Love the writing.
But have we actually seen people who are gainfully employed quit their salaried job in order to pursue a gig?
Can we contribute jobless recovery, or the plight of the US middle class, to the gig economy?
The net effect of platforms have on the economy should be positive, as they offer ways for people to monetize free time or spare rooms. That’s just supply side, the demand side is less clear as you can argue that these platforms replaced traditional outlets like taxi or hotels.
Ultimately, I think you’re calling Uber and Airbnb out on the hypocrisy of side hustle > salaried employment, which is true. And the fact that gig economy might erode traditional, salaried jobs which also might be true. But you also have to acknowledge that the gig economy should have an overall net positive effect on the economy, and the job that it destroys are just another winner/loser situation similar to automation vs manufacturing jobs.
No one is driving an Uber thinking that this is a respectable side hustle; Uber sells that, but no one is buying it. Is it certainly more marketable than selling it as “Struggling financially? come drive Uber.”
And for those who are struggling, isn’t it a good thing to have Uber or Airbnb? Or at the very least, about the same as flipping burgers at McDonald's?
If you’re arguing that people are too blind to see that side hustle<salaried employment because of marketing, I would point out that people who struggle financially are most likely to behave like econs (perfectly rational, perfectly self-interested mythical economic beings).