independent contractor

191 results back to index


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, independent contractor, 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

On one hand, these companies wanted to develop a reputation for providing great service, so that customers would begin to rely on them. On the other, their lawyers advised them that providing independent contractors with training, uniforms, benefits, or regular work shifts—that is, the things that produce happy, well-trained employees—could put the companies at risk of being sued for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Gig economy companies were in a pickle. They wanted to provide good service, but also to avoid accusations that they were treating their independent contractors like employees. Not training workers or setting expectations at all would lead to inconsistent service.

According to a draft Handy circulated for discussion in 2016, companies under the proposed law could elect to contribute a portion of each transaction to an on-demand worker’s benefit fund—which he or she could put toward benefits like life insurance and dental care—and, as a result, be certain the workers would remain independent contractors. The independent contractor classification would apply to even work done previously for the company, essentially removing Handy’s risk of misclassification lawsuits. Hiring employees can cost 20% to 30% more than hiring independent contractors. Social Security and Medicare payments alone cost 7.65% of a worker’s pay. By comparison, Handy had proposed companies divert at least 2.5% of worker pay into a worker benefit account.

Wonolo eventually added a more traditional staffing agency option to its business, to accommodate clients who worried about misclassification lawsuits and would rather hire temporary employees than freelancers. Adding mobile technology to the process makes using both temp labor and independent contractors easier, more efficient, and ultimately applicable in more situations. Is this a bad thing? Maybe not. Gig economy boosters often point out that between 70% and 85% of independent contractors say they prefer to work for themselves.5 But the type of job that has traditionally been completed by independent contractors is narrowly defined and, most important, highly skilled. In the future, this may change. Deliveroo workers—whom the UK Central Arbitration Committee ruled in 2017 were legitimately self-employed—are, for instance, not well-paid professionals who can likely afford to create their own safety nets, but couriers.


pages: 349 words: 98,309

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, independent contractor, 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, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, 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

The majority of sharing economy workers—including Uber/Lyft drivers, TaskRabbit runners, Airbnb hosts, and Handy cleaners—are independent contractors. In recent years, the number of workers classified as independent contractors has grown steadily as employers seek to avoid social responsibilities, including workers’ compensation, overtime, and disability accommodations.33 A 2015 Occupational Safety and Health Administration report suggests that temporary workers and independent contractors also receive less training and are more likely to be injured on the job as a result. Although researchers have addressed how classification as an independent contractor, as opposed to employee, can affect workers, the concept of risk is more commonly used when discussing entrepreneurs.34 Since the late 1700s, entrepreneurs have been linked with risk-taking based on Ricard Cantillon’s observations that the entrepreneur “buys at certain prices and sells at uncertain prices,” thereby bearing the risk of the transaction.35 Harvard Business School’s Howard Stevenson describes entrepreneurship as “the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.”36 Although an entrepreneur is often thought of as creating something new, the Oxford dictionary emphasizes control and risk in its definition of an entrepreneur, describing one as someone who “undertakes or controls a business or enterprise and bears the risk of profit or loss.”37 The concept of risk is particularly salient for entrepreneurs, especially in the United States; statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics demonstrate that roughly a third of new businesses will fail in the first two years, and that more than half won’t last five years.38 Yet Jacob Hacker has noted that risk in the workplace is no longer assumed entirely by entrepreneurs or capitalists.39 Workers have seen their health insurance coverage transformed into high-deductible plans and their company pensions converted from defined benefit to defined contribution plans (401ks), pushing the financial risk of health problems and bad investments onto the workers.

The New York State Legislature also created the Factory Investigating Commission to “investigate factory conditions in this and other cities” and to provide “remedial measures of legislation to prevent hazard or loss of life among employees through fire, unsanitary conditions, and occupational diseases.”9 The state commission’s reports helped modernize the state’s labor laws, making New York State “one of the most progressive states in terms of labor reform,” and led to the passing of sixty new laws that granted better building access and egress, mandated the installation of alarm systems and automatic sprinklers, increased requirements for fireproofing and fire extinguishers, improved eating and toilet facilities for workers, and limited the workweek for women and children.10 MODERN WORKERS, WITHOUT GENERATIONS OF PROTECTION In a cruel irony, workers in the sharing economy—hailed as the height of the modern workplace—find themselves without any of the workplace protections enjoyed by their great grandparents. Although workplace protections still exist for full-time and part-time employees, gig workers, as independent contractors, are outside the social safety net of basic workplace protections. In recent years, the number of workers classified as independent contractors has grown steadily, as businesses have deliberately restructured the work relationship, abandoning the employment model to escape social responsibilities.11 Independent contractors in the United States do not receive workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, paid vacation, retirement, overtime, disability accommodations, family leave protections, protection from discrimination, or the right to form unions.

As critical as I am of the sharing economy and its lack of worker protections, if we aren’t going to increase incomes overall or implement a universal basic income, then we need a way to help people supplement their incomes as needed without experiencing an undue burden of risk. An easy fix would be to change how gig economy workers are classified by employers. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR (MIS)CLASSIFICATION While many sharing economy services tell their workers that they are small business owners or independent contractors, the determination of employee or independent contractor is actually based on federal laws, although definitions and interpretations can vary. The Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act have broader definitions of employee.


pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, independent contractor, information asymmetry, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, long term incentive plan, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, yield management

However, a Supreme Court decision in 1944 holding that boys who sold newspapers on the street on commission were in fact Hearst employees despite the company’s contention that they were independent contractors led enraged conservatives in Congress to amend the National Labor Relations Act in 1947 to specifically exempt independent contractors.14 This has led historically to very narrow readings of coverage and application of the act. The definition of “employee” has become a hotly contested issue in recent years, particularly in regard to the reclassification of employees as independent contractors. Since independent contractors are viewed under law as business entities in their own right, they are exempted from minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, the National Labor Relations Act, and Social Security.15 But as the vignettes opening Part I also make clear, fissured employment further muddies these already murky waters.

Twenty-two states have passed legislation that addresses the classification of workers as independent contractors.54 While a senator, Barack Obama introduced the Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007. The legislation addresses misclassification by closing tax incentives that make it more advantageous for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. Another bill, the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act, reintroduced in 2011, would require strict record-keeping and notice requirements by employers for workers classified as independent contractors and would levy significant penalties for violations of the law.55 Rebalancing Fissured Workplace Decisions Reform of existing workplace legislation and new policy initiatives could broaden the responsibility of lead organizations in the realm of employment so that it is consistent with the roles played in their other relationships with subordinate businesses.

For a discussion of the technology, information systems, business strategies, and public policies that enable modern lean retailing, see Abernathy and Volpe (2012). 3. The company advertises “independent contractor opportunities” on its website: “If you’re an independent contractor, select from the following links for information about opportunities with the FedEx family of companies.” The choices include FedEx Custom Critical Owner/Operator; FedEx Ground Independent Contractor; and FedEx Home Delivery Independent Contractor (http://www.fedex.com/us/indp/independentcontractors.html, accessed February 8, 2013). 4. This model of retailing has also become common in many other segments, most strikingly in food retailing, where strategies such as “efficient consumer response” seek to similarly reduce inventory exposure through use of point-of-sale information, efficient logistics, and replenishment programs for perishable and nonperishable products. 5.


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, disinformation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, independent contractor, 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, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

On appeal, a UK employment tribunal confirmed an earlier ruling that asserts Uber drivers are not independent contractors. They are workers and, as such, are protected from unlawful discrimination and entitled to a minimum wage and holiday pay, among other benefits.35 Conversely, in Florida, an appeals court ruled that drivers are independent contractors,36 and later, the state legislated their status as independent contractors. The implication is that drivers are not entitled to unemployment benefits or most labor law protections. Meanwhile, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office ruled that drivers are employees, not independent contractors, as early as 2015.37 These rulings affect the working conditions of thousands of drivers, but it’s clear that there is not a universal consensus on whether drivers should be defined as employees or independent contractors.

In Australia, the Fair Work Commission ruled that an Uber driver who alleged he was unfairly dismissed from his job was not protected from being fired unfairly because he is, according to their assessment, an independent contractor.33 In Toronto, Canada, a class-action lawsuit filed in January 2017 contends that drivers are misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees.34 Misclassification lawsuits abound when it comes to Uber, but the various challenges to drivers’ employment classification have had mixed results. In the United Kingdom, there are three worker classifications: employees, workers or dependent contractors (who are formally self-employed, but who are economically reliant on a single employer for their income), and independent contractors. On appeal, a UK employment tribunal confirmed an earlier ruling that asserts Uber drivers are not independent contractors.

Drivers have noticed the tension between the promise of freedom and the reality of invasive algorithmic management. In fact, this tension is the basis of legal claims that drivers should not be classified as independent contractors.8 One of the fascinating aspects of Uber’s approach is that according to the company, its drivers are not workers at all—they are “consumers” of Uber’s technology services, just as passengers are. In 2013, a group of drivers and lawyers filed a class-action misclassification lawsuit, alleging that Uber was not justified in classifying drivers as independent contractors; they argued that Uber treats drivers like employees.9 In a January 2015 court hearing of the case, Uber’s lawyer explained that the company’s drivers are actually customers of its software.


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, independent contractor, 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

As a Reuters investigation in late 2015 highlighted, key industry players were often closely involved in drafting the laws—many of which contain provisions designed to classify drivers as independent contractors, beyond the scope of state-level employment law protection.61 In some cases, this is achieved through explicit carve-outs. In Ohio, for example, the relevant Act stipulates that ‘drivers are not employees [for pur- poses of key labour standards] except where agreed to by written con- tract’,62 and in Indiana, ‘an Act to amend the [State] Code concerning insurance’ discreetly stipulates that TNC drivers are similarly to be seen as independent contractors by law.63 Other states have included less direct provisions to similar effect.

The non-binding guidance issued to the then 28 EU member states stopped short of denying sharing-economy workers’ employment sta- tus, but suggested that only platforms that controlled the price of services, set contractual terms, and owned ‘key assets used to provide the underlying service’ should be classified as service providers.66 Even those uncomfortable with the legislative classification of gig- economy workers as independent contractors eschew employment status. At the least radical end of the spectrum, we find proposals to create a ‘third’ employment status for gig-economy workers, located between the traditional categories of employee and independent contractor. Building on the notion that on-demand economy platforms represent a genuinely novel form of work, deserving of its own legal status and regulatory apparatus, Seth Harris, a former Deputy US Secretary of Labor, and Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist who has repeatedly collaborated with on-demand platforms, have argued in favour of the statutory introduction of a third, intermediate category to capture gig-economy workers.

Creating such uncertainty, however, is the very point of the carefully drafted and strongly worded terms and conditions that prospective workers and customers must accept before joining a platform: TASKERS ARE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AND NOT EMPLOYEES OF COMPANY. COMPANY DOES NOT PERFORM TASKS AND DOES NOT EMPLOY INDIVIDUALS TO PERFORM TASKS. USERS HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT COMPANY DOES NOT SUPERVISE, DIRECT, CONTROL OR MONITOR A TASKER’S WORK AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORK PERFORMED OR THE TASKS IN ANY MANNER.5 Everyone has agreed, it appears, that on-demand platforms are but neutral intermediaries, facilitating transactions between independent contractors and their clients—and thus most certainly outside the scope of local, national, or international employment regulation.


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, independent contractor, 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

Their drivers are referred to as ‘partners’, not workers, and certainly not employees. Constructing the relationship in this way has involved the widespread use of a different kind of relationship, far removed from the ‘standard employment relationship’. Instead of an employment relationship, many kinds of gig work instead use versions of self-employment and independent contractor status. This goes further than the removal of stable employment that we have traced since the 1970s, representing a breaking of the employment relationship and the freeing of platforms from many of the responsibilities and requirements that used to be involved. This feeling, or subjectivity, is also a key part of the debate on precarious work.

It also means that workers have no access to rights around unfair dismissal or the right to organize in a trade union, issues that we will return to later. It is worth stating that we have not written this book as lawyers, and it is not our intent to get mired in debates about who is and is not an employee versus an independent contractor. We rather take the position that anyone exchanging labour power for money is a worker irrespective of their actual categorization. And that every worker deserves a set of minimum rights and protections. That said, it seems clear that many workers in the gig economy are misclassified as self-employed: a strategy that clearly offers more benefits to platforms than it does to workers.

Despite its reliance on labour, Uber’s business model involves avoiding sales taxes, the cost of vehicles, repairs, insurance, and meeting obligations for social security for its drivers. The main legislative loophole that Uber has taken advantage of is the categorization of its workers as self-employed independent contractors. In the process, ‘Uber created a fundamental cultural shift in what it means to be employed’ (Rosenblat, 2018: 4). However, Uber has gone way beyond just taking advantage of lack of effective regulation, through its concerted public relations and lobbying campaigns. The company employs and is advised by political operatives such as Jim Messina (the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff) and David Plouffe (Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager).


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, independent contractor, 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, WeWork, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

But the choices we make over the coming decade will determine which one dominates. Notes 1. Justin Fox, “Uber and the Not-Quite-Independent Contractor,” Bloomberg View, June 23. 2015. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-23/uber-drivers-are-neither-employees-nor-contractors. 2. The SS-8 form is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss8.pdf; detailed supplementary guidelines are available at http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee. 3. Fox, “Uber and the Not-Quite-Independent Contractor.” 4. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

Indeed, there is a long history of taxi drivers operating as independent contractors in the United States. Uber maintains that it is a technology company that simply provides a platform for drivers to connect with customers in the same way that Airbnb helps hosts meet vacationers in need of accommodations. The Uber driver population also seems to not see full-time employment as the Holy Grail. In a survey conducted in June 2015 by SherpaShare, a provider of financial services to sharing economy providers, two out of three Uber drivers indicated that they viewed themselves as independent contractors to the platform rather than as employees.2 As this book goes to press, the case, involving 160,000 Uber drivers, is still underway.

As Fox notes, since the 1944 ruling—which for collective bargaining purposes categorized the newsboys as employees—workers classified as employees “now enjoy a wide variety of federal, state and local protections, from minimum-wage and overtime laws to unemployment insurance, that aren’t available to independent contractors.”3 This is an important distinction for a number of reasons, most saliently because the specter of future litigation may actually be preventing workers from getting benefits funded by the platforms. Since one of the IRS’s criteria for determining whether a worker is an employee is whether that worker gets benefits, a platform that considers benefits for its independent-contractor workers as, for example, a retention strategy, or a way of attracting new workers, will shy away from this to avoid potential class-action lawsuits.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, American ideology, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

As a result of misclassifying workers in this way, states and the federal government lose billions of dollars in tax revenue each year that supports unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, and Social Security and Medicare, not to mention state and federal income taxes. Employers often underreport how much they pay independent contractors or pay them off the books to avoid paying taxes. Meanwhile, the workers also lose, because as independent contractors they don’t qualify for most safety-net programs when they are out of work, and they fall through the cracks of most labor and employment laws.23 So who exactly should be classified as an independent contractor? The key term here is the word “independent.” According to the IRS, what makes someone an independent contractor is that the firm paying for his or her work has direct control only over the result of the service or work provided, not over what work will be done and how it will be done.24 True independent contractors, such as realtors and freelance graphic designers, are self-employed, responsible for finding clients on their own.

Julia Preston, “Hershey’s Packer Is Fined Over Its Plant Violations,” New York Times, February 21, 2012, at http://www.​nytimes.​com/​2012/​02/​22/​us/​hersheys-​packer-​fined-​by-​labor-​department-​for-​safety-​violations.​html. 23. Sarah Leberstein, “Independent Contractor Misclassification Imposes Huge Costs on Workers and Federal and State Treasuries,” National Employment Law Project, August 2012, at http://www.​nelp.​org/​page/​-/​Justice/​Independent​Contractor​Costs.​pdf?​nocdn=​1. 24. U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, “Independent Contractor Defined,” August 5, 2015, at http://www.​irs.​gov/​Businesses/​Small-​Businesses-​&-​Self-​Employed/​Independent-​Contractor-​Defined. 25. Weil, The Fissured Workplace, p. 124. 26. Ibid., p. 131. 27.

According to the IRS, what makes someone an independent contractor is that the firm paying for his or her work has direct control only over the result of the service or work provided, not over what work will be done and how it will be done.24 True independent contractors, such as realtors and freelance graphic designers, are self-employed, responsible for finding clients on their own. The misclassification of workers as independent contractors has jumped the fence from professional occupations to include some of the lowest-paid jobs in America, including home care, janitorial work, and trucking. Today, for instance, almost all heavy-truck drivers are “independent contractors.” Rhonda, a thirty-six-year-old white woman, has driven trucks for over nine years.


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, independent contractor, 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, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

The majority of respondents also viewed ride-hailing services’ drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Yet they also expected Uber, as much if not more than the driver, to manage their customer experience. This contradicts all of the current rules we have about how much a business can manage or direct those working for them on contract and what help or support an independent contractor can receive from a business that is not one’s official employer. On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that some Uber driver-partners should have been classified as employees rather than independent contractors. Uber was found guilty of violating existing labor laws where it withheld employee benefits to individuals who could show that Uber controlled their wages, hours, or working conditions, ability to secure work, or a “common law employment relationship” in which the ridesharing company trained, directed, or controlled how a driver-partner carried out their tasks.5 The litany of legal cases brought against Uber begs two larger questions: Who is the “employer of record” in a ghost work economy driven by a single-bottom-line scenario, and when are consumers of ghost work acting as employers, too?

This means that the future of business and employment will more likely resemble today’s on-demand economy than a dystopian sci-fi film in which humans disappear and robots rule. It will require people to navigate layers of software interfaces and learn to labor in the shadow of AI. It will contain an ecosystem of independent contractors like Joan, typing away in spare bedrooms, cafés, and cinder-block homes in rural India, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Portland, Oregon—or anywhere else a person with an internet connection, a computer, ambition, or financial need can get online. When little attention is paid to the workers behind these jobs, on-demand labor can quickly become alienating, debasing, precarious, and isolating ghost work.

Ghost Work draws on a five-year study in which we—an anthropologist and a computer scientist and the research team we mustered—investigated this booming yet still largely hidden sector of the economy.23 It is the culmination of more than 200 interviews and tens of thousands of survey responses collected from workers across the United States and India; dozens of behavioral experiments and social network analyses of on-demand work platforms; and unique studies of this labor market’s other key players, namely the people turning platforms into businesses and those hiring workers on them. It exposes a world in which steady work and salaries are being replaced by a chaotic string of small projects and micropayments, and human bosses are being replaced by automated processes that are programmed to oversee a far-flung workforce of anonymous independent contractors. Ghost Work departs from the well-known story about the rise of robots by documenting a more complicated future that is already emerging. It shows how ghost work platforms foster our belief in the magical promise of technology. As an anthropologist, Mary had her interest sparked by the specter of an atomized world of workers earning money by sorting and annotating thousands of pictures of pointy-eared dogs, hairless cats, and “dick pics.”


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, independent contractor, 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

So, the argument that Deliveroo is actually just exploiting workers rather than partnering with tens of thousands of small businesses takes us right to the heart of one of the key questions of platform capitalism: self-employment. ‘Independent Contractor’ Status The most widely understood element of Deliveroo’s system of control is self-employment. It’s relatively common knowledge that one of the characteristic features of platform capitalism is the misclassification of its workers as ‘independent contractors’. The claim that workers are self-employed, whilst it might be viable in court, is obviously rubbish to the workers themselves. A survey of Deliveroo workers by the IWGB found that 87.1 per cent of responding workers did not think that the status of ‘independent contractor’ accurately reflected the reality of the job and 92 per cent felt that being classified as ‘self-employed’ meant they were ‘being treated unfairly compared to an employee’ and that ‘employers deliberately misuse the “self-employed” category to take advantage of their workers’.32 On the job, I would sometimes find someone who liked being categorized as self-employed, usually because they believed that if we were given the formal rights associated with employment Deliveroo would immediately go bankrupt.

On top of that, Deliveroo makes no employer national insurance contributions for their ‘independent contractors’ to the state, which would otherwise be 13.8 per cent of their wage bill. Money that should be used to support statutory sick pay and pensions is instead used to expand the profit-making apparatus. In Spain, the labour inspectorate got sick of Deliveroo avoiding payments and forced the company to cough up €1.3 million in social security payments, after ruling that Deliveroo workers were employees and not independent contractors.33 But, in the UK, independent contractor status still stands, despite ongoing legal challenges.

CONTENTS Cover Front Matter Preface: London, August 2016 1 Introduction Workers and Bosses Workers’ Inquiry Class Composition Why Deliveroo? Notes 2 The Job Getting the Job An Average Shift Notes 3 The System of Control Algorithmic Management Work Intensification Black Box The Means of Subsistence ‘Independent Contractor’ Status The Menace of the Workers Notes 4 A Short History of Precarious Militants Dockers Builders Notes 5 Workers and Customers Migration Gender The Customers Notes 6 The Strikes The Rebel Roo The First Meeting The February Strike A Second Strike Invisible Organization Politics UberEats Notes 7 Looking Forward Fully Automated Luxury Food Delivery?


pages: 328 words: 84,682

The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power by Michael A. Cusumano, Annabelle Gawer, David B. Yoffie

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gig economy, Google Chrome, independent contractor, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Network effects, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, zero-sum game

It is going to become increasingly difficult for platforms or other firms to classify workers as independent contractors. In an April 2018 landmark ruling, the California Supreme Court narrowed significantly the circumstances under which California businesses may classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.47 The decision presumes that all workers are employees, sets out a new three-part “ABC” test that businesses must satisfy in order to classify workers as independent contractors, and places the burden on the business, not the worker, to prove that any particular worker is properly classified as an independent contractor. Under the ABC test, the business bears the burden of proving the worker satisfies all three of the following factors: (A) The worker is free from control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for performance of the work and in fact.

Instead, most platforms connect people or companies with valuable assets and skills to other people and companies who want access to those assets and skills. While asset-light platforms potentially provide highly leveraged returns to investors, they create another challenge for human capital: How should platforms manage a workforce largely composed of “independent contractors”? Unlike employees, independent contractors are due no benefits, guarantee of hours, or minimum wage, enabling the enterprises that employ them to keep labor costs low. There were 57 million freelancers in the U.S. in 2017; for one-third of these people, freelance activity was their main source of income.33 Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, claimed that this class of workers is growing three times faster than the traditional workforce.

Labor Board Complaint Says On-Demand Cleaners Are Employees” Bloomberg, August 30, 2017. 42.Sarah Butler, “Deliveroo Boss Doubled His Pay Ahead of Riders’ Protest,” Guardian, November 11, 2016. 43.Nic Hart and Alice Head, “Gig Economy Update—CAC Rules in Favour of Deliveroo in Worker Status Test Case,” Steptoe UK Employment Law Alert, November 23, 2017. 44.Sarah Butler, “Deliveroo Wins Right Not to Give Riders Minimum Wage or Holiday Pay,” Guardian, November 14, 2017. 45.Robert Wood, “FedEx Settles Independent Contractor Mislabeling Case for $228 Million,” Forbes, June 16, 2015. 46.Kimball Norup, “Another FedEx Worker Misclassification Case Settled for $227 Million,” TalentWave, May 9, 2017. 47.Jeffrey S. Horton Thomas and Steven P. Gallagher, “Say Goodbye to Independent Contractors: The New ‘ABC’ Test of Employee Status,” HR Defense, May 7, 2018. 48.Benjamin Edelman, “Uber Can’t Be Fixed—It’s Time for Regulators to Shut It Down,” Harvard Business Review, June 2017. 49.The law applies to “platform operators,” which are defined as every natural or legal person offering professionally—whether remunerated or not—a public online communication service relying on: (1) listing or ranking through data processing the content, goods or services offered or uploaded by third parties; or (2) connecting multiple parties for the sale of a good, the provision of a service, or the exchange or sharing of content, a good, or a service.


pages: 296 words: 83,254

After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back by Juliet Schor, William Attwood-Charles, Mehmet Cansoy

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, future of work, George Gilder, gig economy, global supply chain, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, mass incarceration, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Post-Keynesian economics, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, wage slave, walking around money, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Nike was the poster child of global outsourcing, but eventually, the transfer of costs and risks onto workers, taxpayers, and communities became commonplace domestically as well.51 A crucial switch was from full-time employees for whom the company has many responsibilities, to part-timers, temps, independent contractors, and other “precarious” laborers. Sharing platforms have taken this “fissuring” process to another level.52 Almost all of them engage providers as independent contractors. Angelo, a courier, thought the system was unfair: “Instead of being an employee, you’re an independent contractor now. I understand it with certain companies, [but] not with these big companies, like Uber and Lyft. I don’t work for them, but I feel like they’re making so much money.

Another dimension of the platforms that has been widely discussed is how earners are classified in terms of employment status under the law. While a few platforms hire people as full-fledged workers, with all the rights and benefits of employment, most, including all those we studied, classify providers as “independent contractors.”17 This difference is casually referred to as W-2 versus 1099 work, in a nod to the IRS forms the two types of earners fill out.18 Questions about “misclassification” (whether “independent contractor” is the correct employment status) have been at the center of controversies about platform labor, both in the academic literature and in the courts. When companies opt for the 1099 route, it means that workers are entitled to much more freedom about when and how they work.

The Perils of Precarity The other main approach to understanding platform labor focuses on company policies, in particular the decision not to hire workers as employees but as independent contractors. This choice allows platforms to put costs and risks onto workers and to avoid compensating for lost earnings, injury, damage to the workers’ property (e.g., car accidents), lack of market demand, or mistreatment by customers. (While some platforms do carry insurance policies, they are typically circumscribed in their coverage.) The independent contractor model is an example of what labor scholars call “precarious work” or work that is “uncertain, unpredictable, and risky from the point of the worker,” to use sociologist Arne Kalleberg’s definition.62 First identified as a trend in the 1980s, scholars have been chronicling the increasing tendency of employers to outsource work, convert employees into contractors, take away benefits, and devolve risk.


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, impact investing, income inequality, independent contractor, 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, WeWork, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

In this environment, Airbnb’s bland assurances of the opportunity to “live like a local,” its continued reminders of the money that it brings to the city, and its complete refusal to ­consider any civic role in shaping the supply of tourist apartments sounds an off note. In the US too, there has been resistance to Sharing Economy ­incursions. The independent contractor status of Uber and the on-demand cleaning services have drawn legal challenges. Chapter 5 described how the issue affected cleaning services Homejoy and Handy, but let’s take a broader look. In Canada, if cleaners were on the payroll then the company would have to pay taxes, employment insurance contributions, and Canada Pension Plan contributions: by classifying them as independent contractors all these onerous costs are eliminated. Kevin Hipkins of Molly Maid, an Ontario cleaning services company with about 1,200 employees, claims that “If we could wave a magic wand, we could bring down our costs by about 30%, and avoid all this messy tax stuff.

For startups that want to ensure a smooth, branded customer experience, that’s a serious hindrance.18 It’s not an argument that is unique to Sharing Economy companies. After a long series of court cases, a federal appeals court in Oakland found that FedEx misclassified its drivers from 2000 to 2007 as independent contractors, a decision leading to a $228 million payout.19 Also in California, short-haul truck drivers who worked for a logistics company got a $2.2 million settlement when they were found to be employees rather than independent contractors.20 Boston lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan has led the charge around employment status in the Sharing Economy. In her case against Uber she pointed to the strict guidelines that Uber drivers must follow if they want to stay on the platform, such as taking 90% of assignments and keeping a customer rating above a certain mark, and to the ability of Uber to dismiss (“deactivate”) drivers.

Uber’s rules seem to step over the line regarding whether a driver is, or is not, an employee according to Canada Revenue Agency rules. Sharing Economy workers are facing this issue with other companies too (see Chapter 7). It’s an issue that other industries face, such as construction, and the root cause is always the same: classification as an independent contractor relieves the hiring company (Uber in this case) from having to pay employment insurance premiums, sick leave, and from having to abide by employment standards. The risk is pushed entirely onto the subcontractor. If cities decide to put taxi regulations to one side for ridesharing companies, many important decisions are handed over to the company.


pages: 205 words: 58,054

Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don't Talk About It) by Elizabeth S. Anderson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, declining real wages, deskilling, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, independent contractor, invisible hand, manufacturing employment, means of production, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, principal–agent problem, profit motive, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Socratic dialogue, spinning jenny, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics

It explains why, contrary to the pro-market egalitarian hope, the enterprises responsible for most production are not sole proprietorships. But economies of scale do not explain why production is not managed by independent contractors acting without external supervision, who rent their capital. One could imagine a manufacturing enterprise renting its floor space and machinery and supplying materials to a set of self-employed independent contractors. Each contractor would produce a part or stage of the product for sale to contractors at the next stage of production. The final contractor would sell the finished product to wholesalers, or perhaps back to the capital supplier.

According to the theory of the firm, this is due to the excessive costs of contracting between suppliers of factors of production.14 In the failed New England system, independent contractors faced each other in a series of bilateral monopolies, which led to opportunistic negotiations. The demand to periodically renegotiate rates led contractors to hoard information and delay innovation for strategic reasons. Independent contractors wore out the machinery too quickly, failed to tightly coordinate their production with workers at other stages of production (leading to excess inventory of intermediate products), and lacked incentives to innovate, both with respect to saving materials and with respect to new products.15 The modern firm solves these problems by replacing contractual relations among workers, and between workers and owners of other factors of production, with centralized authority.

This tendency facilitates a common abuse of labor law, in which employers pretend that their employees are independent contractors, to avoid minimum wage, maximum hours, benefits and safety regulations; to shift the burden of employment taxes on their workers; and to force them to pay for equipment and uniforms. The court test in such cases is always whether the employer exercises control over the worker. See, for example, Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16585 (9th Cir. Aug. 27, 2014), which ruled that FedEx misclassified thousands of its California truck drivers as independent contractors. 27. Josiah Wedgwood, a pioneer of the Industrial Revolution in promoting worker discipline in his pottery factory, was also a major abolitionist. 28.


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, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, 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, Money creation, 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, Tragedy of the Commons, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The platforms insist that taskers are not employees but independent contractors, so are not covered by labour laws, entitling them to certain benefits and safeguards, including, in the USA and elsewhere, the right to unionise. Uber goes to great lengths to justify the independent contractor label, describing drivers as part-time ‘driver-partners’ who choose to provide rides using the Uber platform. TaskRabbit’s support centre poses the rhetorical question ‘Do Taskers work for TaskRabbit?’ and gives its answer: ‘No, they do not. Taskers are local entrepreneurs and independent contractors who work for themselves. TaskRabbit simply provides the platform for Clients and Taskers to meet.

Low-wage earners appeared to benefit most in 2015, helped by a rise in the minimum wage the year before, but this was partly a statistical illusion. The data exclude the growing numbers in so-called self-employment, who now account for about 15 per cent of the ‘employed’. Most of the jobs outsourced to ‘independent’ contractors have been low-paid, so the sample used for calculating average wages has shifted towards higher-income employees. And bonuses paid to higher-income workers boost the average. It follows that if measured average wages stagnate, actual wages must have fallen. This is a rarely noticed part of the growing inequality in Britain.

A decision to classify Uber drivers and other taskers as employees would reduce the platforms’ rental income by hugely increasing their operating costs. Indeed, it would destroy their business model. This is why Uber agreed a proposed $100 million out-of-court settlement in April 2016 in return for maintaining drivers’ status as independent contractors. At the time of writing the settlement had still to be approved by a judge. When US home cleaning platform Homejoy folded in 2015, the reason given was a series of lawsuits by taskers demanding to be classified as employees. However, the business model was fatally flawed for another reason.19 Homejoy offered cheap household services, taking a 25 per cent cut on transactions, which meant very low pay for those doing the tasks.


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, independent contractor, 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, the strength of weak ties, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, WeWork, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Carre, Francoise, “(In)dependent Contractor Misclassification,” Economic Policy Institute, June 8, 2015. www.epi.org/publication/independent-contractor-misclassification/ 3. IRS, “Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?” www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee 4. U.S. Department of Labor, “Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2015-1,” July 15, 2015. www.dol.gov/whd/workers/misclassification/AI-2015_1.htm 5. www.employmentlawspotlight.com/2014/10/nlrb-adopts-new-test-for-independent-contractor-misclassification-applies-it-to-find-fedex-drivers-are-employees-who-can-unionize/ 6.

Dependent Contractor,” WSJ, January 28, 2015. www.wsj.com/articles/what-if-there-were-a-new-type-of-worker-dependent-contractor-1422405831 See also, Haigu, Andrei, and Rob Biederman, “The Dawning of the Age of Flex Labor,” Harvard Business Review, September 4, 2015. hbr.org/2015/09/the-age-of-flex-labor-is-here See also, Cruz, Roberto, “A Class of Their Own? Independent Contractors Causing a Conundrum,” Workforce, September 1, 2015 www.workforce.com/articles/21560-a-class-of-their-own-independent-contractors-causing-conundrum 10. Kitces, Michael, “Why Employee Benefits Will Become Irrelevant,” The Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2015. blogs.wsj.com/experts/2015/04/28/why-employee-benefits-will-become-irrelevant/ 11. Hanauer, Nick, and David Rolf, “Shared Security, Shared Growth,” Democracy Journal, no. 27, Summer 2015. democracy-journal.org/magazine/37/shared-security-shared-growth/ 12.

Instead, it has chosen to preserve the status quo by increasing resources to identify companies that misclassify workers as contractors instead of employees, a Sisyphean task given the government’s unclear, imprecise, and varying definitions of employee and contractor. Not unexpectedly, the trend of hiring independent contractors instead of employees has become persistent and widespread, and it’s growing. Companies incur lower labor costs, have more flexibility, and can realize greater efficiency when they purchase the labor they need by the project, by the task, and by the hour. For example, an employer can fill a former full-time marketing manager job with a part-time public relations person, a social media contractor, and an outsourced copywriter.


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, disinformation, 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, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, independent contractor, 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, 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

Under the NLRA, only workers considered employees and not independent contractors are guaranteed the right to organize. Being classified as a contractor, as gig workers like Uber workers are, impacts not only your benefits but your federal right to unionize or collectively bargain as well. Reforms to federal law to reduce misclassification, such as the PRO Act, and to expressly give independent contractors the right to unionize are required to address this issue nationwide. While California’s new law—Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), or the “gig worker bill”—instituted a stricter test for classifying a worker as an independent contractor for the purposes of California state law, it does not itself create a right to unionize for workers considered independent contractors under federal law.51 Governor Gavin Newsom and worker advocates are now seeking to use the passage of the law as leverage to craft a deal that would give workers the right to organize under California state law.52 However, these kinds of legislative changes will not be enough to address the plight of all workers excluded from unions.

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.

As UberX was launching in 2012, of the nearly two million in-home workers like housekeepers, childcare workers, and direct-care aides—overwhelmingly women and a majority people of color—only 12 percent received health insurance from their job, and only 7 percent received a pension plan.14 According to a survey by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, fewer than 2 percent of domestic workers in 2011 received retirement or pension benefits from their primary employer, and only 4 percent received employer-provided health insurance; 65 percent of domestic workers did not have any health insurance.15 Even today, few realize that before the ride-sharing revolution, the taxi drivers that people used for generations rarely had health-care coverage or qualified for unemployment insurance or any help during downturns and recessions.16 For example, a 2007 study of New York City cabdrivers found they were generally classified as independent contractors—just as Uber and Lyft drivers are now—and did not qualify for overtime pay despite typically working more than seventy hours a week. A large majority lacked health insurance, despite substantial risk of on-the-job injuries.17 These facts may not have been easily captured in traditional job growth statistics or GDP measurements, but they mattered to people’s lives.


pages: 297 words: 88,890

Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, collective bargaining, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, helicopter parent, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, precariat, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Vanguard fund, working poor

It’s a solution that’s especially difficult to implement when the head of the company is saying there’s no problem in the first place: “I think a lot of the question about whether this is employee versus independent contractor misses a little bit of the point,” Tony Xu, CEO of DoorDash, told ReCode Decode. “I mean, if you think about what is the root problem, the root problem is, how do we maximize all this flexibility, which Dashers love, and provide a security blanket for those who need it?”27 One very obvious way: Hire them as employees. Masking exploitation in the rhetoric of freelancing and independent contractors’ “flexibility” avoids talking about why that flexibility is coveted: because the supposedly “thriving economy” is built on millions of people being treated as robots.

And as unions—and the legislation that protected them—became unpopular, so too did worker solidarity. Instead, the quest to find and win “lovable” work created an atmosphere of ruthless competition; feeling personally passionate and fulfilled by work takes precedence over working conditions for the whole.5 “Solidarity becomes suspect when each individual views him- or herself as an independent contractor, locked in a zero-sum battle with the rest of society,” Tokumitsu explains. “Every moment he or she spends not working means someone else is getting ahead, to his or her detriment.”6 Trying to find, cultivate, and keep your dream job, then, means eschewing solidarity for more work. If a coworker insists on set work hours, or even just taking a vacation, they’re not setting healthy boundaries—they’re giving you an opportunity to show that you can work harder, better, more than them.

We acknowledged how competitive the market was, how much lower we’d set our standards, but we were also certain that if we just worked hard enough, we’d triumph—or at least find stability, or happiness, or arrive at some other nebulous goal, even if it was increasingly unclear why we were searching for it. We fought that losing battle for years. For many, including myself, it’s hard not to feel embarrassed about it: I settled for so little because I was certain that with enough hard work, things would be different. But you can only work as an “independent contractor” at a job paying minimum wage with no benefits while shouldering a $400-a-month loan payment—even if it’s in a field you’re “passionate” about—for so many years before realizing that something’s deeply wrong. It took burning out for many of us to arrive at this point. But the new millennial refrain of “Fuck passion, pay me” feels more persuasive and powerful every day. 5 How Work Got So Shitty IN THE 1970S, THE TEMP AGENCY WAS ASCENDANT.


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, independent contractor, 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, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, the built environment, total factor productivity, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unconventional monetary instruments, unorthodox policies, Zipcar

Lean platforms operate through a hyper-outsourced model, whereby workers are outsourced, fixed capital is outsourced, maintenance costs are outsourced, and training is outsourced. All that remains is a bare extractive minimum – control over the platform that enables a monopoly rent to be gained. The most notorious part of these firms is their outsourcing of workers. In America, these platforms legally understand their workers as ‘independent contractors’ rather than ‘employees’. This enables the companies to save around 30 per cent on labour costs by cutting out benefits, overtime, sick days, and other costs.59 It also means outsourcing training costs, since training is only permitted for employees; and this process has led to alternatives forms of control via reputation systems, which often transmit the gendered and racist biases of society.

As a result, by 1996 people were already voicing concerns that we were transitioning to ‘a “just-in-time” age of “disposable” workers’.61 But the issue involves more than lean platforms. Apple, for instance, directly employs less than 10 per cent of the workers who contribute to the production of its products.62 Likewise, a quick glance at the US Department of Labor can find a vast number of non-Uber cases involving the mislabelling of workers as independent contractors: cases related to construction workers, security guards, baristas, plumbers, and restaurant workers – to name just a few.63 In fact the traditional labour market that most closely approximates the lean platform model is an old and low-tech one: the market of day labourers – agricultural workers, dock workers, or other low-wage workers – who would show up at a site in the morning in the hope of finding a job for the day.

We can also find this broader shift to non-traditional jobs in economic statistics. In 200565 the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) found that nearly 15 million US workers (10.1 per cent of the labour force) were in alternative employment.66 This category includes employees hired under alternative contract arrangements (on-call work, independent contractors) and employees hired through intermediaries (temp agencies, contract companies). By 2015 this category had grown to 15.8 per cent of the labour force.67 Nearly half of this rise (2.5 per cent) was due to an increase in contracting out, as education, healthcare, and administration jobs were often at risk.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Post-Keynesian economics, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

And as recently as August 2014, a federal court of appeals ruled that FedEx’s 2,300 California delivery drivers were in fact employees and not independent contractors. Prior to the ruling, because these workers were not technically employees, FedEx avoided paying millions in payroll taxes. And because they were not employees, FedEx didn’t need to meet the standards imposed by fair-labor laws, such as minimum wage, overtime, or family medical leave provisions. The difference between independent contractor and employee will mean hundreds of millions of dollars to FedEx. And on the difference between contractor and employee hinges the applicability (or not) of worker protection laws that have built up over the last hundred years.

But once the platform is big and strong, the participation by any one random individual is irrelevant. In May 2014, disgruntled peer co-creators, aka Uber drivers, felt that the platform they were using, Uber, wasn’t paying enough attention to their needs. Several hundred of them joined the newly created App-Based Drivers Association. Because drivers are independent contractors, this can’t be considered a union, but it is effectively the same. Driver Daniel Ajema from Seattle commented, “They call us partners, and basically we demanded a true partnership.”23 Other Uber drivers who feel helpless echo these sentiments: “We want the company to understand that we are not just ants” and “Uber’s like an exploiting pimp.

As the number of autonomous workers grows—and the 53 million Americans today considering themselves freelancers is a very hefty number—it no longer makes sense to tie benefits to full-time employment. In fact, the reverse is true. We need to make sure that these benefits are available to everyone, despite fragmented sources of income. Lastly, government needs to protect these collaborating peers with a platform-independent contractor’s bill of rights. Successful platforms have effectively become common pool resources: the platform is producing a stream of benefits to the peers who are reliant upon it. At a minimum, peers collaborating on these platforms should be able to own, control, and remove their own data. Rules for engagement with the platform should be spelled out in understandable ways (not buried in terms-of-service agreements), equitably applied, and changeable only with adequate notice.


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, hustle culture, independent contractor, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, San Francisco homelessness, 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, super pumped, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

In 2016 a federal judge in San Francisco overturned an agreement by Uber and Lyft with their drivers in California and Massachusetts that would have seen Uber paying out $100 million to confirm the drivers’ status as independent contractors. The original settlement had been a victory for Uber, which wants to avoid paying its drivers as employees. (Employees demand benefits and earn minimum wages.) Campbell sees both sides of the argument. “Obviously as a true independent contractor, you wouldn’t take jobs where you’re going to lose money,” he says, noting that Uber’s rules require drivers to accept assignments if they don’t want to lose out on potential bonuses or face “timeouts” when they are blocked from using the app.

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.

It was a small-scale response to a new competitor, a company called Lyft, which beginning in May 2012 started a service that enabled anyone with a car to slap a giant pink mustache on the grill and “share” rides with others. Up to this point, Uber had defined itself as an upscale service, with its network of independent contractors consisting of licensed, professional limousine drivers. Now, though it initially stayed away from Lyft’s anything-goes approach, it was ready to move down-market. “The best way to describe it is that the experience will be efficient, but not as elegant,” Kalanick told the tech news site AllThingsD.


pages: 326 words: 29,543

The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen

affirmative action, anti-communist, big-box store, collective bargaining, Google Earth, independent contractor, intermodal, inventory management, jitney, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, Panamax, place-making, Port of Oakland, post-Panamax, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, strikebreaker, women in the workforce

According to the port’s 2007 economic analysis of the Clean Truck program, the bosses Covarrubias referred to pay their independent contractors a median gross income of $75,000. Not so bad until you factor in the $46,000 in operating costs that the drivers pay out of their Los Troquerosâ•… /â•… 171 earnings, leaving them with $29,000, or about $12 an hour. The median household income in California in 2007 was $63,932. (According to one national survey, drivers who are employees of a company and thus are not independent contractors make between $14.63 and $20.07 an hour.) There are other shortcomings that chip away at the job. As independent contractors, drivers must pay for their own health insurance, plus they receive no vacation pay, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, or employer contributions to Social Security and Medicare.

On the surface, about the only thing that belies the owner-operator appellation he prefers is the green and dark gray Fox Transportation logo that swooshes like a vapor trail from the front grille of his truck to his door, as if to evoke an impression of speed. This isn’t the name of a company Branch owns; rather, it’s ╯ ╯ ╯ ╯ Los Troquerosâ•… /â•… 167 the trucking operation to which he reports five nights a week. While Fox classifies Branch as an independent contractor, which makes him responsible for his own expenses (gas, insurance, truck maintenance, and so on) as well as income taxes, Branch cannot take his truck to another company and work for them too. That’s because Fox also owns the truck until Branch pays off the approximately $30,000 he owes on it.

Mike Fox says his company isn’t so vindictive: “If that owner-operator says, ‘Look, I’m just not making enough money under this program,’ they give us thirty days’ written notice, walk away from the truck, and owe us no money at all.” Nevertheless, some have called the owner-operator system as it now exists a sharecropper arrangement or even serfdom. At a May 2010 congressional hearing on the subject, driver Jose Covarrubias told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Highway and Transit, “We’re called independent contractors, but all we are is employees with expenses. Our bosses tell this lie so they can make us pay for the company trucks.” Fox agrees that the drayage industry has a bad reputation. “There’s been some trucking companies that—as painful as it is, I need to say it—they need to go, because they’re not doing it the right way.


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, disinformation, 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, independent contractor, 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, Kim Stanley Robinson, 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 is already here, 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, Tragedy of the Commons, 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

(Imagine for a moment that Walmart or McDonald’s didn’t schedule their workers, but simply offered work, trusted enough people to show up, and offered higher wages when there weren’t enough workers to meet demand.) This is a radically different kind of corporate organization. There are those who argue that Uber and Lyft are simply trying to avoid paying benefits by keeping their workers as independent contractors rather than as employees. It isn’t that simple. Yes, it does save them money, but independent-contractor status is also important to the scalability and flexibility of the model. Unlike taxis, which must be on the road full-time to earn enough to cover the driver’s daily rental fee, the Uber and Lyft model allows many more drivers to work part-time (and to take passenger requests simultaneously from both services), leading to an ebb and flow of supply that more naturally matches demand.

WORKERS IN A WORLD OF CONTINUOUS PARTIAL EMPLOYMENT There is no better demonstration of how outdated maps shape public policy, labor advocacy, and the economy than in the debate over whether Uber and Lyft drivers (and workers for other on-demand startups) should be classified as “independent contractors” or “employees.” In the world of US employment law, an independent contractor is a skilled professional who provides his or her services to multiple customers as a sole proprietor or small business. An employee provides services to a single company in exchange for a paycheck. Most on-demand workers seem to fall into neither of these two classes.

According to the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), the US taxi industry consists of approximately 6,300 companies operating 171,000 taxicabs and other vehicles. More than 80% of these are small companies operating anywhere between 1 and 50 taxis. Only 6% of these companies have more than 100 taxicabs. Only in the largest of these companies do multiple drivers use the same taxicab, with regular shifts. And 88% of taxi and limousine drivers are independent contractors. When you as a customer see a branded taxicab, you are seeing the brand not of the medallion owner (who may be a small business of as little as a single cab) but of the dispatch company. Depending on the size of the city, that brand may be sublicensed to dozens or even hundreds of smaller companies.


pages: 582 words: 160,693

The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, William Rees-Mogg

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Macrae, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Sam Peltzman, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto

Among them is the "entrepreneurial mode," "wherein each workstation is owned and operated by a specialist."27 Another is what Williamson calls the "federated workstations" in which "an intermediate product is transferred across stages by each worker."28 There is no physical reason why the thousands of employees could not have been replaced by a gaggle of independent contractors, each renting space on the factory floor, bidding for parts, and offering to assemble the axle or weld the fenders onto the chassis. Yet you would look in vain for an example of an industrial-era automobile factory organized and run by independent contractors. Coordination Problems Operating an industrial facility without the benefit of coordination through a single firm would have dissipated most of the economies to be realized by operating on a large scale.

You need only 188 imagine the difficulty facing the designer in attempting to convince the hundreds of independent contractors on changes required to introduce a new model. In practice, almost unanimous consent would have been needed. Anyone holding out or objecting to any change in the specification of the product could either have effectively killed the model improvement or raised the cost of introducing it, thus further jeopardizing the gains from operating on a large scale. Unnecessary Negotiation An assembly line rented (or owned separately) by independent contractors would have been subject to numerous vulnerabilities avoided by operating within a single firm.

187 The classical economists like Adam Smith were almost silent on the question of firm size. They did not address what influences the optimal size of firms, why firms take the form they do, or even why firms exist at all. Why do entrepreneurs hire employees, rather than placing every task that needs doing out to bid among independent contractors in the auction market? Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase helped launch a new direction in economics by asking some of these important questions. The answers he helped to frame hint at the revolutionary consequences of information technology for the structure of business. Coase argued that firms were an efficient way to overcome information deficits and high transaction costs.26 Information and Transaction Costs To see why, consider the obstacles you would have faced in trying to operate an industrial-era assembly line without a single firm to coordinate its activities.


How to Form Your Own California Corporation by Anthony Mancuso

business cycle, corporate governance, corporate raider, distributed generation, estate planning, independent contractor, information retrieval, intangible asset, passive income, passive investing, Silicon Valley

. $34.99 DEPO Tax Savvy for Small Business...................................................................................... $36.99 SAVVY Whoops! I’m in Business............................................................................................ $19.99 WHOO Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Consultants.......................................................................................................... $39.99 WAGE Working With Independent Contractors (Book w/CD-ROM)..................................... $29.99 HICI Your Crafts Business: A Legal Guide (Book w/CD-ROM)........................................... $26.99 VART Your Limited Liability Company: An Operating Manual (Book w/CD-ROM)............. $49.99 LOP Your Rights in the Workplace.................................................................................... $29.99 YRW CONSUMER How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim.................................................................... $29.99 PICL Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law......................................................................... $29.99 EVL Nolo’s Guide to California Law................................................................................... $24.99 CLAW ORDER 24 HOURS A DAY @ www.nolo.com call 800-728-3555 • Mail or fax the order form in this book ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE Price Code 8 Ways to Avoid Probate ........................................................................................... $19.99 PRAV Estate Planning Basics . ............................................................................................. $21.99 ESPN The Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust..................................... $34.99 EXEC How to Probate an Estate in California....................................................................... $49.99 PAE Make Your Own Living Trust (Book w/CD-ROM)..................................................... $39.99 LITR Nolo’s Simple Will Book (Book w/CD-ROM)............................................................ $36.99 SWIL Plan Your Estate......................................................................................................... $44.99 NEST Quick & Legal Will Book (Book w/CD-ROM) .......................................................... $19.99 QUIC Special Needs Trust: Protect Your Child’s Financial Future (Book w/CD-ROM)......... $34.99 SPNT FAMILY MATTERS Always Dad................................................................................................................ $16.99 DIFA Building a Parenting Agreement That Works............................................................ $24.99 CUST The Complete IEP Guide........................................................................................... $34.99 IEP Divorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce........... $34.99 DIMO Divorce Without Court.............................................................................................. $29.99 DWCT Do Your Own California Adoption: Nolo’s Guide for Stepparents and Domestic Partners (Book w/CD-ROM).................................................................................... $34.99 ADOP Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-Have for Your Owner............................................ $19.99 DOG Get a Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well.................................................. $24.99 LIFE The Guardianship Book for California........................................................................ $34.99 GB A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples............................................................... $34.99 LG Living Together: A Legal Guide (Book w/CD-ROM).................................................. $34.99 LTK Nolo’s IEP Guide: Learning Disabilities..................................................................... $29.99 IELD Parent Savvy............................................................................................................... $19.99 PRNT Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting Contract (Book w/CD-ROM)................................................................................................. $34.99 PNUP Work Less, Live More................................................................................................. $17.99 RECL ORDER 24 HOURS A DAY @ www.nolo.com call 800-728-3555 • Mail or fax the order form in this book GOING TO COURT Price Code Beat Your Ticket: Go To Court & Win!

The Importance of Your Corporate Name Before looking at the legal requirements for choosing a corporate name, let’s briefly discuss the importance of choosing the right name for your new corporation. Your corporate name will, to a large degree, identify the goodwill of your business. We don’t mean this in any strict legal, accounting, or tax sense, but simply that the people you do business with, including your customers, clients, other merchants, vendors, independent contractors, lenders, and the business community generally, will identify your business primarily by your name. For this reason, as well as a number of practical reasons (such as not wanting to print new stationery, change yellow pages or advertising copy, create new logos, purchase new signs, and so on), you will want to pick a name that you will be happy with for a long time.

REPRESENTATION OF PROFESSIONAL ADVISOR           (Name of professional advisor)          3 hereby represents: (1) I have been engaged as the professional advisor of           (name of shareholder)          3 and have provided him or her with investment advice in connection with the purchase of           (number of shares)          3 common shares in           (name of corporation)          3. (2) As a regular part of my business as a/an           (profession)          3, I am customarily relied upon by others for investment recom­menda­tions or decisions and I am customarily compensated for such services, either specifically or by way of compensation for related professional services. 134 | how to form your own california corporation (3) I am unaffiliated with and am not compensated by the corporation or any affiliate or selling agent of the corporation, directly or indirectly. I do not have, nor will I have (a) a relationship of employment with the corporation, either as an employee, employer, independent contractor, or principal; (b) the beneficial ownership of securities of the corporation, its affiliates, or selling agents, in excess of 1% of its securities; or (c) a relationship with the corporation such that I control, am controlled by, or am under common control with the corporation, and, more specifically, a relationship by which I possess, directly or indirectly, the power to direct, or cause the direction, of the management, policies, or actions of the corporation.


pages: 273 words: 87,159

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, invisible hand, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, mortgage debt, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, price stability, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, white flight, working poor

They have low morale and will not exert extra effort for the parent company’s benefit. Intrusive monitoring replaces morale, and antagonism replaces cooperation. The increasing role of independent contractors for the low-wage sector can be seen in the switch from consumers using taxi services to using Uber and other computer-based drivers. Uber recently settled a class-action suit by its drivers by paying them a bit more, but continuing to categorize them as independent contractors. And the bargaining power of these independent contractors will fall if Uber replaces them with driverless cars. Drivers now find their way with the aid of Uber maps on their smartphones; driverless cars can use the same maps once they learn how to drive in traffic.6 There also has been a sharp reduction in competition among large companies in America due partly to the growth of network effects and partly to a relaxation of antitrust standards for mergers.

For example, the Boston Globe recently tried to reduce the expense of delivering the newspaper. Most of us do not think about how the paper gets to our door in the morning, but paper delivery has evolved into a grueling nocturnal marathon for low-income workers who work invisibly at the edge of the economy. Delivery drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees; they therefore do not get guaranteed health care or retirement savings. They work 365 days a year for pay that makes ordinary jobs look good, and they have to find a replacement if they need to take a day off. Many of them work at another job during the day to support their families.

See Latinos Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), 139–140 Honda, 34 Horton, Willie, 108–109 Housing boom in, 138, 164 bubble of, 154–155 cities and, 131–132 debt and, 138–139 fall in price of, 138 financial crisis of 2008 and, 10, 138, 164 HAMP and, 139–140 integration and, 34, 157, 159 low-wage sector and, 34, 153 mass incarceration and, 105–106, 112–113 mortgages and, 34, 44–45, 69, 80, 117, 137–140, 154, 156, 179n5 rethinking policies on, 157 segregation and, 153, 171n16 TARP and, 139, 179n4 very rich and, 131 white flight and, 34, 38, 117, 125, 179n7 Human capital dual economy and, 11–12 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 23, 44 inequality models and, 165–166 public education and, 121, 124, 126–127 transition and, 44 Hungry Twenties, 155 Hussein, Saddam, 71 Immigrants African Americans, 154 (see also African Americans) border issues and, 55, 103–104 competition and, 31–32, 103 criminal, 173n4 deportation of, 104 dual economy and, 10 emigration and, 32, 50 English, x–xi, 173n4 fear of plots by, 51 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 20 Irish, 54 Jewish, 54, 120 Latinos, 154 (see also Latinos) low-wage sector and, 27–28, 32, 35, 153 mass incarceration and, 103, 110, 112 military and, 103–104, 127 public education and, 123, 125, 159 race and, 50–55 success of some, 53–54 Income distribution capital-income ratio and, 181n3 cross-country comparison and, 147–151 dual economy and, 3–5 expected wage and, 8 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 22 Great Depression and, 21, 52–53, 80, 93 Investment Theory of Politics and, 72, 74 mass incarceration and, 109 median income and, ix–x, 9, 53, 144 public education and, 115 very rich and, 77, 79–80, 84 Independent contractors, 31, 52, 65 India, 148, 150 Individual freedom, 17–19 Industrial Revolution, 87, 155 Industry arms, 144 automobile, 33–34 brokerage, 23 concepts of government and, 87, 93 Dow Jones and, 23 exchange rates and, 23 FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector and, 80 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 148 Industrial Revolution and, 87, 155 Investment Theory of Politics and, 63 Lewis model and, 163 (see also Lewis model) low-wage sector and, 28–34 manufacturing and, 20, 32–35, 91, 170n10 mass incarceration and, 111 production and, 3, 6, 16, 20, 24, 27–28, 30, 32, 59, 80–81, 84, 138, 155, 164 public education and, 115–116 race and, 53 subcontractors and, 30–31, 57 tariffs and, 21, 32–33 transition and, 41, 43 very rich and, 80, 82, 84–85 Inequality civil rights and, 15, 20, 22, 27, 53, 56–59, 67, 72, 94, 104, 113, 133, 142 concepts of government and, 87–88, 94 cross-country comparison and, 147–151 discrimination and, 15, 20–21, 38, 51–54, 56, 58, 66, 89, 105, 117, 153, 171n29 dual economy and, 10 Great Depression and, 21, 52–53, 80, 93 Great Gatsby Curve, The, and, 46 human capital and, 165–166 income mobility and, 46 increase of, ix, 154 Investment Theory of Politics and, 61, 69–70, 72 Lewis model and, 162–166 mass incarceration and, 113 models of, 161–166 one-percenters and, 3, 9–12, 22–24, 77–85, 92, 96, 155, 170n28 Piketty and, 3, 156, 161–166, 181n3 production and, 164 public education and, 124, 128 race and, 49–60 (see also Race) segregation and, ix, 27, 34, 53, 80, 117–121, 131, 153–154, 171n16 slavery and, 50 (see also Slavery) social capital and, 165–166 taxes and, 161–162, 166 transition and, 46 women and, 12, 61 (see also Women) World War I era and, 162 Inflation, 16, 21–24, 43, 126 Infrastructure capital and, 11 cities and, 129–137, 156–158, 163 debt and, 143 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 36, 154 investment in, 154 Lewis model and, 10, 36 public education and, 157 (see also Public education) repairing, 156–158 very rich and, 79 Institute for New Economic Thinking, xvii, 85 Integration civil rights and, 142 (see also Civil rights) dual economy and, 13 housing and, 34, 157, 159 public education and, 34, 80, 115–117, 120, 122, 128, 159 race and, 13, 34, 80, 82, 106, 115–117, 120, 122, 128, 142, 157, 159 Investment Theory of Politics African Americans and, 61, 64–67 competition and, 68 concepts of government and, 89 Constitutional Convention and, 62 democracy and, 63, 65, 67 Democrats and, 73 discrimination and, 66 farmers and, 62, 66 financial crisis of 2008 and, 174n15 FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector and, 80 FTE (finance, technology, and electronics) sector and, 67–70, 74–75 income distribution and, 72, 74 industry and, 63 inequality and, 61, 69–70, 72 Lewis model and, 62, 89 low-wage sector and, 62, 65–70, 75 mass incarceration and, 66, 111 Median Voter Theorem and, xv, 61–62, 66–68, 71–74 mortgages and, 69 North and, 62–66 Republicans and, 61, 66 slavery and, 64 South and, 62–67 taxes and, 62, 65 unemployment and, 64 unions and, 64 U.S.


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, independent contractor, 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, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Microsoft paid $97 million to settle a lawsuit for denying benefits to over eight thousand perma-temps. Besides temp workers, another type of worker is known as the “independent contractor.” Fritz Elienberg worked for five years as a full-time employee installing cable and Internet service for RCN Corporation in Boston. Elienberg often worked ten to fourteen hours a day yet he never received time-and-a-half for overtime. When a ladder fell on his foot and seriously injured it, workers’ compensation would not cover his medical bills. Why? Because RCN did not regard him as a regular employee; instead he was an “independent contractor.” That meant, legally speaking, he worked for himself and was not employed by RCN.

Privacy should be a concern for workers and customers, too. Uber is analyzing the routines of its customers, from their commutes to their one-night stands, to then impose surge pricing when they most rely on the service. Navigating legal gray zones, these deregulated commerce hubs sometimes misclassify employees as independent contractors. They are labeling them “turkers,” “driver-partners,” or “rabbits,” but never workers. Hiding behind the curtain of the Internet, they would like us to believe that they are tech rather than labor companies. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the median income in the United States declined by 7 percent when adjusted for inflation.

In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the median income in the United States declined by 7 percent when adjusted for inflation. In 2014 51 percent of Americans made less than $30,000 a year, and 76 percent of them had no savings whatsoever. Since the 1970s, we have witnessed concerted efforts to move people out of direct employment, which has led to the steady growth of the number of independent contractors and freelancers. Digital labor, a child of the low-wage crisis, is part of that process. What has the “sharing economy” really gotten us? Beyond the consumer convenience and efficiency in creating short-term profits for the few, it has demonstrated how, in terms of social well-being and environmental sustainability, capitalism turns out to be amazingly ineffective in watching out for people.


pages: 308 words: 85,880

How to Fix the Future: Staying Human in the Digital Age by Andrew Keen

23andMe, Ada Lovelace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, digital map, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, Firefox, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, precariat, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, the High Line, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

It claimed that Uber has misclassified its drivers as independent contractors, when in fact they are official employees and thus have the legal right to benefits like workers’ compensation, unemployment, and social security. The suit also claimed that Uber fixed the price of rides by promising that tips were included and then failed to pass on the extra money to the drivers. In 2015 Liss-Riordan compromised with Uber, negotiating a settlement of $84 million on behalf of 325,000 drivers in California and 60,000 in Massachusetts, which allowed the Silicon Valley company to continue employing its drivers as independent contractors. She has also pursued similar class action cases against Lyft, the food-delivery companies DoorDash and Grubhub, the grocery app Instacart, and the shipping app Shyp.

When Kelman founded Redfin in 2006, having sold his previous internet start-up for $200 million, he insisted that the new start-up employ real estate agents as full-time employees, with health benefits and 401(k) retirement contributions, rather than independent contractors. Glenn Kelman’s rationale for this—in addition to sharing the wealth created by Redfin with everyone who worked for the company—was to provide better customer service. As a pioneer of this alternative model for start-ups, Kelman has even become what the New York Times calls an “informal counselor” for other start-up entrepreneurs also interested in shifting away from the independent contractor employment model because the shift makes both ethical and moral sense.41 As the subtitle of that NELP on-demand economy report said, “Why Treating Workers as Employees Is Good for Business.”

Yes, he confirms, he enjoys the freedom of choosing his own hours; but the income, he says, isn’t as much he’d hoped it would be—particularly after he’s subtracted the insurance, gas, depreciation, and the other costs of running his Prius. In fact, he admits, on slow days he suspects that he ends up with less than the eleven-dollar-an-hour Massachusetts minimum wage. “So Uber doesn’t provide any benefits at all?” I ask. “No, nothing. I’m an independent contractor,” he tells me a little sadly. “I work for myself.” A pioneer of the so-called sharing or gig economy, Uber—borrowing from the Silicon Valley libertarian fantasy of absolute personal freedom—describes itself as a company that empowers people to work when and where they want, without having the restrictive commitments of a regular full-time job.


pages: 363 words: 109,077

The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People - and the Fight for Our Future by Alec Ross

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, clean water, collective bargaining, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, dumpster diving, employer provided health coverage, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mortgage tax deduction, natural language processing, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steven Levy, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, working poor

about five hundred of the estimated three hundred thousand rideshare drivers: Brian Dolber, interview with Will Peischel, May 15, 2020; “About Us,” Rideshare Drivers United, accessed May 21, 2020, https://drivers-united.org/about. the group had recruited most of its members: Brian Dolber, From Independent Contractors to an Independent Union: Building Solidarity through Rideshare Drivers United’s Digital Organizing Strategy (Philadelphia, PA: Media, Inequality & Change Center, October 2019), 9, https://mic.asc.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Dolber_final1.pdf. Armed with an academic grant: Dolber, From Independent Contractors to an Independent Union, 9, https://mic.asc.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Dolber_final1.pdf. The strategy was simple: Brian Dolber, interview with Will Peischel, May 15, 2020.

But its founder proved to be the very caricature of the brotastic boy billionaire, kicked out of his own company for its misogynistic culture. And the driver is working on terms that seem more 19th century than 21st—she makes near minimum wage, with zero worker protections or benefits because her employment status classifies her as an independent contractor. Boeing and the airline I’m flying recently received massive government bailouts despite the airlines having generated more than $49 billion in free cash flow during the previous decade. The reason they were not able to tap that $49 billion once trouble hit was not because they had been investing in new planes, better service, or better salaries for their workers.

It is easier to mobilize a strike or build support for a union in a large workplace with lots of employees, like a coal mine or an auto plant, than among workers scattered across branch offices, franchise restaurants, and chain stores. If people do not stand shoulder to shoulder on the job, they are less willing to do so on the picket line. The proximity problem is amplified when businesses outsource operations to contingent workers, freelancers, and independent contractors. These “alternative work arrangements” offer workers more flexible hours and commitments, but they also let companies avoid extending them certain benefits and protections available to full-fledged employees. Contract workers can be found everywhere. They include nearly all the baggage handlers and skycaps at airports, about one in three construction workers, and more than half the employees at Google.


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, independent contractor, 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, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor

But they also telegraph another useful message: Uber’s drivers have turned to rideshare-driving not as a full-time professional pursuit but as a second job that serves a purely supplementary purpose. This is a useful message for Uber, which has been working hard to push the idea that its 400,000 drivers are independent contractors, not employees of the company. As employees, they would be entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, benefits, and basic employee protections—which would strike at the very engine of the Uber business model, costing the company billions of dollars. As independent contractors, they receive none of these benefits. Uber is fueled in part by those trying to make ends meet in an overall economy that devalues their work. The sharing economy helps deny its participants basic worker rights or, in the case of Airbnb, creates more scarcity in the rental market by turning apartments into illegal hotels, in a cruel cycle.

By most measures, Tanner, at thirty-eight, made a fine living, in the very low six figures. He had a $3,000 monthly mortgage, which was less than half of his monthly income. In 2016, he worked three jobs to pay for his health insurance and his family’s expenses: as a meteorologist for Weather Underground, a weather site; as an independent contractor; and as an instructor at San Jose State University. In other words, he was not as under siege financially or as pressed for time as the Hogans, who ran the twenty-four-hour day-care center, or the frantic parents of the children who attended it. Nevertheless, Tanner felt tense. Living in the shadow of the tech industry had been bad for some of his friends too: most of them didn’t have “ridiculous” tech jobs, but the cost of living created alienating comparisons.

Yet, stripped of its “generous” veneer, Uber’s teacher-driver campaigns are also sharing in a more twisted Silicon Valley fantasy: low taxes, good schools, and teachers who drive you home after your expense-account meal with a venture capitalist! These conglomerates are gargantuan outfits that offer short-term, cheap services delivered by “independent” contractors. They have become hugely successful by trading labor across platforms over which workers have little to no say. There was also a gendered element of this dark Silicon Valley fantasia. Of the dozen Uber and Lyft driver-teachers I spoke to in 2016, most were also parents, and almost all were men.


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, independent contractor, 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

But there is also a suspicion that, as profit margins in many areas of the economy have shrunk, companies have been offloading more of the business costs onto employees by effectively pretending that they are not employees. Jobs that would at one time have had regular pay and hours, entitling workers to the minimum wage, holiday pay and perhaps even a contract of employment, were increasingly done by people classified as ‘independent contractors’ who enjoyed none of those benefits. Behind the algorithms through which you got your jobs were usually tech entrepreneurs, often based in California’s so-called Silicon Valley. Thus while Dickens’s proletariat had gone from the streets of London, so too had many of the capitalist overlords he depicted so brilliantly.

Dan, another bicycle courier I spoke to, had been forced to take time off after damaging ligaments in his arm. In order to afford to live while he was hors de combat, Dan had to sign on and claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) together with housing benefit until he was fit enough to ride again. It has been estimated by industry insiders in the US that relying on independent contractors rather than employees can lower direct business costs for companies by as much as 25 per cent.29 At least some of those costs are being offloaded onto the state, and by extension onto taxpayers and other workers. Due to the paucity of many people’s earnings in the ‘gig’ economy, signing on for social security when you fall ill is sometimes the only option.

In a landmark 2002 case, a self-employed joiner who worked exclusively for one firm of building contractors was found to be a worker, despite supplying his own tools and paying his own tax and national insurance.31 A ‘worker’ was defined as someone who worked under a contract of employment (or an implied contract of employment) and who could not send someone else to carry out his or her job. They also could not be a client or customer of the individual’s profession or business. In three recent cases involving Uber, CitySprint and Pimlico Plumbers, supposed ‘independent contractors’ were declared workers by tribunals. The law itself is not as clear as it might be, but only in the sense that it currently allows employers to obfuscate and shirk their responsibilities. Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit, as someone once said. Employment law also requires that individual workers come forward with their own cases, rather than any rulings being automatically rolled out to others in the sector.


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, Ian Bogost, independent contractor, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microaggression, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

The sample indicated that the majority of workers were on permanent contracts (70 percent), with only 3 percent on temporary contracts. Apart from this group, 19 percent were self-employed, and 8 percent worked as independent contractors or freelancers. The overwhelming majority (89 percent) worked full time in the industry. However, these figures can paint a deceptively rosy picture. While the 70 percent of workers on permanent contracts may sound like stable employment, respondents had an average of 2.2 employers over the past five years, while independent contractors and freelancers were hired by 3.6, and the self-employed had contracts with 2.9.44 It is therefore possible to deduce that those in the category with which one would expect stability (permanent contracts) are likely to experience surprisingly high turnover, while those in the categories that one would expect the most flexibility (independent contractor, freelancer, and self-employed) have surprisingly stable relationships.

While the 70 percent of workers on permanent contracts may sound like stable employment, respondents had an average of 2.2 employers over the past five years, while independent contractors and freelancers were hired by 3.6, and the self-employed had contracts with 2.9.44 It is therefore possible to deduce that those in the category with which one would expect stability (permanent contracts) are likely to experience surprisingly high turnover, while those in the categories that one would expect the most flexibility (independent contractor, freelancer, and self-employed) have surprisingly stable relationships. This implies that there may well be issues “about the misclassification and misuse of freelance/independent contract labour,” as companies “may be skirting the definitions of freelance or independent contractor to hire de facto employees while avoiding regulatory regimes and payroll costs.”45 Within these studios, the workers making videogames are not sitting at desks while icons pop over their heads, as in Game Dev Story.


pages: 1,845 words: 567,850

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2014 by J. K. Lasser

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, asset allocation, business cycle, collective bargaining, distributed generation, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, independent contractor, intangible asset, medical malpractice, medical residency, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, passive income, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, rent control, Right to Buy, telemarketer, transaction costs, urban renewal, zero-coupon bond

The IRS distinguishes between (1) technicians who in three-party arrangements are assigned clients by a technical services agency and (2) those who directly enter into contracts with clients. Employee status covers only technicians in Group 1. Technical specialists who contract directly with clients may be classified as independent contractors by showing that they have been consistently treated as independent contractors by the client, and that other workers in similar positions have also been treated as independent contractors. Thus, they may treat their income as self-employment income. Firms that are treated as employers of technical specialists are responsible for withholding and payroll taxes. Traders in securities Gains and losses from a trading business are not subject to self-employment tax.

Fiscal year restrictions Restrictions on fiscal years for partnerships, personal service corporations, and S corporations are discussed in 11.11 and IRS Publication 538. 40.5 Reporting Certain Payments and Receipts to the IRS In certain situations, you are required to report payments and receipts to the IRS. If you fail to comply with this reporting, you can be penalized. Payments to independent contractors If you pay independent contractors, freelancers or subcontractors a total of $600 or more within the year, you must report all payments to the IRS and the contractors on Form 1099-MISC. Furnish the contractor with the form by January 31, 2014, for the 2013 payments. You must file the form with the IRS by February 28, 2014 (March 31, 2014, if you file the form electronically)

- - - - - - - - - - Caution Penalty and Interest on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation If deferred pay is currently taxable under the rules of Code Section 409A, you must also pay a 20% penalty and interest at a rate 1% higher than the regular underpayment rate. - - - - - - - - - - Plans subject to and excluded from Section 409A Unless an exception applies, Code Section 409A applies to all plans, including arrangements between an independent contractor and a service recipient, and a partner and partnership, under which the service provider has a legally binding right during a year to compensation that is not actually or constructively received, and which is payable in a later year. The law does not apply to qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), Section 403(b) tax-deferred annuities, SIMPLE accounts, simplified employee pensions, and Section 457 plans; these are excluded from the definition of “nonqualified deferred compensation plans.”


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

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, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, National Debt Clock, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

WebProNews, December 29, 2013, http://www.webpronews.com/what-was-worse-in-2013-yahoo-mail-or-youtube-comments-2013-12; Steve Wildstrom, “Windows 8 is Worse Than Vista (for Microsoft),” TechPinions, January 22, 2014, http://techpinions.com/windows-8-is-worse-than-vista-for-microsoft/26704. 85. Lasch, The Only and True Heaven, p. 26; Joshua Wright, “Data Spotlight: Independent Contractors On the Rise,” Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., April 29, 2011, http://www.economicmodeling.com/2011/04/29/independent-contractors-other-noncovered-workers-on-the-rise. 86. U.S. Census Bureau, “Nonemployer Statistics,” http://www.census.gov/econ/nonemployer/index.html; Erik Pages, “Living and Working in the 1099 Economy,” New Geography, July 2, 2011, http://www.newgeography.com/content/002314-living-and-working-1099-economy; Wendell Cox, “Toward a Self Employed Nation?”

Census Bureau, “Nonemployer Statistics,” http://www.census.gov/econ/nonemployer/index.html; Erik Pages, “Living and Working in the 1099 Economy,” New Geography, July 2, 2011, http://www.newgeography.com/content/002314-living-and-working-1099-economy; Wendell Cox, “Toward a Self Employed Nation?” New Geography, June 6, 2013, http://www.newgeography.com/content/003761-toward-a-self-employed-nation; Joshua Wright, “Data Spotlight: Independent Contractors on the Rise,” Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., April 29, 2011, http://www.economicmodeling.com/2011/04/29/independent-contractors-other-noncovered-workers-on-the-rise. 87. William Fulton, “Economic Development in the 1099 Economy,” Governing, May 2011. 88. Wendell Cox, “Decade of the Telecommute,” New Geography, October 5, 2010, http://www.newgeography.com/content/001798-decade-telecommute; Joel Kotkin, “Marissa Mayer’s Misstep and the Unstoppable Rise of Telecommuting,” New Geography, March 26, 2013, http://www.newgeography.com/content/003597-marissa-mayers-misstep-and-the-unstoppable-rise-of-telecommuting. 89.


pages: 2,045 words: 566,714

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax by J K Lasser Institute

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, asset allocation, business cycle, collective bargaining, distributed generation, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, independent contractor, intangible asset, medical malpractice, medical residency, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, rent control, Right to Buy, telemarketer, transaction costs, urban renewal, zero-coupon bond

The IRS distinguishes between (1) technicians who in three-party arrangements are assigned clients by a technical services agency and (2) those who directly enter into contracts with clients. Employee status covers only technicians in Group 1. Technical specialists who contract directly with clients may be classified as independent contractors by showing that they have been consistently treated as independent contractors by the client, and that other workers in similar positions have also been treated as independent contractors. Thus, they may treat their income as self-employment income. Firms that are treated as employers of technical specialists are responsible for withholding and payroll taxes. Traders in securities Gains and losses from a trading business are not subject to self-employment tax.

Restrictions on fiscal years for partnerships, personal service corporations, and S corporations are discussed in 11.11 and IRS Publication 538. 40.5 Reporting Certain Payments and Receipts to the IRS In certain situations, you are required to report payments and receipts to the IRS. If you fail to comply with this reporting, you can be penalized. Payments to independent contractors. If you pay independent contractors, freelancers or subcontractors a total of $600 or more within the year, you must report all payments to the IRS and the contractors on Form 1099-MISC. Furnish the contractor with the form by January 31, 2013, for the 2012 payments. You must file the form with the IRS by February 28, 2013 (April 1, 2013, if you file the form electronically)

- - - - - - - - - - Caution Penalty and Interest on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation If deferred pay is currently taxable under the rules of Code Section 409A, you must also pay a 20% penalty and interest at a rate 1% higher than the regular underpayment rate. - - - - - - - - - - Plans subject to and excluded from Section 409A. Unless an exception applies, Code Section 409A applies to all plans, including arrangements between an independent contractor and a service recipient, and a partner and partnership, under which the service provider has a legally binding right during a year to compensation that is not actually or constructively received, and which is payable in a later year. The law does not apply to qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), Section 403(b) tax-deferred annuities, SIMPLE accounts, simplified employee pensions, and Section 457 plans; these are excluded from the definition of “nonqualified deferred compensation plans.”


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The whole idea of retaining employees as quasi-family members over the course of their entire careers and then rewarding them with money for life seemed quaint but contrary to the free-market principles of the Thatcher-Reagan era, anyway. Companies and government alike began to treat employees more as independent contractors—free-market players, personally responsible and ultimately dispensable. Independent contractors and other self-employed workers were already using tax-deferred individual retirement accounts to save for their futures. Although IRAs rarely made as good returns as professionally managed and collectively pooled pension funds, they were still a legal instrument through which self-employed people could earn tax credits for making contributions to their own retirements.

An airline can let fliers trade miles with one another. A restaurant can forgo the bank loan and crowdfund an expansion, just as a startup can choose not to scale but to grow as needed. A business can share ownership with its workers and let them participate in the expression of its mission. Independent contractors—competitors, even—can forge networked guilds and establish best practices and minimum wages. As investors we can begin to consider supporting companies that make our world a better place, and recognizing those returns as real. As consumers we can begin to value and reward the human labor invested in the things we buy.

It is one of the few brick-and-mortar discount retailers whose “same-store sales” have been increasing year after year. This may also be because Costco charges an annual membership fee to shop at its stores, which accounts for about 70 percent of its operating income, as well as increased loyalty from its member-customers. * As of this writing, lawsuits against the company contesting the independent-contractor status of its drivers are under way. Uber is objecting to the notion that it is an employer or anything more than a neutral platform enabling the business dealings between individuals. * There’s still some debate among participants over how to define DACs, Dapps (decentralized applications), and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), as well as the principles to which they must adhere


J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2016: For Preparing Your 2015 Tax Return by J. K. Lasser Institute

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, asset allocation, business cycle, collective bargaining, distributed generation, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, independent contractor, intangible asset, medical malpractice, medical residency, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, rent control, Right to Buy, transaction costs, urban renewal, zero-coupon bond

The IRS distinguishes between (1) technicians who in three-party arrangements are assigned clients by a technical services agency and (2) those who directly enter into contracts with clients. Employee status covers only technicians in Group 1. Technical specialists who contract directly with clients may be classified as independent contractors by showing that they have been consistently treated as independent contractors by the client, and that other workers in similar positions have also been treated as independent contractors. Thus, they may treat their income as self-employment income. Firms that are treated as employers of technical specialists are responsible for withholding and payroll taxes. Traders in securities Gains and losses from a trading business are not subject to self-employment tax.

Restrictions on fiscal years for partnerships, personal service corporations, and S corporations are discussed in11.11 and IRS Publication 538. 40.5 Reporting Certain Payments and Receipts to the IRS In certain situations, you are required to report payments and receipts to the IRS. If you fail to comply with this reporting, you can be penalized. Payments to independent contractors. If you pay independent contractors, freelancers or subcontractors a total of $600 or more within the year, you must report all payments to the IRS and the contractors on Form 1099-MISC. Furnish the contractor with the form by February 1, 2016, for the 2015 payments. You must file the form with the IRS by February 29, 2016 (March 31, 2016, if you file the form electronically).

Caution Penalty and Interest on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation If deferred pay is currently taxable under the rules of Code Section 409A, you must also pay a 20% penalty and interest at a rate 1% higher than the regular underpayment rate. Plans subject to and excluded from Section 409A. Unless an exception applies, Code Section 409A applies to all plans, including arrangements between an independent contractor and a service recipient, and a partner and partnership, under which the service provider has a legally binding right during a year to compensation that is not actually or constructively received, and which is payable in a later year. The law does not apply to qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), Section 403(b) tax-deferred annuities, SIMPLE accounts, simplified employee pensions, and Section 457 plans; these are excluded from the definition of “nonqualified deferred compensation plans.”


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, Bill Atkinson, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, independent contractor, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

It is right-sizing, to steal the term back from big business. From TaskRabbit to Elance, technology is changing the way we can earn a living, but also changing the way employers think about labor. More than 17 percent of the fourteen million self-employed workers in the United States consider themselves independent contractors or freelancers.1 Fractional Labor, as it sometimes called, is concentrated heavily in sales, IT, creative services, marketing, and operations. As Generation X and Millennials have entered the workforce, more professionals of their generations (and even older) have been seeking alternative ways to do work that is meaningful, powered by Internet 3.0.

Seeking Purpose Outside the Organization Rather than just volunteering to find purpose outside their day job, many professionals are leaving the role of employee all together and living in a constant state of start-up. As of 2009, more than 17 percent of the fourteen million self-employed workers in the United States considered themselves independent contractors or freelancers, concentrated heavily in sales, IT, creative services, marketing, and operations.4 The drive to be more purposeful explains much of the momentum behind the massive exodus from mainstream corporate life. As Generation X and Millennials have entered the workforce, more professionals have created alternative ways to do work that is meaningful.

There are, of course, plenty of people who have become freelancers out of necessity, especially in the wake of the financial crisis, and Fabio points out they tend to have a different perspective about their work, seeing it still as a more conventional job. But for those who have come to freelance out of choice, he sees that they’ve done so largely out of the desire to gain more control over their destiny, and in turn, their source of purpose. When asked if they would prefer a more traditional work environment, fewer than one in ten independent contractors indicated they would prefer to return to a traditional work arrangement. Elance refers to the shift to freelancing as the “work differently,” and finds that so many have chosen the freelance path because they are put off by the strictures of corporate life and want to have the latitude to select their clients.


pages: 614 words: 168,545

Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It? by Brett Christophers

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Etonian, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, G4S, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, haute couture, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, light touch regulation, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, Piper Alpha, precariat, price discrimination, price mechanism, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, risk free rate, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, software patent, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, wage slave, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, yield curve, you are the product

But Forde and his colleagues found that, even where platform workers are theoretically entitled to employee benefits, in many cases ‘relatively low levels of hours or income mean that in practice they may not reach the necessary income or hours thresholds to access social protection’.84 Annarosa Pesole and her co-authors’ 2018 study of platform workers in Europe (again, including the UK) came to similar conclusions: [D]igital labour platforms typically rely on a workforce of independent contractors whose conditions of employment, representation and social protection are at best unclear, at worst clearly disadvantaged. In most cases, independent contractors are not covered by the labour rights and welfare support applicable to dependent employment. Health and safety regulations and social security contributions are typically the responsibility of independent contractors alone. Both the platforms and the platforms’ clients tend to discharge themselves of any responsibility with respect to the conditions of work and employment of the independent contractors. This can result in a cheaper and more flexible supply of labour services, but at the expense of precarious conditions of work and employment for workers.85 If the UK government was minded to turn a blind eye to such conclusions, it will have become harder for it to do so since the publication in February 2018 of a report on the experiences of individuals in the gig economy specifically in the UK, which came to similarly damning conclusions – albeit featherbedded with the odd nugget of positivity – and which was commissioned, what is more, by its own Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In the United States, a ‘1099 job’ is the colloquial term for a job performed by a self-employed contractor or separate business, as opposed to an employee; the ‘1099’ refers to the number of the Internal Revenue Service form that companies use to report payments to independent contractors and other non-salary payments. Thus, the ‘1099 economy’ invoked by Kenney and Zysman is an economy in which a significant volume of labour is provided by independent contractors rather than by employees. 78. On such resistance, see especially the writing of Callum Cant – for example, ‘The Fast Food Strikes Put Britain’s Exploited Service Workers on the Offensive’, 12 October 2018, at vice.com. 79.


pages: 506 words: 133,134

The Lonely Century: How Isolation Imperils Our Future by Noreena Hertz

"side hustle", Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Cass Sunstein, centre right, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, independent contractor, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Pepto Bismol, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, rent control, RFID, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Second Machine Age, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Great Good Place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, Wall-E, WeWork, working poor

Matthew Haag and Patrick McGeehan, ‘Uber Fined $649 Million for Saying Drivers Aren’t Employees’, New York Times, 14 November 2019, https://www.nytimes. com/2019/11/14/nyregion/uber-new-jersey-drivers.html. 68 State of California, ‘Assembly Bill no. 5’, published 19 September 2019, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB5; ‘ABC is not as easy as 1-2-3 – Which independent contractor classification test applies to whom after AB5?’, Porter Simon, 19 December 2019, https://www.portersimon.com/abc-is-not-as-easy-as-1-2-3-which-independent-contractor-classification-test-applies-to-whom-after-ab5/. 69 Kate Conger, ‘California Sues Uber and Lyft, Claiming Workers Are Misclassified’, New York Times, 5 May 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/technology/california-uber-lyft-lawsuit.html. 70 ‘3F reaches groundbreaking collective agreement with platform company Hilfr’, Uni Global Union, 18 September 2018, https://www.uniglobalunion.org/news/3f-reaches-groundbreaking-collective-agreement-platform-company-hilfr. 71 GMB Union, ‘Hermes and GMB in groundbreaking gig economy deal’, 4 February 2019, https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/hermes-gmb-groundbreaking-gig-economy-deal; see also Robert Wright, ‘Hermes couriers awarded union recognition in gig economy first’, Financial Times, 4 February 2019, https://www.ft.com/content/255950d2-264d-11e9-b329-c7e6ceb5ffdf. 72 Liz Alderman, ‘Amazon Loses Appeal of French Order to Stop Selling Nonessential Items’, New York Times, 24 April 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/business/amazon-france-unions-coronavirus.html. 73 Even then, the kits took weeks to arrive, the ordering process was mired in bureaucracy, and the number of kits was limited.

Now, chipped employees can use their hands as contactless ID cards, simply waving them in front of a scanner for entry to the building and secure areas.64 Whilst in this case participation was completely voluntary, and there are no reported cases of employers anywhere making this compulsory, the very prospect of companies implanting devices in employees’ bodies is highly disconcerting and was enough to inspire legislation in Arkansas and Indiana that would ban any forced microchipping of employees.65 Legal scholars have even begun to raise the question of whether laws may be required to protect employees who decline ‘voluntary’ chipping.66 When it comes to gig economy workers – who have to contend not only with especially demoralising forms of surveillance but also in many cases with low pay, precarious employ and only the most skeletal worker rights – what is crucial is that digital platforms not be allowed to persist in claiming that their workers are not ‘real’ employees but independent contractors who are not subject to rights such as sick pay and holiday. A distinction needs to be made here between those who use the platforms as ways to dip in and out of employ and top up their earnings, and those for whom the platform is essentially their full-time employer. New legislation approved by the European Parliament in April 2019, and a landmark bill passed in California that took effect in January 2020, make significant progress on these fronts.67 The California bill presumes a worker is an employee unless the employer can show that the worker is free from the control of the company, does work outside the company’s core business and has an independent enterprise in the same nature as the company.68 And in May 2020, California’s attorney general and a coalition of city attorneys in the state, frustrated that Uber and Lyft had not only not taken steps to reclassify their drivers but had also poured millions of dollars into a campaign for a ballot initiative that would exempt them from complying with the law, sued both the companies for wrongly classifying their drivers as independent contractors in violation of this new law.69 The case, at the time of writing, is ongoing.

New legislation approved by the European Parliament in April 2019, and a landmark bill passed in California that took effect in January 2020, make significant progress on these fronts.67 The California bill presumes a worker is an employee unless the employer can show that the worker is free from the control of the company, does work outside the company’s core business and has an independent enterprise in the same nature as the company.68 And in May 2020, California’s attorney general and a coalition of city attorneys in the state, frustrated that Uber and Lyft had not only not taken steps to reclassify their drivers but had also poured millions of dollars into a campaign for a ballot initiative that would exempt them from complying with the law, sued both the companies for wrongly classifying their drivers as independent contractors in violation of this new law.69 The case, at the time of writing, is ongoing. Critical, too, is that all workers are able to organise and find strength and solidarity in numbers, however their employ is categorised. At present very few gig economy, temporary or shortterm contract workers are unionised.


Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement by Robert Clyatt

asset allocation, backtesting, buy and hold, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, eat what you kill, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, fixed income, future of work, independent contractor, index arbitrage, index fund, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, merger arbitrage, money market fund, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, rising living standards, risk/return, Silicon Valley, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, working poor, zero-sum game

. $34.99 DEPO Tax Savvy for Small Business............................................................................................................ $36.99 SAVVY Whoops! I’m in Business.................................................................................................................. $19.99 WHOO Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Consultants............. $39.99 WAGE Working With Independent Contractors (Book w/CD-ROM)........................................................... $29.99 HICI Your Crafts Business: A Legal Guide (Book w/CD-ROM)................................................................. $26.99 VART Your Limited Liability Company: An Operating Manual (Book w/CD-ROM)................................... $49.99 LOP Your Rights in the Workplace.......................................................................................................... $29.99 YRW CONSUMER How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim.......................................................................................... $29.99 PICL Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law............................................................................................... $29.99 EVL Nolo’s Guide to California Law......................................................................................................... $24.99 CLAW ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE 8 Ways to Avoid Probate ................................................................................................................. $19.99 PRAV Estate Planning Basics . ................................................................................................................... $21.99 ESPN The Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust........................................................... $34.99 EXEC How to Probate an Estate in California............................................................................................. $49.99 PAE Make Your Own Living Trust (Book w/CD-ROM)........................................................................... $39.99 LITR Nolo’s Simple Will Book (Book w/CD-ROM).................................................................................. $36.99 SWIL Plan Your Estate............................................................................................................................... $44.99 NEST Quick & Legal Will Book (Book w/CD-ROM) ................................................................................ $19.99 QUIC Special Needs Trust: Protect Your Child’s Financial Future (Book w/CD-ROM)............................... $34.99 SPNT ORDER 24 HOURS A DAY @ www.nolo.com call 800-728-3555 • Mail or fax the order form in this book Price Code FAMILY MATTERS Always Dad...................................................................................................................................... $16.99 DIFA Building a Parenting Agreement That Works.................................................................................. $24.99 CUST The Complete IEP Guide................................................................................................................. $34.99 IEP Divorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce................................. $34.99 DIMO Divorce Without Court.................................................................................................................... $29.99 DWCT Do Your Own California Adoption: Nolo’s Guide for Stepparents & Domestic Partners (Book w/CD-ROM)....................................................................................................................... $34.99 ADOP Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-Have for Your Owner.................................................................. $19.99 DOG Get a Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well........................................................................ $24.99 LIFE The Guardianship Book for California.............................................................................................. $34.99 GB A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples..................................................................................... $34.99 LG Living Together: A Legal Guide (Book w/CD-ROM)........................................................................ $34.99 LTK Nolo’s IEP Guide: Learning Disabilities........................................................................................... $29.99 IELD Parent Savvy..................................................................................................................................... $19.99 PRNT Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting Contract (Book w/CD-ROM)...................... $34.99 PNUP Work Less, Live More....................................................................................................................... $17.99 RECL GOING TO COURT Beat Your Ticket: Go To Court & Win!

And your children’s earned income may also be used to fund a Roth IRA, as discussed below. Resource For a detailed discussion of how to find and take advantage of all appropriate tax deductions for your business, see Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes; Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Consultants; or Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn, all by Stephen Fishman (Nolo). And if you own rental property, see Every Landlord’s Tax Deduction Guide, also by Stephen Fishman (Nolo). A good summary table of tax rates, exemptions, contribution limits, and other provisions is available from Fidelity at http://personal.fidelity.com/ planning/tax/pdf/fidmatrix.pdf. 248 | Work Less, Live More And detailed information, including more ways for semi-retirees to reduce income taxes and worksheets for the federal tax estimation calculator at http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax_help/tax_calculators/tax_estimator.jhtml, is available in The Work Less, Live More Workbook: Get Ready for SemiRetirement, by Bob Clyatt (Nolo).

. $69.99 CNP California Workers’ Comp: How to Take Charge When You’re Injured on the Job............................... $34.99 WORK The Complete Guide to Buying a Business (Book w/CD-ROM)....................................................... $24.99 BUYBU The Complete Guide to Selling a Business (Book w/CD-ROM)........................................................ $24.99 SELBU Consultant & Independent Contractor Agreements (Book w/CD-ROM).......................................... $29.99 CICA The Corporate Records Handbook (Book w/CD-ROM).................................................................... $69.99 CORMI Create Your Own Employee Handbook (Book w/CD-ROM)............................................................. $49.99 EMHA Dealing With Problem Employees................................................................................................... $44.99 PROBM Deduct It!


The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us by Robert H. Frank, Philip J. Cook

accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Alvin Roth, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business cycle, compensation consultant, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Garrett Hardin, global village, haute couture, income inequality, independent contractor, invisible hand, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, positional goods, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Shoshana Zuboff, Stephen Hawking, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy

The Growth ofWinner-Take'-AII Markets 57 The Rise of Independent Contracting Several factors have caused traditional employment contracts to be in­ creasingly replaced by independent-contractor relationships. Electronic communications, for example, make it possible to work in remote sites and still remain in effective contact with other team members. Advances in infonnation processing have also reduced the overhead costs associ­ ated with independent-contractor status. Computer software can now bill clients electronically, keep accounts in order, and file tax returns. The rising costs of health care and other fringe benefits, together with increasing exposure to tort liability, have given £inns additional incen­ tives to deal with independent contractors rather than employees.

When people work as employees of large firms, their com­ pensation is typically detennined by bureaucratic personnel formulas that link pay to seniority, education, job title, and a variety of other easily measured characteristics. Within any given category, pay usually varies little among individuals, even in the face of substantial individ­ ual variations in productivity. Under this traditional system, the most productive employees in a group effectively subsidize the least pro­ ductive.21 The move to independent-contractor status eliminates this subsidy, and enables the most productive individuals to come much closer to capturing their full market value. Changes in the Level and Distribution of Income Although the rate of income growth has declined since the early 1970s, real per capita income in the United States was nonetheless more than 1 1 percent higher in 1989 than it had been a decade earlier.


pages: 312 words: 114,586

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty by Harry Browne

full employment, independent contractor, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, source of truth, War on Poverty

He could claim as business deductions part of his household expenses, telephone bills, utility bills, car expenses, and other things that are normally considered to be personal expenses. Even with no income tax withheld, very few of them owed anything in taxes at the end of the year. None of them bothered to file quarterly tax estimates, and none of them ran into any trouble from the Internal Revenue Service. The simple change from employee status to that of independent contractor resulted in lower taxes for everyone concerned. It's a small and common example—but there are probably millions of people who could use that loophole and don't. It's well known that there are thousands of millionaires who don't pay income taxes. Some of them avoid property taxes as well.

The owners of those businesses avoid the normal problems that most businessmen take for granted. "Employees" (suppliers) are more devoted to their work, very little supervision is required, costs are always clearly discernible and the lowest available commensurate with quality. I mentioned in Chapter 16 that I had avoided payroll taxes by transforming employees into independent contractors. That was only one of the benefits. The business had been losing money so fast it was about to go under. After eliminating all employees (including myself) and contracting for services needed, the business was in the black. Those who continued to work with me made more money per hour worked, and I was able to cut my working time by about half.

VISCOTT There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. —SHAKESPEARE 31 A Fresh Start (Part II) THE STARTING FROM ZERO TECHNIQUE can be used on a smaller scale to straighten out problems in any specific area of your life. I've mentioned before the way I changed a business from an employee-employer structure to the use of independent contractors. The employees and myself all benefited from the tax advantages, the free time provided, and the lesser amount of supervision required. This plan came about as a result of using the starting-from-zero technique. The business was operating at a loss and seemed hopeless. Every time I tried to cut costs, I got nowhere—every expense seemed to be a necessity.


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, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, 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, independent contractor, 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 Bannon, 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

She was the model of a twenty-first-century microentrepreneur, which is to say she was a grossly exploited worker. She lived in Oakland but woke up early to drive to central San Francisco, where she picked up two shifts as a public school bus driver. She drove for Lyft on her lunch break and again after work until bedtime. Both employers classified Simone as a part-time independent contractor, and neither seemed at all concerned about her level of fatigue behind the wheel. She wasn’t expecting a raise. “I want to wean away from Lyft,” she told me. “I’m just making someone else rich. I know I could be putting that time into my own company.” In Hollywood, everybody has an unfinished script.

LinkedIn—which set a historic sales price record following Microsoft’s $26 billion buyout in 2016—conducted a galling spam campaign that was critical to its growth and settled a class-action lawsuit over it for $13 million. TripAdvisor was officially sanctioned in the UN for misleading advertising, and settled a claim that it classified its employees as independent contractors. Groupon settled various consumer protection lawsuits. This outlaw tradition carried forward to the second wave of postmillennial unicorns, which picked up unstoppable momentum in 2004 or 2005. Uber, the unlicensed taxi service launched in 2010, proved once and for all that a few people really can change the world using nothing more than powerful connections, billions of dollars in capital, and a willingness to trample long-standing norms such as the nigh-universal requirement for taxi companies to obtain operating permits and insurance and to certify their drivers for the sake of public safety.

Uber, the unlicensed taxi service launched in 2010, proved once and for all that a few people really can change the world using nothing more than powerful connections, billions of dollars in capital, and a willingness to trample long-standing norms such as the nigh-universal requirement for taxi companies to obtain operating permits and insurance and to certify their drivers for the sake of public safety. In the early days, the company operated under the name UberCab, promoting itself as a “one-click” service to hire “licensed, professional drivers”—a misleading claim, as the company itself was unlicensed and recruited anyone who happened to own a car. By classifying its drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, the company shrugged off the burden of minimum wage laws, payroll taxes, health insurance, and other obligations. This brazen startup raised $50 million in several early investment rounds, then pressured state regulators and elected officials until its service was effectively legalized.


pages: 423 words: 92,798

No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane F. McAlevey

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, immigration reform, independent contractor, informal economy, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, precariat, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, The Chicago School, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

Between 1999 and 2000, the national SEIU hatched a plan to create what would become a breakthrough growth strategy, a plan to unionize public-sector homecare workers into a single union in the state of Washington. But to even attempt developing a statewide local, SEIU had to first create and pass a new state law, because in Washington, as in most of the nation in early 2001, homecare workers were treated as independent contractors. If successful, the creation of a statewide homecare authority would represent a second major breakthrough for SIEU in homecare worker unionization. The first breakthrough had been made in California, over an eleven-year period, 1987 to 1999. In 1992, after a five-year campaign to do it, the union passed a statewide law that gave local authorities at the county and municipal levels the right to form legal entities creating an employer of record, with which thousands of homecare employees could then negotiate over the terms and conditions of their work.

In 1992, after a five-year campaign to do it, the union passed a statewide law that gave local authorities at the county and municipal levels the right to form legal entities creating an employer of record, with which thousands of homecare employees could then negotiate over the terms and conditions of their work. This changed their employment status from that of independent contractors working for an individual to that of employees working for the local authorities who actually paid their salaries.12 As a result, between 1994 and 1997, 17,000 homecare workers had unionized in northern California as employees of three separate local authorities—Alameda, San Francisco, and Contra Costa counties, in that order.13 Then, in 1999, SEIU succeeded in the largest single homecare victory: the unionization of 74,000 homecare workers in Los Angeles County.

The result was substantial back-wage payments: C-Town in Queens had to pay baggers more than $300,000 in back wages, Pioneer Grocery in Brooklyn had to pay more than $160,000, and Key Foods in Brooklyn more than $44,000. Prior to the sweeps, these employers had typically made workers sign agreements classing them as independent contractors, working for tips and receiving no wages, and yet treated them just like employees, assigning them other jobs, such as cleaning, and firing them if they wouldn’t comply. MRNY’s large membership helps the generally underfunded state agencies launch “sting” operations against these unscrupulous employers, and the impact ripples out well beyond the shops that get fined.


pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, Herbert Marcuse, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, job polarisation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, old age dependency ratio, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

Thus, in Germany, shifting more people into ‘mini-jobs’ has maintained the illusion of high employment and led some economists to make foolish claims about a German employment miracle after the financial crash. Other categories overlapping with the precariat are ‘independent contractors’ and ‘dependent contractors’. There is no equivalence with the precariat here, since many contractors are secure in some respects and have 16 THE PRECARIAT a strong occupational identity. One thinks of the self-employed dentist or accountant. But differentiating dependent from independent contractors has caused headaches for labour lawyers everywhere. There have been interminable debates over how to distinguish between those who provide services and those who provide service labour, and between those dependent on some intermediary and those who are concealed employees.

(Maltby) 138 Canada 79, 114 capital funds 176–7 Capitalism and Freedom (Friedman) 156 care work 61, 86, 125–6 careers, leisure 129 cash transfers 177 see also conditional cash transfers (CCTs) CCTs (conditional cash transfer schemes) 140 Cerasa, Claudio 149 Channel 4, call centre programme (UK) 16 charities 53 children, care for 125 China 28 and contractualisation 37 criminalisation 88 deliberative democracy 181 education 73 immigrants to Italy 4–5 invasion of privacy 135 migrants 96, 106–9, 109–10 old agers 83 191 192 INDEX China 28 (Continued) Shenzhen 133, 137 and time 115 wages 43 youth 76 see also Chindia China Plus One 28 Chindia 26, 27–9, 83 see also China Chrysler Group LLC 43 circulants 90, 92 Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission (US) 152–3 civil rights 14, 94 class, social 6–8, 66–7 Coase, Ronald 29 Cohen, Daniel 57, 66, 69 collaborative bargaining 168 collective attention deficit syndrome 127 commodification of companies 29–31 of education 67–72 and globalisation 26 labour 161–2 of management 40 of politics 148–53 re- 41–2 conditional cash transfers (CCTs) 140 see also cash transfers conditionality 140, 175 and basic income 172–3 and workfare 143–5, 166–7 connectivity, and youth 127 contract status 35, 36, 37, 44, 51, 61 contractors, independent/ dependent 15–16 contractualisation 37 counselling for stress 126 Crawford, Matthew 70 credit 44 crime 5, 129–30 criminalisation 14, 145, 146 crystallised intelligence 85 cultural rights 14 de Tocqueville, Alexis 145 de-industrialisation 5, 37–8 debt, and youth 73–4 Delfanti, Alessandro 78 deliberative democracy 180–1, 182 denizens 14, 93–102, 105, 113, 117, 157–8 Denmark 150 dependent/independent contractors 15–16 deskilling 17, 33, 40, 124 developing countries 12, 27, 60, 65, 105–9 disabled people 86–7, 89, 170 discrimination age 84–5 disability 81 gender 60, 123 genetic profiling 136–7 and migrants 99, 101–2 disengagement, political 24 distance working 38, 53 dole (UK) 45 Duncan Smith, Iain 143 Durkeim, Emile 20 economic security 157, 171, 173–6 The Economist 17–18, 33, 52, 137 economy, shadow 56–7 education 10, 67–73, 135–6, 159–60 Ehrenreich, Barbara 21, 170–1 elites 7, 22, 24, 40, 50 criminality 152 and democracy 181 ethics 165 Italian 148 and the Tea Party (US) 151 empathy 22–3, 137 employment agencies 33 employment security 10b, 11, 17, 36, 51, 117 Endarkenment 70 Enlightenment 24, 70 enterprise benefits 11, 12 environmental issues 167 environmental refugees 93 Esping-Andersen, G. 41 ethics 23–4, 121–2, 165 ethnic minorities 86 EuroMayDay 1, 2, 3, 167 European Union (EU) 2, 39, 146, 147 and migrants 97, 103, 105 and pensions 80 see also individual countries export processing zones 105–6 Facebook 127, 134, 135 failed occupationality 21 INDEX family 27, 44, 60, 65, 126 fear, used for control 32 fictitious decommodification 41 financial capital 171, 176–7 financial sector jobs 39–40 financial shock 2008-9 see Great Recession Financial Times 44, 55, 121, 155 firing workers 31–2 Fishkin, James 180 Fletcher, Bill 170–1 flexibility 18 labour 23–4, 31–6, 53, 60, 61, 65 labour market 6, 120–1, 170 Ford Motor Company 42, 43 Foucault, Michel 88, 133 Foxconn 28–9, 43, 105, 137 see also Shenzhen France criminalisation 88 de-industrialisation 38 education 69 leisure 129 migrants 95, 97, 101–2, 114 neo-fascism 149 and old agers 85 pensions 79 shadow economy 56 Telecom 11 youth 65–6 fraternity 12, 22, 155 freedom 155, 167–70, 172 freelance see temporary employment freeter unions 9 Friedman, Milton 39, 156 functional flexibility 36–8, 52 furloughs 36, 50 gays 63–4 General Motors (GM) 42, 43, 54 genetic profiling 136 Germany 9 de-industrialisation 38 disengagement with jobs 24 migrants 91, 95, 100–1, 114 pensions 79 shadow economy 56 temporary employment 15, 35 wages 40 and women 62 youth and apprenticeships 72–3 193 Glen Beck’s Common Sense (Beck) 151 Global Transformation 26, 27–31, 91, 115 globalisation 5–7, 27–31, 116, 148 and commodification 26 and criminalisation 87–8 and temporary employment 34 Google Street View 134 Gorz, Andre 7 grants, leisure 180–2 Great Recession 4, 49–51, 63, 176 and education 71 and migrants 102 and old agers 82 and pensions 80 and youth 77–8 Greece 52, 56, 117, 181 grinners/groaners 59, 83–4 Habermas, Jürgen 179 Haidt, J. 23 Hamburg (Germany) 3 happiness 140–1, 162 Hardt, M. 130 Hayek, Friedrich 39 health 51, 70, 120, 126 Hitachi 84 Hobsbawm, Eric 3 hormones 136 hot desking 53 Howker, Ed 65 Human Rights Watch 106 Hungary 149 Hurst, Erik 128 Hyatt Hotels 32 IBM 38, 137 identity 9 digital 134–5 work-based 12, 15–16, 23, 158–9, 163 Ignatieff, Michael 88 illegal migrants 96–8 In Praise of Idleness (Russell) 141, 161 income security 10b, 30, 40, 44 independent/dependent contractors 15–16 India 50, 83, 112, 140 see also Chindia individuality 3, 19, 122 informal status 6–7, 57, 60, 96, 119 inshored/offshored labour 30, 36, 37 194 INDEX International Herald Tribune 21 internet 18, 127, 139, 180, 181 surveillance 134–5, 138 interns 16, 36, 75–6 invasion of privacy 133–5, 167 Ireland 52–3, 77 isolation of workers 38 Italy education 69 neo-fascism 148–9 pensions 79 Prato 4–5 and the public sector 52, 53 shadow economy 56 and temporary employment 34 youth 64 Japan 2, 30 and Chinese migrants 110 commodification of companies 30 and migrants 102, 103 multiple job holding 119–20 neo-fascism 152 pensions 80 salariat 17 subsidies 84 and temporary employment 15, 32–3, 34–5, 41 and youth 66, 74, 76, 77 job security 10b, 11, 36–8 Kellaway, Lucy 83–4 Keynes, John Maynard 161 Kierkegaard, Søren 155 Klein, Naomi 148 knowledge 32, 117, 124–5, 171 labour 13, 115, 161–2 labour brokers 33–4, 49, 110, 111, 167, 168 labour flexibility 23–4, 31–45 labour intensification 119–20 labour market flexibility 6 labour security 10–11, 10b, 31 Laos 112 lay-offs see furloughs Lee Changshik 21 legal knowledge 124–5 legal processing 50 Legal Services Act of 2007 (UK) (Tesco Law) 40 leisure 13, 128–30 see also play lesbians 63–4 Liberal Republic, The 181 Lloyds Banking Group 50–1 localism 181–2 long-term migrants 100–2 loyalty 53, 58, 74–5 McDonald’s 33 McNealy, Scott 69 Malik, Shiv 65 Maltby, Lewis 138 Manafort, Paul 152 management, commodification of 40 Mandelson, Peter, Baron 68 Maroni, Roberto 97 marriage 64–5, 92 Martin, Paul 141 Marx, Karl 161 masculinity, role models for youth 63–5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 68–9 Mayhew, Les 81 Mead, Lawrence 143 mergers, triangular 30 Mexico 91 Middle East 109 migrants 2, 13–14, 25, 90–3, 145–6 and basic income 172 and conditionality 144 denizens 93–102, 157–8 government organised 109–13 internal 105–9 and queuing systems 103–5 and recession 102–3 Mill, John Stuart 160 Morris, William 160, 161 Morrison, Catriona 127 multinational corporations 28, 92 multitasking 19, 126–7 National Broadband Plan 134 near-sourcing/shoring 36 Negri, A. 130 neo-fascism 25, 147–53, 159, 175, 183 Netherlands 39, 79, 114, 149–50 New Thought Movement 21 New York Times 69, 119 News from Nowhere (Morris) 161 Niemöller, Martin 182 INDEX non-refoulement 93 Nudge (Sunstein/Thaler) 138–9 nudging 138–40, 155–6, 165, 167, 172, 178, 182 numerical flexibility 31–6 Obama, Barack 73, 138–9, 147, 148 Observer, The 20 occupations associations of 169–70 dismantling of 38–40 freedom in 162–4 obsolescence in 124 offshored/inshored labour 30, 36, 37 old agers 59, 79– 86, 89 old-age dependency ratio 80–1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 27 origins of the precariat 1–5 outsourcing 29, 30, 33, 36, 37, 49 Paine, Thomas 173 panopticon society 132–40, 142–3 Parent Motivators (UK) 139–40 part-time employment 15, 35–6, 51, 61, 82 Pasona 33 paternalism 17, 29, 137, 153, 178, 182 nudging 138–40, 155–6, 165, 167, 172, 178, 182 pensions 42, 51, 52, 76–7, 79–81, 84–6 PepsiCo 137 personal deportment skills 123 Philippines 109 Phoenix, University of 71 Pigou, Arthur 117, 125 play 13, 115, 117, 128, 141 pleasure 141 Polanyi, K. 163, 169 political engagement/disengagement 24, 147 Portugal 52, 56 positive thinking 21, 86 Prato (Italy) 4–5 precariat (definition) 6, 7–13 precariato 9 precariatisation 16–18 precarity traps 48–9, 73–5, 114, 129, 144, 178 pride 22 prisoners 112, 146 privacy, invasion of 133–5, 167 private benefits 11 productivity, and old age 85 proficians 7–8, 15, 164 proletariat 7 protectionism 27, 54 public sector 51–4 qualifications 95 queuing systems 103–5 racism 97–8, 101, 114, 149 Randstad 49 re-commodification 41–2 recession see Great Recession refugees 92, 93, 96 regulation 23, 26, 39–40, 84, 171 Reimagining Socialism (Ehrenreich/ Fletcher) 170–1 remote working 38, 53 rentier economies 27, 176 representation security 10b, 31 retirement 42, 80–3 rights 14, 94, 145, 163, 164–5, 169 see also denizens risk management 178 Robin Hood gang 3 role models for youth 63–5 Roma 97, 149 Rossington, John 100 Rothman, David 88 Russell, Bertrand 141, 161 Russell, Lucie 64 Russia 88, 115 salariat 7, 8, 14, 17, 32 Santelli, Rick 150 Sarkozy, Nicolas 69, 97, 149 Sarrazin, Thilo 101 Schachar, Ayelet 177 Schneider, Friedrich 56 Schwarzenegger, Arnold 71 seasonal migrants 98–100 security, economic 157, 171, 173–6 self-employment 15–16, 66, 82 self-esteem 21 self-exploitation 20, 122–3 self-production 11 self-regulation 23, 39 self-service 125 services 37–8, 63 195 196 INDEX Sex, Drugs and Chocolate: The Science of Pleasure (Martin) 141 sex services 63 sexism, reverse 123 shadow economy 56–7, 91 Shenzhen (China) 133, 137 see also Foxconn Shop Class as Soulcraft (Crawford) 70 short-time compensation schemes 55–6 side-jobs 119–20 skill reproduction security 10b skills 157, 176 development of 30, 31, 40 personal deportment 123 tertiary 121–4 Skirbekk, Vegard 85 Smarsh 138 Smile or Die (Ehrenreich) 21 Smith, Adam 71 snowball theory 78 social class 6–8, 66–7 social factory 38, 118, 132 social income 11–12, 40–5, 51, 66 social insurance 22, 104 social memory 12, 23, 129 social mobility 23, 57–8, 175 social networking sites 137 see also Facebook social rights 14 social worth 21 sousveillance 134, 135 South Africa, and migrants 91, 98 South Korea 15, 55, 61, 75 space, public 171, 179–80 Spain BBVA 50 migrants 94 and migrants 102 pensions 79 and the public sector 53 shadow economy 55–6 temporary employment 35 Speenhamland system 55, 143 staffing agencies 33–4, 49, 110, 111, 167, 168 state benefits 11, 12 status 8, 21, 32–3, 94 status discord 10 status frustration 10, 21, 63, 67, 77, 78, 79, 89, 114, 123, 160 stress 19, 126, 141, 141–3 subsidies 44, 54–6, 83–6, 176 suicide, work-related 11, 29, 58, 105 Summers, Larry 148 Sun Microsystems 69 Sunstein, Cass 138–9 surveillance 132–6, 153, 167 see also sousveillance Suzuki, Kensuke 152 Sweden 68, 110–11, 135, 149 symbols 3 Taking of Rome, The (Cerasa) 149 taxes 26 and citizenship 177 France 85 and subsidies 54–5 Tobin 177 United States (US) 180–1 Tea Party movement 150–1 technology and the brain 18 internet 180, 181 surveillance 132–6 teleworking 38 temporary agencies 33–4, 49, 110, 111, 167, 168 temporary employment 14–15, 49 associations for 170 Japan 9 and numerical flexibility 32–6 and old agers 82 and the public sector 51 and youth 65 tertiarisation 37–8 tertiary skill 121–4 tertiary time 116, 119 tertiary workplace 116 Tesco Law (UK) 40 Thailand, migrants 106 Thaler, Richard 138–9 therapy state 141–3, 153 Thompson, E.P. 115 time 115–16, 163, 171, 178 labour intensification 119–20 tertiary 116, 119 use of 38 work-for-labour 120–1 titles of jobs 17–18 Tobin taxes 177 Tomkins, Richard 70 towns, company 137 INDEX toy-factory incident 108–9 trade unions 1, 2, 5, 10b, 26, 31, 168 and migration 91 public sector 51 and youth 77–8 see also yellow unions training 121–4 triangular mergers 30 triangulation 34 Trumka, Richard 78 trust relationships 8–9, 22 Twitter 127 Ukraine 152 undocumented migrants 96–8 unemployment 145 benefits 45–8, 99, 104 insurance for 175 voluntary 122 youth after recession 77 uniforms, to distinguish employment status 32–3 unions freeter 9 yellow 33 see also trade United Kingdom (UK) 102–3 benefit system 173 Channel 4 call centre programme 16 company loyalty 74–5 conditionality 143–5, 166–7 criminalisation 88 de-industrialisation 38 disabled people 170 and education 67, 70, 71 financial shock (2008-9) 49–51, 71 labour intensification 119 Legal Services Act (2007) (Tesco Law) 40 leisure 129 migrants 91, 95, 99, 103–5, 114, 146 neo-fascism 150 paternalism 139–40 pensions 43, 80 and the public sector 53 public spaces 179 and regulation of occupational bodies 39 shadow economy 56 and social mobility 56–8 and subsidies 55 197 temporary employment 15, 34, 35 as a therapy state 142 women 61–2, 162 workplace discipline 138 youth 64, 76 United States (US) care for children 125 criminalisation 88 education 69, 70–1, 73, 135–6 ethnic minorities 86 financial shock (2008-9) 49–50 migrants 90–1, 93, 94, 97, 103, 114 neo-fascism 150–1, 152–3 old agers 82–3, 85 pensions 42, 52, 80 public sector 52 regulation of occupational bodies 39 social mobility in 57–8 subsidies 55, 56 taxes 180–1 temporary employment 34, 35 volunteer work 163 wages and benefits 42 women 62, 63 youth 75, 77 universalism 155, 157, 162, 180 University of the People 69 University of Phoenix 71 unpaid furloughs 36 unpaid leave 50 uptitling 17–18 utilitarianism 88, 132, 141, 154 value of support 11 Vietnam 28, 111–12 voluntary unemployment 122 volunteer work 86, 163–4 voting 146, 147, 181 Wacquant, L. 132 wages 8, 11 and benefits 41–2 family 60 flexibility 40–5, 66 individualised 60 and migrants 103 and temporary workers 32, 33 Vietnam 28 see also basic income Waiting for Superman (documentary) 69 Wall Street Journal 35, 163 198 INDEX Walmart 33, 107 Wandering Tribe 73 Weber, Max 7 welfare claimants 245 welfare systems 44 Wen Jiabao 105 Whitehead, Alfred North 160 Williams, Rob 62 wiretapping 135 women 60–5 and care work 125–6 CCTs (conditional cash transfer schemes) 140 labour commodification 161 and migration 92 multiple jobholding 119–20 reverse sexism 123 work 115, 117, 160–1 and identity 158–9 and labour 13 right to 145, 163, 164–5 security 10b work-for-labour 120–1, 178 work-for-reproduction 124–7 work–life balance 118 worker cooperatives 168–70 workfare 143–5, 166–7 working class 7, 8 workplace 116, 122, 130, 131 discipline 136–8 tertiary 116 Yanukovich, Victor 152 yellow unions 33 youth 59, 65–7, 89, 156 commodification of education 67–72 connectivity 127 and criminality 129–30 generational tension 76–7 and old agers 85 precarity traps 73–5 prospects for the future 78–9 and role models 63–5 streaming education 72–3 zero-hour contracts 36


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Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, Ida Tarbell, illegal immigration, independent contractor, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, Pearl River Delta, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

FedEx has lavished $17 million on Congress—double its 2008 total—to fight off an effort by UPS and the Teamsters to revoke Smith’s tailor-made ban on unions. Smith, again thinking “long-term,” plans to continue to hire thousands of full-time employees and list them as independent contractors. If his workers are listed as independent contractors, he does not have to pay Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance taxes. And when they get sick or injured or old, he can push them onto the street. Henderson says FedEx treats its equipment as shabbily as its employees. There is no difference between trucks and people to corporations that view everything as a commodity.

But at least I have not had to devote forty hours a week to a minimum-wage job that does not pay me a living wage. People here are really hurting. The real underemployment rate must be at least twenty percent. A lot of people are working part-time jobs when they want full-time jobs. There are many people like me, independent contractors and small business owners, who can’t file for unemployment insurance. Unemployment [coverage] is not available to me because I worked as a 1099, a self-employed contractor, even when I worked for the construction company. “People are scared,” he says. “They want to live their lives, raise their children, and be happy.


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, independent contractor, 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

But several companies outside of the music industry have implemented strategies to shroud the gender of job applicants to increase the representation of women at work and counteract discrimination, and these strategies have had some success.49 More progress is needed, however, to nurture women’s careers, eradicate explicit and implicit forms of sexual harassment, and change attitudes. These challenges are especially difficult in industries that are characterized by large imbalances of power and industries in which independent contractor relationships are common, conditions now common in music and in a growing number of other industries. A Musical Life The life of most musicians is often economically challenging but personally rewarding. Only a lucky few achieve fame and fortune. The rest struggle to make ends meet.

As Q Prime’s Cliff Burnstein told me, “When you’re coming to town with a hot show, the venue pretty much has to do what you want.”10 Merchandise sales, sponsorship income, endorsements, and other potential sources of income would likely skew the industry further in the direction of a superstar market, as the superstars receive a greater share of such income. Before turning to the question of how superstars become so popular, it is worth emphasizing how the rules of an economy constrain or amplify superstars’ incomes. In the United States, most top musicians are independent contractors, who, together with their managers, are free to negotiate their own compensation and touring schedule.11 In South Korea, however, K-pop groups sign long-term contracts with their management companies, which essentially prevent them from receiving a large share of the profits that they generate.12 Similarly, in Japan, musicians typically work on a work-for-hire basis, which restricts their upside earning potential.

Musicians are not so different from many Americans when it comes to making financial decisions, but the unpredictable nature of their income, the high rate of self-employment, and the laser-like focus on their art often makes their financial situation more perilous. Because musicians typically earn their income as independent contractors, they do not have an employer who withholds income from their pay for taxes. Like Will Smith, many musicians fail to set aside income for tax purposes, and run into trouble with the IRS. Many musicians have also been aggressive in trying to avoid tax payments. The pop singer Shakira, for example, came under investigation for possible tax evasion in Spain.31 And some musicians have gotten into trouble because their business manager or tax adviser set up a scheme to evade taxes—for example, by booking income through a third party in a tax haven—that caused the musicians to lose control of their income.


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Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

Airbnb, always be closing, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, independent contractor, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

Learning how to operate the basic functions of each component is important, if only so you can delegate to: • The Operators - Your team of contractors sourced through online talent platforms or in-house salaried employees For some individuals, the goal is to put the entire operation on “auto pilot” where every function the business performs is handled by external service providers who work as independent contractors. Others like to be more hands-on, staying involved in the day-to-day operations and personally executing the functions needed to run the business. Either way it is a good practice to learn at least the basics of each function in The Model, if only to be a more effective delegator later. Now let’s take a look at The Model, as experienced from the customer’s perspective.

Or they may have come from another similar site (i.e. a Guru.com freelancer didn’t do well there and moved to Elance) and wants you to be their first project on the new platform. Our experience is that you get what you pay for. Forget the lowest cost provider unless he or she has a high feedback score. You’ll be glad you did. Intellectual and Copyrights Be sure that you spell out, either in the description of the project or in your independent contractor agreement you sign, that the work performed becomes yours exclusively and that all intellectual property rights and copyrights are assigned to you. The project should always be “for hire” and you don’t want to imply ownership, but spell it out directly and clearly before you get down to work.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, disinformation, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, Ian Bogost, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, you are the product, Zipcar

On many commenting platforms, we rate other comments and give stars or other plaudits to individual commenters. Lulu, a smartphone app, and ReportYourEx.com allow women to warn others about deadbeat ex-boyfriends. And a range of products and services—from eBay to Lyft to Sidecar to TaskRabbit, many of them falling under the umbrella of the sharing economy—allow us to review independent contractors who have only a tenuous connection to the app or Web site that connected us with them. When we rate an Uber driver, who doesn’t technically work for Uber, we are, in essence, rating him as an individual, adjudicating his personal value to us. Robert Moran, head of the Brunswick Group, a communications consultancy, sees what he calls the “rateocracy” as an opportunity for transparency, when good corporations and citizens will be rewarded for acting ethically and in others’ best interests.

Make sure you always give your employers good reviews, because they might retaliate if you pan them. If you run into trouble, as did Franklin Leonard with a racist property owner on Airbnb, then perhaps you just need to recalibrate your public identity. The sharing economy includes some online labor outlets, such as TaskRabbit, in which independent contractors perform menial tasks, such as fetching groceries or assembling furniture, for small fees. Companies such as Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar provide taxi-type services, but they almost never call themselves taxi or transportation companies. This is because the transportation industry is highly regulated, something that Uber would like to disrupt.

That this self-indulgent convenience ultimately comes at the expense of others is easily brushed off or shrouded in the magical promise that anything you want can be produced immediately. This is the Amazon ethic—customer first, costs slashed to the bone, goods delivered as soon as possible through cut-rate independent contractors—to the max. That’s why Amazon, so adept at hiding the exploitative conditions in its sweltering warehouses, has committed to ferrying goods by speedy drones and patented a method to ship customers items before they’ve even ordered them. Waiting for anything is now treated as a market inefficiency.


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, independent contractor, 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, Shenzhen special economic zone , Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

And the forms of resistance I encountered were, similarly, part of a larger struggle. Though rooted in and motivated by local politics and history, the activists I spoke with were all engaged in fighting the same things: poverty wages, the disappearance of public services (education, healthcare, water), the transformation of workers into independent contractors (and with that a loss of seniority, benefits, pensions), disrespect, sexual harassment and violence, mass evictions and disregard of people’s land rights. What follows are some stories of their resistance—their struggles, their losses, their victories, their visions for the future. When I began this book Donald Trump had not yet been elected president of the United States.

In expensive cities—New York, Los Angeles, Boston—three and four generations live together. They pool resources so that they can afford rent. Employed workers sleep on relatives’ couches. Some commute to work from homeless shelters.6 Secure jobs are disappearing. Employees are reduced to “independent” contractors, as corporate managers relentlessly cut costs. College graduates stagger under crushing levels of debt, unable to purchase homes or even cars. Stagnant wages erode workers’ living standards. Wage theft runs rampant. Marx’s proletariat has grown scarce, replaced by an expanding global “precariat”—contingent, commodified labor to whom no one owes anything.

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.


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, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, happiness index / gross national happiness, independent contractor, 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, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

In other words, having a single hierarchical management structure that can appropriately adapt to changing situations can often lead to lower long-term costs of group decision making. This is the best explanation we have for why hierarchically managed companies exist in our economy instead of every worker being an independent contractor who negotiates with others every day to do the work that needs to be done. Comparing Markets to Communities Like hierarchies, markets can have either higher or lower decision-making costs than communities. The same price mechanism that often makes markets cheaper than hierarchies also makes them cheaper than communities when coordinating large numbers of people and decisions.

Some of the tasks can be done by anyone who speaks English; others require expertise about topics like business strategy, economics, or political science. 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.

But it also seems like a very promising way that markets could finance programs for unemployed workers to learn the skills they need to find new work, regardless of what life stage they are in at the time. Worker associations. Another possibility is that associations of workers could pay to retrain their own members. For instance, in work I did with my colleague Rob Laubacher, we suggested that independent contractors (like Uber drivers) could form associations (which we called guilds) to provide many of the benefits that might otherwise come from long-term employers (like training, health care, retirement plans, and a place to socialize).15 Some of these guilds might be based on occupation (like unions and professional associations), and others on where you went to college or where you live.


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, algorithmic bias, 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, disinformation, 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, independent contractor, 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 Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, surveillance capitalism, 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, WeWork, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

That varies based on the algorithm; according to my own anecdotal interviews with drivers in NYC, it has been decreasing as Uber has built its market share, and is around 20 percent now, as opposed to roughly 30 percent for the local independent cab services that some people in the neighborhood still use. Uber touts its drivers as “free and independent” contractors, yet thanks to its automated algorithmic management system, the company is able to control how they work and penalize them when their behaviors deviate from what might be most profitable—for Uber.10 Using artificial intelligence, Uber is able to identify a class of consumers that might be willing to pay more than others for rides, depending on their zip codes.

The digital gig economy, it turns out, is no less bifurcated than the analog one. This is concerning, given that a spate of new research by various organizations, from McKinsey to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, points to the fact that in the next ten to twenty years, the number of people working as freelancers, independent contractors, or part-time for multiple employers will increase dramatically. In the United States, 35 percent of the labor force is already working this way. If “freelance nation” is the future, the divides in this new world will only further exacerbate the winner-takes-all trend that has driven the polarized politics of the moment.

“Ideologically, I come out of the Jewish labor movement of the 1920s, which included not only garment factory workers but also small entrepreneurs,” she says. Indeed, she has brought an interesting mix of entrepreneurial zeal and strategic thinking to her community. The Freelancers Union was, for example, instrumental in getting a law passed in New York City that allows independent contractors to sue for double damages and legal fees when clients fail to pay. Horowitz’s group subsequently developed an app to help members find lawyers who would take on their cases, and since most of those legal professionals were independent or working for small firms, she began organizing them, too.


pages: 460 words: 107,454

Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy That Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Apple II, Asian financial crisis, Asperger Syndrome, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, cyber-physical system, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google bus, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, precariat, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

Martin Wolf, Financial Times, April 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/e00099f0-3c19-11e8-b9f9-de94fa33a81e. 15 “The Worldwide Uber Strike Is a Key Test for the Gig Economy,” Alexia Fernandez Campbell, Vox, May 219, https://www.vox.com/2019/5/8/18535367/uber-drivers-strike-2019-cities. 16 “Uber Pre IPO, 8th May, 2019 Global Strike Results,” RideShare Drivers United, May 2019, https://ridesharedriversunited.com/uber-pre-ipo-8th-may-2019-global-strike-results/. 17 “Worker or Independent Contractor? Uber Settles Driver Claims Before Disappointing IPO,” Forbes, May 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2019/05/13/worker-or-independent-contractor-uber-settles-driver-claims-before-disappointing-ipo/#7a157b93f39f. 18 “Uber and Lyft Drivers in California Will Remain Contractors”, Kate Conger, The New York Times, November 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/technology/california-uber-lyft-prop-22.html. 19 “Are Political Parties in Trouble?”

Moller–Maersk case study on efforts to reduce, 167–168 Boston Consulting Group study on reducing, 167 CO2 emissions, 160, 161, 165–166, 182, 200, 202, 203, 207 EU's emissions cap-and-trade scheme to lower, 166, 183 fossil fuels, 49 Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics used to measure reduced, 249 See also Climate change; Pollution Green New Deal (EU), 183 Greenpeace, 50 Die Grünen (the Greens) [Germany], 78–79 The Guardian, 223 H Hartmann machine works (Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony), 103fig Hartmann, Richard, 103 Harvard Business School, 11 Health care COVID-19 pandemic revealing inequalities in, 3–4, 43, 73, 227 digital connectivity providing access to, 227–228 effective government focus on, 225–227 high EU percentage of GDP spent on, 231 high US cost of, 227, 231, 232 improving access in China, 225–226 Singapore's universal health care system, 230–232 Health inequalities COVID-19 pandemic revealing, 3–4, 43, 73, 227 health insurance, 43 wealth inequality, social mobility, and related, 41–42 Healthy365 app (Singapore), 232 Hess-Maier, Dorothee, 9 High-quality debt, 29 Hiroshima bombing (1945), 5 Hirsch, Jeffrey, 240 Hitachi (Japan), 142 Hong Kong carbon footprint per capita, 159 globalization driving economic growth of, 98 Nanyang Commercial Bank of, 57–58 See also Asian Tigers Horowitz, Sara, 242 Housing financial crisis 2008 and loss of, 227 redlining discriminatory practice, 226 Singapore's HDB public, 228–230 stakeholder government providing access to, 225–227 Housing Development Board (HDB) [Singapore], 228–230 Houston Natural Gas (US), 217 Houten, Frans van, 250 Huawei, 55, 60 Hughes, Chris, 128 Human capital definition of, 235 New Zealand's Living Standards Framework on, 235fig–236 Humanity Forward, 239–240 Human rights, Singapore's regulation of, 123 Hungary erosion of political center in, 83–84 Fidesz-KNDP coalition in, 83 financial crisis (2008) impact on, 112, 113 vote for right-wing populist parties (2000, 2017–2019), 84fig I IBM, 139 Iceland, 224 IDN Media (Indonesia), 94–95, 114 IDN Media HQ (Jakarta, Indonesia), 95 Inclusive Development Index (World Economic Forum), 189, 190 Income equality Denmark's success with, 119, 186 EPI plotting union membership against, 186 stakeholder government role in enabling, 178–179, 225 union membership impact on, 186 universal basic income (UBI) concept of, 239 See also Prosperity Income inequality COVID-19 pandemic revealing increased, 3–4, 43, 73 Elephant Curve of Global Inequality and Growth graph, 137–138fig First Industrial Revolution (19th century) and, 132–134 Gini Indices on China and India impact on, 37fig–38, 226 history of US, 34–36, 38–39fig, 88–89 impact on the global economic system by, 36–41 Kuznets curve on problem of, 34–41, 44–45 Kuznets Wave on, 45fig–46 wealth inequality higher than, 41 World Inequality Lab (WIL) on India and China's, 72–73fig World Inequality Report (2018) on, 38, 138fig See also Inequalities; Wealth inequality Independent contractors (freelancers), 237–238, 240–243 Independent Drivers Guild (New York), 238, 241–242 India continued trust in public institutions in, 196 COVID-19 pandemic impact on, 66, 67, 68–69 demographic changes in, 161 economic growth (1980s-2020) in, 66, 67–69, 96–97 gig workers of, 240, 243 Gini Indices on global income inequality impact of, 37fig–38 increasing national income inequality in, 40 protectionist policies and License Raj system of, 67, 69 WHO on unsafe air (2019) in, 72 World Inequality Lab (WIL) on rising inequality in, 72–73fig Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), 68 Indignados protest (Spain), 40, 86 Indochina (19th century), 56 Indonesia Bandung entrepreneurs story (2012) on MYCL, 93–94, 96, 98, 114 continued trust in public institutions in, 196 economic recession (1997) in, 98, 109 gig workers of, 237, 240 globalization success stories in, 93–99 history of international trade by, 97 IDN Media, 94–95, 114 IT and Internet revolution role in expanding economy of, 137 predicted economic growth (2020–2021) in, 65–66 Spice Islands trade (Maluku Islands), 100 tech unicorns of, 66, 67fig Industrial Revolution (19th century), 56, 71, 108, 116, 119, 130–134, 161 Inequalities Benioff on the problem of growing, 210 Big Tech widening, 210 COVID-19 pandemic revealing increased, 3–4, 43, 73, 227 “digital divide,” 227 World Inequality Lab (WIL) on India and China's, 72–73fig See also Income inequality; Wealth inequality Inflation rates debt burden and low, 33 low-interest rates and low, 31–33 Infosys [India], 68 Infrastructure increasing funding gap (2016–2040) for, 32 New Zealand's physical capital, 235fig–236 Institute of International Finance (IIF), 27 Institutions international, 178, 179, 194, 196–197 loss of trust in public, 196 stakeholder model on need for robust, 185, 193–198 Intel, 141 Interest rates COVID-19 pandemic impact on, 31 low inflation and low, 31–33 US Federal Reserve (2009–2019), 31 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [UN], 51, 149 Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) report [2019], 51 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now World Bank), 6 International Business Council (World Economic Forum), 193, 214, 249 International communities aim to preserve peace, 179 civil society and the, 237–238 as key stakeholders, 178 weakening of institutions of, 194, 196–197 See also specific international community International Monetary Fund (IMF) continued low global GDP growth expectation by, 26–27 creation of the, 6 GDP measure used by, 24 on increasing rates of median debt by mid-2021, 28 lack of representation evidenced in, 197 2020 fiscal monitor of, 19 World Economic Outlook (2020) on ASEAN economies, 65–66 Internet “digital divide” and, 227 improving digital connectivity to, 225, 227–228, 232 Internet Agenda (World Economic Forum), 246 Internet Explorer, 139 Internet of Things, 18, 72, 161 InterNorth (US), 217, 218 Ireland, 194 Iron Curtain, 77, 80 Israel OPEC members in opposition to, 12 Yom Kippur War, 12 Italy COVID-19 pandemic impact on economy of, 68 erosion of the political center in, 83 Five Star Movement in, 83, 87–88 Marshall Plan to rebuild economy of, 6 Pitchfork protests (2013), 86 ruined post-World War II economy of, 5 J Jacobin Magazine (socialist publication), 243 Japan demographic decline in, 161 Second World War occupation of Chinese territory by, 56 Japanese economy economic boom (1945–1970s) in, 8, 109 reconstruction of post-war society and, 8 ruined post-World War II, 5 Jensen, Claus, 117 Jobs, Steve, 126 Johnson, Lyndon B., 135, 184 Jordan, 162 JPMorgan Chase, 132 Julius, Otto, 9 K Kambhampati, Uma, 224 Kennedy, John F., 76 Kenya, 27, 70 Keynes, John Maynard, 103, 104 Khadija, 99 Khan, Lina, 127, 140 Klein, Alice, 220 Klein, Ezra, 231–232 Kohl, Helmut, 78, 81 KPMG (US), 215, 250 Krugman, Paul, 127–128 Kuznets, Simon Smith, 21–25, 34, 44–45, 53, 234 Kuznets' theories Environmental Kuznets Curve, 21–22, 46–47, 53 on mistaken pursuit of GDP growth, 21–25, 34, 46, 53 on problem of income inequality, 34–41, 44–45 Kuznets Wave, 45fig–46 L Labor force automation challenges for, 115–126 collective bargaining in European countries, 10 comparison of US and Danish approach to, 117–120, 123 constructive relationship between Danish companies and, 117–120 Financial Times on loss of manufacturing jobs (1990–2016), 120 gig economy, 237–238, 240–243 increased female participation in the, 9 US and UK politically polarizing, 122–123 Labor market reskilling American labor market deficiencies in, 121–122 Denmark's “Active Labour Market Policies,” 120–121 Labor strikes call for global Uber and Lyft (2019), 187 UK miners' strike, 122 US air traffic controllers, 122 Labor unions collective bargaining, 10, 14, 17 EPI plotting income inequality against history of, 186 high membership in Denmark, 240 stakeholder approach to modern, 240–243 strikes held by, 122 Laissez-faire economy, 225 Lakner, Christoph, 137, 138 Lasn, Kalle, 40 Latin American countries average economic mobility improvement in, 44 capitalism vs. communism ideological battle in, 7 dropping voter turnout for elections in, 188 emerging markets in, 63 income inequality in, 40 “reefer ships” (1870s) and international trade by, 104, 110 “21st century socialism” of, 225 See also specific country “League of Legends” game, 60 Lee Hsien Loong, 230 Lee, Kai-Fu, 143 Legacy preferences (university admissions), 226 Lega (League) [Germany], 83, 88 Legatum Prosperity Index (2019), 231 Lenin, Vladimir, 22 Leonhard, David, 140 LGBTQ people, 123, 195 LGBTQ rights groups, 243 Liberal political parties (Europe), 188 License Raj system (India), 67, 69 “The Limits to Growth” study (Peccei), 47, 48, 52 Lin, David, 49 LinkedIn (US), 211 “Little Mermaid” statue (Copenhagen), 200 Liu Guohong, 57 Living Standards Framework (LSF) [New Zealand], 222–223, 234–236 Local government.


pages: 460 words: 107,454

Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy That Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab, Peter Vanham

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Apple II, Asian financial crisis, Asperger Syndrome, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, cyber-physical system, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google bus, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, precariat, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

Martin Wolf, Financial Times, April 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/e00099f0-3c19-11e8-b9f9-de94fa33a81e. 15 “The Worldwide Uber Strike Is a Key Test for the Gig Economy,” Alexia Fernandez Campbell, Vox, May 219, https://www.vox.com/2019/5/8/18535367/uber-drivers-strike-2019-cities. 16 “Uber Pre IPO, 8th May, 2019 Global Strike Results,” RideShare Drivers United, May 2019, https://ridesharedriversunited.com/uber-pre-ipo-8th-may-2019-global-strike-results/. 17 “Worker or Independent Contractor? Uber Settles Driver Claims Before Disappointing IPO,” Forbes, May 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2019/05/13/worker-or-independent-contractor-uber-settles-driver-claims-before-disappointing-ipo/#7a157b93f39f. 18 “Uber and Lyft Drivers in California Will Remain Contractors”, Kate Conger, The New York Times, November 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/technology/california-uber-lyft-prop-22.html. 19 “Are Political Parties in Trouble?”

Moller–Maersk case study on efforts to reduce, 167–168 Boston Consulting Group study on reducing, 167 CO2 emissions, 160, 161, 165–166, 182, 200, 202, 203, 207 EU's emissions cap-and-trade scheme to lower, 166, 183 fossil fuels, 49 Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics used to measure reduced, 249 See also Climate change; Pollution Green New Deal (EU), 183 Greenpeace, 50 Die Grünen (the Greens) [Germany], 78–79 The Guardian, 223 H Hartmann machine works (Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony), 103fig Hartmann, Richard, 103 Harvard Business School, 11 Health care COVID-19 pandemic revealing inequalities in, 3–4, 43, 73, 227 digital connectivity providing access to, 227–228 effective government focus on, 225–227 high EU percentage of GDP spent on, 231 high US cost of, 227, 231, 232 improving access in China, 225–226 Singapore's universal health care system, 230–232 Health inequalities COVID-19 pandemic revealing, 3–4, 43, 73, 227 health insurance, 43 wealth inequality, social mobility, and related, 41–42 Healthy365 app (Singapore), 232 Hess-Maier, Dorothee, 9 High-quality debt, 29 Hiroshima bombing (1945), 5 Hirsch, Jeffrey, 240 Hitachi (Japan), 142 Hong Kong carbon footprint per capita, 159 globalization driving economic growth of, 98 Nanyang Commercial Bank of, 57–58 See also Asian Tigers Horowitz, Sara, 242 Housing financial crisis 2008 and loss of, 227 redlining discriminatory practice, 226 Singapore's HDB public, 228–230 stakeholder government providing access to, 225–227 Housing Development Board (HDB) [Singapore], 228–230 Houston Natural Gas (US), 217 Houten, Frans van, 250 Huawei, 55, 60 Hughes, Chris, 128 Human capital definition of, 235 New Zealand's Living Standards Framework on, 235fig–236 Humanity Forward, 239–240 Human rights, Singapore's regulation of, 123 Hungary erosion of political center in, 83–84 Fidesz-KNDP coalition in, 83 financial crisis (2008) impact on, 112, 113 vote for right-wing populist parties (2000, 2017–2019), 84fig I IBM, 139 Iceland, 224 IDN Media (Indonesia), 94–95, 114 IDN Media HQ (Jakarta, Indonesia), 95 Inclusive Development Index (World Economic Forum), 189, 190 Income equality Denmark's success with, 119, 186 EPI plotting union membership against, 186 stakeholder government role in enabling, 178–179, 225 union membership impact on, 186 universal basic income (UBI) concept of, 239 See also Prosperity Income inequality COVID-19 pandemic revealing increased, 3–4, 43, 73 Elephant Curve of Global Inequality and Growth graph, 137–138fig First Industrial Revolution (19th century) and, 132–134 Gini Indices on China and India impact on, 37fig–38, 226 history of US, 34–36, 38–39fig, 88–89 impact on the global economic system by, 36–41 Kuznets curve on problem of, 34–41, 44–45 Kuznets Wave on, 45fig–46 wealth inequality higher than, 41 World Inequality Lab (WIL) on India and China's, 72–73fig World Inequality Report (2018) on, 38, 138fig See also Inequalities; Wealth inequality Independent contractors (freelancers), 237–238, 240–243 Independent Drivers Guild (New York), 238, 241–242 India continued trust in public institutions in, 196 COVID-19 pandemic impact on, 66, 67, 68–69 demographic changes in, 161 economic growth (1980s-2020) in, 66, 67–69, 96–97 gig workers of, 240, 243 Gini Indices on global income inequality impact of, 37fig–38 increasing national income inequality in, 40 protectionist policies and License Raj system of, 67, 69 WHO on unsafe air (2019) in, 72 World Inequality Lab (WIL) on rising inequality in, 72–73fig Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), 68 Indignados protest (Spain), 40, 86 Indochina (19th century), 56 Indonesia Bandung entrepreneurs story (2012) on MYCL, 93–94, 96, 98, 114 continued trust in public institutions in, 196 economic recession (1997) in, 98, 109 gig workers of, 237, 240 globalization success stories in, 93–99 history of international trade by, 97 IDN Media, 94–95, 114 IT and Internet revolution role in expanding economy of, 137 predicted economic growth (2020–2021) in, 65–66 Spice Islands trade (Maluku Islands), 100 tech unicorns of, 66, 67fig Industrial Revolution (19th century), 56, 71, 108, 116, 119, 130–134, 161 Inequalities Benioff on the problem of growing, 210 Big Tech widening, 210 COVID-19 pandemic revealing increased, 3–4, 43, 73, 227 “digital divide,” 227 World Inequality Lab (WIL) on India and China's, 72–73fig See also Income inequality; Wealth inequality Inflation rates debt burden and low, 33 low-interest rates and low, 31–33 Infosys [India], 68 Infrastructure increasing funding gap (2016–2040) for, 32 New Zealand's physical capital, 235fig–236 Institute of International Finance (IIF), 27 Institutions international, 178, 179, 194, 196–197 loss of trust in public, 196 stakeholder model on need for robust, 185, 193–198 Intel, 141 Interest rates COVID-19 pandemic impact on, 31 low inflation and low, 31–33 US Federal Reserve (2009–2019), 31 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [UN], 51, 149 Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) report [2019], 51 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now World Bank), 6 International Business Council (World Economic Forum), 193, 214, 249 International communities aim to preserve peace, 179 civil society and the, 237–238 as key stakeholders, 178 weakening of institutions of, 194, 196–197 See also specific international community International Monetary Fund (IMF) continued low global GDP growth expectation by, 26–27 creation of the, 6 GDP measure used by, 24 on increasing rates of median debt by mid-2021, 28 lack of representation evidenced in, 197 2020 fiscal monitor of, 19 World Economic Outlook (2020) on ASEAN economies, 65–66 Internet “digital divide” and, 227 improving digital connectivity to, 225, 227–228, 232 Internet Agenda (World Economic Forum), 246 Internet Explorer, 139 Internet of Things, 18, 72, 161 InterNorth (US), 217, 218 Ireland, 194 Iron Curtain, 77, 80 Israel OPEC members in opposition to, 12 Yom Kippur War, 12 Italy COVID-19 pandemic impact on economy of, 68 erosion of the political center in, 83 Five Star Movement in, 83, 87–88 Marshall Plan to rebuild economy of, 6 Pitchfork protests (2013), 86 ruined post-World War II economy of, 5 J Jacobin Magazine (socialist publication), 243 Japan demographic decline in, 161 Second World War occupation of Chinese territory by, 56 Japanese economy economic boom (1945–1970s) in, 8, 109 reconstruction of post-war society and, 8 ruined post-World War II, 5 Jensen, Claus, 117 Jobs, Steve, 126 Johnson, Lyndon B., 135, 184 Jordan, 162 JPMorgan Chase, 132 Julius, Otto, 9 K Kambhampati, Uma, 224 Kennedy, John F., 76 Kenya, 27, 70 Keynes, John Maynard, 103, 104 Khadija, 99 Khan, Lina, 127, 140 Klein, Alice, 220 Klein, Ezra, 231–232 Kohl, Helmut, 78, 81 KPMG (US), 215, 250 Krugman, Paul, 127–128 Kuznets, Simon Smith, 21–25, 34, 44–45, 53, 234 Kuznets' theories Environmental Kuznets Curve, 21–22, 46–47, 53 on mistaken pursuit of GDP growth, 21–25, 34, 46, 53 on problem of income inequality, 34–41, 44–45 Kuznets Wave, 45fig–46 L Labor force automation challenges for, 115–126 collective bargaining in European countries, 10 comparison of US and Danish approach to, 117–120, 123 constructive relationship between Danish companies and, 117–120 Financial Times on loss of manufacturing jobs (1990–2016), 120 gig economy, 237–238, 240–243 increased female participation in the, 9 US and UK politically polarizing, 122–123 Labor market reskilling American labor market deficiencies in, 121–122 Denmark's “Active Labour Market Policies,” 120–121 Labor strikes call for global Uber and Lyft (2019), 187 UK miners' strike, 122 US air traffic controllers, 122 Labor unions collective bargaining, 10, 14, 17 EPI plotting income inequality against history of, 186 high membership in Denmark, 240 stakeholder approach to modern, 240–243 strikes held by, 122 Laissez-faire economy, 225 Lakner, Christoph, 137, 138 Lasn, Kalle, 40 Latin American countries average economic mobility improvement in, 44 capitalism vs. communism ideological battle in, 7 dropping voter turnout for elections in, 188 emerging markets in, 63 income inequality in, 40 “reefer ships” (1870s) and international trade by, 104, 110 “21st century socialism” of, 225 See also specific country “League of Legends” game, 60 Lee Hsien Loong, 230 Lee, Kai-Fu, 143 Legacy preferences (university admissions), 226 Lega (League) [Germany], 83, 88 Legatum Prosperity Index (2019), 231 Lenin, Vladimir, 22 Leonhard, David, 140 LGBTQ people, 123, 195 LGBTQ rights groups, 243 Liberal political parties (Europe), 188 License Raj system (India), 67, 69 “The Limits to Growth” study (Peccei), 47, 48, 52 Lin, David, 49 LinkedIn (US), 211 “Little Mermaid” statue (Copenhagen), 200 Liu Guohong, 57 Living Standards Framework (LSF) [New Zealand], 222–223, 234–236 Local government.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

It’s a classic illustration of how regulatory debates that evoke majestic concepts such as equity, freedom, and the sanctity of the marketplace often turn, in the end, on nitty-gritty issues of dollars and cents and the political clout that various players bring to the legislative table. Labor regulation. Those who operate labor platforms usually choose to describe their systems as intermediaries that serve solely to match labor with demand for services. In this view, the people who sign up for work through firms such as Uber, TaskRabbit, and Mechanical Turk are truly independent contractors, and the platform bears little legal (or moral) responsibility to the parties on either side of the interaction once the match has been made. However, from the perspective of regulators who are charged with safeguarding the welfare of working men and women, this position is dubious. In the traditional world of offline business, a number of firms that classify full-time, permanent employees as contract labor for legal and regulatory purposes have been drawing unfavorable attention for the practice.

Perhaps equally significant, the reputation of online labor platforms has already taken a serious hit in the unofficial “court of public opinion”—as reflected, for example, in more than a million Google results, many from respectable mainstream media outlets, in response to the query “Internet sweatshop.”46 In the long run, public disapproval of business behavior can have a meaningful impact on the value of a company’s brand—which means that the court of public opinion operates, at times, as an unofficial regulatory body that business leaders are wise to heed. Similarly, there are limits to the extent to which labor platforms will be able to evade responsibility for their practices in hiring, screening, training, and supervising workers—even when those workers are technically classified as independent contractors. Uber, for example, has experienced significant criticism for alleged sexual assaults committed by its drivers on passengers.47 At a time when Uber is engaged in a fierce battle over regulation with the traditional taxi industry, it can ill afford the suspicion that its labor practices are shoddy.

., ix, 130 electric lighting, 19, 285 electric power, 19, 69, 247, 284–85 Electronic Arts (EA), 94, 124, 240 electronic health records, 270 electronics, 75, 178, 206 email, 81, 85, 101–4, 185 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 10–11 encyclopaedias, 10–11, 129–30, 133, 149–51 Endomondo, 75 end-to-end design principle, 52–54 energy: efficiency of, 254, 284–85, 286 industry for, 261, 272–74, 289 resources of, 69–70, 254, 272–74 enhanced access, 112, 118, 119–21, 126, 127, 296 enhanced curation, 121–22, 126–27 enhanced design, 223–24 enterprise management, 173–75 enterprise resource planning (ERP), 11 entrepreneurs, 79–83, 86, 96, 111, 205, 282 environmental issues, 62, 70–71, 233, 237, 272, 274 Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974), 243–44 Equity Bank, 277–78 e-readers, 178 eToys, 22 Etsy, 65, 73, 149, 212, 262, 299 European Union (EU), 242, 247–48 events listings, 112–15, 126 Excel, 216 excess inertia, 241, 296 exclusive access, 213–15 expert networks, 30, 36, 68, 93, 96, 99, 117–18 extension developers, 141, 142–45, 147, 148–49, 153–54 external networks, 100–101, 102, 103–4, 105 Facebook, 3, 12, 20, 32, 33, 37, 39, 41–50, 66, 90–91, 98–103, 104, 112, 121, 126, 131–35, 132, 133, 145, 151, 159, 163, 168, 181, 184, 185, 197, 204, 216–18, 221, 226, 245, 251–52, 267, 270–71 Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970), 175 fairness, 179–81, 230 fair use doctrine, 259 farm prices, 42–44, 60 FarmVille, 221 Fasal, 42–44 Federal Reserve, 174 Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 242, 243–44, 245 FedEx, 61, 249–50, 278 feedback loops, 21, 28, 45–46, 68, 71, 72, 100–101, 108, 139, 167–70, 218–19, 223, 296 feet on street (FOS) sales forces, 43–44, 91 files, 63, 166 encryption of, 200 formats for, 29–30 film industry, 9, 66, 138–39, 163, 178, 259, 267 filters, 38–41, 42, 59, 133, 295, 296–97 financial crash of 2008, 178, 230 financial services industry, 11, 16–18, 33, 164, 171–73, 178, 230, 261, 274–78, 289 fitness and sports activities, 74–76, 245, 270–71 five forces model, 207–10, 212, 213, 221 500px, 37, 47 Fiverr, 116, 193 fixed costs, 9–10, 209, 224–25, 278 follow-the-rabbit strategy, 89–91, 105 food industry, 76, 254, 255, 278 Ford, Henry, 19, 32 Ford Motor Co., 19 Fortune 500, 65 Foursquare, 97, 98 fragmented industries, 131, 262, 265, 268–69, 289 fraud, 175, 196–97, 255, 257, 276 Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Anderson), 22 freelancers (independent contractors), 21, 36, 37, 64, 65, 117–18, 193–94, 196, 210, 213, 233–34, 249–51, 279, 280, 287, 297, 299 free trade, 205, 206, 235 Friedersdorf, Conor, 236 Friendster, 98 FuelBand, 74, 75 full-time employees, 249–50 FUSE Labs, 252–53 games, gaming, 94, 103, 124, 132, 159, 163, 178, 211, 212, 217, 221, 240 “Gangnam Style,” 84, 147 gatekeepers, 7–8, 151–52, 171–73, 243, 253, 262, 265, 268, 275–76, 281, 289, 298 Gawer, Annabelle, 58, 178–79 Gebbia, Joe, 1–2 General Electric (GE), 4, 13, 19, 76, 78, 86, 110, 201, 204, 208, 247, 284 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, 238–39 geographic focus, 98–99, 271 Germany, 96–97, 161, 205 Gillette, King, 109–10 Global 500, 209–10 Go-Jek, 278 Goldberg, Whoopi, 23 Goodwin, Tom, 11–12 Google, vii, 3–7, 21–25, 30–33, 49–50, 55, 58, 64, 72, 111, 112, 120, 121, 125, 134, 137, 140–41, 148, 153–54, 159, 198–99, 214–17, 226, 240, 242, 250, 267, 270–71 Google AdWords, 72, 120, 121, 125 Google Maps, 49–50, 55, 148, 200 Google Play, 154 government platforms, 261, 281–83, 289 graphical processing units (GPUs), 56, 57, 58 graphic design, 67, 226 Great Britain, 160, 205 gross domestic product (GDP), 160, 161 Grossman, Nick, 253, 254, 255, 256 Guardian, 144–45 Gurley, Bill, 16–18, 21 Haber-Bosch process, 19 Hachette Book Group, 251 Haier Group, vii, 76, 125, 198–99, 222 Halo, 94, 240 Halo: Combat Evolved, 94 Hammurabi, Code of, 274 hard drives (HDs), 56, 57, 58 hardware, 56, 57–58, 136, 152–53, 178–79 Harvard University, 98–99, 266 hashtags, 58, 104 Havas Media, 11–12 health care, 32–33, 35, 69, 71, 77, 200, 233, 234, 238, 245, 261, 263, 265, 268–72, 277, 280, 289 health insurance, 234, 263, 271–72, 277, 280 Heiferman, Scott, 113–14, 126 heirlooms, 161–62 Here, 49–50 Hertz, 9 heuristics, 123–24 Hilton Hotels, 8, 64 Hipstamatic, 100 homeowners’ insurance, 175, 232 horizontal integration, 33, 74–76, 208 hospitals, 69, 71, 233, 270, 271–72 hosting sites, 88, 198, 223–24 hotel industry, 1–2, 8–9, 10, 12, 64, 67, 101, 111, 142–43, 198, 224, 229–33, 236, 253, 287 Hotmail, 103, 104 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 204, 208, 225 HTTP, 177 Huffington Post, 90 human resources, 14, 39 human rights, 159, 160–61 hypercompetition, 209–10, 213 IBM, x, 137, 152, 179, 284 iCloud, 75 identity theft, 244 InCloudCounsel, 279 income streams, 139–41, 143, 144, 215 India, 73, 91 Indiegogo, 96, 124 Indonesia, 278 Industrial Awakening, 285–86 industrial development, 205–10, 224–25, 268 industrial-era firms, 19, 32, 34, 256, 285, 288 Industrial Revolution, 288 Industry Standard Architecture (ISA), 58 information, 40, 42 agencies for, 243–44 age of, 253, 256, 260 asymmetries of, 161–62, 164, 181, 182, 220, 228, 258–59, 262–63, 265, 269, 281, 289 exchange of, 36, 37, 39, 41, 47–48, 51, 134 intensive need for, 262–63, 265, 268, 281, 289 mis-, 129–30 platforms for, 190, 200, 287 units of, 296–97 initial public offerings (IPOs), ix, 91, 204–5 Instagram, 3, 13, 32, 46, 47, 66, 85, 100, 102–3, 104, 204, 217, 218, 299 instant messaging, 131, 198, 211 insurance industry, 9, 62, 71, 142, 164, 175–76, 232, 268, 277 integrated systems, 33, 74, 131 Intel, vii, x, 57–58, 89, 137, 178–81, 270–71, 284 Intel Architecture Labs (IAL), 179–81 intellectual property (IP), 33, 57, 167, 174–75, 180, 258 interaction failures, 190, 192, 196–97 Interbrand, 198–99 interest rates, 170, 244, 276 Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 93 internal transparency, 176–79 International Financial Reporting Standards, 238–39 Internet, 24–25, 32, 60–63, 76–79, 95–96, 107–13, 121, 167, 201, 204, 205, 209, 244, 249, 250, 263, 264, 283–89, 299 Internet of things, 76, 201, 204, 283–86, 289 inventory, 9, 11–12, 25, 42, 141, 184, 186, 262 investment, ix, 16, 63, 164, 168–69, 184–86, 209, 278 iPads, 95 iPhone, 3, 6–7, 72, 131, 140, 147, 148, 178, 211, 213–14, 222 iStockphoto, 167–68, 173 iTunes, 75, 131, 142, 153, 164, 214, 231 Japan, 66, 205–6 Jassy, Andrew, 177–78 Java programming language, 140 Jawbone, x, 77, 245 job listings, 39, 49, 50, 51, 63, 111, 118–19, 120, 131, 133–34, 137, 184–86, 196, 201, 218 Jobs, Steve, viii, 53, 131, 214 joint venture model, 137, 138 judiciary, 237, 238, 250 JVC, 138–39 Kalanick, Travis, 18, 62 Kelley, Brian P., 157 Kenya, 277–78 Kercher, Meredith, 129–30, 149–50 Keurig Green Mountain, 143, 157–58, 159, 181 Kickstarter, 40, 92, 96, 102, 111 Kindle, 7, 10, 67, 140, 154, 243 Kindle Fire, 140 Knox, Amanda, 129–30, 149–50 Korengold, Barry, 61 Kozmo, 22–23 Kretschmer, Tobias, 257 Kuraitis, Vince, 270, 271 labor: child, 164 division of, 280 market for, 39, 49, 50, 51, 63, 111, 118–19, 120, 131, 133–34, 137, 196, 201, 218, 235 platforms for, 200, 201, 213, 233–34, 248–51, 279–81, 289 regulation of, 230, 249–51, 260, 288 self-employed, 21, 36, 37, 64, 65, 117–18, 193–94, 196, 210, 213, 233–34, 249–51, 279, 280, 287, 297, 299 unions for, 280, 288 Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 235, 237 law firms, 8, 204, 279 laws and legal systems, 88, 164–70, 182, 230, 247–49, 257, 258, 260, 281 lead generation, 113, 117 Lean Analytics (Croll and Yoskovitz), 191, 196 lean startups, 199, 201–2 Lee Kuan Yew, 160–61 LegalZoom, 204, 225 Lending Club, 77, 275, 276 Lessig, Lawrence, 164–65, 166 Levchin, Max, 79–81 Lexis, 204, 225 liability coverage, 175, 232 libertarianism, 79, 80, 236, 238 licensing fees, 61, 131, 258–59 licensing model, 136–37, 138, 139, 214, 235, 296 lightbulbs, 284–85 linear value chains (pipelines), 6, 183–84, 297, 298 LinkedIn, 39, 41–42, 48, 50–51, 103, 111, 119, 170, 173, 184, 197, 218–19, 223, 226, 245 Linux, 137, 138, 154, 200 liquidity, 189–91, 193, 194–95, 201–2, 297 local content regulations, 246–47 logos (icons), 82, 83 “long tail” (software adoption), 216–17, 219 Lyft, 49, 50–51, 67, 213, 227, 250–51, 297 Ma, Jack, 125, 206, 215 MacCormack, Alan, 57 magazines, 72, 151, 197, 244, 264, 275 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 69, 71 mail, 63, 94–95, 171 MailChimp, 109 Malaysia, 160 Management Science (MacCormack and Baldwin), 57 mandis (market-makers), 42–44 Manghani, Ravi, 273–74 manufacturing efficiencies, 208, 209, 261 MapMyFitness, 75 mapping services, 49–50, 55, 148, 200 marginal economics, 72, 78 Marini, Rick, 184–85 marketing, 14, 19, 25, 52–53, 72, 73–74, 84–85, 100, 101, 105, 183–84, 209–10, 267 Marketplace Fairness Act (2013), 249 marketplaces, 60, 91, 190, 204, 249 markets: access to, 87–88, 98, 194, 215, 218, 220 aggregation of, 68–69, 72–73, 78, 262, 297 controls for, 164–65 data on, 42–44 emerging, 210–11 entry barriers to, 207–8, 215, 219–20 expansion of, 4, 20, 31–32 failure of, xiii, 161–63, 164, 170–71, 182, 234–35, 256, 257, 258–59, 263, 289 free, 149, 161–65, 173–76, 180, 182, 234–36 frictionless entry into, 25–26, 34, 81, 107–8, 111, 117, 124–25, 130, 168, 206, 297 incumbent advantage in, 86, 218, 261, 263 late-mover problem in, 87–88, 98 liquidity of, 171, 196 local, 70–71, 117–18, 264 manipulation of, 238, 251–53, 260, 287 micro-, 98–99, 105 multi-sided, 159, 164 new entrants to, 207–10, 262, 296 niche, 88, 216, 223–24, 228, 300 one-sided, 157–58, 159 share of, 16–22, 33, 53, 60–62, 65, 81, 87–88, 112–13, 131–33, 132, 133, 137–40, 152–53, 157, 222–26, 260, 287 strategy for, viii, xi, 10, 16–18, 20, 21, 31–32, 33, 42–44, 57–58, 69–73, 77, 78, 89, 111, 124, 173, 210–11, 272–74, 278 supply and demand in, 69–71, 173, 210–11, 272–74, 278 “thickness” of, 164, 171, 173 two-sided, 81, 89, 93, 110, 119, 175, 196, 215, 218, 295, 298 winner-take-all, viii, 224–27, 228, 279–80, 300 marquee strategy, 94–95, 105 Marriott Hotels, 8–9 massive open online courses (MOOCs), 266–67 mass media, 40, 63, 72, 77, 262, 264 MasterCard, 226, 275 matching services, 17, 47–48 Matharu, Taran, 4–5 McCormick Foods, 76 McGraw-Hill, 204, 208 Mechanical Turk, 249, 280 Medicare, 250 Medicast, 269, 279 Medium, 71–72 Meetup, 113–15, 126 Megaupload, 87–88 membership fees, 123, 125 Mercateo, 96–97 mergers and acquisitions, 208, 216, 220–21, 228 Metcalfe, Robert, 20, 297 Metcalfe’s law, 20, 21, 295, 297 metering tools, 272–73 Microsoft, vii, x, 3, 13, 20, 29, 33, 52–53, 94, 103–4, 110, 124, 131, 140, 152–53, 179, 181, 200, 211, 216, 226, 240, 241, 252, 267, 270–71 Microsoft Outlook, 103–4 Microsoft Vista, 52–53 Microsoft Windows, 30, 53, 140, 152–53, 200, 222, 240 Microsoft Windows XP, 53 middlemen, 68–69, 71–72, 78, 161–62, 170–71, 298 Minerva Project, 268 mining, 225, 263 mislabeled bargains, 161–62, 170–71 MIT, ix–x, xi, 214, 266, 267 MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, ix–x MIT Platform Strategy Summit, xi, 214 moderators, 151–52 modular design, 54–57, 221 monetary policy, 159, 173–74 monetization, 38, 63, 106–27, 188, 215 MonkeyParking, 233, 234 monopolies, 18–19, 162, 163, 172–73, 182, 208–9, 227, 237, 238, 240–41, 242 Monster, 218–19, 223, 226 mortgages, 237, 243, 263 Mount, David, 285–86 MP3 players, 178 multidirectional platforms, 272–74 multihoming, 213–15, 223–28, 250–51, 297, 300 multinational corporations, 246–48 multi-sponsor decision-making, 139–40 multi-user feedback loop, 46, 100–101 music industry, 63, 71, 75, 87, 111, 134–35, 147, 178, 213, 226, 231, 258, 287, 297 MyFitnessPal, 75, 245 Myspace, 87, 92, 98, 125–26, 131–34, 132, 133, 135, 143, 204, 221, 226 Nakamoto, Satoshi, 171–73 Nalebuff, Barry J., 212 NASDAQ, ix, 80 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 237 navigation tools, 191, 297 NBC, 204, 225 negative cross-side effects, 30–32, 34, 295 negative externalities, 163, 229–34, 257, 287 negative feedback, 28, 157–58, 166–67 negative network effects, 17, 26–32, 34, 47, 49, 51, 68, 112–15, 120, 121, 123, 126, 151, 229–34, 287, 298 negative same-side effects, 30, 298 Nest, 204, 225 Netflix, 63, 163, 204, 225 Netscape, 62, 110 network matching, 26–28 network orchestrators, 32 News Corp., 126 news feeds, 121, 168, 251–52 newspapers, 63, 144–45, 264, 287 New York City, 61, 113, 123, 229–30, 231, 258–59 New York State, 69–70, 274 New York Stock Exchange, 55, 171 New York Times, 205 NeXT, 53 Nigeria, 247 Nike, 4, 74–76, 78, 205, 271 9/11 attacks, 113 99designs, 66, 106 Nintendo, 94, 211, 240 noise, 28, 114, 120, 199, 200 Nokia, 49–50, 64, 131, 226 Novel Writing Month, 4–5 NTT, 89 oDesk, 201 oil and gas industry, 225, 235, 259, 263, 272 OkCupid, xi, 26–28, 30, 195–96 oligopolies, 209, 238 on-boarding effect, 90–91, 97 online courses, 96, 111, 265–68, 289 Open Data, 282 “open in” vs.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, WeWork, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

Starting with the economic meltdown and continuing through the recovery, the number of Americans working for contract agencies rose to sixteen million—a faster rate of growth than that of overall employment. Such statistics make clear what reported labor numbers do not: that the economic recovery brought a dramatic rise in temporary contracts (at an average duration of about three months) as well as a growth in independent contractors tied to labor platforms like Uber and Lyft. The pay for these “alternative” gigs typically averages about $17 an hour, compared with the US average of $24.57 an hour. Often they are part time, occasional, or seasonal. In Irving, contract employees working at Amazon received about $8 an hour, minus a portion retained by the employment agency for transportation and check-cashing fees.

So it is hopeful indeed that as traditional unions fail to recruit younger workers, organizations better able to adapt to the challenges of the demands of the digital marketplace are rising to fill the gaps. Sara Horowitz, executive director of the Freelancers Union, first confronted this challenge more than a quarter century ago. Shortly after arriving at a new job, she learned that she had been hired as an independent contractor, with no retirement plan, no health insurance, no vacation days, and no job security. In response she and two other young associates formed the Transient Workers Union, with the motto “The union makes us not so weak.” Of course, this was a joke…there was no union, so Horowitz quit to start one.

See David Grogan, “ABA Criticizes President’s Choice of Venue for Jobs Speech,” American Booksellers Association, news release, July 29, 2013, http://www.bookweb.org/​news/​aba-criticizes-president%E2%80%99s-choice-venue-jobs-speech. an inordinate number of Texans Louise Story, “Texas Business Incentives Highest in Nation,” New York Times, December 2, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/​2012/​12/​03/​us/​winners-and-losers-in-texas.html?pagewanted=all. independent contractors tied to labor platforms See Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, “The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995–2015” (NBER Working Paper No. 22667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, September 2016), http://dx.doi.org/​doi:10.3386/​w22667. like Chattanooga, Tennessee Ana Campoy, “Amazon’s Exit Spurs Tax Fight in Texas,” Wall Street Journal, last modified February 17, 2011, https://www.wsj.com/​articles/​SB1000­142405274­87039611­0457614863­40385­74352.


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, independent contractor, 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, Savings and loan crisis, 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

Despite this new regulation, both the Consumer Banking Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have found that the opt in/opt out process is confusing, and many customers don’t know whether they have opted in or out. More than half of the consumers surveyed for a Pew study don’t recall opting in to their bank’s overdraft service. Both Pew and the CFPB found that consumers would rather have their transactions declined than pay the overdraft fees. Many independent contractors are willing to pay the fees charged by alternative financial-services providers to “stay afloat,” as my contractor Tom puts it. But others simply need their money as soon as they can get it. Customer after customer told me that they couldn’t afford to have the bank hold their check, waiting for it to clear.

But the financial advising business has taken two substantial hits over the past fifteen years: first, when the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, and then when the 2008 financial crisis occurred. David couldn’t foresee these shocks, and his earnings dipped both times, leaving him unprepared and unable to manage his expenses until business picked up again. A key factor in this increase in income volatility is the rise in part-time work and tenuous “independent contractor” arrangements. Twenty percent of employed individuals are working part-time, the highest part-time rate since 1983, and their predicaments are often painfully difficult, and sometimes tragic. In August 2014, a woman named Maria Fernandes died in her car while taking a nap between shifts at her four part-time jobs.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson

Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, independent contractor, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft

SalesIncome directly from commissions from the sale of goods or services. Real estate, insurance, direct marketing, and a wide variety of other types of sales, including technology, pharmaceuticals, and business services. Income is a percentage of the sales amount or a flat fee. You may be an independent contractor or an employee. Frequency of Work: Varies greatly depending on whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee. Presence: Not required on an ongoing basis. Focus is on performance, not presence. Owning a Business, Working in It, Managing ItSalary and/or income from the profits of a business that you own fully or partially. Your participation in the business is significant and often requires long hours.


pages: 326 words: 74,433

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

augmented reality, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software as a service, Steve Jobs

It sounds easy, but following this advice is not always intuitive. For example, roughly over half of the companies that come to the Colorado Law School's Entrepreneurial Law Clinic previously worked with independent contractors on a handshake basis. These companies are surprised to learn that the contractor, not the company, may well own IP developed by the contractor. A simple solution when working with independent contractors is to have a written contract that unambiguously assigns IP over to the company. By having a legal entity formed, it is easier to have agreements and assignments that get IP into the company.


pages: 240 words: 78,436

Open for Business Harnessing the Power of Platform Ecosystems by Lauren Turner Claire, Laure Claire Reillier, Benoit Reillier

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, blockchain, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, distributed ledger, future of work, George Akerlof, independent contractor, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, multi-sided market, Network effects, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, price discrimination, profit motive, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator

Who do platform participants work for? While this chapter focuses on competition issues, it is also important to mention the tension between labour laws in many countries and many platforms’ use of self-employed or independent contractors. When the California Labor Commission suggested that an Uber driver could in fact be considered an employee, rather than an independent contractor, it sent shockwaves throughout the industry. Similar judgments have been reached in UK courts,5 where the self-employed status of Uber drivers has been called into question. Such findings, under appeal by Uber at the time of writing, would have far-reaching consequences since they would undermine many platform business models that are predicated on the participation of self-employed workers.


pages: 772 words: 203,182

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, compensation consultant, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, independent contractor, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, Money creation, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Yet American managers didn’t even rank wages among their top five retention tools; instead, they prioritize ephemeral steps such as enriched “supervisor relationships” and improved “workplace culture.”15Similar findings are noted in the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2007 Job Satisfaction Survey Report.16 The American judiciary has added to the downward spiral of wages, indifferent to enforcing employee protections or the right to organize and refusing even to establish guidelines on burgeoning issues including independent contractors. Among others, Nissan and SuperShuttle exploit the resulting gray area to routinely misclassify employees as contractors or franchisees. SuperShuttle, for example, shifts traditional routine firm costs (equipment purchases, fringe benefits, and Social Security/Medicare fees) to employees, while also dodging traditional obligations (minimum wages, overtime pay, and workers’ compensation fees).

Rosen of the Peterson Institute testified before Congress in 2007 that tighter rules imposed since 1980 reduced the share of jobless Americans eligible for unemployment compensation by nearly a quarter.27 Eligibility was sharply reduced, for example, to include only former full-time employees with at least one year of employment. That excluded the rapidly growing legions of independent contractors and part-timers being utilized today to implement just-in-time staffing needs in the vast service sector and elsewhere. The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats reversed this trend in February 2009, nearly doubling eligibility to about 70 percent. They also extended coverage to 99 weeks during the recession.28 Even so, the duration of support in nations such as Belgium, Denmark, and Australia is at least double this temporary American maximum of 99 weeks, according to OECD data.29 Unemployment benefits are supplemented in America mostly with food stamps and smaller assistance programs administered locally or by states.

Fair Work America should also enjoy the same mandatory arbitration authority provided Fair Work Australia, with short deadlines to settle wage disputes. Other wage-related reforms should enhance employee organizing and bargaining rights and rigorously police the employer tactic of misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Importantly, work councils should be mandated to ease the drag on productivity from the hierarchical structure of American firms. After all, American firms in northern Europe routinely operate with work councils, and their shareholders would benefit from the same system back home. Turning to minimum wages, the higher levels proposed repeatedly by President Obama are important ancillary steps to boosting productivity and wages.


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, independent contractor, 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

In developing country contexts, basic income and cash transfers have been shown to have positive effects on entrepreneurship;3 in Madhya Pradesh, basic income was strongly associated with new entrepreneurial activities.4 In industrialized countries, basic income would provide essential security for the growing numbers of unwillingly self-employed and independent contractors, as well as for those with entrepreneurial ambitions. More generally, it would encourage people to seek training and job opportunities in line with their skills and motivations rather than those most likely to ‘put food on the table’. This would make the economy more productive by facilitating the efficient reallocation of talent and increasing the level of job engagement.

Since the UK National Minimum Wage Act was introduced in 1998, only nine employers have been prosecuted for not paying it, out of hundreds of firms found to be breaking the law. Those who do not respond to ‘naming and shaming’ must be pursued in lengthy proceedings through the courts. In addition, minimum wages only cover employees, ignoring those without jobs as well as the growing numbers of self-employed and so-called independent contractors that are now a feature of all industrialized countries. And they are an inefficient way of tackling poverty because, in Britain at least, most people on the minimum wage do not live in the poorest households. Opponents of a minimum wage, or who consider its level ‘too high’, usually claim that it will result in companies employing fewer workers in order to save on payroll costs.


pages: 286 words: 87,870

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World by Jay Bahadur

collective bargaining, failed state, independent contractor, private military company, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning

After being held for fifty-two days, during which they were allegedly abused and brutally beaten by the pirates, the Germans were released for a reported ransom of $1 million.1 Yusuf’s references from his previous employers must have been laudatory, because Ombaali’s gang quickly sought his services. “We knew him from that operation, so we gave him a call,” said Ombaali. Interpreters, I would later learn, are in such high demand that they essentially functioned as independent contractors, hiring themselves out to various pirate groups and moving from job to job. Many translators are simply English-speaking members of the Somali diaspora out to make a few quick dollars in their homeland—where English is rarely spoken by the local inhabitants—while others establish themselves as dilals, professional negotiators who take pride in exacting the best possible price from shipowners.

“SomCan was keeping the security of their own licensed ships, instead of keeping the security of the sea,” explained Abdiwahid Mahamed Hersi “Joaar,” the long-serving director general of the Puntland Ministry of Fisheries. SomCan’s tripartite role as law enforcer, trade commissioner, and independent contractor enabled the company to establish what could be described as a maritime protection racket. From 2002 to 2005, the coast guard served directly as an agent for the Thai concession Sirichai Fisheries, guaranteeing the company’s security in Somali waters and protecting it from local fishermen-cum-pirates, even to the point of posting its own armed guards on the decks of Sirichai’s ships.


pages: 302 words: 80,287

When the Wolves Bite: Two Billionaires, One Company, and an Epic Wall Street Battle by Scott Wapner

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset allocation, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, independent contractor, Mark Zuckerberg, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Tim Cook: Apple, unbiased observer

She was just thirty-six years old.13 “That’s why I dedicated my life to finding a better way to help people manage their weight,” Hughes later said of his mother’s passing, pushing the phony story until well after her death.14 In the mid-1970s, Hughes began selling weight-loss products for the Slendernow brand, which was owned by the Seyforth Laboratories.15 Its founder, Mark Seyforth, was a pioneer in the fast-growing direct-selling industry, where products are sold by individuals acting as independent contractors.16 People who signed up would either use the products themselves or sell them to family, friends, and co-workers, sometimes trying to recruit new salespeople into the operation. Their pay structure was controversial. Seyforth had invented a system where the independent contractors, called distributors, were compensated for what they sold as well as for how many new recruits they brought in. This multilevel marketing (MLM) structure was booming at the time.17 Mary Kay Cosmetics, Amway, and Tupperware were well-established brands with histories dating back to the 1950s, but in the 2000s the practice was experiencing a rebirth, and these familiar companies were doing well, along with hundreds of lesser-known brands.


pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, independent contractor, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

The exemption applies if the baby-sitter was younger than age eighteen at any time during the year, even if he or she turned eighteen on January 2. Independent Contractors. You need not pay employment taxes for any “independent contractors” who worked for you. An independent contractor is not your employee. Rather, he or she is someone who runs his or her own business or who follows an independent trade, business, or profession, offering services to the general public. (Independent contractors file schedule C, for the self-employed, and they pay their own taxes.) When you control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result, that is a good indication that the worker is an independent contractor, not your employee.

When you control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result, that is a good indication that the worker is an independent contractor, not your employee. See IRS Publication 926, “Household Employer’s Tax Guide.” There are many other factors that might be considered in making this determination. If your housecleaner cleans for many other households besides yours, supplies the cleaning tools and materials, and determines what to do and how, these are all indications that he or she is not your employee but is running his or her own business. If you are in doubt about whether any worker is an independent contractor or an employee, ask your lawyer or accountant for advice, or call the IRS information number in your area and request help.

Every employer, including any employer of domestic workers on a regular basis, is required to complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for each employee, foreign or not. The only exception is for workers employed on a sporadic, irregular, or intermittent basis. Form I-9 must be completed for part-time domestic employees as well as full-time ones, even if the employee works only a few hours for you each week. You do not need to complete Form I-9 for independent contractors. The purpose of this form is to require employers to make at least a superficial determination that their employees are working in the United States legally. The form requires you to obtain at least minimal information about your employees and to look at some minimal documentation. You do not have to do any detective work or determine whether the documentation is valid or forged.


pages: 83 words: 26,284

Home Building Secrets: Save Thousands Building Your Next Home: For the first time homeowner or the second time homeower who did not learn from their first mistakes by Ronald Jones

big-box store, independent contractor, place-making, time value of money

Get your price in writing, ask for an itemization. Do not accept, “I will build your house for $200.000.00.” You need far more details that just a price. Do not pay your contractor or sub-contractors by the hour. You will typically always pay more. And, if you pay by the hour, guess what, you have just transformed your independent contractor into one of your employees. If you pay by the hour, you will be paying for driving time, lunch breaks, every mistake that requires time to fix, unforeseen delays, and a variety of other factors. You will be paying every time your contractor thinks about your job. Don’t be a pest! Assuming you have hired a professional because you do not know how to build a house, quit trying to prove that you know more than the contractor.


pages: 340 words: 91,387

Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth

accounting loophole / creative accounting, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, full employment, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, yellow journalism

It’s ubiquitous, yet you won’t find it in any stores or at any snack bars, because Gala is sold almost exclusively by hawkers who line the city’s congested expressways and roam the bus depots. UAC does not hire these hawkers. Indeed, the company says it doesn’t even know who they are. The hawkers are independent contractors who work for distributors. And the distributors, in turn, are independent firms that buy the sausage rolls in bulk from UAC. UAC made a conscious decision to sell Gala this way, and, without this large force of street hawkers, no one would be buying Gala, and UAC’s profits would decline.

Indeed, recent census estimates have shown that twenty-seven million Americans—almost one-fifth of the U.S. workforce—report that they are working only part-time, and nine million of them say that they’ve been forced into part-time work because they simply couldn’t find a full-time job. And one study has suggested that 3.4 million people around the country are working full-time but are classified as independent contractors so their employers can avoid the expense of providing health insurance and other benefits. And, of course, a whole lot of people are working extra jobs—off or on the books. Once upon a time we had an honorable word for this. If someone worked a second job—it might involve after-hours hourly wages, or a self-employed situation doing something the person enjoyed more than his or her day job—we said they were “moonlighting.”


Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar

Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, BRICs, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, deskilling, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, independent contractor, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

Uber already got itself thrown out of San Francisco when it attempted to test its Volvo cars there, and it ended up decamping to Arizona where the regulatory framework is looser. Indeed, among potential fleet owners it is Uber that has been most eager to dispense with drivers. Not surprising since it uses (not ‘employs’, since the whole Uber model is based on its drivers being ‘independent contractors’, a situation which is currently being challenged in Britain’s courts) at least 160,000 of them (a figure obtained in early 2015). In January 2015 the company claimed that entirely autonomous taxis would be available in 2018. At the time, as already mentioned, Uber’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, indicated in a tweet that he expected Uber’s fleet to be entirely driverless by 2030.


Lessons-Learned-in-Software-Testing-A-Context-Driven-Approach by Anson-QA

anti-pattern, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, finite state, framing effect, full employment, independent contractor, information retrieval, job automation, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, side project, Silicon Valley, statistical model, web application

You can choose the certification that seems most useful or most sensible to you. It is an educational vehicle and not a regulatory vehicle (see Lesson 273, "A warning about the efforts to license software engineers"). We should raise one concern. If you get certified and you're an independent consultant or independent contractor, be cautious about how you market your services. If you present yourself as being certified in Quality Engineering (or some other specialty), you can be held to have promised that you have a certain level of expertise and that you will perform your services up to the level that one should expect from someone who has that level of expertise.

In fields that face significant malpractice litigation, insurance premiums are in the thousands, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars per year. Many states require licensed professionals to carry malpractice insurance if they practice 208 their profession in that state. How much do you want to have to spend on insurance in order to be allowed to practice as an independent contractor or consultant? Our statements about malpractice are sometimes misinterpreted as efforts to protect engineers who do bad work. We would like to clear that up. We are passionate about software quality. We strongly favor laws that hold developers, including development companies, accountable for bad work.


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, Adam Neumann (WeWork), 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, independent contractor, 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, Steve Bannon, sunk-cost fallacy, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, trade route, underbanked, urban planning, WeWork, white picket fence

Its use of express courier services to deliver Prime Now orders is also another extra labour-intensive expense Amazon must absorb for the price of having the fastest and most extensive last mile. 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.

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. True, it gives Amazon end-to-end control, where it can share its last-mile visibility with customers through its delivery tracking app feature. But the fact that Flexers use their own vehicles and initially wore nothing that identified them as working for Amazon, led to an initial backlash by worried neighbourhood watch activists, who were ‘creeped out’ by these strangers coming to their door.5 Like Uber, Amazon has also had to defend contractor lawsuits brought by ex-Flexers, who argued that they took home less than minimum wage after costs associated with running their own vehicles.


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, Bear Stearns, 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, independent contractor, 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, Steve Bannon, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

The central premise of Uber or Lyft or Airbnb or many other sharing platforms is that the app will allow a micro-entrepreneur (or the platform itself) to extract maximum profits from personal assets like a car or an apartment that otherwise would sit idle for large parts of the day. The companies are desperate to have as few employees as possible. Uber has waged a series of years-long legal battles to stick to its designation of taxi drivers using its service as independent contractors rather than employees eligible for benefits and overtime pay.¶ The other thing that’s new about this type of temporary work for Millennials is how pervasive it has become. This is controversial, because the government still struggles to measure this evolution in the labor market, and some data indicate that fewer workers might be engaged in gig employment than the media would have us believe.

For example, will a full-time employee at a large company think of renting out her spare room on Airbnb for extra cash as a “job”?* Differences in how surveys phrase the question may account for differences in the number of gig workers various polls find. 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.


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, independent contractor, 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

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.


pages: 379 words: 113,656

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age by Duncan J. Watts

Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business process, corporate governance, Drosophila, Erdős number, experimental subject, fixed income, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, independent contractor, industrial cluster, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Milgram experiment, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Murray Gell-Mann, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, peer-to-peer, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Savings and loan crisis, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, the strength of weak ties, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, Vilfredo Pareto, Y2K

By this statement he meant that the larger the pool of potential consumers, the more resources a firm can afford to invest in building production facilities, designing and creating specialized machinery, and employing workers, thereby benefiting from economies of scale. But this description doesn’t specify why it should be formal entities called “firms” that are responsible for production, instead of, say, independent contractors, temporary workers, or consultants. Nor does the division of labor necessarily imply that firms, when they do exist, should resemble the hierarchical authority structures that form our image of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century industrialization. Just because tasks can be accomplished more effectively by breaking them down, in a hierarchical fashion, into more and more specialized subcomponents, doesn’t imply on its own that firms have to be organized in the same way.

To cut a (very) long story short, the most generally agreed-upon economic theory of industrial organization essentially divides the world between hierarchies and markets. Firms, it claims, exist because markets in the real world suffer from a set of imperfections that the Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase called transaction costs. If everyone could discover, draw up, and enforce market-based contracts with everyone else (if we could all be independent contractors, for example), then the immense flexibility of market forces would effectively eliminate the need for firms entirely. But in the real world, as we have already seen in a number of contexts, information is costly to discover and hard to process. Furthermore, any agreement between two parties, even if it seems like a good idea at the time, is subject to uncertainty about future conditions and unexpected eventualities.


pages: 407 words: 113,198

The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket by Benjamin Lorr

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, food miles, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hive mind, independent contractor, Internet Archive, invention of the wheel, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Mason jar, obamacare, off grid, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, supply-chain management, Toyota Production System, transatlantic slave trade, Upton Sinclair, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

But there is always some other team just starting out that is willing to come get the load and drive it to its destination.” And the process continues. Large trucking companies have one hundred new recruits coming in every week. They have that 112 percent turnover. And so we have cheap freight. “These companies don’t have enough independent contractors willing to do that type of work. Especially not if they have a contract with a company the size of Amazon,” Desiree explains. “What they do have are students driving team.” * * * — CRST, which runs one of the larger training programs, brings in approximately ten thousand new drivers each year alone.

And of course, expertise being a humbling thing to achieve, these auditors were likely to know exactly how much they didn’t know about lettuce wash cycles and thus subtly defer to the undeniable experts who were running the plants or farms in question when they noticed something borderline or suspicious.* Similarly, it became useful to hire independent contractors rather than nurturing long-term employees, thus pushing the question of auditor quality to another day. All of which combined to ensure that whenever the boom subsides, the standard of the mildly inexperienced, mildly untrained, mildly invasive auditor will have become the norm in the industry rather than a temporary thing.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

In the developed world, what the pro-gig-work crowd normally focuses on is flexibility. A gig worker can work when they want rather than under the permanent subordination of an employment contract. Lyft and Uber drivers show remarkable levels of satisfaction with the flexible work set-up: 71 per cent of drivers want to remain independent contractors, albeit down from 81 per cent prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. When asked what is most important to them, drivers ranked pay and flexible schedule as their top priorities.53 In a similar vein, a 2018 British government survey reckoned that more than half of gig workers were satisfied with the independence and flexibility provided by their jobs.54 If gig work is generally more flexible and less formal in richer countries, the reverse is often true in poorer ones.

The state of California passed Assembly Bill 5 in 2019, which mandated freelancers to be classified as employees and so have access to the requisite perks. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash were not keen. Through the most expensive lobbying effort in Californian history, they successfully got the state to pass Proposition 22, which granted them an exception – to keep classifying their drivers as independent contractors, albeit with some wage and health protections.59 A similar battle was underway across the Atlantic. In London, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, two drivers, took Uber to court, arguing that they weren’t self-employed but should be considered workers under British law. (The classification of ‘worker’ in British law is a curious one – it does not offer all the protections of an employee, but more than those of a freelancer.)


pages: 924 words: 198,159

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill

air freight, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, Columbine, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, independent contractor, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Seymour Hersh, stem cell, urban planning, zero-sum game

We’re going to rock their world.”55 Interestingly, the covert operations Black organized immediately after 9/11 relied heavily on private contractors, answering directly to him, rather than active-duty military forces. Black’s men used their contacts to recruit about sixty former Delta Force, ex-SEALs, and other Special Forces operators as independent contractors for the initial mission, making up the majority of the first Americans into Afghanistan after 9/11.56 In late 2001, Black was exactly where he had wanted to be his entire career, playing an essential role in crafting and implementing the Bush administration’s counterterror policies. “There was this enormous sense among the officers that had lived in this campaign before Sept. 11 that . . . finally, these lawyers and these cautious decision makers who had gotten in our way before can be overcome, and we can be given the license that we deserve to have had previously,” said Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars.57 Black’s CTC rapidly expanded from three hundred staffers to twelve hundred. 58 “It was the Camelot of counterterrorism,” a former counterterrorism official told the Washington Post.

“Our Rapid Response Enterprise has global reach and can make a positive difference in the lives of those who are affected by natural disasters and terrorist events.”59 Shortly after Blackwater’s Katrina profits started rolling in, Erik Prince sent out a memo on Prince Group letterhead to “all Blackwater USA officers, employees, and independent contractors.” Its subject: “Blackwater USA National Security Oath and Leadership Standards.” It required Blackwater workers to swear the same oath to the Constitution as Blackwater’s “National Security-related clients” to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. . . .

But, more important, it also allows the mercenary companies to favorably shape the rules that govern their deployments, as Blackwater did in the aftermath of the Fallujah ambush when it was reported to be “leading a lobbying effort by private security firms and other contractors to try to block congressional or Pentagon efforts to bring their companies and employees under the same justice code as [active-duty] servicemen.”60 Well aware of the severe image problems plaguing the mercenary industry, the IPOA has attempted to bring in representatives from Amnesty International and other respected human rights organizations as consultants. 61 The IPOA boasts of a “code of conduct” written with “the input of dozens of international and non-governmental organizations, human rights lawyers, and scholars.”62 In Congressional testimony in 2006, Chris Taylor pointed to his company’s membership in the IPOA as evidence that Blackwater is “committed to defining the standards by which our independent contractors are credentialed as qualified to work in the industry, improving the federal contracting and oversight process, providing increased transparency in business operations, and encouraging discussion of our industry so that it can become more fully integrated into the process of finding solutions to difficult challenges.”63 Taylor hads also suggested that “contracting agencies” use the IPOA as a “certification, somewhat like an ISO 9000 quality-management program.”64 The IPOA Code, which all member companies are required to sign, commits its members to “agree to follow all rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law that are applicable as well as all relevant international protocols and conventions.”65 It has sections on transparency, ethics, and accountability, and IPOA warns: “Signatories who fail to uphold any provision contained in this Code may be subject to dismissal from IPOA at the discretion of the IPOA Board of Directors.”66 But the IPOA Code is not a binding document with any legal weight whatsoever.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the strength of weak ties, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Coase proposed that the choice between firms and markets was essentially a cost minimization exercise. It almost had to be, in fact, because competition tends to drive out high-cost players. The boundary of the firm was incredibly flexible; it could be set either to encompass thousands of people and billions of dollars of assets or much more narrowly, with most people working as independent contractors, owning or renting the necessary equipment, and buying and selling goods and services from others. Companies must be so large and powerful, then, because they are often able to produce goods and services at a lower total cost than pure markets can. But why is this? Aren’t markets supposed to be super efficient?

As a result, ownership affects the incentives for innovation, whether large (like a new product idea) or small (like a better way to sort inventory). The bottom line is that changing ownership changes incentives, and therefore results. Employees working with someone else’s assets have different incentives from those of independent contractors who own their own assets. That’s an important reason why firm boundaries matter. A crucial question in the efficient design of a company, a supply chain, or a whole economy is how the assets, and thus incentives, are arranged. One of the fundamental reasons that firms exist, then, is that it’s just not possible for market participants to get together and write complete contracts—ones that specify who does what, and who gets what, in all possible contingencies: all the ways the real world could unfold in the future.


pages: 385 words: 123,168

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

1960s counterculture, active measures, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, David Graeber, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, full employment, functional programming, global supply chain, High speed trading, hiring and firing, independent contractor, informal economy, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge worker, moral panic, Post-Keynesian economics, post-work, precariat, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software as a service, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, unpaid internship, wage slave, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, éminence grise

An apartment complex in which I once lived was once plagued by a series of burglaries, that always took place on a Monday. It was eventually determined that the burglar was a hairdresser, who generally get Mondays off. 13. Many thieves, ranging from art thieves to ordinary shoplifters, will hire out their services, but as such they are still just independent contractors, hence, self-employed. The case of the hit man is more ambiguous. Some might argue that if one is a long-standing but subordinate member of a criminal organization that does qualify as a “job,” but it’s not my impression (I don’t really know, of course) that most people in such positions see it quite that way. 14.

Much of this argument and several of the examples are taken from the first chapter of Graeber, Utopia of Rules, 3–44. 27. Of course, this is not the way things are represented, and, naturally, in any branch of industry defined as “creative,” whether software development or graphic design, production is typically outsourced to small groups (the celebrated Silicon Valley start-ups) or individuals (casualized independent contractors) who do work autonomously. But such people are often largely uncompensated. For a good recent critical history of managerialism, see Hanlon, 2016. 28. Definitions of feudalism vary, from any economic system based on tribute-taking, to the specific system prevalent in Northern Europe during the High Middle Ages, in which land was granted in exchange for military service in ostensibly voluntary relations of vassalage—a system which outside Europe is documented mainly in Japan.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, independent contractor, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Hargreaves’s experience was telling. Both ends of the clothmaking process—spinning and weaving—were dominated by artisans who defined their own interests in terms rather more complicated than a simple desire for wealth. Prior to the introduction of the jenny, Britain’s spinning was performed largely by what we would call independent contractors: the original cottage industrialists, taking raw materials from manufacturers who “put out” for contract the production of finished fabric. This was efficient—no huge capital expenses for the manufacturer, for example—but it contained within its organization what one might call a moral hazard.

In the first spinning machines, the operator had to simultaneously shape the winding and turn the spindles at precisely the same rate, so as to wind up the yarn—the term of art is “winding the cop”—without either stretching the yarn or allowing it to go slack. The craft was difficult enough that spinners became not only indispensable to the process, but highly protective of their place in it, exhibiting all the rent-seeking mania of a medieval guild. Along the way they transformed themselves from independent contractors into the nation’s most powerful and highly organized craft union. At one union meeting, a spinner argued violently against allowing “piecers” (the subordinates on the spinning line, who tie together threads when they break) to actually put up a cop of cotton yarn unless he was “a son, brother, or orphan nephew.”51 In the industry’s Lancashire heartland,52 mule spinners developed work rules in 1780 that remained in force until the 1960s, and partly in consequence, the new and improved ring-spinning machines, invented by the American John Thorp in 1828, which operated continuously and twisted fibers into yarn by attaching them to a rotating ring, didn’t catch on in Britain53 until the end of the nineteenth century.


Codependent No More Workbook by Melody Beattie

independent contractor

ISBN 978-1-59285-470-7 Ebook ISBN 978-1-61649-188-8 1. Codependency—Problems, exercises, etc. 2. Substance abuse—Patients— Rehabilitation—Problems, exercises, etc. I. Beattie, Melody. Codependent no more. II. Title. RC569.5.C63B433 2011 616.86’9—dc22 2010043011 Author’s Note: As an independent contractor and freelance writer, I relied on professional research, personal experience, conclusions, and opinions to form this workbook. Although I’ve used expert opinions as resources, this book doesn’t necessarily reflect any viewpoint or opinions except my own. Neither the book nor I am affiliated with, represent, or work for any organization or treatment program.


pages: 154 words: 47,880

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert B. Reich

Adam Neumann (WeWork), affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, Gordon Gekko, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job automation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Even before the crash of 2008, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics at the University of Michigan found that over any given two-year stretch in the two preceding decades, about half of all families experienced some decline in income. Today, nearly one out of every five working Americans is in a part-time job. Many are consultants, freelancers, and independent contractors. Eighty percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Employment benefits have shriveled. The portion of workers with any pension connected to their job has fallen from just over half in 1979 to under 35 percent today. Fifty years ago, when General Motors was the largest employer in America, the typical GM worker earned $40 an hour in today’s dollars.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

If partners spend more time up front determining the terms of an agreement, the monitoring, enforcement, and settlement costs drop significantly, perhaps to zero. Further, settlement can occur in real time, possibly in microseconds throughout the day depending on the deal. Most important, by partnering with superior talent, companies can achieve better innovation and become more competitive. Let’s consider the use of independent contractors. In the early days of digital trade, the blockchain accommodated only the simplest two-party transactions. For instance, if Alice needed someone to complete a piece of code quickly, she would post an anonymous “coder needed” request on an appropriate discussion board. Bob would see it.22 If the price and timing were right, he would send work samples.

See also Digital identity in bAirbnb, 116 for citizens, 197–98, 203–4 economic inclusion and, 176, 177–78 in financial services, 61, 64, 78–79 for IoTs, 147–48 personal avatars, 14–16, 45, 99, 204 privacy and, 41–45 Ilves, Toomas Hendrik, 197 Implementation challenges, 24, 195–96, 253–77 Big Brother watching you, 274–75 criminal use, 275–76 DAEs forming Skynet, 273–74 energy consumption unsustainable, 259–63 governing protocols, 271–72 governments stifle or twist it, 263–65 incentives inadequate for distributed mass collaboration, 267 job killer, 270–71 powerful incumbents usurping it, 265–67 technology not ready for prime time, 254–58 Inaccessibility, 256–57 Incentives, 35–39, 130–31, 202, 267 Inclusion, 49–51, 202–3, 308 economic, as fundamental right, 19–20, 175 Incumbency, 265–67 Independent contractors, 103–4, 137–38 Industrial blockchain, 154, 160 Inequality, 12–13, 173, 174, 175 Infinite data, 151, 162, 274–75 Inflation, 37–38, 256 Infrastructure management, 157, 206–7 InnoCentive, 95, 137–38 Inno360, 95, 137 In-Out Matrix, 111–12, 112 Institute for Blockchain Studies, 110, 204, 224, 248 Institute for Liberty and Democracy, 19 Insurance, 63, 64, 116–17, 159, 181 Insuring value, in financial services, 63, 64 Integrated government, 203–5 Integrity, 10, 30–33, 74, 76, 108, 199, 201–2 Intel, 38, 155 Intellectual property rights, 21 art, 239–43 music, 226–39 International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), 271, 281, 300, 301 International Labour Organization, 172–73 International Monetary Fund, 183, 281, 295 International Telecommunications Union, 195 Internet, first era.


pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, independent contractor, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, liberation theology, McMansion, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Not surprisingly, no company has more trucks on America’s roads than Wal-Mart, with more than eight thousand drivers racking up more than 850 million miles per year.83 Wal-Mart, like most major retailers, frequently deals with trucking brokers who sell their services as independent contractors. This means Wal-Mart doesn’t have to buy or maintain the trucks, pay for fuel, or provide benefits for these contracted drivers—no health insurance, unemployment insurance, workers’ comp, Social Security, pension plans, vacations, or sick days. This also means they’re not required to ensure compliance with federal OSHA (Occupational, Safety and Health Administration) regulations for drivers.84 A study in New Jersey found that 75 percent of truckers (statewide, not Wal-Mart’s alone) were independent contractors, earning just $28,000 per year on average, with zero employer-paid benefits.85 Like Wal-Mart’s store employees, these drivers have to rely on public health care programs, so taxpayers are essentially also subsidizing Wal-Mart’s and other retailers’ transport systems.


pages: 458 words: 134,028

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Biosphere 2, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K

If they do, will that breed a more passive kind of leader—because the more aggressive ones will have broken free to start their own ventures? It has even bigger implications for certain industries. Lower-income older workers tend to work retail, often part-time; higher-income older workers tend to become consultants and independent contractors, either in the field they once mastered or in a hobby they love. And they are far more likely to run their own show: Older workers make up 7 percent of independent contractors, versus only 2.5 percent of workers in traditional arrangements. But either way, expect an easier time for the HR departments of Home Depot and CVS, as well as many technical fields. In all industries, though, employers need to adjust.


Stacy Mitchell by Big-Box Swindle The True Cost of Mega-Retailers, the Fight for America's Independent Businesses (2006)

big-box store, business climate, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, European colonialism, Haight Ashbury, income inequality, independent contractor, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Ray Oldenburg, RFID, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

No matter what their public relations materials say, their goal is to eliminate the need for customers to spend money at other businesses—thus their relentless expansion into new services. WalMart is installing gas stations and banks in its stores. Home Depot and Lowe’s are now doing some twenty-six thousand home-installations a day of windows, roofing, flooring, and other products, so their customers do not have to hire independent contractors. Maximizing spending at their own stores is part of the reason chains favor stand-alone boxes removed from established retail districts. But even under optimal circumstances big-box stores generate little spillover for other businesses. In Rutland, Vermont, where Wal-Mart built a superstore downtown, a survey found that 80 percent of its shoppers did not visit other downtown stores.11 Another problem is that, even if the majority of the business failures and layoƒs that result from a new megastore occur in nearby towns, they are still losses that undermine the region’s economic health and prosperity.

Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls by Industry Sector and Selected Industry Detail,” multiple years; Sam Porter and Paul Raistrick, “The Impact of Out-of-Centre Food Superstores on Lo- NOTES 267 cal Retail Employment” (occasional paper, National Retail Planning Forum, London, 1998). 11. Wal-Mart’s public relations site, www.walmartfacts.com; Simeon Teqel, “Every Day Higher Sales: Wal-Mart Wunderkind Walmex Shows Them How It’s Done in a Down Economy,” Latin Trade, Aug. 2003; “Home Depot, Lowe’s Squeeze Independent Contractors,” Hometown Advantage Bulletin, July 26, 2005. The Rutland survey was undertaken by DANTH, Inc., in 1998. 12. Stone, “Competing with the Discount Mass Merchandisers”; Brenden Sager, “Too Close for Comfort? Some Say Super Wal-Marts Three Miles Apart Is Overdoing It,” Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 6, 2005, B1. 13.


pages: 520 words: 134,627

Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit & the Making of the College Admissions Scandal by Melissa Korn, Jennifer Levitz

"side hustle", affirmative action, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, blockchain, call centre, Donald Trump, Gordon Gekko, helicopter parent, high net worth, impact investing, independent contractor, Jeffrey Epstein, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, performance metric, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Thorstein Veblen, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, yield management, young professional, zero-sum game

While coaches of nonrevenue sports may have whined about their salaries, they had that one particularly useful perk: minimal oversight of recruiting and major influence with the admissions office. Ernst started taking payments from Singer or others as far back as 2007, and he would be listed at times as an independent contractor, paid six figures, on Singer’s foundation’s annual tax documents. In exchange, Ernst tagged as recruits at least a dozen applicants, some of whom didn’t play competitive tennis. The government would say he also took in revenue from parents outside Singer’s client base and solicited a $220,000 bribe from one father, who paid via check, cash, and school tuition payments for Ernst’s daughters.

In 2015, the foundation said it spent $287,000 “developing and researching student placement process at eastern US Tier One Universities, and the average cost per student.” A few pages later in that same document, Key Worldwide says it paid Gordon Ernst, the Georgetown tennis coach, $287,000 as an independent contractor, listing no description of services. And in 2016, the foundation gave him $825,000 for “consulting.” Singer would later say parents gave to the charity knowing the payments were for side deals to get kids into college, and they were only pretending to donate to help needy kids. Singer’s bookkeeper, Steven Masera—listed as treasurer of the foundation on tax documents—was generally the one responsible for making sure parents came through on their promised donations, and distributing receipts for those gifts after.


pages: 172 words: 48,747

The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches From the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, barriers to entry, clean water, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, George Santayana, glass ceiling, income inequality, independent contractor, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, payday loans, pink-collar, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

—Originally published March 12, 2013 Who Is a “Journalist”? People Who Can Afford to Be On September 12, a U.S. Senate panel approved legislation designed to protect journalists from having to reveal their confidential sources. In order to do this, the panel had to define “journalist.” According to the proposed law, a journalist is “an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information … [who has been] employed for one year within the last 20 years or three months within the last five years.” The definition was met with approval by some and dismay by others. Politico, a website that tracks the minutiae of the D.C. elite, praised it as “a step forward for independent and non-traditional media organizations.”


pages: 208 words: 51,277

Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food by Steve Striffler

clean water, collective bargaining, corporate raider, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, longitudinal study, market design, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

Perdue, for example, was forced to compensate  such workers a total of $, in unpaid overtime. Wayne Farms, the sixth-largest poultry producer in the country, paid almost $, to thirty-seven workers for the same violation. As a result of these and other problems, integrators are now hiring independent contractors to do the work, effectively relieving the industry of any responsibility for pay, working conditions, benefits, vacation time, and the like. Unfortunately, the industry record is equally troubling when it comes to consumer safety. Contaminated chicken kills at least one thousand people and sickens millions of others every year in the United States.


pages: 173 words: 54,729

Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America by Writers For The 99%

Bay Area Rapid Transit, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, desegregation, feminist movement, income inequality, independent contractor, McMansion, microaggression, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, Port of Oakland, We are the 99%, young professional

While the strike did not totally shut down the city, it did garner the widespread support of students, workers, labor unions, and even small business owners, some of whom closed down in solidarity with the Occupy movement. Thousands of demonstrators, with tacit solidarity from ILWU dockworkers and independent contractor port truck drivers, shut down the Port of Oakland for the evening. The success of this “General Strike” in Oakland invigorated activists across the country and the world, leading to solidarity actions by the New York occupation and others, and giving many a new sense of the possible and the power of the 99 percent.


The New Class War: Saving Democracy From the Metropolitan Elite by Michael Lind

affirmative action, anti-communist, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, disinformation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, future of work, global supply chain, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, invisible hand, knowledge economy, liberal world order, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Nate Silver, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

When China is excluded from the data, developing countries grew at a lower rate in the globalizing era of 1980–2000 than in the more protectionist period of 1960–1980.6 Dani Rodrik has argued that developing countries today and in the future can no longer benefit from export-oriented manufacturing strategies like those of China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan and must instead focus on upgrading their nontraded domestic service industries.7 * * * — GLOBAL LABOR ARBITRAGE in the forms of offshoring and immigration is not the only cause of rising inequality and stagnant wages in the US and similar nations, or even the most important. Only a minority of workers labor in import-competing industries or compete directly against immigrants at home. And wages and unemployment levels are affected by many other factors, including changes in tax laws, reclassification of employees as independent contractors, zero-hours contracts, central bank austerity policies, and, in the US, the continuing practice of interregional labor arbitrage among states and the erosion of the minimum wage by inflation. But the two forms of global labor arbitrage have had their effects multiplied by weakening two institutions that reinforce the bargaining power of workers: unions and the welfare state.


pages: 500 words: 146,240

Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play by Morgan Ramsay, Peter Molyneux

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bill Atkinson, Bob Noyce, collective bargaining, Colossal Cave Adventure, game design, Ian Bogost, independent contractor, index card, Mark Zuckerberg, oil shock, pirate software, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Von Neumann architecture

I have a natural talent for programming and graduated at the top of my class. From 1972 to 1979, I worked in a wide variety of software jobs in Los Angeles, including Children’s Hospital, Bekins Moving and Storage, Financial Decision Systems, Aratek Services, Informatics, McDonnell Douglas, and more. I had a few full-time jobs, but most of my work was as an independent contractor specializing in online networks. My consulting practice was called On-Line Systems. This was at a time when the idea of terminals connected to a mainframe computer was just getting started. Just as my life changed when I saw my first mainframe, I knew the second I saw a microcomputer that my life would change forever.

Rubin: Naughty Dog made the decision to not renew its deal with Universal Interactive. By the time that Crash 3 rolled around, Universal’s role had shrunk to nothing. Sony was financing and publishing the games, and additionally providing valuable worldwide production advice. Mark Cerny, who started at Universal and was a large contributor to Crash’s success, had become an independent contractor and continued to work with us. And, of course, Naughty Dog was doing the heavy lifting of developing the titles. Universal was simply being paid for the intellectual property rights. Andy and I decided that we were not willing to split the developers’ share of revenue with an entity which was contributing nothing to the mix, which was extremely difficult to work with, and which was actively trying to take credit for Crash’s success.


pages: 285 words: 58,517

The Network Imperative: How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models by Barry Libert, Megan Beck

active measures, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversification, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, independent contractor, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of writing, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Oculus Rift, pirate software, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, software as a service, software patent, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Here’s Why the Contractor Model Works Anyone who has worked in the corporate world knows how difficult it is to take a project from inception to implementation. Even the simplest undertakings somehow become epic battles against corporate dragons, such as competing interests, organizational politics, budget constraints, and plain old inertia. Remarkably, though, a group of independent contractors can sometimes come together efficiently to complete a complex project that an organization might struggle with for years. The Hollywood model, for example, benefits from clear expectations for each role, workers who have specialized expertise, and recurring project opportunities. It used to be difficult to find available independent workers with the right skills for a particular need, but online networks such as Linked-In, Upwork, and Guru have dramatically reduced the friction in the contract labor market.


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, disinformation, 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, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, microaggression, 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 Bannon, 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

In Britain, the move towards zero hours, in which the employee has no say over how long they can work, has metastasised. Almost 60 per cent of the US labour force are now paid hourly wages rather than annual incomes.5 The median hourly wage is $15.61. The working class has moved from making stuff to serving people. Most of America’s truck drivers are now independent contractors. They are known as sharecroppers on wheels.6 Regardless of where history places them, these people are on the wrong side of the economy. But it is not the sum total of who they are. Our tidy minds shunt all such trends into the economic silo. If only we could raise the minimum wage, or offer portable benefits to gig workers, we would fix the problem.


pages: 164 words: 57,068

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel

There will always be the elephants, the large organisations that will still account for the largest part of any national output. As I suggest in Essay 8, ‘The Citizen Organisation’, they and their constituent bits will be shamrock-shaped, with most subsidiary functions separated out either to independent contractors or to subsidiary businesses owned but not managed by the centre. There will also be numbers of what I once called fleas, or the third leaf of the shamrock. These are specialist individuals or small partnerships who sell their skills and expertise to organisations but are not directly employed by them.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, late fees, lateral thinking, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the strength of weak ties, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

On our website, we link to each of these books, as well as to numerous other articles, blogs, Twitter feeds, and more. Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself By Daniel H. Pink In 2002, Pink made popular the phrase “free agent” to describe the self-employment phenomenon in the United States. At the time, Pink estimated that one-quarter to one-third of American workers worked as independent contractors. He explores their attitudes toward autonomy, informal networks, self-constructed safety nets, and more. The mentality of the self-employed people Pink profiles is relevant to anyone who wants to think more like an entrepreneur. The Brand You 50: Or, Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an “Employee” into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!


pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

., Table 606, which suggests that more than 16 percent of the self-employed are in “sales and office occupations.” The labor economics consulting firm Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. likewise argues that one reason for the seeming drop in the number of salespeople is that huge numbers have gone from traditional employment to independent contractor status: “Sales jobs (like other jobs) are not disappearing from the economy nearly as much as they are disappearing as traditional, ‘covered’ employment—all the while, growing in numbers and size outside the spotlight of the usual employment datasets.” EMSI’s analysis is available at http://www.economicmodeling.com/2010/09/30/the-premature-death-of-the-salesman/. 8.


pages: 202 words: 62,901

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carbon footprint, central bank independence, Colonization of Mars, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, corporate raider, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, G4S, Garrett Hardin, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, independent contractor, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, liquidity trap, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, post scarcity, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing

Labour had resurrected the old demand of the friendly societies—that doctors become salaried public servants, rather than independent small-business people that contracted with the state—but the BMA insisted doctors remain an independent power, formally beyond the remit of immediate democratic direction. In the face of the BMA’s dogged opposition, Bevan ultimately conceded that family doctors, unlike those in nationalized hospitals, would remain independent contractors—“ stuffing their mouths with gold” in his words. Within a few months of the NHS being established, the vast majority of doctors, however reluctantly, signed up. Public planning won out over private interests. How the NHS Planned The first task of the early NHS was turning an inadequate patchwork of clinics, hospitals and other services into a functioning, properly joined-up and universal public healthcare system.


pages: 223 words: 60,909

Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, AltaVista, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, Grace Hopper, hockey-stick growth, independent contractor, job automation, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microaggression, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tactical Technology Collective, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Take Uber: If it were perceived as a taxi service, or an auto loan financer, it would be part of an industry with existing regulations and expectations (even if those industries have problems, which, well, yeah). But by being labeled “technology”—by being better known as an app you download to your phone, rather than a massively complex system of vehicles and drivers—Uber gets to change the conversation. Instead of discussing the ethics of hiring legions of drivers as “independent contractors” and then selling them high-interest subprime loans to finance the vehicles they need to do their jobs (while aggressively pursuing the driverless technologies that will take away all those jobs), you’re encouraged to marvel at the seamlessness of the experience as you watch a little car icon navigate the streets on its way to your location.


pages: 216 words: 61,061

Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian

Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, independent contractor, Internet Archive, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

He had plans to use the Internet to circumvent traditional access to capital because it could help his business bring home the bacon.9 That event was hosted on a bridge that had been closed to traffic, thanks to an Iowa legend, Dwolla, a startup aiming to be the future of online payment. Their network has already transformed businesses large and small—in fact, I even use it to pay my own independent contractors. We attended a high school football game with the founders of Hudl, a company in Lincoln, Nebraska, that builds software enabling coaches and their athletes to share game footage, and saw firsthand how much of a difference their startup was making.10 This platform also allows a talented athlete to put together a professional-looking highlight reel, something that would otherwise be nearly impossible for low-income students to afford.


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, independent contractor, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking

I searched the Web to find a software programmer to code a 32 MY START-UP LIFE prototype of a complaint-tracking product that reflected city manager Ramsey’s vision. I had neither the skills nor inclination to try to learn how to code by myself. So I posted a sketch of the project on eLance, an online marketplace for independent contractors. Many programmers submitted bids. The highest was $31,000. The lowest was $2,200. I picked the $2,200 guy. His English name was Russell; he lived in Bangladesh. I looked at the balance of my savings account, and then, since it had worked before, I wrote a memo to my Dad: Dear David G. Casnocha, This memo is to request $5,000 to launch a company to be known as Comcate, as in “communicate.”


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, Bear Stearns, 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, critique of consumerism, 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, independent contractor, 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, Post-Keynesian economics, 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

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. Put simply, the IRS considers bitcoin a speculative investment.


pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, disinformation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, independent contractor, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor

It exposed a “nationwide scourge of dark money nonprofit networks hiding the identities of their contributors,” Ravel said in a public statement that also noted that the groups involved were tied to “the ‘Koch Brothers’ Network.’ ” Koch Industries officials leaped in, stressing that the settlement had stipulated that the lawbreaking was “inadvertent, or at worst negligent,” and that the Kochs had not personally donated money to influence the California ballot initiatives. Further, they argued, Noble was merely an independent contractor. “There is not a Koch network in the sense of we control these groups, I don’t understand what that means,” Mark Holden, the company’s general counsel, told Politico’s Vogel, who pointed out that, to the contrary, Charles Koch had referred to “our network” himself, in his invitation to the 2011 donor seminar.

“public education programs”: Ken Vogel, “Tea Party’s Growing Money Problem,” Politico, Aug. 9, 2010. “We met for 20 or 30 years”: Bill Wilson and Roy Wenzl, “The Kochs Quest to Save America,” Wichita Eagle, Oct. 3, 2012. Not only had he been invited: Mark Holden, the general counsel to Koch Industries, described Noble as “an independent contractor” and “a consultant” to the company, in an interview with Kenneth Vogel, Big Money, 201. “pack the hall”: Lee Fang, “Right-Wing Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed in Memo,” ThinkProgress, July 31, 2009. “We packed these town halls”: Johnson, “Inside the Koch-Funded Ads Giving Dems Fits.”


pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, industrial cluster, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

Airline pilots pushed into feeder airlines have had to accept de facto demotions at lower pay for similar work. Ticket clerks, back-office workers, and bank cashiers as well as factory workers have been pushed out of full-time jobs and then hired back by the old company as theoretically “independent contractors” at lower pay as temporary or part-time workers with few or no benefits. “Permatemps”: A New Economy Lower Caste One hallmark of the New Economy in the 1990s was the rapid expansion of part-time and temporary work. So-called contingent workers became the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. workforce.

In 2005, roughly 30 percent of the labor force—42.6 million people—were classified as contingent workers, paid lower wages and lower benefits than regular workers and highly vulnerable to layoffs. By late 2011, more than 8 million Americans were working part-time against their will. Tens of millions more were hired through temp agencies or classified, questionably, as “independent contractors” to keep them off the company payroll but permanently on the job, doing the same work as regular employees for years on end but at lower pay and benefits. “Permatemps,” they were called, the wage serfs of the New Economy. As the corporate poster child of “permatemping,” Microsoft used thousands of long-term temps for the sophisticated designing, editing, and testing of software, among other jobs.


pages: 626 words: 167,836

The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, business cycle, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, Corn Laws, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, factory automation, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, game design, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Turing test, union organizing, universal basic income, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

For this purpose, the merchant had to employ workers, and thus he became a merchant manufacturer. These workers still lived in the countryside, where they were independent contractors, but their livelihoods increasingly came to depend on the merchant manufacturer. If the harvest was bad, they might lack the means to replace some of their tools and equipment. Aware of this dilemma, merchant manufacturers began to provide the tools for production. The independent contractors who had lived in the countryside now became employed and waged and were gathered under one roof in the town where the merchant manufacturer resided.


pages: 191 words: 67,625

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border by Francisco Cantú

Corrections Corporation of America, Google Earth, immigration reform, impulse control, independent contractor

It’s a shame—José was such a great employee, such a sweet man. Well, Elizabeth said, it’s rare to see an employer invested in someone enough to come to these meetings, rare for them to support someone’s case against deportation. Diane shrugged. I really thought he had everything in order, she said. At first we hired him on as an independent contractor. He filled out all his paperwork, had a social security number, and at the end of each year we gave him a 1099. It never occurred to me that even after months and years of working with us he never asked to be put on payroll, never asked for benefits. Maybe he wanted to keep things vague to protect himself, to protect us from knowing his status.


pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, job automation, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Lyft, remote work: asynchronous communication, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition, turn-by-turn navigation, uber lyft, WeWork

Then the house that my husband and I had been renting for the past three years was sold and we were given 30 days' notice. I was upset for about an hour and then my imagination kicked in and I started seeing all of this as THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN. Within weeks I'd put our motorcycles in storage, got rid of just about everything else, shifted my tech work from employee to location-independent contractor, took an official sabbatical from portraiture, and booked a pair of one-way tickets overseas. What was your main reason for wanting to live this sort of lifestyle? Agency. I want to have control over what I'm doing, where I am, and who I'm spending my time with. I love working but I hate the bullshit constraints that typically come with "jobs" and have nothing to do with getting your work done effectively.


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, Bear Stearns, 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, independent contractor, 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, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile

But a lot of future-looking, smart people believe it is coming. Naval Ravikant is CEO of AngelList. 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.


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, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet of things, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, job polarisation, 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

Uber drivers, for instance are attempting to build unions; Deliveroo drivers are attempting to as well; and many of these lean platform companies are facing a number of lawsuits. Uber had to pay $100 million in one settlement; Lyft had to pay $27 million in another settlement; Postmates is currently facing an $800 million suit.6 One lawsuit for Uber estimated they would owe drivers $852 million if they were deemed employees and not independent contractors. Uber retorted that it would only be $429 million.7 The result of this worker pushback is that these very low margin businesses are going to become even more unprofitable in the future, and the business model is unlikely to expand much further. What is Uber’s plan? Here we see that even Uber doesn’t think the business model they pioneered is likely to succeed.


pages: 224 words: 71,060

A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream by Yuval Levin

affirmative action, Airbnb, assortative mating, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demand response, Donald Trump, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Jane Jacobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, WeWork

We can judge ourselves by their standards, hold ourselves up to their ideals, take seriously their forms of integrity, and align our pride and ambition with theirs. We can serve them by reforming them to make them better able to achieve their potential. And we can serve through them. We can yearn not for the formless autonomy of the independent contractor but for the rootedness and responsibility of the member and the partner and the worker and the owner and the citizen. There is a word for attitudes like this. The word is devotion. What’s required of each of us is devotion to the work we do with others in the service of a common aspiration, and therefore devotion to the institutions we compose and inhabit.


pages: 232 words: 70,361

The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay by Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, informal economy, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, labor-force participation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, patent troll, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tax Reform Act of 1986, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, very high income, We are the 99%

Owners of financial assets can move their portfolios of stocks and bonds into holding companies. The owner-managers of private businesses can decide to slash their wages to keep more of their earnings within their firm. Even highly paid employees—software engineers, financial analysts, columnists—can become independent contractors, incorporate, and bill Google, Citigroup, or the Washington Post for their labor. The threat of wealthy individuals incorporating is why all countries that have a progressive income tax also have a corporate tax. The corporate tax is a safeguard: it prevents wealthy individuals from shielding their income from the taxman by pretending it’s been earned by a firm.


pages: 237 words: 66,545

The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard by Chris Guillebeau

"side hustle", Bernie Madoff, Ethereum, financial independence, global village, hiring and firing, housing crisis, independent contractor, passive income, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

Almost as soon as I did, I realized that my anger was misplaced. I wasn’t mad at you—or if I was, I shouldn’t have been. I was envious. I felt bad that I haven’t been able to do something like this for myself.” He explained that a few years before, he’d bought into a network marketing program. The program promised to help its independent contractors “create financial freedom.” The pathway to freedom seemed to be based entirely on purchasing large quantities of vitamins and supplements from the company, and then convincing other people to sign up. Sloan spent $800 on membership dues and supplies before giving up, and never made a single referral.


pages: 296 words: 66,815

The AI-First Company by Ash Fontana

23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, DevOps, en.wikipedia.org, independent contractor, industrial robot, inventory management, John Conway, knowledge economy, Kubernetes, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, software as a service, source of truth, speech recognition, the scientific method, transaction costs, yield management

Machine learning researcher: seventh, because finding solutions to edge cases demands going beyond readily available ML frameworks to push the state of the art forward. A final note: outsourcing is feasible for some of these roles, depending on the product, team, and systems. Discrete pieces of analytical work, with accompanying datasets, lend themselves to being outsourced to individual data analysts or scientists who operate as independent contractors. This works well when the analysis to perform, or the questions to answer, are clear, and the data to find those answers is contained in just a few databases. Further, hiring consultants to set up data pipelines, make sound data infrastructure choices, and implement data storage systems can be an effective way to inquire about and instill best practices.


pages: 624 words: 189,582

The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda by Ali H. Soufan, Daniel Freedman

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, call centre, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, independent contractor, Ronald Reagan

Rather, the goal of the CIA interrogation program was to condition the detainee gradually in order to break down his resistance to interrogation.” I wonder if the person who wrote the word “gradually” had any idea of the urgency of counterterrorist operations. I later learned that Boris’s path from being an independent contractor with no interrogation or Islamic extremism experience to running one of the most crucial fronts in our battle against al-Qaeda—our interrogation program of high-value detainees—had its origins on September 17, 2001. On that day, President Bush gave the CIA the authority, in an authorization known as a memorandum of notification, to capture, detain, and interrogate terrorism suspects.

Because of this lack of institutional experience, when President Bush ordered the CIA to institute the detention program, they needed to find someone to run it. Brought to their attention—it’s not yet publicly known by whom—were two contractors, Boris and another psychologist. Helgerson writes: “In late 2001, CIA had tasked an independent contractor psychologist [Boris] . . . to research and write a paper on Al-Qaida’s resistance to interrogation techniques.” Boris collaborated with a Department of Defense psychologist, and “subsequently, the two psychologists developed a list of new and more aggressive EITs that they recommended for use in interrogations.”


pages: 252 words: 75,349

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs

barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, cashless society, defense in depth, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, independent contractor, John Markoff, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pirate software, placebo effect, ransomware, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, the payments system, transaction costs, web application

When spam emails show up in your inbox or get caught by your firewall, spam filter, or antivirus software, they’re likely from one of these partnerkas. Technology and security experts like to talk about these partnerkas as “organized cybercrime.” But according to UCSD’s Stefan Savage, partnerka systems are more accurately described as “disorganized crime”—that is, loosely affiliated networks of independent contractors, each of whom is essentially out to make a buck for himself and will only continue the partnership so long as it remains economically viable and competitive to do so. “It’s really a brilliant business model on both sides,” said Savage, who has coauthored several long-term studies on various aspects of the partnerka economy, from spam to botnets.


pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

The idea was that even if people didn’t buy anything, we could at least sell them some lemonade. We ended up making more money selling lemonade than anything else from the garage sale. In middle school, I looked for other ways to make money. I had a newspaper route, but I soon discovered that being an independent contractor delivering newspapers on my bike was really just a way for the local newspaper to get around child labor laws. After doing the math, I figured out that my pay worked out to about $2 per hour. I quit my paper route and decided to make my own newsletter instead. Each issue contained about twenty pages of stories I wrote, word puzzles, and jokes.


pages: 200 words: 72,182

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

business process, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, McMansion, place-making, post-work, sexual politics, telemarketer, union organizing, wage slave, WeWork, women in the workforce, working poor, zero day

What Mountain Air is really looking for is—and here he reads from a transparency—“Self-disciplined/ Money-motivated/ Positive attitude.” Nothing, I note, about providing a service or healing the sick. In fact, compared with Wal-Mart's unctuous service ethic, Todd's emphasis on the bottom line is positively refreshing. We will be independent contractors, he tells us, not employees, which means, “if you lie to a customer the company is not responsible.” Even, I wonder, if the lies are part of the sales pitch the company has taught you? It's very simple, Todd assures us, just a “matter of taking people who have a very serious problem, though probably not anywhere near as serious as they think it is, and leaving them happy.”


J.K. Lasser's New Tax Law Simplified: Tax Relief From the HIRE Act, Health Care Reform, and More by Barbara Weltman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, independent contractor, mortgage debt, Ponzi scheme

Section 179 deduction See First-year expensing. Section 457 plan A deferred compensation plan set up by a state or local government or tax-exempt organization that allows tax-free deferrals of salary. Self-employed person An individual who operates a business or profession as a proprietor or independent contractor and reports self-employment income on Schedule C. Self-employment tax Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by a selfemployed person. The Social Security portion is 12.4 percent on net earnings from self-employment up to $106,800 in 2010. The Medicare portion is 2.9 percent 199 P1: OTA/XYZ P2: ABC gloss JWBT413/Weltman 200 October 14, 2010 15:16 Printer Name: Yet to Come GLOSSARY on all net earnings from self-employment.


pages: 258 words: 74,942

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Airbnb, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, corporate social responsibility, David Heinemeier Hansson, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, follow your passion, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, index fund, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, passive investing, Paul Graham, pets.com, remote work: asynchronous communication, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, uber lyft, web application, Y Combinator, Y2K

It wouldn’t work for her if she hired just anyone off the street, as they wouldn’t have the requisite trust to represent her brand well without first being trained extensively, which takes a lot of time. As a company of one, Wakefield Brunswick could be limited in the size and scope of the projects it takes on, but by building connections to other independent contractors, the company can pool its expertise and skills with these other businesses and take on much bigger contracts. Remember, Wakefield Brunswick only partners with other businesses when a project requires it; otherwise, they are free to work on whatever they want. Business at every level is built on who we know and who knows us.


pages: 286 words: 77,039

The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America's UFO Highway by Ben Mezrich

Elon Musk, independent contractor, private space industry

But if any of the other engineers or various support staff gathered in the football-field-sized rabbit warren of dry-wall cubes and aluminum-framed equipment cabinets noticed their progress, none of them seemed to have cared enough to give them a second look. To be fair, it was midway through most of the engineering staff’s lunch break, and most of the support staff knew Chuck, at least by sight. He wasn’t technically an employee of the firm anymore, but his role as an independent contractor allowed him some level of access to the design floor. Although his current mission had nothing to do with semiconductors or the kind of work he did for the company that earned him just enough—combined with Tammy’s two salaries from the two service industry jobs she’d been forced to take as he’d focused more of his time on his investigations—to cover their monthly expenses.


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, independent contractor, 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

The main restriction on employer-sponsored retirement plans is that you are generally not allowed to withdraw money invested there until you turn 59½ without paying a hefty tax penalty, though there are ways around this that we’ll discuss in chapter 6. Solo 401(k)s If you are self-employed as a sole proprietor, consultant, or independent contractor, you are eligible to open a solo 401(k), which is similar to an employer-sponsored 401(k) in that you contribute pretax dollars to it and pay income tax on it only when you take distributions in retirement. Also like an employer 401(k), the employee may contribute up to the annual limit ($19,000 in 2019, $25,000 over 50).


pages: 261 words: 71,349

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth Buelow

fear of failure, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Skype, Tony Hsieh

The board can be made up of people who you admire and those who are a few steps ahead of you on the entrepreneurial path. You can include mentors, former teachers or employers, or someone in your industry who focuses on a different market (and therefore isn’t a direct competitor). Beyond these more informal affiliations, you may want to collaborate with colleagues by hiring them as independent contractors or for short- or long-term project-based work. The information shared here applies to those types of relationships, in addition to casual ones. The only substantial difference between the two is that when you’re hiring or contracting with someone, the financial and legal considerations are essential parts of the agreements you make together.


pages: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, independent contractor, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, post-work, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra

Kurnit and his team curated the guide selection—curating the curators, if you will—but then he let them manage their own content verticals. If you think it sounds like blogging before the advent of blog tools, you’d be half right. “The beauty of guides is that they were passionate about their areas, so we went and found them, we recruited them, we trained them … These people were and are independent contractors, which is a very careful line you can’t cross,” Kurnit says. This relationship works well for both parties, according to Kurnit. His company doesn’t need to have the guides on the payroll as full-time employees, and the guides feel ownership over the content they create and are compensated very well.


pages: 273 words: 85,195

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, full employment, game design, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Mars Rover, new economy, off grid, payday loans, Pepto Bismol, precariat, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, six sigma, supply-chain management, union organizing, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Y2K

It seemed to suggest that the legislator had never set foot in a place like Amazon’s new company towns or met any of the many older Americans who must labor long hours to supplement their meager benefits. It read, “Call when you get honest work!” * Some of these workampers made national headlines in 2010, when the U.S. Department of Labor claimed their employer, Gate Guard Services LP in Corpus Christi, had misclassified them as independent contractors rather than employees and therefore owed them $6.2 million in back pay. A federal judge later dismissed that order. † Not everyone seems to prioritize the touchy- feely incentives, however. “Bottom Line for Workampers at Amazon.com: Money” read the headline of a 2014 CamperForce cover story in Workamper News, which interviewed some of the laborers.


pages: 272 words: 83,378

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto by Mark Helprin

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, computer age, crowdsourcing, hive mind, independent contractor, invention of writing, Jacquard loom, lateral thinking, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the scientific method, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Many swell the ranks of freelancers, doing exactly what they did before—editing, copyediting, designing covers—but as piecework, without benefits, security, stability, or longevity. The more people are fired, the more freelancers there are to lower the price of services, allowing more firings, further deepening the pool of independent contractors. Thus, everyone clings to an uncertain position, and is even less equipped than he might be for resisting the pressure to seek the lowest common denominator. With exceptions, of course, books are tribally marketed to niche groups (including idiots) with affinities of interests, outlooks, or opinions, or thrown upon the open and general sea, the level of which is now so low that fish are flopping on sand.


pages: 291 words: 87,296

Lethal Passage by Erik Larson

independent contractor, mass immigration, Menlo Park, pez dispenser, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, The Great Moderation

Here, for example, were Breath of the Dragon: Homebuilt Flamethrowers; Improvised Land Mines: Their Employment and Destructive Capabilities (“Just in case your future includes a little anarchy,” the blurb reads); Ragnar’s Guide to Home and Recreational Use of High Explosives (with the author’s techniques “a single individual can easily dig a dry well, redirect creeks, blow up bad guys and perform a host of otherwise impossible chores of immense benefit to mankind”); Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors, purportedly written by a practicing professional named Rex Feral; and Death by Deception, on how to turn ordinary objects like computer modems and showerheads into deadly booby traps. Here too I found the How to Kill series by John Minnery, all six books now packaged in one handy 512-page volume called Kill Without Joy: The Complete How to Kill Book, whose chapters according to the catalog “provide gruesome testimony to why these books have been banned by certain countries around the globe.”


pages: 299 words: 83,854

Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy by Howard Karger

big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, delayed gratification, financial deregulation, fixed income, illegal immigration, independent contractor, labor-force participation, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, microcredit, mortgage debt, negative equity, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, predatory finance, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, underbanked, working poor

This problem is particularly acute for low-income homeowners who obtained down-payment assistance from federal, state, or local sources, which is often forgiven if they remain in the dwelling for some number of years. When predatory mortgage lenders make loans to these homeowners, they often insist that forgivable loans be paid off, which increases the amount borrowed. BROKERS, LOAN SOLICITATION, AND DOWNSTREAMING 123 Mortgage brokers live off of loan fees. Because they are independent contractors rather than employees of large financial institutions, government regulators have limited oversight over their activities. Many sub-prime or predatory loans originate through local mortgage brokers who act as finders, or “bird dogs,” for lenders. Some predatory and subprime lenders have also downsized their operations by shifting their loan originations to independent brokers.


pages: 290 words: 87,084

Branded Beauty by Mark Tungate

augmented reality, Berlin Wall, call centre, corporate social responsibility, double helix, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, haute couture, independent contractor, invention of the printing press, joint-stock company, liberal capitalism, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, stem cell

When McConnell noticed that women were far more interested in his scents than in books, he decided to focus on perfume. But he needed help – and on his bookselling rounds he had come across many impoverished women with time on their hands. What if he could help them and their families while also growing his business? His plan was to take women on as independent contractors, leaving them free to manage their time and their territory. Mrs PFE Albee of New Hampshire, a 50-year-old wife and mother of two, became the first representative of what was then the California Perfume Company in 1886. Just over a decade later, the company had 5,000 representatives. As the company’s website says, ‘at that time it was practically unheard of for a woman to run her own business.


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, independent contractor, 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, Savings and loan crisis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, WeWork, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks, while TaskRabbit is just a modern and even more flexible version of the old familiar temp agency I worked for back in the 1980s. Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are “the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.”26 This is atavism, not innovation. It has not reversed the trends of the last thirty years; it has accelerated them. And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work.


pages: 302 words: 85,877

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, disinformation, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, independent contractor, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Mondo 2000, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

Rohozinski was CEO of Psiphon Inc., a proxy network for evading censorship that the Citizen Lab had spun out. He also had worked in the military and as a technical advisor to the UN on telecommunications projects in former Soviet countries around the world. Though he described himself as an independent contractor, he acknowledged an intelligence background, and his affinities were clear. Laird and Villeneuve both called him a “spook,” which Rohozinski said was inaccurate. Laird also denies being a spy, and he never revealed himself as one to cDc. But his odd initial approach to the group, changing Hong Kong Blondes backstory, and later international work have caused several in cDc to wonder, even without being aware of the intelligence relationships that have since come to light.


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, algorithmic bias, 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, independent contractor, 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

I worked all my networks; it was far more difficult than I anticipated. I talked with a developer who runs her own shop who is a woman of color; I couldn’t afford her. Nor could I afford the heavily discounted services offered by a friend’s software firm. Eventually, I hired a woman and three men, all independent contractors, bringing the project total to a 2:3 women:men ratio. On a small team with a very close deadline, that would have to do. It’s an open secret in project management that nobody knows how to estimate time for a software project. Part of the problem is that writing computer code is more like writing an essay than like manufacturing.


pages: 318 words: 82,452

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Broken windows theory, citizen journalism, Columbine, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, mandatory minimum, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral panic, Occupy movement, open borders, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, strikebreaker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, white flight

There is also constant pressure to criminalize parts of the industry on behalf of real estate interests, moral entrepreneurs, and local officials concerned about their international image in connection to events like the World Cup and Olympics. Organized prostitution in brothels has been legal in rural Nevada since 1974. Workers (all female) are part of the formal economy, paying taxes and participating in Social Security. They are treated as independent contractors. They are required to pay the house a percentage and have regular health checks. The house provides clean workspaces, security, and administrative support. Numerous studies show a high degree of worker satisfaction, low levels of violence, and long work histories. There have been no allegations of forced or underage prostitution.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, independent contractor, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, Post-Keynesian economics, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

In 1999, the Institute of Health Policy Studies of the University of California at San Francisco, in cooperation with the Field Institute, conducted a study on work arrangements and living conditions on a representative sample of California workers, the second survey of a three-year longitudinal study.111 They defined “traditional jobs” as holding a single, full-time, day-shift job year round, as a permanent employee, paid by the firm for which the job is done, and not working from home or as an independent contractor – a definition very close to the one employed by Carnoy and myself. Under such a definition, 67 percent of California workers did not hold a traditional job. Adding the criterion of tenure, and calculating the proportion of workers with traditional jobs with three or more years of tenure, the proportion of workers in these standard jobs shrinks to 22 percent (see figures 4.9 and 4.10).

Figure 4.8 Employment in the temporary help industry in the United States, 1982–1997 Source: Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, elaborated by Mishel et al. (1999) Figure 4.9 Percentage of working-age Californians employed in “traditional” jobs, 1999 (“traditional” is defined as holding a single, full-time, day-shift job year round, as a permanent employee, paid by the firm for which the work is done and not working from home or as an independent contractor) Source: University of California, San Francisco and The Field Institute, 1999 Figure 4.10 Distribution of working-age Californians by “traditional” job status and length of tenure in the job, 1999 (“traditional” job is as defined in figure 4.9) Source: University of California, San Francisco and The Field Institute, 1999 The California model of flexible employment is even more distinct in Silicon Valley, the center of the new economy.


pages: 407 words: 90,238

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?, Hyperloop, impulse control, independent contractor, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

When Shulgin’s recipe for the potent amphetamine DOM was duplicated by underground chemists and sold to unsuspecting hippies—triggering a nationwide spike in emergency room visits—the company hit the breaking point. They decided it was time to part ways. So Shulgin went into private practice, becoming an extremely independent contractor. After converting an old garden shed into his lab, he picked back up where he had left off: formulating and testing new psychedelics. Between 1966, when he first set up his backyard workshop, and his death in 2014, Shulgin became one of the more prolific psychonauts (an explorer of inner space) in history.


The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good by Robert H. Frank

carbon footprint, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, congestion charging, corporate governance, deliberate practice, full employment, Garrett Hardin, income inequality, independent contractor, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, smart grid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy

Coase’s first significant paper, “The Nature of the Firm,” published in 1937, was in fact inspired by his observation that practical difficulties often prevented people from negotiating efficient contracts with one another.10 This paper was based on field research he had conducted in 1932, when as an undergraduate he received a fellowship to travel to the United States to observe the operations of large American corporations. The specific question he tackled in the 1937 paper was, why do firms exist in the first place? Why, he wanted to know, weren’t all business transactions carried out directly between independent contractors? His answer—which, like many big ideas, seems painfully obvious in hindsight— was that the latter approach would necessitate a host of complex and costly transactions. If you wanted to buy a car, for example, you’d have to negotiate contracts with numerous miners to extract iron ore from the earth, more contracts with others to process the ore into steel, still more contracts to mold the steel into the desired shapes, and so on.


pages: 309 words: 91,581