I’m very confused by your response. It isn’t clear to me what part of the system I am in denial about. I am:

  1. Saying that there is a lot to like about the on-demand economy, especially in contrast to the low wage economy, because it does give workers the ability to set their own hours, and other kinds of autonomy.
  2. Saying that both the new “on demand” jobs AND traditional low wage work are effectively on demand, and that we need both to have better workplace protections.

Which one of these things are you saying is out of touch.

FWIW, I began my career as a freelancer (tech writing — definitely a white collar skill), where I learned a lot about the tradeoffs between freedom and security. As I grew my company, I tried to preserve those freedoms while also providing job security and better income. Unlike the big companies I reference in the article, I haven’t tried to drive down wages, but rather to drive them up for my employees!

And finally, while it’s been a long time, I did spend some time in low wage work when I was in high school and college. I was a gardener (Arlington National Cemetery), a waiter/busboy, and a janitor. That was a long time ago, and I was a kid. But I think I have a pretty good sense of what low wage work today is from reading books like Nickel and Dimed in America, and talking to a lot of labor advocates.

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Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold.

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