February 10, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Jo Weber Economist & Social Media Expert:
The former secretary of labor on the dangers of the sharing economy and our growing intolerance for labor unions
My recent column about the growth of on-demand jobs like Uber making life less predictable and secure for workers unleashed a small barrage of criticism that workers get what they’re worth in the market.
A Forbes Magazine contributor, for example, writes that jobs exist only “when both employer and employee are happy with the deal being made.” So if the new jobs are low-paying and irregular, too bad.
Much the same argument was voiced in the late nineteenth century over alleged “freedom of contract.” Any deal between employees and workers was assumed to be fine if both sides voluntarily agreed to it.
It was an era when many workers were “happy” to toil twelve-hour days in sweat shops for lack of any better…
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