There is a great article by Ryan Cooper over at “The Week”: The fake innovation of gig companies .
His writing mostly focuses on the false narrative of the gig economy and all it’s promised wonderful benefits. They don’t exist, and it is the same old same old:
These stories illustrate an important truth about these gig companies: They are not actually innovative, in the traditional economic meaning of the word. Instead they rely on the most ancient employer technique of all: plain old labor exploitation.
I have long thought that Uber and Lyft were fairly bogus, just making their jing by cutting around the taxi rules and taking advantage of folks who own cars and want more income. I suspect that most of those drivers profit little if at all, once you factor in the wear and tear and replacement cost of a car. I have used them a couple of times with a friend who was a fan, and it worked well with the app showing where the Uber was so we could find it, and it was fairly quick. But then, I have never had a real problem with taxis either, although I rarely need either one. We started using DoorDash for food deliveries when Covid lockdowns hit, but quickly stopped when we found out how much they gouge the restaurants. What a crock of poop.
The meat of the article to me came at the end though, and it relates to the minimum wage and a living wage. Cooper writes:
As Saoirse Gowan and Mio Tastas Viktorsson write about Sweden’s postwar economic model, one prime objective was to ensure that “unproductive firms would not be able to stay afloat by underpaying their workers.” If a company can’t survive without paying its workers decently under good conditions, it doesn’t deserve to exist.
Not paying a living wage should be considered to be immoral. Think about it: the owner of the business is turning a profit and putting cash in her/his pocket, but doing so by exploiting his workers, leaving them with a shithole life. That is simply wrong. To put the thought from above in another way, if your business cannot raise prices or increase efficiency to support a living wage, then society is telling you that your business is not valued enough to be viable. Otherwise, you are leaving the rest of us to make up for your greed, with support in food, housing, mental health, day care, etc etc etc.
Bad wages are not fair to workers and they are not fair to society. They are not good for the economy and they are not good for humans. Stop the insanity and raise the minimum wage. Fifteen bucks is a start but not enough.