Home | About | Donate

The Upsurge in Uncertain Work


The Upsurge in Uncertain Work

Robert Reich

As Labor Day looms, more Americans than ever don’t know how much they’ll be earning next week or even tomorrow.

This varied group includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes.

On demand and on call – in the “share” economy, the “gig” economy, or, more prosaically, the “irregular” economy – the result is the same: no predictable earnings or hours.


AARRGGHH!! Enough with the naive “economics” (don’t care what medals you may possess). People’s lives do matter! So does the planet! Eff the economics in the textbooks. Let’s bring the planet and the people genuinely into focus. Eff the GDP! Eff the this or that metric!


It would appear that you didn’t even read the article since it’s all about protecting workers. You’d rather bash Mr. Reich for his former work with a prior administration than HEAR what he has to say NOW. And it’s solid stuff, important, relevant, and far wiser than anything YOU add to this forum.


Au contraire, Madame, I have the utmost respect for Dr. Reich. Enough to treat him to some in-the-face criticism. Why? Because he is bright enough to get it. You, of all posters, should not resist one who is using ecologic logic to “inform” economic decisions. Let’s wrap our minds around the etymologic analysis of that previous sentence.


This is a nightmare, stop the world, I want to get off.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


As I was reading the article, I kept thinking “I should write in the comments that with unconditional basic income all these problems (and many others) go away”. Then I got to the end of the article to read:

we’ll need a guaranteed minimum basic income. But I’ll save this for another column

I wish Dr. Reich had instead written that “other column” and save the trouble of writing this (rather useless) one!


Just look at the root meaning of these commonly used terms:

Employer / Employee

Human Resources Management


I could have stated Reich’s article more succinctly: We all are or are about to be effed!!!


Mr Reich:

You just figured this out?


Robots and artificial intelligence are in our future. They are likely put everyone out of business. I’m optimistic though.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


I have spent a large portion of my careers as an independent contractor. My last job title was as an “administrative contractor” - it gave the man I worked for a reason not to offer healthcare coverage for me. Now, I don’t have any beefs with the guy - he passed away. Just that I made too much to qualify for Medicaid and I didn’t have enough money left from my paycheck after bills were paid to “afford” ACA marketplace insurance.
A friend said, regarding to the job market in the megalopolis he lives in “entrepreneurialism” is where it’s at.
I tried starting a home business as a crafter after being laid off my last job. I will have to network via the internet to sell my handmade goods because no in in the little town I live in wants to pay a fair price for ANYTHING! (Most consumers are dirt poor, working jobs in retail and flipping burgers, part-time minimum wage.)
Trying to start a crafting business selling directly to local consumers in a town where the economy is always in a pit makes about as much sense as bashing one’s head against a concrete wall.
This little town finally got an Uber service a couple of weeks ago. I’d be all on board with that - but no one in my family has a car!