By Steven Hill
"What's going to happen to my job?" That's what an increasing number of anxious Americans are asking themselves. The US workforce, which has been one of the most productive and wealthiest in the world, is undergoing an alarming transformation. Increasing numbers of workers find themselves on shaky ground, turned into freelancers, temps and contractors. Even many full-time and professional jobs are experiencing this precarious shift. Within a decade, a near-majority of the 145 million employed Americans will be impacted. Add to that the steamroller of automation, robots and artificial intelligence already replacing millions of workers and projected to "obsolesce" millions more, and the jobs picture starts looking grim.
Now a weird yet historic mash-up of Silicon Valley technology and Wall Street greed is thrusting upon us the latest economic fraud: the so-called "sharing economy," with companies like Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit allegedly "liberating workers" to become "independent" and "their own CEOs," hiring themselves out for ever-smaller jobs and wages while the companies profit.
But this "share the crumbs" economy is just the tip of a looming iceberg that the middle class is drifting toward. Raw Deal: How the "Uber Economy" and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers,by veteran journalist Steven Hill, is an exposé that challenges conventional thinking, and the hype celebrating this new economy, by showing why the vision of the "techno sapien" leaders and their Ayn Rand libertarianism is a dead end.
In Raw Deal, Steven Hill proposes pragmatic policy solutions to transform the US economy and its safety net and social contract, launching a new kind of deal to restore power back into the hands of American workers.
"Steve Fraser's recent The Age of Acquiescence also derides the false freedom this new breed of workers has been sold, but Hill does a nice job of putting it in starker, easier-to-understand ways. He's more of a storyteller. He gives us faces — not just statistics. This brand of worker abuse cuts across industries and company size. Hill calls out Uber, AirBnb, Merck, Nissan, and dozens of others for taking advantage of perma-temps, people kept on for months and even years as full-time employees in all ways but one: They get zero benefits."
- "Beyond the valley of the gig economy" - Interview with Steven Hills at Medium,14 June 2019
- "The Future of Work in the Uber Economy; Creating a Safety Net in a Multi-Employer World" - Article by Hills in the Boston Review, 22 July 2015
Table of Contents of Raw Deal
- Introduction: Earthquake in San Fransisco
- Back to the Future in the 1099 Economy
- AirBNB and the Sharing Economy: Economic Savior or... Dead End?
- The Ticking Time Bomb of Uber
- Race to the Bottom, with Task-Rabbit and Elance-Upwork
- Underground: The Road to Hell Is Paved with Silk
- Robots and Techno Sapiens Are Coming for Your Job
- The Specter of the Economic Singularity
- The New Economy Visionaries: Leaders Leading Us... Where?
- Labor's Dilemma
- Solutions I: A New Social Contract for the New Economy
- Solutions II: Making the New Economy Work in the Information and Innovation Age
- Conclusion: Maria's Life Matters! Long Live Maria Fernandes
About Steven Hill
Steven Hill is a Senior Fellow with the New America Foundation and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He is a veteran journalist and author of several books, including the internationally praised Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age, which was selected as one of the "Top Fifteen Books of 2010" by The Globalist. His articles and media interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Financial Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Die Zeit, Project Syndicate, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Politico, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Salon, Slate, BBC, C-SPAN, Fox News, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, Austrian Public Broadcasting and many others. He lives in San Francisco, CA.