The real meaning of poverty is not having enough money to allow you to participate in the social life of your community. These days poverty does not mean having no food to eat; it's more about having no money to keep up with the Joneses. The idea of social inclusion as a fundamental human right introduces a whole new meaning of Deprivation and Want.
The UK House of Commons Select Committee Report on self-employment and the gig economy, published in April 2017 and chaired by Frank Field MP, begins by observing that ‘the self-employed are a large and growing part of the UK labour force’ constituting some 5 million workers amounting to 15% of the total labour force.
The terms 'inequality' and 'poverty' are often used interchangeably. This is sometimes a disingenuous sleight of hand by those who, being merely concerned about inequality, create the impression that they are concerned about poverty. The reason for this subterfuge is plain to see: there is universal support for addressing the plight of the poor, especially children living in poverty with no access to food, education, health care, or basic comforts in life like a bed to sleep on. Everyone wants to help out with that. So if you march for poverty, literally everyone will support you. But when it comes to merely feeling angry that some people are richer than others, that's a whole different issue. If you march for the fact that your neighbour is paid more than you, you'll find your levels of support dwindling.
Why is it that all the people who write about freedom are capitalists? What do socialists have to say about freedom, if anything?
The best thing to do if you get fired is to gather up your worldly possessions and hit the road in search of your next adventure.
Most people have to work to earn a living, but who chooses to work and who can say they were forced to work by their employer?
How would you know whether you are being exploited at work? Would it depend on whether other people you work with are also feeling exploited? What does it mean, if people doing the same work are quite happy and in fact grateful for the opportunity to earn a bob or two? Are they suffering from 'false consciousness' meaning that they're very unhappy but just don't know they're unhappy? Or should we conclude that 'exploitation' is a matter of subjective personal opinion? Or should we defer to experts who can tell us the true meaning of worker exploitation?
In the latest round of talks between Uber and its unhappy drivers, which are currently being conducted under the aegis of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Uber is reduced to arguing that it has done nothing new, nothing innovative, nothing exciting, let alone revolutionary. The nature of their defence is: we deny that there is any such thing as the gig economy, or if there is, we deny that we are part of it.
Scholar, Writer, Friend