Unions and the Gig-Economy: The Case of AirBnB

Steven Tufts
Socialist Project
The so-called gig-economy is celebrated, maligned, fetishized, and qualified by analysts. Whether it is called the collaborative, platform, crowd-sourcing, or sharing-economy, the rise of peer-to-peer exchanges does raise important questions for workers. Do emerging ‘sharing-economy’ platforms such as Uber and Airbnb mark a significant shift in production and distribution systems? Are they emancipatory or exploitive?

Uber and Lyft's Effort to Disrupt Public Transportation Will Hurt the Environment and Screw the Poor

Hana Creger
So who will be most harmed by less public transit service? Well, everyone who breathes dirtier air or sits in clogged traffic as transit use declines will be hurt, but transit-dependent low-income communities of color will suffer most. And city leaders can’t just ask these riders to replace their usual bus routes by downloading a ride-hailing app.

The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death

Jia Tolentino
The New Yorker
The American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working oneself to death than to argue that an individual working her/himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink especially clear.