The Gig Economy

in economy •  10 months ago 

I’ve read a couple good articles on the gig economy that reminded me a lot of my past situation. Luckily for me, I’ve mostly transitioned away from the gig economy but my future prosperity hinges a lot on what the price of bitcoin does, how well I manage my money and what kinds of expenses come up.

If your wondering what the gig economy is about and some of the issues surrounding it, I recommend reading: The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom’

In a nutshell, places like Fiverr are really lowering the cost of labor for high quality workers who can do many types of work online and this is making it hard for people, particularly in richer countries to get paid enough for their labor.

I’ve tried doing jobs on the online labor platforms myself. At first they are very appealing because you can work you own hours and do specialized work that you like. I found myself constantly bidding on jobs though and not getting them unless they were priced very low and I was working very long hours without much return.

About the time I was getting really tired of getting constant, “Your priced too high” comments, my investments started doing better so I quit doing that kind of work.

bouncyHouse .jpg
A bounce house that caught my eye when walking the dog, check out the moon above the right castle turret. The sounds of merry music and sizzling food were around it. – click for viewing full screen

Death by Gig Work

Unfortunately not everyone has the same options as I do and some people have gotten seriously injured or killed doing gig work. See: The Death of a Gig Worker

Being an avid bicyclist I really feel for this person who was killed by a big SUV. Having to ride your bike in the rain is very dangerous. If you don’t have any options about when you ride, it makes things much worse. It is bad that most of these people do not have any insurance.

Actually, I don’t think we will need to deliver food by bicycle much longer. It could be a dead end job particularly in richer countries. I’m expecting to see some self driving autonomous electric powered food delivery wagons at some point in the near future.

In the mean time it is really unfortunate that some people do not have good work and have to do such things to get by.

The main issue with the gig economy that I see is that, as people are willing to work for lower wages, certain individuals that are very good at what they do can end up with most of the work. The rest of the people could get to the point where they cannot purchase their basic needs because businesses will not need to hire so many people if they can get the work done cheaply.

If nobody can afford such basic staples as food there is less incentive to produce food. We could end up in a situation where farms are not planted and machines are idle because the cash is drained away from the main street economy by businesses and investors making massive profits at the expense of cheap labor.

It seems like as individuals we need to at least in part become our own business and investor. With crypto we can start becoming our own bank and begin to make our efforts work more for us.

Steemit as a Gig

I’ve been wondering if Steemit could fill in some of the need that the gig economy fits. At this point with the price of steem so low it seems like it is not paying very well. Additionally, there has historically been some rather odd ‘social’ issues and flag wars that kind of remind me of a “Days of Our Lives” type soap opera, lol. However, I think there is a tremendous long term upside potential. But if you need five bucks to pay your bills right now, who’s to say if you are better off just selling your time on a job shop board.

My gut feel is that most people will be better off in the long run if they spend at least some of their time and effort in some sort of investment mix. The younger generation seems to favor crypto and should be moving some investments into it. I believe that the move to favoring investing and saving is a current trend that will become more important in a global economy where peoples skills are being sold at lower and lower prices. Steemit does give the opportunity to invest in something just by blogging.

Often people describe steem as inflating at around ten percent as the rewards are given out and the amount of coins grows. I don’t see it as being inflation in the same way we normally think of it. In fact most coins like this seem to be kind of deflationary because people like to hold onto them if they were early adopters and can see potential growth. I believe part of bitcoins success is from early adopters who hold on to the coins and help drive the market price up by drying up the supply and buying the dips.

It’s anyone’s guess what the best mix of investments will be. It seems like bitcoin tends to go up in value in the fall so maybe we will see a bit of a rally. Steem could follow along in price and might even go up in value relative to bitcoin. That’s my guess but it is certainly not investment advice. What do you think will happen to the price of steem over next few months?


Thanks for reading! I always value your support and comments. The pictures were taken by me with my Galaxy S9+.

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Like the guy in the story (a most touching one), I think a good number of the freelance workers are doing it for the now, with hopes of getting into something better when they have some savings. Many around here are diverting to ecommerce sales.

The writers of both stories did some serious digging in. Kudos to them. It's a pitiful situation but very many traditional companies, especially in developed nations treat their workers no better than this. Personally, I really favour affiliate marketing of all the online business models, although good for you if you can run a site and make money via adverts or selling your own products. But the market is generally saturated, will take a lot of hard work.

As for crypto, right now, I honestly cannot say whether it's the quickest means to riches or to a life of poverty. Anyone crypto-blogging, which is also demanding/time-consuming, had better have a 'real' job. I only hope it pays off in the long term.

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I guess for me, freelancing led to savings which I invested. That has provided some limited income however, like you said crypto seems to be both an opportunity and a potential life of poverty. I certainly would not start borrowing to support my crypto day trading habit at this time, lol.

I'm not sure what my next project will end up being. I have some software development ideas and a window of opportunity to get busy on something but I would rather not go back to freelancing or working for clients.

I think the future will see those who have tech skills, business, and creative skills continue to flourish. But there won't be much need for other skilled labourers. A few lawyers ... perhaps. Machines will be doing most things. Which could be an absolute blessing if we started taking care of each other and if we don't then we are looking at woes.

Crypto will take off once the media stops browbeating it and the banks find a way to turn it to their advantage. The markets are manipulated by the media and short sellers take advantage of this driving down share prices and most recently crypto. Simply being a profitable business is no longer enough. Just ask Elon Musk.

And I am with you ... love to see an end to the flag wars. I think we should govern the site with policy and more hard forks and not vigilanteism and bullying. If someone is following the rules ... leave 'em be. If the rules are off ... change 'em.

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Wonderful comment and I agree! It certainly would be nice if crypto does take off, I think a lot of people could benefit from it.

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Hello my best friends ho are you

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"I believe that the move to favoring investing and saving is a current trend that will become more important in a global economy where peoples skills are being sold at lower and lower prices. Steemit does give the opportunity to invest in something just by blogging."

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I do hope that it works out well for us. Best wishes for your success.

Your post and the article are both very interesting. I see the internet as a "great leveler". In terms of Fiver, I think it may bring down pay in places like the US, but increase pay in places like Bangladesh. However on a broader view, I have heard that many of these places produce great grunt work cheaply, but are not great at capturing the essence of design and innovation. For example, iphones may be built in China, but are designed here.

It is so interesting to see how disruptive a newer technology like the internet can truly be. I offer a personal example of this. When I was a young, brand new stock broker, there was no internet trading. A trade we used to charge $800+ bucks for, can now be done for less than $10 (in some cases, more like a dollar!) These are interesting times we are living in!

Oh I get to talking so much I almost forgot the question lol. I have no idea about the price of Bitcoin. To me it seems more like gold than an actual payment method. Seems to be a means to "store" value. Unlike a field that is easy to value because it produces a certain amount of corn every year, or a company the averages a certain return year after year, Bitcoin is like a brick of gold.

I would like to see Steem closer to the $3 level.

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As investment dollars flow from things like stocks to crypto I really wonder how things will go. I would guess that good investment advice was a part of things back then, for your $800+ dollar trades. (Actually my mom suggested never to listen to stock brokers but I have no personal experience with that, LOL)

It is hard to know where to invest in with crypto, there is a lot of conflicting and obfuscated information out there. Many times things sound good at first but after reading more about the coin something trips my internal BS detector.

Coins with a lot of potential seem to get dumped off the exchanges, (i.e. Bittrex) causing a lot of lost value for investors and the loss of listing fees paid by the developers or coin community. Many coins have had their initial go of high pricing only to be cast aside when liquidity drops. Lots of crypto can be traded with low or no fees in some cases, yet low cost trades are not a bargain when exchanges list a bunch of coins without supporting them for a long term. Loss of coins off exchanges from theft have been a big deal too and leave me feeling uneasy.

I think decentralized exchanges could potentially change things a lot for crypto. Maybe this year we will see some better support for them. If things improve I think we could see a big rise in the price of Steem.

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hello friends @lightsplasher how are you?

Nicely written! I've had some similar negative Gig Economy experiences myself (@liveonprio). And YES, it's definitely important for young people to consider their investments NOW! Great call. We are doing our best at THOR to fix the Gig Economy as much as possible. I believe 'gig work' helps people develop a more independent and entrepreneurial mindset, and allows for more FREEDOM. Also, I think it does have the potential to optimize the workforce by encouraging true value creation by cutting out sometimes unnecessary overhead ; ) Can you see a mature 'gig economy' potentially being truly beneficial for people...and the cause of freedom?

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I think there is a big upside potential to the Gig Economy but things are going to need to stabilize somehow on the world economic system. It is a very interesting situation we are in right now with prices and wages all over the place depending on the country you live in. Additionally everyone seems to ignore the giant "Elephant in the Room" of climate change and environmental issues. Somehow I think the two issues are very related and solving them will bring about a lasting abundance for many people and things in the world.

This bounce house does look very attractive, and I am very curious how the atmosphere is inside.

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It is for younger kids to play inside. The floor is very springy, like a trampoline. The sides are designed to protect the kids from falling out and hurt themselves. Some people rent them for parties and sometimes put balloons or toys inside. (Generally the atmosphere has a certain mayhem involved with screaming excited younger kids bouncing around, if you can imagine that, LOL)

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Other online work is really time consuming with regards to competition in doing work and using your talent into it as well. So it becomes hard for people that wants to work online cannot really make money substantially so they are drawn into 9-5 jobs that robs them more of their lives and time.

Platforms such as steemit just makes a good alternative because it has a long-term value and immediate benefits for users who can just blog in many ways with different steem-based apps and make their lives changed in a batter ways despite some claims that this platform has a lot of flaws, well our real life has a lot of flaws too so it is just understandable and we just have to see this platform on what good it does and not what others make or see about it in a negative way. @lightsplasher. So I say that steemit, etc is the ultimate gig to take and live by.

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