The "You-Economy"

Prof. Wolff, while travelling in California in July of this year, I picked up a copy of USA Today (July 2016) which contained a supplement called "YouEconomy", The Movement That's Changing the Way We Work. I was reminded of your Economic Updates in which you discuss companies like Uber, AirBnb, Lyft, etc., and how these companies are very profitably exploiting unemployed or underemployed US workers by getting them to use their personal cars as taxis, or rent out space in their homes as hotel suites, etc. I wonder if you could discuss this phenomenon in an upcoming Economic Update. The USA Today supplement has a link to for further information, if needed. The supplement discusses Uber, leVel, TaskRabbit, Etsy, Upwork, microbusiness, and other startups. It suggests this is the future of work in the USA (and, elsewhere presumably) as "freelance work", and includes this happy admonition: "Don't Be the One Left Behind! The biggest mistake you can make in this economy is choosing to ignore it. Ignoring the impact the YouEconomy has had on our daily lives, our ability to earn income, and our ability to control our destiny today would be like ignoring the automobile in the 19th century. Just because you ignore it doesn't mean it will go away. You can either choose to join in, or get left in the dust." Following from what you have discussed in previous Economic Update talks, this "You-Economy" is the deliberate creation of the over-jealous geniuses running the capitalist system as a response to the millions of jobs lost to automation and overseas transfers. I would be grateful to hear your interpretation of this development.

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  • Edgar Nelson
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-08-08 04:31:05 -0400