Stories

Gig economy skeptics warn of a new 'precariat'

Jeff Chiu / AP

The New Yorker has a skeptical take on the share economy, spearheaded by the rise of Airbnb, TaskRabbit, and other services:

  • "'Sharing' boosters herald the virtues of autonomy and flexibility; skeptics warn about the rise of a new precariat."
  • "[T]he sharing economy became a liberal beacon."
  • Chris Lehane, Clinton-Gore alumnus now at Airbnb: "Ultimately, what we're doing is driving wealth down to the people,"
  • "Regulation is government's usual tool for blunting adverse consequences, but most sharing platforms gain their competitive edge by skirting its requirements."
  • The big change: "The precariat is everywhere. Companies such as Nissan have begun manning factories with temps; even the U.S. Postal Service has turned to them. Academic jobs are increasingly filled with relatively cheap, short-term teaching appointments."