When being solely a means to rich people’s ends means being a vector for disease

Coronavirus

In a sense, the labor arrangements that gig economy companies insist upon—the “independent contractor” scam—forms a perfect storm with Coronavirus: Many gig workers lack good health insurance, cannot afford to go to doctors, are exposed to large numbers of people and are therefore at higher risk of contracting the disease, cannot afford to take time off, and may serve as vectors for the disease.[1]

I think, however, that many drivers are taking time off, at least in Pittsburgh. My business has seen a dramatic increase in recent days. I’m not seeing a lot more money; many of the trips are too short to be really profitable and I’m spending as much (uncompensated) time and mileage getting to them as I earn from them. It’s been hard, hard driving, often in suddenly dramatically worse traffic.

I’m hoping that my usual immunity to dread diseases holds. That, of course, does not mean I won’t be helping spread it.

But like the drivers in Nitasha Tiku’s article,[2] I have no choice about any of this. I can only work, work, work. Because my only means to survival is to keep on working.

That’s how it is when you’re solely a means to rich people’s ends.[3] But you know, for our fearless delusional raging narcissist-in-chief, the stock market is more important.[4]

Nitasha Tiku, “Gig workers face the spread of the new coronavirus with no safety net,” Washington Post, February 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/29/gig-workers-face-spread-new-coronavirus-with-no-safety-net/


  1. [1]Nitasha Tiku, “Gig workers face the spread of the new coronavirus with no safety net,” Washington Post, February 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/29/gig-workers-face-spread-new-coronavirus-with-no-safety-net/
  2. [2]Nitasha Tiku, “Gig workers face the spread of the new coronavirus with no safety net,” Washington Post, February 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/29/gig-workers-face-spread-new-coronavirus-with-no-safety-net/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/; David Benfell, “Bernie Sanders’ supporters have reason to be rude,” Not Housebroken, February 27, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/02/26/bernie-sanders-supporters-have-reason-to-be-rude/
  4. [4]Dana Milbank, “For Trump, a reckoning has come,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/trump-reckoning-has-come/; Paul Waldman, “How coronavirus has deeply flummoxed conservative media,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/how-coronavirus-has-deeply-flummuxed-conservative-media/

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