The Robots are Coming

A casual discussion about the automation of work and the decreasing relevance of humans to productivity.

The Gig Economy for Welfare

January 29, 2016

Two conservative Washington policy wonks write in Politico that we should use the gig economy to put welfare recipients to work:

Historically, some opponents of workfare have argued that work requirements are untenable because the government cannot find a job for every welfare beneficiary. That may have been true years ago, when a “job” was binary and full time, but today the gig economy offers the solution: It can easily and quickly put millions of people back to work, allowing almost anyone to find a job with hours that are flexible with virtual locations anywhere.

The Week calls this flawed:

You can break the amount of demand in the economy up into bigger chunks—fewer, more traditional jobs with high pay—or into smaller chunks—more jobs, but with lower pay. But the amount of demand in the economy is the amount of demand in the economy. And right now, as it has generally been over the last few decades, we flat out don’t have enough.

Basically, if you use these services to put a bunch of people to work, pay will drop since all you’re doing is increase demand for jobs. More people wanting (needing) them means that employers can pay less.