I am really hanging out for all the gig economy companies to go belly up when the government rules that their “independent contractors” are legally employees

many of the food delivery cyclists working for Deliveroo and Foodora are under the mistaken impression that they don’t need to pay taxes on their income, that the company has already handled this, a misinterpretation that the companies don’t go out of their way to dispel

the companies of course do not need to pay superannuation or holiday pay or sick pay for their fake employees, the insurance situation is ambiguous, and they can be instantly dismissed for any reason including injury on the job

everyone is being squeezed: the cyclists work hard in poor conditions, the investors throw money at the company they won’t get back, the customers pay more for worse food, the restaurants pay a hefty cut for the extra business.

this isn’t the glorious future

Those are like

all wrong sentences.

  1. The cyclists, who know their own situation better than you do, are better off than they were before (you can tell because otherwise they’d go back to what they did before)
  2. The investors, who have put more thought into this than you have, expect this to have the highest ROI (You can tell because otherwise they’d invest elsewhere)
  3. The customers pay less for better food (You can tell because they’re picking this instead of their old option)
  4. The restaurants pay a reasonable fee for much extra business (You can tell because otherwise, they’d stop.)

Or phrased differently:

  1. I refuse to believe you’ve solved the calculation problem
  2. I refuse to believe you’ve solved the calculation problem
  3. I refuse to believe you’ve solved the calculation problem
  4. I refuse to believe you’ve solved the calculation problem

Minor nitpick, but #4 doesn’t actually work out. Restaurants who refuse to support delivery will lose business because of the Customers in point #3. So, unlike the Cyclists, Investors, and Customers, they can’t really choose to just ignore this and go back to what they were doing before.

Also, I’m not sure I’d call it “extra” business – are there studies that show people are eating out more? Or are they just paying a delivery service to save themselves from having to leave the house when they do eat “out”?

I may have been unclear

I didn’t mean “extra business compared to ten years ago.” I meant “compared to if they didn’t do it.”

Yeah, and you give the guy mugging you your money because you prefer it compared to getting stabbed. That doesn’t make muggings okay. You say “this is good because it is dictated by the iron logic of competition” but behind your words I hear the laughter of Moloch.

Companies are supposed to go bankrupt. It’s how we get rid of inefficient business practices.

But yes, it is definitely a hubristic attempt at harnessing Moloch for our own advantage, which is probably in the long run going to turn out to be bad.

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