I gained some useful insights about the “gig economy” from this London School of Economics podcast. Here is the intro:
Speaker(s): Brhmie Balaram, Jason Moyer-Lee
Chair: Dr Robin Archer
Recorded on 7 December 2017 at Old Theatre, Old Building
The gig economy is on the rise and with it worries about exploitation. Leading experts will analyse how to deal with the challenges and opportunities of new ways of working.
Brhmie Balaram (@Brhmie) is a Senior Researcher in the RSA’s Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing team. She leads the RSA’s research on the sharing economy. She was previously a researcher for the Independent Review of the Police Federation and for the influential RSA City Growth Commission. She has experience exploring issues of institutional reform, economic inequality and labour market disadvantage. Brhmie joined the RSA from the Institute of Public Policy Research and was formerly at The Work Foundation.
Jason Moyer-Lee (@MoyerLee) is General Secretary, Independent Workers of Great Britain union.
The RSA is the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and is a 260+ year old institution founded in 1754. The RSA conducted a survey of the gig economy in the UK and the report and summary information can be found here. The part of Ms. Balaram’s talk that attracted particular interest related to the existence of, and greater need for, cooperative technology platforms for putting service providers together for service customers. One of such cooperative platforms mentioned was the USA based LOCONOMICS COOPERATIVE.
Jason Moyer-Lee is General Secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain. The most interesting aspect to me of Mr. Moyer-Lee’s presentation was confirmation, once again, that systems are frequently stacked against the little guy. While rules and rights exist, the system simply makes it hard to enforce those rules and rights without the direct participation of government regulators. In short, a tremendous “access to justice” problems exist. My “spider senses” tell me this is no accident. Personally, I prefer an ability to engage in self-help. Something about “governing best is a system that governs least.”
Something I will pursue with Mr. Moyer-Lee is a cooperative solution to “Access to Justice” issues I have been developing. This is because Mr. Moyer-Lee identified an initiative to target corporate lawyers as a fundamental source of the labor exploitation they have been fighting. It would appear that the situation seems to built-to-suit for them. Their clients will take any hit to reputation from losing a case yet they make more money every case that is filed against an employer. No surprises for me there. But I don’t hear the complaint much from non-lawyer social justice advocates. Perhaps too complicated? In any event, it is my view that more resources could be brought to the issue as an intended consequence of group legal services programs for the masses.