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It’s the gig economy, stupid!!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Technology is crushing traditional jobs. The command-and-control factory is being replaced by robots. Banks are rapidly removing pen-pusher jobs by the tens of thousands!!! For those with an economic bent, the Milton Friedman-type assumptions about how an economy operates are dead!

What’s taking over is the ‘gig’ economy. But what is it?  It’s pretty simple really.

Traditional jobs (Friedman assumed) involved an employer having a legal ‘right to control’ an employee. The gig economy does away with this wage-slave-like setup. Instead, the contractual relationships are entirely commercial. The on-line business platforms that facilitate this are many. For example, Uber (ride sharing), Airbnb (accommodation), Amazon (manufacturing and retailing), Airtasker (home and other services) operate like stock markets.

The platforms connect people wanting something (for example, to buy shares) to people delivering something (for example, selling shares). The platforms facilitate and manage the commercial transactions including invoicing, payments and so on. Every transaction is commercial.

If you’re scared of this, well, move over and crawl into a hole!!! Some people claim it’s a crisis and we have to regulate this quickly as if its employment.
But other jurisdictions are being positive:
And, in a major development, the Australian Fair Work Commission has just declared an Uber driver to not be an employee. This makes sense.

The importance of properly approaching the gig economy cannot be underestimated. To fail to embrace it is to be a wrecker of opportunity and an oppressor of people.

This is one reason why we attacked the Australian Taxation Office hard late last year over its removal of Australian Business Numbers from 16 gig economy workers. Yes, we were damn angry with the stupidity of the ATO and succeeded in having the ABNs reinstated. Now that were a bit calmer, we’ve summarized the ‘transcribers’ case here.

And we’ve just added a new piece about how this transcribers case relates to the gig economy.

Remember, this ATO-style attack can happen to anyone. The ATO has gone rabid on this. You need protection. Check it out here.
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