So what, exactly, is the punchline here? “Driver” is not a profession that reliably generates financial stability for the person in question, irrespective of whether that person works for a medallion owner or a tech bro. There have always been and will always be (at least unless automation eliminates them all) subsistence-level jobs with exceedingly poor stability. This is not a problem specific to the gig economy.
If the punchline is that these people’s lives would improve if Uber were forced to take them all onto its corporate payroll, demonstrate that. Let’s see what that would cost the company and how that could reasonably be expected to translate to pricing, user demand, and the wages of the people you’re talking about.
If you’re angling for a broader social resolution like a guaranteed basic income, come out and say it.
Absent that, this just reads as pointless hand-wringing about an arrangement that may be failing some (who are also clearly not the target of the “Get your sidehustle on” marketing shtick), but is actually working for others. The fact that people who need full-time work are availing themselves of “gig” opportunities absent others does not make the existence of those “gigs” inherently problematic — the arrangement clearly works very well for some.
If Kate had provided any actual context from the CNBC article, she would’ve had to acknowledge the itss actual message about the girl working for JoyRun — yes, she made restaurant / retail wages, but on a completely flexible schedule that much better suited her lifestyle than if she had to meet shifts set by someone else. What exactly is your expectation — that people should earn a professional wage working part time, on a schedule they set, and in a manner they solely determine? She’s a college student who is able to cover expenses and earn some walking-around money without worrying about whether or not a shift is going to conflict with a class that she really wants to take. This is, quite literally, a side hustle for someone whose main “job” is being a student.
As for the heavy implication of cultural appropriation regarding the use of the phrase “side hustle” in the article’s closing paragraphs that Knibbs wasn’t quite gutsy enough to come out and say, give me a break.