining, 154 Monopoly.


pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Had Ayn Rand and Aristotle been at Five Guys for an All-The-Way with Cajun Fries that night, they’d surely have embraced Jeremy like a son. I’d come in search of the neoliberal self and it seemed I’d found their teaming capital. But what goes in Silicon Valley, of course, is increasingly going everywhere else. This vision, of individuals ‘free’ to get along and get ahead by zooming unfettered from job to job, is what’s often known as the ‘gig economy’. It appears, too, in the guise of the ‘zero hours contract’ worker. They’re arrangements in which the responsibility of the employer is minimized, and that of the individual maximized. It made me think of the man at the counter at Esalen who’d refused to take my bag; we don’t take that responsibility. It was turning out to be the mantra of our times. Back in 1981 Margaret Thatcher had said ‘economics are the method but the object is to change the soul’.

He could be describing an ideal of self from Ancient Greece or a neoliberal hero. As we’ve learned, it’s not a coincidence that this model of ideal self also happens to be the one best equipped to get along and get ahead in the age of perfectionism – this era of heightened individualism, of financial crisis, of rising inequality, of personal debt, of small state, of deregulation, of austerity, of gig economy, of zero-hours contracts, of perfection-demanding gender ideals, of declining wages, of unrealistic body-image goals, of social media with its perfectionist presentation and its tribal outrage and demands for public punishment. These are the kinds of people who’ll be more likely to win at the game that has been made of our world, the kinds who’ll find a place in the boardroom or found billion-dollar hedge funds or start-ups – and then become powerful consumers, feeding back into the machine.

Keith ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Carlyle, Abbot Aelred ref1, ref2 Carnegie, Dale ref1 How to Win Friends and Influence People ref1 Carter, Drummond ref1 celebrity culture ref1, ref2, ref3 chimpanzees ref1, ref2 China biographies in ref1 Confucian self ref1 and group harmony ref1 suicides in ref1 Christian Science movement ref1 Christianity ref1, ref2 Ancient Greek influence ref1, ref2 and belief in God ref1 dourly introspective ref1 future-orientated ref1 orthodox not orthoprax ref1 and perfection ref1 and reason ref1 ritual and mimicry ref1 and the unconscious ref1 and the university system ref1 Cialdini, Dr Robert, The Psychology of Influence and Persuasion ref1 CJ becomes anorexic ref1 childhood and family life ref1 description and life ambition ref1 devotion to The Hunger Games ref1, ref2, ref3 drops out of drama college ref1 need for validation ref1 personality ref1, ref2 relationship with boys ref1 takes selfies as validation of self ref1, ref2 Claybury psychiatric hospital ref1 Clinton, Bill ref1, ref2 Clinton, Hilary ref1 Coan, James ref1 Cole, Steve ref1 the Collective ref1 computers see digital technology Confucianism ref1 and Aristotelianism ref1 and suicide ref1 Confucius ref1 Connop, Phoebe ref1 Cook, Tim ref1 Cooley, Charles Horton ref1 Cornish, Jackie ref1 corporate self ref1 Corporation Man and Woman, idea of ref1 Coulson, William ref1, ref2 Council of Economic Advisers ref1 Cowen, Graeme ref1, ref2 Cramer, Katherine ref1 cultural self and Ancient Greece ref1 and Asian self ref1, ref2 childhood and adolescence ref1 and Confucianism ref1 and the environment ref1 Freudian beliefs ref1 and ideal body ref1, ref2 and storytelling ref1 and youth ref1 Curtis, Adam ref1 Cynics, in Ancient Greece ref1 Deep Space Industries ref1, ref2 Demo: New Tech Solving Big Problems conference (San Jose, 2014) ref1 Deukmejian, George ‘The Duke’ ref1, ref2, ref3 digital technology and age of perfectionism ref1 development of ref1, ref2 dot.com crash ref1 humanist-neoliberal ideology ref1, ref2, ref3 and the ideal self ref1 online community ref1 personal computers ref1, ref2 as portal to information ref1 and the selfie drone ref1 vision of the future ref1 Web 2.0 ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 DNA ref1 Doyle, Jacqueline ref1 Dunbar, Robin ref1 Eagleman, David ref1 East Asians ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 eating disorders ref1, ref2 Eddy, Mary Baker ref1, ref2 Eells, Gregory ref1 effectance motive ref1 Ehrenreich, Barbara ref1 El Rancho Inn, Millbrae ref1, ref2, ref3 empathy ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 encounter groups danger of ref1 Doug Engelbart’s ref1 online ref1 participation in ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Fritz Perls’ ref1 Carl Rogers as pioneer of ref1 Will Schutz’s ref1 Engelbart, Doug ref1 interest in EST ref1 introduces encounter groups ref1 joins Global Business Network ref1 presents personal computer concept ref1, ref2 vision of information age ref1, ref2 ‘Augmenting Human Intellect’ ref1 environment and development of the brain ref1, ref2 Easterners’ vs Westerners’ awareness of ref1 effect of changes to ref1 importance of ref1 and individual experience ref1 and social perfectionism ref1, ref2, ref3 Epley, Nicholas ref1, ref2 Erhard, Werner ref1 Erhard Seminars Training (EST) workshops ref1 Esalen Institute ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 Big Yurt ref1 criticisms of ref1 final assignment ref1 hosts conference on Spiritual and Therapeutic Tyranny ref1, ref2, ref3 influence at Stanford ref1, ref2 The Max ref1, ref2 Pandora’s Box ref1 Fritz Perls’ Gestalt encounter groups ref1 role-play tasks ref1 Will Schutz’s encounter groups ref1 stated mission ref1 suicides connected to ref1 unaffiliated ‘Little Esalens’ ref1 and wired technology ref1 EST see Erhard Seminars Training (EST) workshops Euclid, Cleveland ref1 Euripides, The Suppliants ref1 extraverts ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Faber, Daniel ref1, ref2 Facebook ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Fall Joint Computer Conference (San Francisco, 1968) ref1, ref2 financial crises ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Flett, Gordon ref1, ref2 Fonda, Jane ref1, ref2 Fortune magazine ref1, ref2 ‘The Founder’ concept ref1, ref2 Fox, Jesse ref1 free speech ref1 free will ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Freud, Sigmund ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Totem and Taboo ref1 Frith, Chris ref1 Gagarin, Nick ref1 gamified self ref1, ref2, ref3 Garcia, Rigo ref1 Gazzaniga, Michael ref1, ref2 GBN see Global Business Network Generation X ref1, ref2 George, Carol ref1 gig economy ref1, ref2 Global Business Network (GBN) ref1, ref2 globalization ref1, ref2, ref3 Gold, Judith ref1 Goldman, Marion ref1 Gome, Gilad ref1, ref2, ref3 Gordon, Robert ref1 gossip ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Great Compression (c. 1945–c. 1975) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12 Great Depression ref1 Greenspan, Alan appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve ref1 considers himself a libertarian ref1 effect of decisions on financial crisis ref1 influenced by Rand ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 relationship with Clinton ref1 rise to power ref1 Hacker Hostels, San Francisco ref1, ref2 Haidt, Jonathan ref1, ref2, ref3 Hampton, Debbie ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Hayek, Friedrich ref1, ref2, ref3 Heinz, Adrienne ref1, ref2, ref3 Heinz, Austen considered sexist and misogynistic ref1 description of ref1 DNA vision ref1 personality ref1 suicide of ref1 Henrich, Joseph ref1, ref2, ref3 heroes ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 Hewitt, John ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow) ref1 Himba people ref1 Hogan, Robert ref1 Hollesley Bay Young Offenders Institution, Suffolk ref1 Hood, Bruce ref1, ref2, ref3 The Self Illusion ref1 Horowitz, Mitch ref1, ref2 Human Potential Movement ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Humanistic Psychology ref1, ref2 The Hunger Games ref1, ref2, ref3 hunter-gatherers ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Hutchinson, Audrey ref1, ref2 Huxley, Aldous ref1 ideal self ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 see also perfect self Immaculate Heart Community, California ref1 Inc.com ref1, ref2 individualism and the 2016 political shocks ref1 in America ref1 Ancient Greek notion of ref1, ref2, ref3 and blame ref1 Christian view ref1, ref2 competitive ref1, ref2 cooperation and teamwork ref1, ref2 and culture ref1 development of ref1, ref2 East Asian concept of ref1 East–West clash ref1 and freedom ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 getting along and getting ahead ref1, ref2 and the Great Compression ref1 hard form of ref1 as heightened ref1 hyper-individual model ref1 libertarian-neoliberal ref1 and passion ref1 and personality traits ref1, ref2 and Ayn Rand ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 rise of ref1, ref2 and self-esteem ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and social pain ref1 and the state ref1 Stewart Brand’s concept of ref1 and wired technology ref1 internet ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 and Doug Engelbart ref1 and Web 2.0 ref1, ref2, ref3 introverts ref1, ref2, ref3 Jaeger, Werner ref1, ref2, ref3 James, William ref1 Japan, suicide in ref1 Jeremy (mechanical engineer) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Jobs, Steve ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Kalanick, Travis ref1 kalokagathia ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Kelly, Jodi ref1 Kidlington Detention Centre, Oxfordshire ref1 Kim, Uichol ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Konrath, Sara ref1 Lakewood Church, Houston ref1 leadership ref1, ref2 Leary, Mark ref1 Levey, Cate ref1, ref2 libertarianism ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Lincoln Elementary School, Long Beach ref1 Little, Brian ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Loewenstein, George ref1 ‘The Long Boom: A History of the Future’ (Schwartz et al.) ref1, ref2 The Looking-Glass Self (Bruce) ref1, ref2 Lord, Frances ref1 Luit (chimpanzee) ref1 Lyons, Dan ref1 McAdams, Dan ref1 McKee, Robert ref1 McManus, Chris ref1 Marin, Peter ref1 market rhetoric ref1 Markoff, John ref1 Martin, Father ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Marwick, Alice ref1, ref2, ref3 Maslow, Abraham ref1, ref2 Matteo Ricci College, Seattle ref1 Mayfield, Janet ref1 Mecca, Andrew ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Menlo Park ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Michie, Colin ref1 millennials ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Mind Cure ref1, ref2, ref3 Mitropoulos, Con ref1, ref2 monastic life ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Monitoring the Future Project ref1 Mont Pelerin Society ref1 Morales, Helen ref1 Mumford, Lewis, The Myth of the Machine ref1 Murphy, Michael ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Musk, Elon ref1, ref2, ref3 narcissism ref1 at Esalen ref1, ref2 and over-praise ref1, ref2 research into ref1 rise in ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and self-esteem ref1, ref2, ref3 and Trump ref1 and Vasco ref1 in younger people ref1, ref2 The Narcissism Epidemic (Twenge and Campbell) ref1 narcissistic perfectionism ref1 Narcissistic Personality Disorder ref1 Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) ref1, ref2 National Academy of Sciences Proceedings (2015) ref1 National Council for Self Esteem ref1 nature vs nurture in development ref1, ref2 neoliberalism becomes mainstream ref1 and being self-sufficient and successful ref1 and ‘bespoke hero’ ref1 corporate view ref1 and creation of new form of human ref1 and the digital future ref1 disdain for regulation and government oversight ref1 emergence ref1 and financial inequalities ref1, ref2 and gay rights/gay marriage ref1 and global financial crisis (2008) ref1 as global phenomenon ref1 governments run like businesses ref1 Hayek’s vision of ref1, ref2 individualism, status and self-esteem ref1 negative effects ref1 and new style of government ref1 and power of multinationals ref1 rebellion against ref1 and structural inequalities ref1 and working conditions ref1 Netflix: code for employees ref1 Nettle, Daniel ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Personality ref1 neurotics and neuroticism ref1, ref2 neurotic perfectionism ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 as personality trait ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Nietzsche Society, UCL ref1 Nisbett, Richard ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 NPI see Narcissism Personality Index; Narcissistic Personality Inventory O’Connor, Rory ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Oedipus complex ref1, ref2 O’Reilly, Tim ref1 ostracism ref1 Ozawa-de Silva, Chikako ref1 Pakrul, Stephanie (aka StephTheGeek) ref1 ‘Paris Hilton effect’ ref1 Peale, Dr Norman Vincent, The Power of Positive Thinking ref1 perfect self as an illusion ref1 Heinz Austen as example of ref1 and being anything we want to be ref1, ref2 Christian ref1 CJ as example of ref1 cultural conception of ref1 and culture ref1 and digital self ref1 and gamified individualist economy ref1 and ideal self ref1 judging others and ourselves ref1 narcissistic ref1 and neoliberalism ref1 neurotic ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 perfectionist presentation ref1 and personal responsibility ref1 pressures of ref1 and the self ref1, ref2 selfishness or selflessness ref1, ref2 social ref1 and suicide ref1 see also ideal self Perls, Fritz ref1, ref2 as a ‘dirty old man’ ref1, ref2, ref3 feud with Schutz ref1 fractious relationship with Esalen ref1 Gestalt encounter groups ref1, ref2, ref3 near obsessional attacks and insults ref1 reaction to suicides ref1 Tom Wolfe’s comments on ref1 tough upbringing ref1 visits Freud ref1, ref2 personal computers see digital technology personality and acting out of character ref1 assumptions concerning ref1 basic traits ref1, ref2, ref3 and being or doing whatever we want ref1 and the brain ref1, ref2, ref3 different people in different contexts ref1 individualism and self-esteem ref1 and parental influence ref1 predictable shifts in ref1 prison metaphor ref1 and realising you’re not the person you wanted to be ref1 social responses ref1 tests and research ref1 as virtually unchanging ref1 physical self Ancient Greek ideals ref1, ref2 and body consciousness ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 cultural influences ref1 and diet ref1 linked to moral worth ref1 Pluscarden Abbey ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 polyamory ref1, ref2 Price, Marcia ref1 Price, Richard ref1, ref2, ref3 Pridmore, John ref1 childhood trauma ref1 effect of culture on ref1, ref2, ref3 sent to prison ref1 undergoes religious conversion ref1, ref2, ref3 violent behaviour ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 weeps when watching TV ref1, ref2 psychoanalysis ref1 Qi Wang ref1 Quimby, Phineas ref1, ref2 Rainbow Mansion, Silicon Valley ref1, ref2 Rand, Ayn ref1, ref2, ref3 beliefs and influence ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 changes her name/identity ref1 early life ref1 reaction to Nathaniel Branden’s infidelity ref1, ref2 sets up the Collective ref1 Atlas Shrugged ref1, ref2, ref3 The Fountainhead ref1 The Virtue of Selfishness ref1 reputation ref1, ref2 in Ancient Greece ref1 ‘getting along and getting ahead’ (Hogan) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 and guilt ref1 ‘honour culture’ ref1 and tribal brains ref1 Rogers, Art ref1, ref2 Rogers, Carl ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Roh Moo-hyun ref1 Rosenbaum, Alyssa see Rand, Ayn Rosetto, Louis ref1 Ross, Ben ref1, ref2 Rudnytsky, Peter ref1 Rule of St Benedict, The ref1, ref2 San Francisco ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 Sapolsky, Robert ref1, ref2 Sartre, Jean-Paul ref1, ref2 Satir, Virginia ref1 Schuman, Michael ref1 Schutz, Will ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Joy ref1 Schwartz, Peter ref1 Scott, Sophie ref1, ref2 Seager, Martin ref1 self cultivation of ref1 East Asian, and reality ref1, ref2 and engagement in personal projects ref1 and local best-practice ref1 and need for a mission ref1 as open and free ref1 perfectible ref1, ref2 as a story ref1 see also authentic self Self-Determination Think Tank ref1 self-esteem Baumeister’s research into ref1 belief in ref1 and changes in values ref1 in education ref1, ref2, ref3 high ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and lack of tolerance and empathy ref1 legislation embodying ref1 legitimization of ref1 and life-affirming message ref1 lingering effects of movement ref1 low ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 media questioning of ref1 myths and lies concerning ref1, ref2, ref3 and narcissism ref1, ref2, ref3 negative effects ref1 negative report on ref1 and overpraise ref1 and perfectionism ref1 popularity of ref1 raising ref1 research into ref1 and selfie generation ref1 Self-Esteem Task Force project ref1 social importance of ref1 Vasco’s ideology of ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Western emphasis on ref1 self-harm ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 self-interest ref1, ref2, ref3 self-just-about-everything ref1, ref2 self-loathing ref1 self-love movement ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 selfie generation ref1 awareness of structural inequalities ref1 CJ as example of ref1, ref2 effect of social media on ref1 maintaining continual state of perfection ref1 and narcissism ref1 need for social feedback ref1 and parenting practices ref1 selfishness/selflessness ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Shannahoff-Khalsa, David ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Shannin (entrepreneur) ref1 Shaw, Paula ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Silani, Dr Giorgia ref1 Silicon Valley, California ref1, ref2 attitude to conspicuous wealth ref1 as capital of the neoliberal self ref1 cold-blooded rationalism in ref1 demonstration of personal computing in ref1 hyper-individualist model of corporate self in ref1, ref2 involvement in transformation of economy ref1 lack of compassion in ref1 links with Esalen ref1 living in fear in ref1 as military-industrial complex ref1 model of ideal self in ref1 Simon, Meredith ref1, ref2, ref3 Singularity ref1 Smelser, Neil ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Smiles, Samuel ref1 Self Help ref1 Snyder, Mark ref1 Social Importance of Self-Esteem, The (Smelser et al.) ref1, ref2 social media ref1, ref2 social pain ref1, ref2 South Korea, suicide in ref1 Sparks, Randy ref1 Oh Yes, I’m A Wonderful Person and other Musical Adventures for those of us in search of Greater Self-Esteem ref1 Spiritual and Therapeutic Tyranny: The Willingness to Submit (conference, 1973) ref1, ref2, ref3 Squire, Michael ref1 Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park ref1, ref2 Augmentation Research Center (ARC) ref1, ref2 Stanford University ref1, ref2, ref3 Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Unit ref1 Stark, Rodney ref1 start-ups ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Startup Castle, Silicon Valley ref1 stimulus-action hunger ref1 storytelling Brexit/Trump narrative ref1 development of personal narratives ref1 East–West differences/similarities ref1 and feelings of control ref1 as form of tribal propaganda ref1 happiness and sense of purpose ref1 and the inner voice ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 self and culture ref1 and self-esteem ref1 and self-loathing ref1 selfishness or selflessness ref1, ref2, ref3 split-brain participants ref1 success and failure ref1 as universal ref1 suicide ref1 attempts at ref1, ref2, ref3 Confucian cultures ref1 connected to Esalen ref1, ref2 as failed hero stories ref1 gender and culture ref1, ref2 increase due to financial crisis (2008) ref1 in Japan ref1 and loss of hero status ref1 as a mystery ref1 patterns in ref1 and perfectionism ref1, ref2, ref3 rates of ref1 research into ref1 in South Korea ref1 Sunshine (attendee at Esalen) ref1 Sweet Peach ref1 synthetic biology ref1, ref2 Talhelm, Thomas ref1 Tanzania ref1, ref2 teamwork/cooperation ref1 Thiel, Peter ref1 Zero to One ref1 Tice, Dianne ref1 Tomkins, Detective Sergeant Katherine ref1 Tomlinson, Rachel ref1 Toward a State of Esteem (1990) ref1 tribal self Brexit/Trump narrative ref1 hierarchy, territory, status ref1 and ideal/perfect self ref1 monks as ref1 prejudice and bias ref1 and punishing of transgressors ref1 reputation and gossip ref1, ref2 selflessness or selflessness ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and storytelling/left-brain interpretation ref1 Trudeau, Garry ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Trump, Donald as anti-establishment ref1 appeal to voters ref1, ref2 declares he will put ‘America first’ ref1 false stories concerning ref1 narcissistic tendencies ref1 and social media ref1 as straightforward no-nonsense businessman ref1 Trzesniewski, Kali ref1 Turner, Fred ref1, ref2 Twenge, Jean ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 20Mission (Hacker Hostel, San Francisco) ref1 Twitter ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 University of Glasgow Suicide Behaviour Research Laboratory ref1, ref2, ref3 Vanessa (employee at Rainbow Mansion) ref1, ref2 Vasconcellos, John ‘Vasco’ ref1, ref2 death of ref1 description and beliefs ref1 early life and education ref1 as ‘furious’ ref1, ref2, ref3 as homosexual ref1 ideology of self-esteem ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 nutty notions of ref1, ref2 ridiculed by the media ref1 and Smelser’s conclusions on the task force ref1 suffers massive heart attack ref1, ref2 Task Force project ref1 Vittitow, Dick ref1 Waal, Frans de ref1 Wallace, Donald ‘Smokey’ ref1 Warren, Laura ref1 Whole Earth Catalog ref1 Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link ref1, ref2, ref3 Wigglesworth, Smith ref1, ref2 Williams, Kip ref1, ref2 Wilson, Timothy D. ref1 Wolfe, Tom ref1 Wolin, Sheldon ref1 Wood, Natalie ref1, ref2 Wrangham, Richard ref1 Xerox ref1, ref2, ref3 zero-hours contracts ref1, ref2, ref3 Also by Will Storr FICTION The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone NON-FICTION Will Storr versus The Supernatural The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science (published in the US as The Unpersuadables) First published 2017 by Picador This electronic edition published 2017 by Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR Associated companies throughout the world www.panmacmillan.com ISBN 978-1-4472-8367-6 Copyright © Will Storr 2017 Cover Design: Neil Lang, Picador Art Department The right of Will Storr to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

The press gave significantly less ink to the latent misogyny bubbling up inside of tech companies, and the libertarian view that enabled tech figureheads to unwittingly enable these same biases. The divide between tech’s most talented, and the class who waited tables and served them coffee only grew starker by the day. Fast-rising rents pushed wage earners out of San Francisco, while landlords flipped those former apartments to new, wealthier tenants. The “gig economy” unleashed by companies like Uber, Instacart, TaskRabbit, and DoorDash spurred an entirely new class of workers—the blue-collar techno-laborer. With the rise of Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Snapchat, venture capitalists looked everywhere to fund the next Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, or Evan Spiegel—the newest brilliant mind who sought, in the words of Steve Jobs, to “make a dent in the universe.”

And after driving the cars around the clock, drivers were returning the vehicles in far worse condition than when they began the lease. Despite all the driver growth, Uber soon found it was losing upwards of $9,000 per vehicle on each Xchange leasing deal, far above the initial estimated losses of $500 per car. Never mind that the company was giving people subprime loans that they couldn’t pay back while ruining their credit—all for a gig-economy job that returned less and less each year as the company garnished drivers’ wages. Still, despite the waste and ill effects caused by imbalanced incentives, Kalanick never ceased rewarding growth. Growth was what made the difference between an average employee and a high performer who delivered results. High performers were untouchable. That was another Uber value: The Champion’s Mindset.

Chapter 12: GROWTH 112 $1 million apiece: Felix Salmon, “Why Taxi Medallions Cost $1 Million,” Reuters, October 21, 2011, http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/10/21/why-taxi-medallions-cost-1-million/. 112 one fire-sale auction: Winnie Hu, “Taxi Medallions, Once a Safe Investment, Now Drag Owners Into Debt,” New York Times, September 10, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/nyregion/new-york-taxi-medallions-uber.html. 113 pulled the trigger: Ginia Bellafante, “A Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy,” New York Times, February 6, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/nyregion/livery-driver-taxi-uber.html. 113 “I am not a Slave and I refuse to be one.”: Doug Schifter, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/people/Doug-Schifter/100009072541151. 113 more than a dozen: Nikita Stewart and Luis Ferré-Sadurní, “Another Taxi Driver in Debt Takes His Life. That’s 5 in 5 Months.,” New York Times, May 27, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/27/nyregion/taxi-driver-suicide-nyc.html. 113 took their own lives: Emma G.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

No matter which platform you prefer, social media has given us all an extraordinary new world, where anyone, no matter their gender, can share their story across communities, continents, and computer screens. A whole new world without ceilings. “Techno-ecstatic” was the term I used to describe rhetoric like this during the 1990s, and now, two crashes and countless tech scandals later, here it was, its claims of freedom-through-smartphones undimmed and unmodified. This form of idealism had survived everything: mass surveillance, inequality, the gig economy. Nothing could dent it. Roughly speaking, there were two groups present at this distinctly first-world gathering: hard-working women of color and authoritative women of whiteness. Many of the people making presentations came from third-world countries—a midwife from Haiti, a student from Afghanistan, the chocolate maker from Trinidad, a former child bride from India, an environmental activist from Kenya—while the women anchoring this swirling praise-fest were former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wealthy foundation executive Melinda Gates.

See also specific elections and individuals Bill Clinton and blue-collar voters and Congress and containing crash of 2008 and creative class and culture wars and deindustrialization and elections and Hillary Clinton and inequality and mass incarceration and meritocracy and NAFTA and Obama and professionals and rich and Social Security and Wall Street and Reuters revolving door Rhode Island Rise of the Creative Class, The (Florida) Roaring Nineties, The (Stiglitz) Rockefeller, Jay Rolling Stone Romney, Mitt Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Rothschild, Lynn Forester de Rubin, Robert Russert, Tim Ryan, Paul Salinas, Carlos San Francisco savings and loans crisis Schmidt, Eric Schmidt, Jeff Schulte, David Seattle Secret Service Securities and Exchange Commission Sentencing Commission Shafer, Byron sharing or gig economy Sheehy, Gail Silicon Valley. See also technocracy Sister Souljah 60 Minutes (TV show) Snoop Dogg Snowden, Edward social class Democrats and political parties and social question and two-class system Social Innovation Compact Social Security privatization of Social Security Commissions Solomon, Larry South by Southwest (SXSW) Sperling, Gene Sperling, John Stanford University Stanislaw, Joseph startups State Department State New Economy Index STEM skills Stenholm, Charles Stiglitz, Joseph stimulus of 2009 stimulus spending, Bill Clinton and stock market.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

Americans no longer “go West” (or east or north or south) in search of opportunity the way they did fifty years ago; the rate at which people move between states has fallen from 3.5 percent in the early 1970s to 1.4 percent in 2010. Nor do Americans change jobs as often as they once did. For all the boosterish talk about retraining and self-employment, all the fears of an increasingly precarious employment system, Americans are less likely to switch employers than they were a generation ago, and the supposed rise of an Internet-enabled “gig economy” is something of a myth. (Between 2005 and 2018, a Bureau of Labor Statistics study found, the increase in solo work driven by companies such as Uber was exceeded by declines in other kinds of freelancing.) Nor do they invest in the future in the most literal of ways: the US birthrate was long an outlier among Western countries—considerably higher than both Europe’s and Japan’s—but since the Great Recession, it has descended rapidly, converging with the wealthy world’s general below-replacement norm.

., 82, 83 European Union, 172–73, 217, 219 birthrate in, 50 centralization of authority in, 83, 84–85 financial crisis in, 84, 192 Muslim refugees in, 160 possible collapse of, 194 public distrust of government in, 83 sclerosis in, 82–86 unrealistic assumptions of, 82–83 Euro Tragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts (Mody), 84 evangelical Protestantism, 53, 101, 119, 222 Everlasting Man, The (Chesterton), 238–39 exhaustion, cultural and intellectual, decadence as, 9 expansionism, 3–4 environmental and social cost of, 5–6 exploration: abandonment of, 5–6 ideology of, 3–4, 231–32 Fake News, 153 families, shrinking of, 58–62 far left, 172, 194 far right, 134, 193, 194, 227 in Europe, 85, 155, 162 fascism, 112, 160, 194 feminism, 47, 51, 53, 54, 90, 97, 108, 120, 121, 156, 227 fiction, literary, declining sales of, 91 Fight Club (film), 113, 185 filibuster, 78 finance industry, see Wall Street financial crisis of 2008, 11, 69, 80, 84, 137, 192 Finland: decline of sexual relations in, 55 declining birthrate in, 52–53 Fire Next Time, The (Baldwin), 97 Flynn effect, 35 Flynt, Larry, 120 food production, climate change and, 195–96 Ford, John, 110 Foreign Policy, 133 Fox News, 77 France, 32 immigrants in, 64 pronatalist policies of, 52 protest movements in, 171, 172 Francis, Pope, 103 Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Wilder), 208 free-market policies, 25 free trade, 24, 28, 29 French Revolution, 206 From Dawn to Decadence (Barzun), 8 frontier: closing of, 5, 135 New, 181 space as, 2, 6, 231–32; see also Apollo moon program Turner on importance of, 3–4 Fukuyama, Francis, 12, 83, 112–13, 115, 135, 159 Fyre Festival, 17–18, 21 Game of Thrones (TV show), 95, 96 Garland, Merrick, 78 gay rights, revolution in, 99 gender, wage gap and, 99 genetic engineering, 11, 43, 211, 229, 230 Germany, 192 immigrants in, 64, 85 Germany, Nazi, 225 Germany, Weimar, 129, 131 Gersen, Jacob, 142 Gharbi, Musa al-, 97 Gibson, Mel, 189–90, 202 gig economy, decline of traditional freelancing in, 27 gilets-jaunes, 171 Gingrich, Newt, 77 globalism, 218 global South: climate change and, 174–75, 202 mass migration from, 208 global warming, see climate change God and Man at Yale (Buckley), 97 Goebbels, Joseph, 132 Gordon, Robert, 12, 33, 34, 35, 40–41, 46 government: informal norms of, 78 policy failures of, 71 public distrust of, 75 public expectation of action by, 74–75 uncontrolled sprawl of, 72, 76 Government’s End (Rauch), 72 Graeber, David, 12, 38, 40, 41 Gramsci, Antonio, vii Grantland, 93–94 Great Awakening, 103, 222, 228 Great Britain: Brexit in, see Brexit US technological mastery vs., 165 Great Depression, 30, 109 Great Filter, 234–36, 240 Great Recession, 11, 23, 27, 69, 114, 124, 193, 194 falling birthrate in, 51 Great Society, 77 Great Stagnation, The (Cowen), 33–34, 45 Greece, 84, 85 in 2008 financial crisis, 192 Green New Deal, 221 Green Revolution, 43, 196 growth, limits on, 32–36, 46 Guardian (Australia), 220 Guinea, 206 Habits of the Heart (Bellah et al.), 97 Handmaid’s Tale, The (Atwood), 47–50, 65 Handmaid’s Tale, The (TV show), 95 Hanson, Robin, 234 Harris, Mark, 93–94 Harris, Sam, 224 Hazony, Yoram, 218, 219 health care reform: interest groups and, 73 Obama and, 68, 69–70, 73–74, 76 Heavens and the Earth, The (McDougall), 2 Herbert, Frank, 229 Heterodox Academy, 97 Hinduism, 225 history: end of, 112–15, 135, 163, 177 return of, 129, 183, 195 viewed as morality play, 157 hive mind, 106–7 Holmes, Elizabeth, 18–19, 22 hookup culture, 121 horoscopes, 225 Houellebecq, Michel, 155–57, 159, 160–61, 172, 226, 227 House of Representatives, US, 68 “How the Wealth Was Won” (2019 paper), 26 Hubbard, L.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Some see a model for organizing freelancers in Hollywood’s guild-like set-worker unions, which establish industrywide standards as their members bounce from production to production. Jay Z’s Tidal streaming platform sold itself to consumers as a kind of guild for musicians; a group of Silicon Valley business writers has organized itself into the Silicon Guild to help amplify each member’s networks; some gig-economy workers have an Indy Workers Guild to distribute portable benefits. In the twentieth century, Charlie Chaplin and his friends formed United Artists to produce their own films, and photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capra formed Magnum, a cooperative syndication guild. Less glamorously, the professional organizations for doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, and hairdressers have clung to the guild model, complete with monopoly powers recognized by governments and peers.

The second day was more like what I’d originally had in mind. A bus tour showcased the gardens in abandoned lots. But back at the conference, attendees grilled Bergmann, who wore a black leather cap over restless gray hair, on the features of his theory. Ideas he’d formed decades ago as an antidote to the auto assembly lines—like living your passion and choosing your own hours—sounded suspiciously like a pitch for the gig-economy hustle that younger people in the room knew too well. Bergmann’s liberation was their perpetual insecurity. He reveled in the possibilities of 3D printers for localizing production, but groans came from those who were sick of being told that their rescue was only one more contraption away. To Boggs’s big question, gender theorist Kathi Weeks won applause when she replied, “It’s quitting time.”


pages: 307 words: 88,180

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee

AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, ImageNet competition, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, pirate software, profit maximization, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Y Combinator

Within ten to twenty years, I estimate we will be technically capable of automating 40 to 50 percent of jobs in the United States. For employees who are not outright replaced, increasing automation of their workload will continue to cut into their value-add for the company, reducing their bargaining power on wages and potentially leading to layoffs in the long term. We’ll see a larger pool of unemployed workers competing for an even smaller pool of jobs, driving down wages and forcing many into part-time or “gig economy” work that lacks benefits. This—and I cannot stress this enough—does not mean the country will be facing a 40 to 50 percent unemployment rate. Social frictions, regulatory restrictions, and plain old inertia will greatly slow down the actual rate of job losses. Plus, there will also be new jobs created along the way, positions that can offset a portion of these AI-induced losses, something that I explore in coming chapters.

See wealth and class inequality See also business AI; human coexistence with AI Edison, Thomas, 13, 86 education employment and, 205 OMO-powered, 121–24 revamping, 228–29 social investment stipend and, 221–22 Einstein, Albert, 103 electrification, compared to AI, 13–15, 25, 50, 86, 149–50, 152, 154, 228 Element AI, 111 engineering bottlenecks, 158 enterprise software, 111–12 Estonia, 137 European Union, 124–25, 229 expertise to data, transition from, 14, 15, 56 expert systems, 7–8 F F5 Future Store, 163 Face++, 90, 117 Facebook Cambridge Analytica and, 107–8, 125 Chinese companies compared to, 28 Chinese researchers at, 90 cloning of, 22–23, 24, 31, 32–33 deep-learning experts and, 11 as dominant AI player, 83, 91 Face++ and, 90 global markets and, 137 iFlyTek compared to, 105 innovation mentality at, 33 monopoly of social networks, 170 resistance to product modifications, 34 split with Messenger, 70 Tencent compared to, 109 top researchers at, 93 U.S. digital world dominance and, 2 Facebook AI Research, 91 facial recognition AI chips and, 96 Apple’s iPhone X and, 117 Chinese investment in, 99 device security and, 117 education, AI-powered, and, 122 Face++ and, 90, 117 mobile payments and, 118 privacy and, 124 public transportation and, 84 fake news detection, 109 Fanfou (Twitter clone), 23, 46 Fermi, Enrico, 85, 103 financial crisis (2008), 46, 100, 165, 205 financial sector, 111, 112–13, 116 Fink, Larry, 215–16 Fo Guang Shan monastery, 187, 218–20 “Folding Beijing” (Hao), 144–45, 172, 230 food delivery, 69, 72, 79 Forbidden City, 29 Ford, 135 Ford, Martin, 165 4th Paradigm, 111 four waves of AI, 104–39 autonomous AI, 105–6, 128–36 business AI, 105–6, 110–17 economic divides and, 145 global markets and, 136–38 internet AI, 105–6, 107–10 perception AI, 105–6, 117–28 France, 20, 169 freemium revenue model, 36 Frey, Carl Benedikt, 158 Friendster, 22 G Gates, Bill, 33 general AI, 10, 13 General Data Protection Regulation, 124–25 general purpose technologies (GPTs), 148–55 gig economy, 164 global AI markets, 136–38 global AI story, 226–32 AI future without AI race, 227–28 global wisdom for AI age, 228–29 hearts and minds, 231–32 writing, 230 global economic inequality, 146, 168–70 globalization, 150 GMI (guaranteed minimum income), 206–7 Go (game), 1–2, 4, 5, 167 going light vs. going heavy, 71–73, 76–77, 209 Google AI chips and, 96 AlphaGo and, 1, 2, 11 Baidu compared to, 37, 38, 109 China at time of founding of, 33 Chinese entrepreneurs compared to, 24–25 Chinese market and, 39 data captured by, 77 as dominant AI player, 83, 91, 93–94 elite expertise at, 138–39 Europe’s fining of, 229 Face++ and, 90 global markets and, 137 grid approach and, 95 iFlyTek compared to, 105 innovation mentality at, 33 internet AI and, 107, 109 mobile payments and, 75 monopoly of search engines, 170 vs. other technology companies, 92–94 resistance to product modifications, 34 self-driving cars and, 131–32, 135 TensorFlow, 95, 228 top researchers at, 93 U.S. digital world dominance and, 2 See also DeepMind Google Brain, 45 Google China, 29–30, 31–32, 37–38, 41, 52, 57 Google Wallet, 75, 76 GPTs (general purpose technologies), 148–55 Grab, 137 great decoupling, 150, 170, 202 grid approach, 94–95 “Gross National Happiness,” 229 ground-up disruptions and job threats, 162–63, 164 Groupon, 23, 24, 45–46, 47–48, 49 Grubhub, 72 guaranteed minimum income (GMI), 206–7 guiding funds, 63, 64, 98–99 Guo Hong, 51–52, 56, 61–62, 63, 64, 68 H Hall of Ancestor Worship, 29–30 Hangzhou, China, 75, 94, 99 Hao Jingfang, 144–46, 168, 172, 230 Harari, Yuval N., 172 hardware innovation, 125–28 Hassabis, Demis, 141 Hawking, Stephen, 141 healthcare, 103, 113–15, 116, 195, 211–13.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or services like it, are used to send out pictures, one at a time, to thousands of workers who are asked to say what each contains, or to answer a question about some aspect of it (such as its color), or, as in the case of the Google Photos training set, simply to write a caption for it. Amazon calls these microtasks HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks). Each one asks a single question, perhaps even using multiple choice: “What color is the car in this picture?” “What animal is this?” The same HIT is sent to multiple workers; when many workers give the same answer, it is presumably correct. Each HIT may pay as little as a penny, using a distributed “gig economy” labor force that makes driving for Uber look like a good middle-class job. The role of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk in machine learning is a reminder of just how deeply humans and machines are intertwined in the development of next-generation applications. Mary Gray, a researcher at Microsoft who has studied the use of Mechanical Turk, noted to me that you can trace the history of AI research by looking at how the HITs used to build training data sets have changed over time.

By contrast, Uber and Lyft expose data to the workers, not just the managers, letting them know about the timing and location of demand, and letting them choose when and how much they want to work. This gives the worker agency, and uses market mechanisms to get more workers available at periods of peak demand or at times or places where capacity is not normally available. When you are drawing a map of new technologies, it’s essential to use the right starting point. Much analysis of the on-demand or “gig” economy has focused too narrowly on Silicon Valley without including the broader labor economy. Once you start drawing a map of “workers managed by algorithm” and “no guarantee of employment” you come up with a very different sense of the world. Why do we regulate labor? In an interview with Lauren Smiley, Tom Perez, secretary of labor during the Obama administration, highlighted that the most important issue is whether or not workers make a living wage.

But even without radically changing the game, businesses can gain enormous tactical advantage by better understanding how to improve the algorithms they use to manage their workers, and by providing workers with better tools to manage their time, connect with customers, and do all of the other things they do to deliver improved service. Algorithmic, market-based solutions to wages in on-demand labor markets provide a potentially interesting alternative to minimum-wage mandates as a way to increase worker incomes. Rather than cracking down on the new online gig economy businesses to make them more like twentieth-century businesses, regulators should be asking traditional low-wage employers to provide greater marketplace liquidity via data sharing. The skills required to work at McDonald’s and Burger King are not that dissimilar; ditto Starbucks and Peet’s, Walmart and Target, or the AT&T and Verizon stores. Letting workers swap shifts or work on demand at competing employers would obviously require some changes to management infrastructure, training, and data sharing between employers.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Uber discovered that some drivers were signing up with as many as ten smartphones, booking phantom trips during peak times on all of them simultaneously. 12 Cited in ‘Will crowdsourcing put an end to wage-based employment?’, L’Atelier, 29 September 2015. 13 Reported in Financial Times, 20 June 2015. 14 Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce, 2015. 15 L. Katz and A. Krueger, ‘The Rise of Alternative Work Arrangements and the ‘Gig’ Economy’, draft paper cited in R. Wile, ‘Harvard economist: All net U.S. job growth since 2005 has been in contracting gigs’, Fusion, 29 March 2016. 16 Financial Times, 22 September 2015. 17 In June 2015, the California Labor Commissioner ruled that Uber was an employer because it controlled pricing, tipping, driver ratings and type of car. Uber appealed and the case was due to go to jury trial in June 2016.

Marvit, ‘How crowdworkers became the ghosts in the digital machine’, The Nation, 5 February 2014. 29 A. Wood and B. Burchell, ‘Zero hours employment: A new temporality of capitalism?’, CritCom, 16 September 2015. 30 Standing, 2009, op. cit. 31 R. Susskind and D. Susskind, The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 32 E. Cadman, ‘Employers tap “gig” economy in search of freelancers’, Financial Times, 15 September 2015. 33 H. Ekbia and B. Nardi, ‘Inverse instrumentality: How technologies objectify patients and players’, in P. Leonardi et al., Materiality and Organising (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 157. 34 Cited in H. Ekbia and B. Nardi, ‘Heteromation and its (dis)contents: The invisible division of labour between humans and machines’, First Monday, 19 (6), June 2014. 35 S.


Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics and Life by Alan B. Krueger

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, bank run, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, butterfly effect, buy and hold, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, moral hazard, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, random walk, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Despite the image of musicians as young school dropouts with wild hairdos, as a group musicians are actually older and better educated than the workforce overall.4 The average working musician was forty-five years old in the latest data available—four years older than the average worker overall. Only 4 percent of musicians left school before completing high school, which is less than half the dropout rate of other workers. Fully half of musicians are four-year college graduates, compared with one-third of the workforce overall. The gig economy started with music. Not surprisingly, musicians are almost five times more likely to report that they are self-employed than non-musicians. In 2016, 44 percent of musicians were self-employed, while just 9 percent of other workers were their own boss. Like other freelancers, self-employed musicians have the freedom to perform their work however they please and to work for a variety of employers.

First, record companies have been under intense competitive pressure to reduce costs because piracy and file sharing have cut into revenues. Second, technology has made it easier for parts of music jobs to be outsourced and carried out remotely. And the proliferation of Uber-like online platforms that match musicians with gigs—such as GigTown.com, Gigmor.com, and ShowSlinger.com—is likely to propel freelance musical work in the twenty-first century. Musicians have long been at the vanguard of the gig economy, facing many of the same problems that gig workers face today: obtaining health insurance, saving for the future, paying down debt, planning for taxes, and recordkeeping. In 2013, before Obamacare established health insurance exchanges and provided income-based subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance, 53 percent of musicians lacked health insurance, which was triple the uninsured rate for the population as a whole.8 Self-employed workers as a whole saw a greater rise in health insurance coverage after Obamacare passed than other employees.


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Early experiments proved successful as hundreds of thousands of people donated their idle processing time to all kinds of worthy projects around the world, supporting projects like the Quake-Catcher Network, which looks for seismic activity, and SETI@home, which searches for extraterrestrial life out in the universe. By 2018, some clever entrepreneurs had figured out how to repurpose those networks for the gig economy v2.0. Rather than driving for Uber or Lyft, freelancers could install “gigware” to earn money for idle time. The latest gigware lets third-party businesses use our devices in exchange for credits or real money we can spend elsewhere. Like the early days of ride-sharing services, a lot of people left the traditional workforce to stake their claim in this new iteration of the gig economy. They quit their jobs and tried to scrape together a living simply by leasing out access to their devices. This has caused a significant strain on the power grid and on network providers, who couldn’t keep up with demand.


pages: 417 words: 97,577

The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, diversification, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, merger arbitrage, Metcalfe's law, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, passive investing, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, undersea cable, Vanguard fund, very high income, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Your weekly income and hours are unstable. You work on call or your work schedule is unknown in advance. You get paid in cash. You are in temporary employment. You do not have benefits. You have a weak voice or little bargaining power at work. Full-time, reliable work with benefits is becoming a relic of history. This is attributable to many interwoven factors like globalization, offshoring, the rise of the “gig economy,” and others. But understanding the factors does not change the fact that the number of temporary workers in the United States is at an all-time high.19 America has been creating more jobs, but most of these have been temporary. Temporary jobs are a normal part of the economy, but record numbers tell us something else is going on.20 Research conducted by economists Lawrence Katz at Harvard and Alan Krueger at Princeton shows that almost all of the 10 million jobs that were created since 2005 are temporary.21 The overall number of temp workers (including independent contractors, freelancers, and contract company workers) increased from 10.7% to 15.8%.

., 83 Cartels Chicago School perspective, 23 promotion, central bank rates (impact), 26f study, 25 Cartels: A Challenge to a Free World (Berge), 150 Castellammarese War, 21 CBS Corporation, market dominance, 133 CelebrityNetWorth, Google data theft, 89–90 Central Selling Organization, 24 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio, increase, 221f Chamberlin, Edward, 7 Chambers, Dustin, 179 Chemotherapy regulation, 167 usage, 178 Chicago School, 155–156 China, Big Data/Big Brother (relationship), 112 Chipotle, McDonald's release, 56 Christensen, Clayton, 55 Citigroup, market dominance, 127 Civil government, instituting, 191 Clayton Act of 1914, 7 Clayton Antitrust Act (1914), 144, 160, 209 Clemenceau, George, 233 Clifton, Daniel, 187 Clinton, Bill (reverse revolvers), 191 Clinton, Hillary, 189, 212 Coal Question, The, ( Jevons), 18 Cohn, Gary, 189 Collusion, impact, 32 Community Standards (Facebook), 92 Commuting zones, labor concentration (increase), 73f Companies growth phases, 52f lobbying, returns (comparison), 187f long-term returns, 204 platform companies, 97–98 self-disruption, failure, 55 synergies, 41 technology purchases, 106 Competition absence, 241 encouragement, patents (expiration), 246 Google, impact, 95 patents, impact, 175 promotion, patents/copyrights (impact), 246 reduction, mergers and acquisitions (impact), 12 restoration, Representative/Senator encouragement, 248 Competitors conflict, 31 reduction, mergers (prevention), 242 Composition, fallacy, 18 Computer operating systems, monopolies/local monopolies, 117 Concentrated industries, ranking, 33t Concrete, mergers (impact), 43 Confessions of the Pricing Man (Simon), 29 Conglomerates, purchase, 154 Connor, John, 23 Conrad, Jeremy, 54 Consumers, desires, 115 Consumer welfare, 158–159 Contract workers, hiring (fervor), 75–76 Copyrights, 246 Copyright Term Extension Act, 174 Corbyn, Jeremy (selection), 212 Corporate profits employee compensation, contrast, 223f increase, 65 Corporate trusts, control, 234 Costco workers, needs (understanding), 77 Counterfeits, impact, 102–103 Cox, Archibald, 157 CR4, 33 Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act (CREATES), 176 Creative destruction, process, 45 Credit reporting bureaus, oligopolies, 125 Credit Suisse, Global Wealth Report issuance, 218 study, 10 Crisis of Capitalism, A, (Posner), 156 Curry, Steph, 3 Curse of Bigness, The, (Brandeis), 237 Customer lock-in (reduction), rules (creation), 246 CVS Caremark, market dominance, 130 D Dairy Farmers of America, price fixing, 119 Dalio, Ray, 229 David, Larry, 89 DaVita, Fresenius (merger), 124 Dayen, David, 96 Dean Foods, price fixing, 118–119 De Beers Consolidated Mines (cartel), 24 Decartelization Branch, 151–152 Decartelization/deconcentration policy, 150–151 Decker, Ryan, 47 Decline of Competition, The, (Burns), 145 de Loecker, Jan, 41, 226 Dent, Robert, 52 Diapers.com, Amazon predation, 106 Dickens, Charles, 18 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 103 Digital platforms, scale, 91 Dimon, Jamie, 182 Dirlam, Jeff, 167 Disraeli, Benjamin, 240 Diversity, impact, 58–61 DNA damage, 178 Dodd-Frank Act 2010 Full Employment Act for Lawyers, Accountants, and Consultants, 182 impact, 181 passage, 184 Döttling, Robin, 56 Doubleclick, Google acquisition, 91, 118 “Double Irish” arrangement, 92–93 Dow Chemicals, DuPont (merger), 121 Dreyfus, market dominance, 133 Drugs prices, high level, 174 reformulation, 175 wholesalers, oligopolies, 131–132 Duisberg, Carl, 146–147 Duke, James Buchanan, 142 Duke, Mike, 16 Dunbar's Number, creation, 51 Duopolies, 15, 115–116, 122–125 Durant, Will, 231 Düsseldorf Agreement, 148 “Dutch Sandwich” arrangement, 92–93 E Echo Show (Amazon), 107 Economic dynamism, reduction, 37 Economic freedom, 143–144, 233, 238–239 Economic inequality, increase, 227–228 Economic model, adjustment, 41–42 Economies of scale, increase, 51 Economy advanced economies, markups (increase), 228f firms, role (decrease), 48f problems, Trump perspective, 213 Edison, Thomas, 67, 195 Eeckhout, Jan, 41, 226 Eisenhower, Dwight, 146, 148, 151 Ellenberg, Jordan, 214 Employees compensation, corporate profits (contrast), 223f perks, 75 Employers and Workmen Act, 240 Employment clauses, usage, 69 Ennis, Sean, 226 Entrepreneurship, decline, 46 Equifax, security breach, 81–82 Erhard, Ludwig, 153 Europe rebuilding, 153–154 ordoliberlism, 153 Evans, Benedict, 108 Evans, David, 106 Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), inexpensiveness, 203 Express Scripts, market dominance, 130 F Facebook church, Zuckerberg comparison, 113 Community Standards project, 92 creation, 117 Instant Articles, 102 lobbying efforts/expenses, 95–96 market dominance, 123–124 News Feed, impact, 99–100 news/information source, problems, 112–113 profitability/power, 99 Factory Act, 240 Fair Isaac's Corporations (FICO), credit-scoring formula, 125 Fast-food chains, employment clauses, 69 Federal Arbitration Act, 80, 82 Federal Express, duopoly, 3 Federal government Goldman Sachs, revolving door, 190f Monsanto, revolving door, 193f Federal Register, pages (number, increase), 181f Federal Reserve Act (1913), 209 Federal Trade Commission, 159, 163 creation, 144 Federation of British Industry, Düsseldorf Agreement, 148 Fidelity, market dominance, 135 Financial crisis (2007-2008), 25 Firms entry, reduction, 53f predatory pricing, punishment (laws), 244 role, decrease, 48f First American, market dominance, 135 Five Families, 22 Five Forces (Porter), 14–15 Fleming, Lee, 70–71 Forced arbitration, 79–81 Ford, Henry, 16 Foreign exchange traders, currency price fixing, 24 Foundem, 97 search problems, 87–88 Frankel, Jonathan, 107 Freight railroad, concentration, 119 Freireich, Emil, 176–177, 181 Friedman, Milton, 155, 179, 204, 233, 238 Funeral homes, monopolies/local monopolies, 121–122 Furman, Jason, 39 G Game theory, 26 Gates, Bill, 78 Geithner, Timothy, 190, 211 General Theory, The, (Keynes), 17 Germany German Decartelizing law (1947), 152 nationalist party, impact, 213 reconstruction, 151, 238 surrender, 151 Gerstner, Jr., Louis V., 50 Gibbons, Thomas, 137–138 Gibbons v. Ogden, 138 Gig economy, rise, 74 Gini coefficients, 220f Glasses, duopolies, 124–125 Global meat processing firms, ownership timeline (changes), 134f Global wealth pyramid, 218f Global Wealth Report (Credit Suisse), 218 “Goals of Antitrust Policy, The” (Bork), 157–158 Golden parachutes, usage, 192 Goldman Sachs, 191–192 federal government, revolving door, 189–190, 190f Vampire Squid of Wall Street, 5 Gonzaga, Pedro, 226 Google AdWords, 88 Apple, duopoly, 123 apps, sale (determination), 91–92 competition impact, 95 data theft, 89–90 duopoly, 4 information superhighway dominance, 108 lobbying efforts/expenses, 95–96 market dominance, 123–124 market position abuse, 90 monopoly, 39–40 motto, usage (cessation), 93 news/information source, problems, 112–113 product search, favoritism, 89 profitability/power, 99 protestors, 231 search dominance, 88, 107 technology, secrecy, 108 threat, 108 workers, color-coded caste system, 39–40 Gottesman, Sandy, 2 Grantham, Jeremy, 223 Graper, Mary, 176 Great Depression, 16–17, 78, 144–145, 182 Great Suppression, 84f Greenwald, Bruce, 179 Gros Michel bananas, loss, 59–60 Gross domestic product (GDP), corporate profit percentage, 222–223 Group purchasing organizations (GPOs), oligopolies, 130–131 Grullon, Gustavo, 8, 13, 47, 161, 163, 224 Gupta, Rajat, 14 Gutiérrez, Germán, 56 H Haldane, J.B.S., 49 Hale, Robert Lee, 92 Haltiwanger, John, 50 Hanauer, Nick, 231–232 Hansen, Alvin, 56 Hayek, Friedrich, 153, 171, 234, 238 Health expenditure, life expenditure (contrast), 132f Health insurance, oligopolies, 30–31 HealthTrust, market dominance, 130 Hedge fund managers, training, 15 Hell's Cartel (Jeffreys), 147 Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), 33, 243 Hierarchy of needs, 76f High-income inequality, 215 High speed Internet, monopolies/local monopolies, 116–117 Hitler, Adolf (accession), 148–149 H.J.


pages: 349 words: 98,868

Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason by William Davies

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, Colonization of Mars, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, credit crunch, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, Filter Bubble, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gig economy, housing crisis, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, post-industrial society, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Turing machine, Uber for X, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Among the thousands of tragic stories that make up America’s opiate epidemic are many young men who first took painkillers to allow them to cope with the physical demands of playing football, a sport they played because they saw it as their only path into college. On a smaller scale, Ireland has suffered a similar problem with the painkiller codeine. As the post-industrial economy develops, it is throwing more people back upon their own physical bodies as their last resort, working as cycle couriers or turning to sex work, in order to get by. The “gig economy,” in which digital platforms create ultraflexible low-wage labor markets, farming out small chunks of work by the hour, treats work as something that lacks any broader social meaning, beyond its market price. Amazon warehouses are managed with scant recognition of the difference between worker and machine, with toilet breaks being timed, and new wearable technology on the way that will steer every small bodily movement in the most efficient path possible.

A/B testing, 199 Acorn, 152 ad hominem attacks, 27, 124, 195 addiction, 83, 105, 116–17, 172–3, 186–7, 225 advertising, 14, 139–41, 143, 148, 178, 190, 192, 199, 219, 220 aerial bombing, 19, 125, 135, 138, 143, 180 Affectiva, 188 affective computing, 12, 141, 188 Agent Orange, 205 Alabama, United States, 154 alcoholism, 100, 115, 117 algorithms, 150, 169, 185, 188–9 Alsace, 90 alt-right, 15, 22, 50, 131, 174, 196, 209 alternative facts, 3 Amazon, 150, 173, 175, 185, 186, 187, 192, 199, 201 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 24 American Civil War (1861–5), 105, 142 American Pain Relief Society, 107 anaesthetics, 104, 142 Anderson, Benedict, 87 Anthropocene, 206, 213, 215, 216 antibiotics, 205 antitrust laws, 220 Appalachia, 90, 100 Apple, 156, 185, 187 Arab Spring (2011), 123 Arendt, Hannah, xiv, 19, 23, 26, 53, 219 Aristotle, 35, 95–6 arrogance, 39, 47, 50 artificial intelligence (AI), 12–13, 140–41, 183, 216–17 artificial video footage, 15 Ashby, Ross, 181 asymmetrical war, 146 atheism, 34, 35, 209 attention economy, 21 austerity, 100–101, 225 Australia, 103 Australian, 192 Austria, 14, 60, 128, 153–75 Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), 153–4, 159 authoritarian values, 92–4, 101–2, 108, 114, 118–19, 211–12 autocracy, 16, 20, 202 Babis, Andrej, 26 Bacon, Francis, 34, 35, 95, 97 Bank of England, 32, 33, 55, 64 Banks, Aaron, 26 Bannon, Steve, 21, 22, 60–61 Bayh–Dole Act (1980), 152 Beck Depression Inventory, 107 Berlusconi, Silvio, 202 Bernays, Edward, 14–15, 16, 143 “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (Freud), 110 Bezos, Jeff, 150, 173 Big Data, 185–93, 198–201 Big Government, 65 Big Science, 180 Bilbao, Spain, 84 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 127 Birmingham, West Midlands, 85 Black Lives Matter, 10, 225 Blackpool, Lancashire, 100 blind peer reviewing, 48, 139, 195 Blitz (1940–41), 119, 143, 180 blue sky research, 133 body politic, 92–119 Bologna, Italy, 96 bookkeeping, 47, 49, 54 Booth, Charles, 74 Boston, Massachusetts, 48 Boyle, Robert, 48–50, 51–2 BP oil spill (2010), 89 brainwashing, 178 Breitbart, 22, 174 Brexit (2016–), xiv, 23 and education, 85 and elites, 33, 50, 61 and inequality, 61, 77 and NHS, 93 and opinion polling, 80–81 as self-harm, 44, 146 and statistics, 61 Unite for Europe march, 23 Vote Leave, 50, 93 British Futures, 65 Brooks, Rosa, 216 bullying, 113 Bureau of Labor, 74 Bush, George Herbert Walker, 77 Bush, George Walker, 77, 136 cadaverous research, 96, 98 call-out culture, 195 Calvinism, 35 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 85 University, 84, 151 Cambridge Analytica, 175, 191, 196, 199 Cameron, David, 33, 73, 100 cancer, 105 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty), 74 capital punishment, 92, 118 car accidents, 112–13 cargo-cult science, 50 Carney, Mark, 33 cartography, 59 Case, Anne, 99–100, 102, 115 Catholicism, 34 Cato Institute, 158 Cavendish, William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, 34 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 3, 136, 151, 199 Center for Policy Studies, 164 chappe system, 129, 182 Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 34, 68, 73 Charlottesville attack (2017), 20 Chelsea, London, 100 Chevillet, Mark, 176 Chicago School, 160 China, 13, 15, 103, 145, 207 chloroform, 104 cholera, 130 Chongqing, China, 13 chronic pain, 102, 105, 106, 109 see also pain Churchill, Winston, 138 citizen science, 215, 216 civil rights movements, 21, 194 civilians, 43, 143, 204 von Clausewitz, Carl, 128–35, 141–7, 152 and defeat, 144–6 and emotion, 141–6, 197 and great leaders, 146–7, 156, 180–81 and intelligence, 134–5, 180–81 and Napoleon, 128–30, 133, 146–7 and soldiers, number of, 133–4 war, definition of, 130, 141, 193 climate change, 26, 50, 165, 205–7, 213–16 Climate Mobilization, 213–14 climate-gate (2009), 195 Clinton, Hillary, 27, 63, 77, 99, 197, 214 Clinton, William “Bill,” 77 coal mining, 90 cognitive behavioral therapy, 107 Cold War, 132, 133, 135–6, 137, 180, 182–4, 185, 223 and disruption, 204–5 intelligence agencies, 183 McCarthyism (1947–56), 137 nuclear weapons, 135, 180 scenting, 135–6 Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), 180, 182, 200 space race, 137 and telepathy, 177–8 colonialism, 59–61, 224 commercial intelligence, 152 conscription, 127 Conservative Party, 80, 154, 160, 163, 166 Constitution of Liberty, The (Hayek), 160 consumer culture, 90, 104, 139 contraceptive pill, 94 Conway, Kellyanne, 3, 5 coordination, 148 Corbyn, Jeremy, 5, 6, 65, 80, 81, 197, 221 corporal punishment, 92 creative class, 84, 151 Cromwell, Oliver, 57, 59, 73 crop failures, 56 Crutzen, Paul, 206 culture war, xvii Cummings, Dominic, 50 currency, 166, 168 cutting, 115 cyber warfare, xii, 42, 43, 123, 126, 200, 212 Czech Republic, 103 Daily Mail, ix Damasio, Antonio, 208 Darwin, Charles, 8, 140, 142, 157, 171, 174, 179 Dash, 187 data, 49, 55, 57–8, 135, 151, 185–93, 198–201 Dawkins, Richard, 207, 209 death, 37, 44–5, 66–7, 91–101 and authoritarian values, 92–4, 101–2, 211, 224 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 and Descartes, 37, 91 and Hobbes, 44–5, 67, 91, 98–9, 110, 151, 184 immortality, 149, 183–4, 224, 226 life expectancy, 62, 68–71, 72, 92, 100–101, 115, 224 suicide, 100, 101, 115 and Thiel, 149, 151 death penalty, 92, 118 Deaton, Angus, 99–100, 102, 115 DeepMind, 218 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 176, 178 Delingpole, James, 22 demagogues, 11, 145, 146, 207 Democratic Party, 77, 79, 85 Denmark, 34, 151 depression, 103, 107 derivatives, 168, 172 Descartes, René, xiii, 36–9, 57, 147 and body, 36–8, 91, 96–7, 98, 104 and doubt, 36–8, 39, 46, 52 and dualism, 36–8, 39, 86, 94, 131, 139–40, 179, 186, 223 and nature, 37, 38, 86, 203 and pain, 104, 105 Descartes’ Error (Damasio), 208 Devonshire, Earl of, see Cavendish, William digital divide, 184 direct democracy, 202 disempowerment, 20, 22, 106, 113–19 disruption, 18, 20, 146, 147, 151, 171, 175 dog whistle politics, 200 Donors Trust, 165 Dorling, Danny, 100 Downs Survey (1655), 57, 59, 73 doxing, 195 drone warfare, 43, 194 drug abuse, 43, 100, 105, 115–16, 131, 172–3 Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, 74 Dugan, Regina, 176–7 Dunkirk evacuation (1940), 119 e-democracy, 184 Echo, 187 ecocide, 205 Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (Mises), 154, 166 economics, 59, 153–75 Economist, 85, 99 education, 85, 90–91 electroencephalography (EEG), 140 Elizabethan era (1558–1603), 51 embodied knowledge, 162 emotion and advertising, 14 artificial intelligence, 12–13, 140–41 and crowd-based politics, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 21, 23–7 Darwin’s analysis, 8, 140 Descartes on, 94, 131 and experts, 53, 60, 64, 66, 90 fear, 11–12, 16–22, 34, 40–45, 52, 60, 142 Hobbes on, 39, 41 James’ analysis, 140 and markets, 168, 175 moral, 21 and nationalism, 71, 210 pain, 102–19 sentiment analysis, xiii, 12–13, 140, 188 and war, 124–6, 142 empathy, 5, 12, 65, 102, 104, 109, 112, 118, 177, 179, 197 engagement, 7, 219 England Bank of England founded (1694), 55 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 civil servants, 54 Civil War (1642–51), 33–4, 45, 53 Elizabethan era (1558–1603), 51 Great Fire of London (1666), 67 hospitals, 57 Irish War (1649–53), 59 national debt, 55 Parliament, 54, 55 plagues, 67–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 Royal Society, 48–52, 56, 68, 86, 208, 218 tax collection, 54 Treasury, 54 see also United Kingdom English Defense League, ix entrepreneurship, 149, 156, 162 environment, 21, 26, 50, 61, 86, 165, 204–7, 213–16 climate change, 26, 50, 165, 205–7, 213–16 flying insects, decline of, 205, 215 Environmental Protection Agency, 23 ether, 104 European Commission, 60 European Space Agency, 175 European Union (EU), xiv, 22, 60 Brexit (2016–), see under Brexit and elites, 60, 145, 202 euro, 60, 78 Greek bailout (2015), 31 immigration, 60 and nationalism, 60, 145, 146 quantitative easing, 31 refugee crisis (2015–), 60, 225 Unite for Europe march (2017), 23 Exeter, Devon, 85 experts and crowd-based politics, 5, 6, 23, 25, 27 Hayek on, 162–4, 170 and representative democracy, 7 and statistics, 62–91 and technocracy, 53–61, 78, 87, 89, 90 trust in, 25–33, 63–4, 66, 74–5, 77–9, 170, 202 violence of, 59–61 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal, The (Darwin), 8, 140 Exxon, 165 Facebook, xvi, 15, 201 advertising, 190, 192, 199, 219, 220 data mining, 49, 185, 189, 190, 191, 192, 198, 219 and dog whistle politics, 200 and emotional artificial intelligence, 140 as engagement machine, 219 and fake news, 199 and haptics, 176, 182 and oligarchy, 174 and psychological profiling, 124 and Russia, 199 and sentiment analysis, 188 and telepathy, 176–8, 181, 185, 186 and Thiel, 149, 150 and unity, 197–8 weaponization of, 18 facial recognition, 13, 188–9 failed states, 42 fake news, 8, 15, 199 Farage, Nigel, 65 fascism, 154, 203, 209 fear, 11–12, 16–22, 34, 40–45, 52, 60, 142 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 137 Federal Reserve, 33 feeling, definition of, xii feminism, 66, 194 Fifth Amendment, 44 fight or flight, 111, 114 Financial Times, 15 first past the post, 13 First World War, see World War I Fitbit, 187 fixed currency exchange rates, 166 Florida, Richard, 84 flu, 67, 191 flying insects, 205, 215 France censuses, 66, 73 conscription introduced (1793), 127 Front National, 27, 61, 79, 87, 92 Hobbes in (1640–51), 33–4, 41–2 Le Bon’s crowd psychology, 8–12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 24, 25, 38 life expectancy, 101 Napoleonic Wars (1803–15), see Napoleonic Wars Paris climate accord (2015), 205, 207 Paris Commune (1871), 8 Prussian War (1870–71), 8, 142 Revolution (1789–99), xv, 71, 126–9, 141, 142, 144, 204 statistics agency established (1800), 72 unemployment, 83 Franklin, Benjamin, 66 free markets, 26, 79, 84, 88, 154–75 free speech, 22, 113, 194, 208, 209, 224 free will, 16 Freud, Sigmund, 9, 14, 44, 107, 109–10, 111, 112, 114, 139 Friedman, Milton, 160, 163, 166 Front National, 27, 61, 79, 87, 92, 101–2 full spectrum warfare, 43 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 140 futurists, 168 Galen, 95–6 Galilei, Galileo, 35 gambling, 116–17 game theory, 132 gaming, 193–4 Gandhi, Mohandas, 224 gate control theory, 106 Gates, Sylvester James “Jim,” 24 Gavotti, Giulio, 143 geek humor, 193 Gehry, Frank, 84 Geller, Uri, 178 geometry, 35, 49, 57, 59, 203 Gerasimov, Valery, 123, 125, 126, 130 Germany, 34, 72, 137, 205, 215 gig economy, 173 global financial crisis (2007–9), 5, 29–32, 53, 218 austerity, 100–101 bailouts, 29–32, 40, 42 and gross domestic product (GDP), 76 as “heart attack,” 57 and Obama administration, 158 and quantitative easing, 31–2, 222 and securitization of loans, 218–19 and statistics, 53, 65 and suicide, 101 and unemployment, 82 globalization, 21, 78, 84, 145, 146 Gonzales, Alberto, 136 Google, xvi, 174, 182, 185, 186, 191, 192 DeepMind, 218 Maps, 182 Transparency Project, 198 Government Accountability Office, 29 Graunt, John, 67–9, 73, 75, 79–80, 81, 85, 89, 127, 167 Great Fire of London (1666), 67 great leaders, 146–8 Great Recession (2007–13), 76, 82, 101 Greece, 5, 31, 101 Greenpeace, 10 Grenfell Tower fire (2017), 10 Grillo, Beppe, 26 gross domestic product (GDP), 62, 65, 71, 75–9, 82, 87, 138 guerrillas, 128, 146, 194, 196 Haldane, Andrew, 32 haptics, 176, 182 Harvey, William, 34, 35, 38, 57, 96, 97 hate speech, 42 von Hayek, Friedrich, 159–73, 219 health, 92–119, 224 hedge funds, 173, 174 hedonism, 70, 224 helicopter money, 222 Heritage Foundation, 164, 214 heroin, 105, 117 heroism and disruption, 18, 146 and genius, 218 and Hobbes, 44, 151 and Napoleonic Wars, 87, 127, 142 and nationalism, 87, 119, 210 and pain, 212 and protection, 202–3 and technocracy, 101 and technology, 127 Heyer, Heather, 20 Hiroshima atomic bombing (1945), 206 Hobbes, Thomas, xiii, xvi, 33–6, 38–45, 67, 147 on arrogance, 39, 47, 50, 125 and body, 96, 98–9 and Boyle, 49, 50, 51 on civil society, 42, 119 and death, 44–5, 67, 69–70, 91, 98–9, 110, 151, 184 on equality, 89 on fear, 40–45, 52, 67, 125 France, exile in (1640–51), 33–4, 41 on geometry, 35, 38, 49, 56, 57 and heroism, 44, 151 on language, 38–9 natural philosophy, 35–6 and nature, 38, 50 and Petty, 56, 57, 58 on promises, 39–42, 45, 148, 217–18 and Royal Society, 49, 50, 51 on senses, 38, 49, 147 and sovereign/state, 40–45, 46, 52, 53, 54, 60, 67, 73, 126, 166, 217, 220 on “state of nature,” 40, 133, 206, 217 war and peace, separation of, 40–45, 54, 60, 73, 125–6, 131, 201, 212 Hobsbawm, Eric, 87, 147 Hochschild, Arlie Russell, 221 holistic remedies, 95, 97 Holland, see under Netherlands homeopathy, 95 Homer, xiv Hungary, 20, 60, 87, 146 hysteria, 139 IBM, 179 identity politics, 208, 209 Iglesias Turrión, Pablo, 5 imagined communities, 87 immigration, 60, 63, 65, 79, 87, 145 immortality, 149, 183–4, 224 in-jokes, 193 individual autonomy, 16 Industrial Revolution, 133, 206 inequality, 59, 61, 62, 76, 77, 83, 85, 88–90 inflation, 62, 76, 78, 82 infographics, 75 information theory, 147 information war, 43, 196 insurance, 59 intellectual property, 150 intelligence, 132–9 intensity, 79–83 International Association for the Study of Pain, 106 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 64, 78 Internet, 184–201, 219 IP addresses, 193 Iraq War (2003–11), 74, 132 Ireland, 57, 73 Irish Republican Army (IRA), 43 “Is This How You Feel?


pages: 344 words: 104,077

Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together by Thomas W. Malone

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, clean water, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, gig economy, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Rulifson, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Almost all these tasks can be done remotely from anywhere in the world. Since many of these jobs don’t require full-time work for a single customer, many people will do them as independent contractors. In a 1997 Harvard Business Review article, my colleague Rob Laubacher and I coined the term e-lancers—short for “electronically connected freelancers”—to describe these workers.12 Today many people use the term gig economy to describe essentially the same phenomenon. Many of the tasks so far in the gig economy are physical tasks, like driving for Uber, but almost all of them rely on electronic matching of workers to jobs. And I think cheap communication will create many more opportunities for e-lancers to do whatever work they do best from anywhere in the world. People Will Do Things Just Because We Want People to Do Them Sometimes the best way to get insight into a phenomenon is to imagine its most extreme form.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Based on a ±2 per cent confidence interval, this basically is a statistical certainty. 9 “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” Pew Research Center, 6 August 2014. 10 http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/24/us-energy-capacity-grew-an-astounding-418-from-2010-2014/ 11 http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2014/05/29/90551/rooftop-solar-adoption-in-emerging-residential-markets/ 12 A prosumer is both a producer and consumer. 13 Google Green 14 See GreenTechMedia.com analysis, http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Utility-Scale-Solar-Reaches-Cost-Parity-With-Natural-Gas-Throughout-America. 15 Alissa Walker, “Tesla’s Gigafactory isn’t Big Enough to Make Its Preordered Batteries,” Gizmodo, 8 May 2015. 16 NBAD, University of Cambridge and PwC, “Financing the Future of Energy,” PV Magazine, 2 March 2015. 17 “Enter the entrepreneurs,” Mintel, 19 November 2014. 18 Cornerstone OnDemand Survey, November 2014. 19 “Generation Y and the Gigging Economy,” Elance, January 2014. 20 Check out https://workfrom.co/. 21 For more on work patterns throughout history, go to https://eh.net/encyclopedia/hours-of-work-in-u-s-history/. 22 “Solving the Mystery of Gen Y Job Hoppers,” Business News Daily, 22 August 2014. 23 Pew Research 2014 24 For more on Jordan Greenhall, go to http://reinventors.net/content/jordan-greenhall/. 25 Statistics taken from http://blog.autismspeaks.org/2010/10/22/got-questions-answers-to-your-questions-from-the-autism-speaks%E2%80%99-science-staff-2/. 26 See www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2013/01/average_age_of_members_of_u_s_congress_are_our_senators_and_representatives.html. 27 “The 113th congress is historically good at not passing bills,” Washington Post, 9 July 2014.

You’ve probably never thought of Uber as an acquirer of small business bank accounts, but if you’re an Uber driver and Uber can give you a debit card that enables you to get paid—then why would you go to a bank branch to open an account instead? It also means that as an entrepreneur bank account the next obvious move is to design day-to-day banking into Uber’s app instead of standing alone as a typical bank account or mobile banking app. For the millions of permalancers or gigging economy workers, it’s highly likely that the first time a freelancer opens a bank account will be directly in response to a new gig or job offer—if that employer (like Uber or Airbnb) offers you a bank account as part of the sign-up process, why would you stop signing up for Uber, drive to a branch and sign a piece of paper? Uber is also offering car leases to its drivers,2 allowing drivers with no vehicle to sign up and get car financing backed by demand from Uber.


pages: 360 words: 113,429

Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence by Rachel Sherman

American ideology, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, financial independence, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, mental accounting, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

Since the Reagan era of the 1980s, these trends, plus neoliberalism, globalization, financialization, technological innovation, and the continued decline of both manufacturing jobs and union strength, have given rise to an economy based primarily on knowledge and services. Employers are less committed to workers than they were in the past, and vice versa. Concomitant with these economic changes, the welfare state has lost power and the social safety net has weakened. Tax policy has increasingly favored the wealthy. Most recently, the “gig” economy, based on short-term or freelance work, has emerged. Although some analysts laud such arrangements for their flexibility, these shifts have generated greater economic and occupational insecurity for many people.8 One of the most significant consequences of these transformations has been a dramatic increase in economic inequality in the United States since the 1970s, giving rise to what some have called “The New Gilded Age.”9 The benefits of economic growth have gone to the richest Americans—the top .01 percent, or the top 1 percent of the 1 percent—as CEO compensation and financial returns have skyrocketed.10 Americans without college degrees have seen their incomes stagnate since the 1970s.

Scott, 8, 9 Franklin, Ben, 260n17 frugality (financial prudence), 60, 97–101, 151–52, 170 Gaztambide-Fernández, Rubén, 213 gender: and control of marital finances, 158, 180–81, 183–85, 189; cost of “femininity,” 111–13; division of labor and, 17, 159–63, 180, 190–96; duel-earner couples and gender roles, 190–92; “giving back” as gendered activity, 78, 125–26, 136–40; of inheritors, 160, 180, 183–85, 273n16; male consumption of sexual and embedded capital, 261n28; married couples and traditional roles, 159–63, 180–81, 183–84, 189, 191–92, 194–95; same-sex marriages and gender roles, 88, 189; spending as gendered activity, 99–101, 170; upper-class and subordination of women, 12, 20; and value of work, 24, 61, 88, 157, 159 “gig” economy, 6 giving back: activism and, 140–42, 151, 152; as cultural value, 123–24; familial responsibilities as priority, 133, 139, 145, 149, 151; as gendered, 78, 125–26, 136–40; “giving it all away,” 151, 152–53; identity and, 78, 124–26; inheritors and, 139–40, 152–53; limits to, 135, 143–46, 151–54; moral goodness and, 20, 23, 230–31; as obligation, 23, 76–77, 137–40, 150–51; parental encouragement of, 140, 211–13; as public acknowledgement of privilege, 124–26; and self-deprivation, 153–54; and structural inequality, 25, 122–26, 140–41, 149–54; as visible display of wealth, 124–25, 142–43, 153.


pages: 405 words: 112,470

Together by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.

Airbnb, call centre, cognitive bias, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, gig economy, income inequality, index card, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, stem cell, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft

This organizational principle fosters a strong local, neighborhood connection that’s especially valuable in San Francisco, a city where increasing gentrification and displacement threaten to further isolate older adults. When I spoke with Kate Hoepke, the executive director of San Francisco Village, she told me that their programs are specifically aimed at helping members “navigate today’s changing cultural and economic San Francisco” so that they stay engaged and involved not just with one another but also with the city around them. Programs include mentorship exchanges with high school students and gig economy classes. Many are organized and hosted by the members themselves, which taps into the culture of reciprocity that is a core part of the Village ethos. “As a member,” Kate told me, “one may ask and give help. Reciprocity means that you are depending on others to age in place. That sense of collective need is part of what fuels social connection at the San Francisco Village.” At seventy-one, Judy Jacobs has been a member of San Francisco Village for several years now.

Everyone felt more valued after seeing their colleagues’ genuine reactions to their stories. Team members who had traditionally been quiet during discussions began speaking up. They appeared less stressed at work. And most of them told me how much more connected they felt to their colleagues and to the mission they served. In many companies, however, individualism dominates despite the fact that most work enterprise requires collective effort. The gig economy has doubled down on that individualistic thrust, as a growing number of people work alone as ride-share drivers, freelance consultants, and on-demand assistants. Meanwhile, the growing trend toward automation further threatens to undermine the human relationships that make work socially as well as economically rewarding. All of this is contributing to workplace alienation and loneliness. Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace”9 report revealed that just four in ten US employees strongly agree that their supervisor or someone at work seems to care about them as a person.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

There have been guerrilla actions against red light cameras and speed cameras in the United States as well, and they seem to express political discontent more than simple vandalism. On the other side of the Channel, the mass protests of the London taxi drivers both expressed and contributed to the Brexit mood. This was a fight for economic sovereignty by highly trained professionals against the threat posed by foreign ride-hailing firms that rely on map software, U.S. military satellites, and the subsistence drivers of the gig economy. Essentially, Uber created a system of labor arbitrage to sidestep and nullify local control. The protests of the Germans against a proposed speed limit on the autobahn explicitly referenced the Yellow Vests, in a rare expression of French-German solidarity, and gave rise to a slogan adopted not just by the car lobby, but by dissident political parties: “Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger!” which means “Freedom to drive for free citizens!”

Most of these contests have not yet been recognized by you and me, but you can be sure that as you read this, they are being identified by the Blob that seeks to claim every nook and cranny of human experience as raw material to be datafied and turned to its own profit. What this amounts to is a concentration of wealth, a centralization of knowledge, and an atrophy of our native skills to do things for ourselves. However one comes down on a contest such as that between the highly professional taxi savants and the indifferent drivers of the gig economy; between consumer convenience and a living wage; between waiting an extra five minutes to hail a cab versus spending an extra ten minutes in traffic because the streets are flooded with empty Ubers, shouldn’t these questions be decided by us, through democratic contest and market forces? That is not at all what is happening. It is more like colonial conquest, this new and very unilateral form of political economy.


pages: 463 words: 115,103

Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

By comparison, the GMNs look at themselves and see rigid job definitions, turf wars, [and] a command level that got there over time and is out of touch with the latest skills and technology. Their middle-rank employees are risk averse. Their career is built on long-term progress up a professional hierarchy rather than the success of the immediate mission. The new business structure consists of three layers: elite core full-time employees; contingent professionals; and contingent service staff, cleaners, security, and so on, many in the gig economy. The core of the business is the elite talent who are trusted with the “secret sauce”: the secret ingredients behind competitive advantage. The elite are considered exceptionally talented. The only ones clever enough to create new value. Logic suggests that these are the only people the firm needs to directly motivate and retain. Beneath that elite there will still be a lot of complex technical and professional work that requires human input but can be brought in at standard rates as needed from the external contingent labor market.

The proportion of people in conventional full-time employment at 63 percent has hardly budged at all in the past twenty years in the United Kingdom28 despite a big rise in self-employment, and average job tenure remains around nine years, where it has been for several decades.29 And the numbers in nonstandard, nonpermanent employment have also held steady: only 2.4 percent of the workforce in the United Kingdom in 2018 were on zero-hours contracts, and most of them were content with the arrangement.30 In the United States the so-called gig economy, in which short-term freelance work is accessed through online marketplaces, is only about 1 percent of total employment.31 In 2018 the employment rate was at record highs in Britain and Germany and twenty-two other OECD countries.32 And the Internet has made job “matching” easier and cheaper for both employers and employees. High minimum wages in many European countries, which have partly replaced the power of organized labor, are also reducing the number of low-paid workers in some European countries; in the United Kingdom the proportion has fallen from 21 to 17 percent since 2015.33 Here is Francis Green, a leading British labor market economist: “In the affluent economies of the industrialized world, life at work in the early twenty-first century has evolved in a curious and intriguing way.


pages: 138 words: 40,525

This Is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook by Extinction Rebellion

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, feminist movement, full employment, gig economy, global pandemic, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, mass immigration, Peter Thiel, place-making, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, Sam Altman, smart grid, supply-chain management, the scientific method, union organizing, urban sprawl, wealth creators

Asking these sorts of questions, while philosophically entertaining, is a poor substitute for wrestling with the real moral quandaries associated with unbridled technological development in the name of corporate capitalism. Digital platforms have turned an already exploitative and extractive marketplace (think Walmart) into an even more dehumanizing successor (think Amazon). Most of us became aware of these downsides in the form of automated jobs, the gig economy and the demise of local retail. But the more devastating impacts of pedal-to-the-metal digital capitalism fall on the environment and the global poor. The manufacture of some of our computers and smartphones still uses networks of slave labour. These practices are so deeply entrenched that a company called Fairphone, founded from the ground up to make and market ethical phones, learned it was impossible.


pages: 497 words: 123,778

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, basic income, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Quoted in Mayhill Fowler, “Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter,” Huffington Post, November 17, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mayhill-fowler/obama-no-surprise-that-ha_b_96188.html. 65. For a good overview, see Valerio De Stefano, “The Rise of the ‘Just-in-Time Workforce’: On-Demand Work, Crowdwork, and Labor Protection in the ‘Gig-Economy,’” Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 37, no. 3 (2016): 471–503. Note that even robust political approaches to the regulation of the gig economy, like a recent speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren that was widely portrayed as hostile to Uber and Lyft, seek to regulate rather than to fight these new industries. Elizabeth Warren, “Strengthening the Basic Bargain for Workers in the Modern Economy,” Remarks, New American Annual Conference, May 19, 2016, https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2016-5-19_Warren_New_America_Remarks.pdf. 9.


pages: 492 words: 141,544

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

artificial general intelligence, basic income, blockchain, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, gig economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, megacity, precariat, Schrödinger's Cat, seigniorage, strong AI, Turing machine, universal basic income, zero-sum game

Lots of people are quoting Mao again, and not just baizuo, white leftists that means, meaning people like you from the West telling us what to do.” “I never did that.” She laughed. “I should hope not, you know so little! But that doesn’t always stop people.” “So they’re organizing?” “Yes. But offline. It’s not a netizen thing. The netizens are mostly urban youth, content to live in their wrists and get by in the gig economy. They’re not working-class, they’re the hollowed-out middle class. Often very nationalistic. They’ve taken the Party line, and they don’t see how much they have in common with the migrants. They’re the precariat, do you know that word? No? Everyone’s precarious now, you should know that word. You’re the precariat. For us here, it’s the withouts. The two withouts, the three withouts, there are all kinds of variations on the withouts, but the main without is a hukou registration where you actually work.

The leadership had probably overreacted to events elsewhere in the world, in particular the ongoing collapse of the Soviet empire. Seeing the trouble in Moscow they had panicked in Beijing, and so a number of idealistic protesters had died. Now he was caught in a crowd of such people. Workers and urban precariat, the three withouts and the two maybe withouts, some exploited by their hukou status, some by the gig economy, some simply unemployed. The so-called billion, converging on Beijing to support the rule of law, but also, Ta Shu thought, just a decent living. The return of the iron rice bowl, or maybe even the whole work unit system, which had given several generations some stability in China’s constantly shifting economy. Around Ta Shu people were energetically shouting. There was no way to be sure what had caused all these people to come out.


pages: 462 words: 129,022

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, greed is good, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, late fees, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, two-sided market, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working-age population

See James Feigenbaum, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, and Vanessa Williamson, “From the Bargaining Table to the Ballot Box: Political Effects of Right to Work Laws” (NBER Working Paper 24259, 2017). Space limitations make it impossible to spell out the whole agenda for restoring workers’ market and political power—besides reversing the laws that have been designed to undermine it. Changes in the economy, the growth of the service sector, the diminution of manufacturing, the development of the gig economy, have all increased these challenges. See Brishen Rogers and Kate Andrias, Rebuilding Worker Voice in Today’s Economy (Roosevelt Institute, 2018); and Kate Andrias, “The New Labor Law,” Yale Law Journal 126, no. 1 (Oct. 2016). 61.For a discussion of the role of unions in wage determination, see Henry S. Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko, and Suresh Naidu, “Unions and Inequality Over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data” (NBER Working Paper No. 24587, 2018). 62.See John Kenneth Galbraith, American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1952).

But this mismatch hasn’t been the key feature in recent years; if it were, wages of skilled workers would be rising much more rapidly than they have been. 12.I say nasty politics, because when the Republicans saw the opportunity to help their own party and those rich corporations and billionaires who supported them, they threw aside all ideological commitments to balanced budgets, commitments that had seemingly prevented them from supporting the fiscal policies that would have allowed us to more quickly emerge from the Great Recession. 13.There was a trade-off: a short-term increase in the demand for labor as a result of the increased investment, and a longer-term decrease as machines replaced workers. The lower interest rates also reduced consumption of those elderly dependent on interest from government bonds. 14.By the same token, changes in the structure of the labor market—the gig economy—may result in jobs that are insecure and without good benefits. 15.In many of these sectors, wages are low because the jobs were traditionally gendered, and there was systematic wage discrimination against women. 16.The defenders of Big Tech’s use of Big Data also argue that it allows them to steer individuals to products that better meet their needs. Putting aside the Big Brother aspects of this “steering,” it should be clear that the motive is not to make individuals happier but to increase Big Tech’s profits and that of the companies that advertise on their sites.


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

Indeed, the company was at the forefront of the huge hike in executive pay from the 1980s onward. By fomenting constant, ruthless competition within the firm and rewarding those who took big risks for big payoffs, Welch did more than build the sorts of hidden debt bombs that went off so famously during the subprime crisis. He was also instrumental in ending GE’s tradition of secure lifetime employment and creating what might be called the “gig economy,” in which firms could get rid of anyone, even their top people, at any time. Every employee became, in essence, a temp. This again was a shift in which business had come to mirror finance, where service tenures for employees had always been lower (and paydays bigger, as part of the high-risk, high-reward model that worked for the few but not for the many). Tenures at GE and most of the rest of the Fortune 500 companies decreased dramatically from the 1980s onward, a change that Welch lauded.

What’s more, the number of people with access to plans may actually decline in the future, given current labor trends. Many small and mid-size businesses that are creating the majority of new jobs can’t afford to offer retirement benefits, and most freelancers as well as part-time workers at companies of all sizes usually don’t qualify. Yet those are exactly the groups that are growing in number, as the American workforce becomes a “gig” economy in which more and more people work on contract, and often without benefits. The 401(k) system itself may be flawed, but any vehicle for retirement savings is better than none. PENSIONERS VERSUS WALL STREET The failed experiment that is our 401(k) system is just one part of the retirement crisis; the other is the beleaguered defined-benefit pension system (in which individuals retire with a fixed monthly benefit) that serves millions of workers.


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The same phenomenon takes place on the stock market, where ultra-fast trading algorithms spur unprecedented momentum in certain shares, creating massive surpluses of capital in the biggest digital companies and sudden, disastrous collapses of their would-be competitors. Meanwhile, automation and extractive platforms combine to disadvantage anyone who still works for a living, turning what used to be lifelong careers into the temp jobs of a gig economy. These frictionless, self-reinforcing loops create a “winner takes all” landscape that punishes the middle class, the small business, and the sustainable players. The only ones who can survive are artificially inflated companies, who use their ballooning share prices to purchase the also-rans. Scale is everything. This sensibility trickles down to all of us, making us feel like our careers and lives matter only if we’ve become famous, earned a million views, or done something, even something destructive, “at scale.”


Not Working by Blanchflower, David G.

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clapham omnibus, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, job satisfaction, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Own Your Own Home, p-value, Panamax, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, quantitative easing, rent control, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, urban planning, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

For example, the increase in self-employment in the UK has been associated with greater labor market flexibility, but the increasing share of the selfemployed in the UK workforce has been on a steady upward trend during the first two decades of this century. This trend was not affected by the recession. Therefore, unless there was a marked change in the nature, rather than the volume, of self-employment around the time of the recession, it is difficult to link the sudden drop in wage settlements to the evolution of self-employment. The gig economy is a phenomenon that has been developing for a couple of decades at least. In addition, union representation in the private sector in advanced countries has been declining steadily for decades. The main reason that real wages haven’t risen is presumably that labor productivity has also been flat. There are obviously a number of deep factors driving the labor productivity puzzle, but we have to accept that real wages and labor productivity are closely linked.

Other advanced countries don’t use mass incarceration and don’t prevent ex-prisoners from working after their sentences are completed; they have figured out that rehabilitation works. In terms of GDP, Bucknor and Barber calculate that the population of former prisoners and people with felony convictions led to a loss of $78–87 billion in GDP in 2014. Holy smokes! This is a major difference compared to other advanced countries, which have been more willing to wipe the slate clean after usually shorter prison spells. The Gig Economy and Zero-Hours Contracts Also of interest is the very different trend in the UK and the United States in their self-employment rates.25 The OECD defines self-employment as the employment of employers, workers who work for themselves, members of producers’ cooperatives, and unpaid family workers. The latter are unpaid in the sense that they lack a formal contract to receive a fixed amount of income at regular intervals, but they share in the income generated by the enterprise.


The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

“We chose to compete,” Kalanick wrote in a blog post.3 And compete Uber did, and fiercely so. Its new business model was UberX, which adopted Lyft’s model and enrolled nonprofessional drivers who could work as little or as much as they wanted. They would be contractors, not employees. In other words, it’s a BYOC model—Bring Your Own Car. Uber drivers, 60 percent of whom have other jobs, have become prime examples for what became known as the “gig economy.” Both Uber and Lyft also rolled out modern versions of carpooling services that match up a rider with another rider in close proximity headed to nearby destinations. Uber and Lyft rolled forward, opening in city after city. Customers, initially many of them millennials, were quickly won over. In its quest to expand, Uber went to war with local taxicab drivers and owners and transportation regulators, all of whom opposed it as an unregulated taxi company.

., 47 Gates, Bill, 315, 385–86 Gates, Robert, 237–38 Gaza, 253 Gazprom, 76, 80, 86, 89, 105, 107–8, 109, 125 Geely, 338 General Motors, 171, 329, 333–34, 369 Georges-Picot, François, 194–95, 196–98, 201–2 Georgia (country), 82 Germany and “clean diesel,” 336 economic growth before World War I, 132 and energy security issues in Europe, 86–88 and energy transition challenges, xix and global order after First World War, 200 and Iranian nuclear ambitions, 223, 227 and Khashoggi affair, 305–6 and Nord Stream 2 pipeline, 102, 104–5, 107–8 and push for renewable energy sources, 395–96, 400–401 and Russia’s “pivot to the east,” 117 and Syrian refugees, 248 and the Thucydides Trap, 131, 154 and U.S.–China trade war, 175 Ghawar oil field, 24, 241 gig economy, 361 globalization, 56, 188, 314–15, 423–24 global oil market stresses, 272–278, 279–83, 284–87, 288–90, 426 Global Times, 168 Google, 350–53, 357, 364, 368–69 Gorbachev, Mikhail, 73–74, 76 Gore, Al, 121, 379–80 GPS technology, 348, 353–54 Grand Challenge, 348–52 Grand Mosque attack, 261–63, 296 Great Depression, 4 Great Recession, 27 Greece, 184, 257 Green, Logan, 360 Green, Martin, 395, 397 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), 47, 383–84, 411–12.


pages: 217 words: 63,287

The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal

We can’t stop the massive disruptive forces of social and economic transformation, but we can learn to surf them. What is more, we can start to think, act and build for what is beyond the turbulence. There are many ways the future can go, and how we act today is what will shape it. At one end of the scale is a dystopian vision in which platform businesses will create a new feudal class, with people having to do more and more for less. In which the burgeoning ‘gig economy’ becomes a rush to the bottom, creating a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is fighting for an increasingly small piece of the pie. Where big data means we are snooped on, artificial intelligence second-guesses our every move, where power and wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few, and where governments become more and more authoritarian. At the other end of the scale, though, is a very different possibility – and the reason I set out to write this book.


pages: 218 words: 62,889

Sabotage: The Financial System's Nasty Business by Anastasia Nesvetailova, Ronen Palan

algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, Black-Scholes formula, blockchain, Blythe Masters, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business process, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ross Ulbricht, shareholder value, short selling, smart contracts, sovereign wealth fund, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail

Litecoin, the second-most-popular cryptocurrency preferred by Russians, is now accepted by nearly one-third of all dark-web vendors.17 The industry, of course, rejects any such claims. It gets worse. In a world where anyone can create money, crime groups have an interest in launching their own money transmission services and popularizing them as legitimate ‘fintech’ alternatives. As more and more jobs and services go off the official economic radar into the underground of the ‘gig’ economy, exchanging their skills for money, the more bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer a convenient way around the traditional income reporting demanded of employees and independent contractors.18 The authorities have taken steps to try and regulate the crypto world. The American IRS reacted to the tax implication of bitcoin use by treating it not as mere currency but as a capital asset, subject to rules governing stock and barter transactions when exchanged for dollars.


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Jobs have been created, but not all jobs are created equal, and quite a few do not provide the opportunity to work as many hours as people would like or need. A declining fraction of jobs offer full benefits and a degree of security; many others offer (at most) flexibility instead of health care and employment guarantees. The latter kind of job features prominently in the “gig” economy.* Whatever their other merits, gigs and temp jobs do not offer the stability and benefits of conventional employment, and only some participants really prefer these sorts of jobs. The gig economy and other “alternative work arrangements” accounted for quite a lot of recent job growth, probably at least a third of all jobs created, and per preliminary findings by Harvard’s Lawrence Katz and Princeton’s Alan Krueger, perhaps “all of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005–2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements” (emphasis original; in a recent update, the authors revised “all” to a no-less-unsettling “94 percent”).17 And this returns us to Downton Abbey—before World War I, huge numbers of English were employed “in service,” thanks to social inertia, inequality, and technological change.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

It suggests exchanges that do not involve money, or that are at least motivated by generosity, by a desire to give or to help. “Economy” suggests market transactions—the self-interested exchange of money for goods or services. There has been a lot of debate about whether “sharing economy” is the right name to use to describe this new wave of businesses, and a raft of other names have been tried out—collaborative consumption, the mesh economy, peer-to-peer platforms, the gig economy, concierge services, or, increasingly, the “on-demand economy.” There is no doubt that the word “sharing” has been stretched beyond reasonable limits as the “sharing economy” has grown and changed, but we still need a name when we talk about the phenomenon. While it may not last more than another year or so, “sharing economy” is the name used right now in 2015. I will use the name, but to avoid repeated use of the word “alleged” or annoyingly frequent scare quotes I will capitalize it as the Sharing Economy.2 Definitions don’t take us very far when talking about something as fluid and rapidly changing as the Sharing Economy, but we still need to draw some boundaries around the topic to talk about it coherently.


pages: 254 words: 68,133

The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory by Andrew J. Bacevich

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, gig economy, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Occupy movement, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, price stability, Project for a New American Century, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, WikiLeaks

But this much is clear: Most remain unfulfilled. In those instances where what Trump said correlates with what his administration did, the results fell well short of apocalyptic. True, after Trump became president, domestic manufacturing experienced a slight uptick. Yet globalization remained an implacable reality. Except for those with STEM degrees, good jobs were still hard to come by. Young hipsters might find the “gig economy” cool, but were likely to find it less so when reaching their sixties and wondering if they will ever be able to afford retirement. While Trump and a Republican Congress did make good on their promise of tax “reform,” its chief beneficiaries were the rich, further confirmation, if it were needed, that the American economy favors the few at the expense of the many. As for the trade deficit, under Trump it hit a ten-year high.24 Ending the flow of red ink was going to be easy, he had claimed.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

“I can hire a thousand graders in a week from around the world,” said Thrun, “try them out, find the two hundred best, and let the other eight hundred go.” It is a fast way to get high quality. There are Udacity freelance graders who make several thousand dollars a month grading computing projects—like how to build a map from Google’s GPS—sent in from students around the world. “We had one project grader who made twenty-eight thousand dollars one month,” said Thrun. “The gig economy is moving up. It’s not just about TaskRabbit errands anymore.” And Udacity is not just providing intelligent assistance for companies such as AT&T. Its platform is creating intelligent assistance for “the start-up of you”—whoever and wherever you are. In the fall of 2015, I found myself in a small conference room at Udacity’s Palo Alto headquarters interviewing—via Skype—Ghada Sleiman, a thirty-year-old Lebanese woman, who was taking Udacity’s online course to advance her skills in Web-page design.

Olin Foundation Gaffney, Owen Gallup Galor, Oded Galston, Bill Galván, Arturo Gambia Garber, Jake Garten, Jeffrey Gates, Bill Gates Foundation gays, gay rights; violence against Gaznay, Karwan GDP (gross domestic product); Internet penetration and Gebbia, Joe gender equality gene drives gene editing, as weapon General Electric (GE); Additive Manufacturing Lab of; engineering-design contests of; Niskayuna research center of General Mills generative design genetic engineering genetics, human manipulation of Genome.gov GeopoliticalFutures.com geopolitics: climate change and; Cold War in, see Cold War; foreign aid in; innovation in; interdependence in; post–Cold War; post–World War I; post–World War II; U.S. hegemony in geopolitics, post–post–Cold War era in: accelerated pace of; ADD (amplify, deter, degrade) policy in; breakers in, see breakers, super-empowered; climate change and; great-power competition in; innovation in; interdependence in; low-wage jobs in; weak states in, see weak states Georgia Tech gerrymandering Get Smart (TV series) Ghana Ghonim, Wael ghost apps GI Bill gig economy Gil, Dario Gilhousen, Klein GitHub Global Change and the Earth System (Steffen, et al.) global flows; bandwidth and; destructive aspects of; developing world and; digitalization of; education and; human relationships and; infrastructure and; innovation and; Internet of Things and; the Market and; as percentage of world GDP; population growth and; power of; push vs. pull in; social technologies and; supernova and; weak states and; see also connectivity, advances in Globality.com globalization: acceleration of; Moore’s law and; traditional definition of; see also Market, the global warming, see climate change Go God: cyberspace and; Jewish postbiblical view of Goldberg, Jay Golden Globes Golden Rule Goldwasser, Lesley golf, author and Golf Digest Goodwin, Tom Google; MapReduce of; proprietary systems of; search engine of; self-driving cars of Google Apps Google File System (GFS) Google Maps Google News Google Photos Gorbachev, Mikhail Gorbis, Marina Gordon, John Steele Gordon, Robert Gorman, Michael Governing the World (Mazower) Government Accountability Office GPS Grantham, Jeremy Great Acceleration; see also age of accelerations Great Barrier Reef Great Britain; EU exit of Great Depression “Great Green Wall” Great Recession of 2008 Greece “Green Corps” Greenland, ice sheets of Grinstein, Gidi Gross, Susan GSM (Global System for Mobile) Guardian Guatemala gun reform Hadoop Hagel, John, III Hagstrom, Jane Pratt Haick, Hossam Haidt, Jonathan Haigazian University Hang, MayKao Y.


pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

That was the very last thing that I let go of. Then when I let go of that, I was like, I don’t have kids. I never plan on getting married. I never want to buy another house. I’m buying my next car with cash. So yeah, my parents had the American Dream. Good for them. Never going to be for me, and I don’t want it anymore.” This generation dreams more modest dreams: paying off debt, obtaining financial stability, rising above the “gig economy” to find a job they enjoy and has some meaning for them. Their financial fears make it difficult—or painful—to look too far into the future. As Marisa, who was about to graduate with a master’s degree in urban policy, put it, “I think at this point, looking forward to the next few years, it’s less about being successful than can I even get out of this hole and get on an even foundation, to then maybe have some type of substantial savings?


pages: 229 words: 72,431

Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day by Craig Lambert

airline deregulation, Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, big-box store, business cycle, carbon footprint, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, financial independence, Galaxy Zoo, ghettoisation, gig economy, global village, helicopter parent, IKEA effect, industrial robot, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, pattern recognition, plutocrats, Plutocrats, recommendation engine, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day Craig Lambert Counterpoint (2015) * * * PRAISE FOR SHADOW WORK “Where have all the sales clerks/bank tellers/travel agents gone? Long time passing, along with the secretaries, waitstaff, ticket agents, and so many more. Those jobs still exist, but now you, the so-called customer, are doing them—without pay, of course, and on your own time. As Craig Lambert shows in this mordant, mischievous book, our no-service gig economy gives new meaning to the phrase ‘free market.’” —HENDRIK HERTZBERG, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER “Increasingly, time is our scarcest resource. Craig Lambert’s important book will change how you think about your days. Shadow work is a new and vitally important concept for understanding the new economy. Lambert’s arguments need to be carefully considered by all who ponder our economic future.”


pages: 231 words: 76,283

Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way by Tanja Hester

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, anti-work, asset allocation, barriers to entry, buy and hold, crowdsourcing, diversification, estate planning, financial independence, full employment, gig economy, hedonic treadmill, high net worth, index fund, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, mortgage debt, obamacare, passive income, post-work, remote working, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, stocks for the long run, Vanguard fund

Make a point of maintaining at least one marketable skill that you could put to use if need be, even if it’s in a very part-time capacity, and keep an eye on general trends affecting the industry that your skills fit into. The hope is that you’ll never need to put this backup plan into action, but if you do, you’ll feel so much better knowing where to begin rather than flailing because you feel lost about how to jump back into the job market or gig economy. Two final backup sources of capital that aren’t ideal to tap but you should still keep in mind are funds in Roth accounts and expected Social Security payments. Remember that contributions to your Roth account may be withdrawn penalty-free at any time, and that Roth conversion contributions may be withdrawn without penalty after the five-year waiting period has elapsed. (Earnings may be withdrawn penalty-free after you’re 59½ and the account has been open for five years.)


Migrant City: A New History of London by Panikos Panayi

Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, financial intermediation, ghettoisation, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, immigration reform, income inequality, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, multicultural london english, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, white flight

Others fell on hard times and had to undertake work which did not initially attract them, as examples from the Victorian period illustrate. The nineteenth century also provides an illustration of the role of sojourners in the form of the countless foreign sailors who became part of London life. In the twenty-first century migrants have become increasingly important because of deregulation and the emergence of the ‘gig economy’, with some of those working in sectors such as cleaning lacking legal status. Black slaves, the Victorian underclass, foreign sailors and the twenty-first-century deregulated migrants all have in common the fact that they remain outside mainstream London employment without regular pay, while also playing a central part in driving the metropolitan economy. Black people began to arrive from the sixteenth century with the development of the transatlantic slave trade and by the eighteenth century between 10,000 and 15,000 may have lived in Britain.

Also like their Jewish predecessors, in a situation which also applies to other ethnic groups in London, including Greek Cypriots, Indians and Pakistanis, homeworkers also worked for their countrymen who started up small businesses and could save on labour (by paying a cheaper rate, usually by piece) and factory costs by sending work out to the homeworkers. At the same time employers and employees often avoided paying income tax and VAT partly by making homeworkers self-employed, in anticipation of the practice which multinationals would utilize in the ‘gig economy’ of the twenty-first century. In this situation clothing production could continue despite the international competition from imported goods which decimated much of London’s manufacturing industry.127 Bangladeshi men also worked in this trade so that by the 1970s they provided the largest percentage of males in the clothing industry and also accounted for 20 per cent of jobs in Tower Hamlets where Bangladeshis were concentrated.128 While women have unquestionably faced exploitation in the London rag trade, they often chose to work at home rather than in a factory environment for a variety of reasons: these included, for Bangladeshis, the Islamic need to separate men from women; the lack of command of the English language; and, perhaps most importantly, working at home allowed women to earn a living as well as carrying out their domestic responsibilities of child rearing, cooking and cleaning.129 While a significant percentage of Bangladeshi women chose to work at home in the rag trade, this offers just one example of South Asian manufacturing employment in London.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Fitzgerald and Erica Orden, “Airbnb Gets Subpoena for User Data in New York,” Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2013; and Elizabeth A. Harris, “The Airbnb Economy in New York: Lucrative but Often Unlawful,” New York Times, November 4, 2013. 16 Alexia Tsotsis, “TaskRabbit Gets $13M from Founders Fund and Others to ‘Revolutionize the World’s Labor Force,’” TechCrunch, July 23, 2012. 17 Brad Stone, “My Life as a TaskRabbit,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 13, 2012. 18 Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley’s Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It’s Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014. 19 Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2001). 20 Natasha Singer, “In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty,” New York Times, August 16, 2014. 21 George Packer, “Change the World,” New Yorker, May 27, 2013, newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_packer.


pages: 324 words: 86,056

The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by Bhaskar Sunkara

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, inventory management, labor-force participation, land reform, land value tax, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Occupy movement, postindustrial economy, precariat, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, We are the 99%

“A Slim Majority of Americans Support a National Government-Run Health Care Program,” Washington Post, April 12, 2018, washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/04/12/National-Politics/Polling/release_517.xml?tid=a_mcntx. 5. This is perfectly rational in conditions of reduced profitability or high uncertainty. 6. Vivek Chibber, “Why Do Socialists Talk So Much About Workers?” The ABCs of Socialism, edited by Bhaskar Sunkara (London: Verso, 2016). 7. Kim Moody, “The State of American Labor,” Jacobin, June 20, 2016, jacobinmag.com/2016/06/precariat-labor-us-workers-uber-walmart-gig-economy. 8. See Eric Blanc’s writing in Jacobin, including: “The Lessons of West Virginia,” March 9, 2018; “Red Oklahoma,” April 13, 2018; “Arizona Versus the Privatizers,” April 30, 2018; “Betting on the Working Class,” May 29, 2018. 9. Eric Blanc and Jane McAlevy, “A Strategy to Win,” Jacobin, April 18, 2018, jacobinmag.com/2018/04/teachers-strikes-rank-and-file-union-socialists. 10. Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson, “More than Half of Americans Support Pay Raises for Teachers, Poll Finds,” PBS News Hour, April 23, 2018, pbs.org/newshour/nation/more-than-half-of-americans-support-pay-raises-for-teachers-poll-finds. 11.


pages: 307 words: 82,680

A Pelican Introduction: Basic Income by Guy Standing

bank run, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, intangible asset, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, labour market flexibility, land value tax, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, universal basic income, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Zipcar

If he subsequently married her, and she continued to do precisely the same activities, national income and growth went down, employment fell and unemployment rose. This is absurd (and sexist). The absurdity continues today. A parent who looks after their own child is doing just as much ‘work’ as someone who is paid to look after the child of another (and is probably more ‘productive’ as well). And the growing ‘gig’ economy offers many more examples of activities that are treated differently depending on whether they are paid. For instance, dog-owners can use an app, BorrowMyDoggy, to hire someone to walk their dog or to ‘dog-sit’. For statistical purposes, a recreational pursuit, dog walking, becomes ‘work’, walking someone else’s dog. This increases national income and employment, to the delight of governments.


pages: 309 words: 85,584

Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy From Devaluation to Brexit by William Keegan

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, congestion charging, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial thriller, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, inflation targeting, Just-in-time delivery, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Parkinson's law, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, transaction costs, tulip mania, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

* * * It was a long fuse that led to the three-day week and the collapse of the Heath government. The fashionable Keynesian weapon for fighting inflation in the 1960s had been incomes policies – that is, government attempts to control wage inflation either by appealing to the trade unions for ‘voluntary restraint’ in wage bargaining or, from time to time, by statutory controls. This must seem odd to a younger readership, in an age of the gig economy, where so many people feel lucky to have a job at all, and the thought of an annual round of wage bargaining sounds quaint, but in those days most employees belonged to trade unions, who bargained regularly – usually annually – on their behalf. The unions were a power in the land and gradually sowed the seeds for a reaction, as they overplayed their hand, becoming too powerful. It was the failure of the British governments of the 1960s and 1970s to cope with the problem of excessive union wage demands that led to the election of Mrs Thatcher in 1979.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, business cycle, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

One big reason for the decline in residential moving stems from a decline in job switching. If people are less likely to change jobs, they are also, for obvious reasons, less likely to move. And if we look at job reallocation rates—a rough measure of turnover in the labor market—they have fallen more than a quarter since 1990.12 Among the most written-about job phenomena these days is that of the flexible gig economy, as reflected in individuals who work as Uber drivers, for example. That is indeed a significant change in transportation for many of us, but it is not the major trend in the labor market as a whole. Nor has globalization turned all jobs into temporary or transient posts. The data show that job transitions are down and individuals are more likely to spend a long time with a single employer than ever before.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

President George W. Bush called it the “ownership society.” Obama, smitten with his Silicon Valley donors, gave us “Startup America.” And Donald Trump, history’s luckiest winner, reigned over a nation of “losers.” Under the latest iteration of the American Dream, if you aren’t a billionaire yet, you haven’t tried hard enough. * * * There was no place more appropriate to begin my conquest of the new gig economy than in the proverbial basement—from there, after all, I had nowhere to go but up. The contemporary equivalent of an entry-level job in the corporate mailroom was a work-from-home service called Mechanical Turk, operated by Amazon, the $136 billion online retailer controlled by Jeff Bezos. The idea with Mechanical Turk was to create a digitized assembly line featuring thousands of discrete “Human Intelligence Tasks,” designed to be completed within seconds and commensurately paying pennies.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

We now have computational social science, computational biology, computational chemistry, or digital humanities; visual artists use languages like Processing to create multimedia art; 3-D printing allows sculptors to push further into physical possibilities with art. It’s thrilling to consider the progress that has been made. However, as life has become more computational, people haven’t changed. Just because we have open government data doesn’t mean we don’t have corruption. The tech-facilitated gig economy has exactly the same problems as labor markets have had since the beginning of the industrial age. Traditionally, journalists have investigated these types of social problems to create positive social change. In the computational world, the practice of investigative journalism has had to go high tech. Many of the people who push the boundaries of what is technologically possible in journalism call themselves data journalists.


pages: 266 words: 80,273

Covid-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One by Debora MacKenzie

anti-globalists, butterfly effect, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Donald Trump, European colonialism, gig economy, global supply chain, income inequality, Just-in-time delivery, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, planetary scale, reshoring, supply-chain management, uranium enrichment

Other countries could follow their lead and pre-arrange such agreements with test companies and other suppliers of emergency pandemic goods. Meanwhile, individuals should not have to choose between spreading a pandemic and feeding their families. Even before this pandemic, a research found that paid sick leave, so employees do not engage in “presenteeism”—going to work sick—ultimately saves companies money. In the Covid-19 pandemic, it saved lives. Guaranteeing that right for working people even in the gig economy is possible, says the UN’s International Labour Organization, and would increase resilience to infectious disease in places where it is not already an unquestioned labor standard. Of course, all these ideas—pandemic stockpiles, global surveillance, flu vaccine, sick leave—cost money. But put it in context. The GPMB assembled some sobering figures. Zika cost the Americas some $20 billion, including care for the many handicapped children it left.


pages: 339 words: 94,769

Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI by John Brockman

AI winter, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, David Graeber, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, finite state, friendly AI, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Laplace demon, Loebner Prize, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Picturephone, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telemarketer, telerobotics, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, zero-sum game

.”* While jobs that produce essentials like food, shelter, and goods have been largely automated away, we have seen an enormous expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration (as opposed to actual teaching, research, and the practice of medicine), “human resources,” and public relations, not to mention new industries like financial services and telemarketing and ancillary industries in the so-called gig economy that serve those who are too busy doing all that additional work. How will societies cope with technology’s increasingly rapid destruction of entire professions and throwing large numbers of people out of work? Some argue that this concern is based on a false premise, because new jobs spring up that didn’t exist before, but as Graeber points out, these new jobs won’t necessarily be rewarding or fulfilling.


pages: 401 words: 93,256

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland

3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, butterfly effect, California gold rush, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double helix, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Firefox, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Chrome, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Hyperloop, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, IKEA effect, information asymmetry, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mason jar, Murray Gell-Mann, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Veblen good

At first glance this seems logical – the more people save, the better – but it doesn’t create a sense that people are missing out if they fail to reach their allowance. It may seem crazy to say that, ‘If you want people to save more, allow them to save less’, but this is the sort of counterintuitive solution that often appears in psychological alchemy.* Make pension contributions flexible. In the modern-day gig economy, where wages may not be constant, it would not be difficult for contributors to be sent a text every month asking if they wished to a) maintain their normal payment, b) increase it, or c) take a break from payments. Slightly decrease with age the size of the tax rebate offered, in order to give a clear incentive for people to start saving sooner. Enable people to draw money from their pension before they retire.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut,