The Gig Economy’s Unhappy Middle Class

With Lyft and Uber going public, we need to face facts about their business model

James Stanier
OneZero

--

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty

Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and Deliveroo. These words are now part of our everyday lexicon.

The gig economy has changed the world. I find it hard to remember when I didn’t see hundreds of delivery scooters zipping around the city near our office. Nor do I easily recall when it was unusual to see somebody happily getting into an unmarked car driven by someone they didn’t know. From Beijing to London to San Francisco, our cities are bisected 24 hours a day by the journeys of bicycle couriers, delivery mopeds, and taxi drivers.

I previously wrote that the explosion of the gig economy over the past decade has been primarily fueled by the money of venture capitalists (VCs) and the software written by skilled and highly compensated software engineers. There is a notable dichotomy between the job security and income of those who are creating this new economy and that of the gig workers who are generating the revenue, one delivery or ride-sharing trip at a time.

One could argue that the drawbacks of gig work far outweigh the benefits.

--

--

James Stanier
OneZero

Writing things that interest me. Hopefully they'll interest you as well.