Monday, October 5, 2015

Politicians Turn to Start-Ups for Grasp of “Gig Economy”

Many of today’s technology start-ups are enabling people to try to make a living by fulfilling one-time tasks or doing freelance work, fueling the rise of the gig economy. This type of trend is exemplified by Uber, who directly employs about 4,000 people, but has over 160,000 drivers in the United States who depend on this part time gig as their live hood. Recent studies, brought to you by the Freelancers Union estimated that 53.7 million people do freelance work and almost ¾ of the freelancers admitted that technology was making more feasible to find some type of work.    
Marco Zappacosta is the creator of a start-up called Thumbtack that matches workers of many kinds with jobs, putting him at the center of what is called the “gig economy.” After such an innovation by Mr. Zappacosta, his position that he stands in now allows for him to be in demand with a group of powerful political people. Powerful political campaigners such as Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have both checked in with Thumbtack.  
While Uber allows drivers to use its’ app to find passengers rides for their destination, Thumbtack is an app that arranges an introduction between a worker and a job, but the relationship is held outside of the company. Now that we are in an election year, this start up company founded six years ago can be vital to determining jobs within the work force. David Kochel, the chief strategist for Mr. Bush, said the candidate was reaching out to start-ups because “the gig economy is transforming the way we think of work.” Also, Hillary Clinton stated, “This on-demand, or so-called gig, economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation. But it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”
One problem I have noticed that many political campaigners are nervous for after supporting Thumbtack’s ideas is the lack of security that is provided within the app. Throughout years of innovation and hard work, it is important within the workplace to follow labor policies accordingly and allow for workers to obtain equal rights. My concern for this app is the protection for the millions of people who have invested their time and effort to be a part of this freelance work. Also, I argue that Thumbtack is helping make America’s workforce greater than ever before. Its’ vision to allow for millions of people to prosper and obtain the ability to get a chance to work is great for our country. As elections are coming up it is important for the U.S. to rethink the provision of our safety net by making it more readily available for independent workers to join Thumbtack under safer circumstances.

Benner, Katie. "Politicians Turn to Start-Ups for Grasp of ‘Gig Economy’."The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Oct. 2015. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.

Sundararajan, Arun. "The 'gig economy' Is Coming. What Will It Mean for Work?" N.p., 25 July 2015. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.

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