Oh my God!
Michael Lorton

Ah, yes, of course. The new economy is a trickle-down conservative’s wet dream and anyone who criticizes the flim-flam nature of these companies as “the anonymous gamification of capitalism” surely must be whining about the loss of their personal entitlement to everyone else’s money. After all, the new economy applies technology — the most benevolent of servants to the greater good — to ensure the best possible service at the lowest possible price *and* fair, equitable compensation and treatment for the worker. Did I get that right?

Of course, the fairy tale falls apart the moment you factor in that these businesses consider service providers as independent contractors — denying them the benefits of actual employment — while their platform access and control mechanisms strip away virtually all of the competitive aspects of actually being an independent contractor. And, because these new economy companies prioritize high growth and low cost, existing service providers are constantly getting squeezed by an influx of new entrants to the platforms. But hey, who cares if the earning potential of any single service provider is constantly getting eroded…there’s always more accruing to the company because it’s taking 20% off the top no matter what.

Since you raised the point, I bet the above description perfectly matches your employment as a software engineer. Oh, it doesn’t? Your employer isn’t getting a 20% kick-back for its generosity in providing you a desk? You were able to negotiate a salary and benefits (or a contracting agreement)? You’re not facing scores of new engineers sitting at your desk every day who compete against you for every project that comes across your desk?

Well, gee, I guess that “context” escaped you.