Robber Barons of the 21st Century
While high-tech Mandarins continue to accumulate staggering wealth, and the Revenge of the Nerds assumes dominance in the economy, service sector jobs make up most of the rest of what’s available in the marketplace and the pay sucks.
The pandemic has convincingly demonstrated, among other notable inequities, that most of the “essential workers” keeping society afloat in a ranging pandemic are in fact among the most poorly paid among us. It matters not to the Elite, like those who successfully financed Prop. 22 in California’s election cycle earlier this week.
Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, high flyers in the new economy floating on nothing but venture capital, coughed up $200 million in support of an initiative to exempt them from State Supreme Court approved labor laws. The law confirmed that workers who are controlled by their companies are not “contractors” but rather employees who are due benefits.
Not any longer. Those innovative bastions of free enterprise can return to the practice of treating their drivers as self-employed minions, earning a bare minimum wage and getting squat for benefits. Sick leave? In a pandemic! Are you kidding?
So the Mandarins underwrote the Nerds in freeing themselves from a law they didn’t like. Why, you might ask? So the next time they need a Lyft, they can save a buck.
A penny saved, you know…