The broken business model of Uber and Lyft is taking a heavy toll on society
By Steven Hill, Fortune, Dec. 19, 2020
What would a safety net look like for gig workers in the Internet-based economy?
It would provide health insurance, naturally, and a retirement plan, sick leave, and injured worker and unemployment compensation. And it would be equitable and portable: A person working part-time for different companies would have robust benefits that travel with them from job-to- job. …
How to avoid another 2020 election meltdown
By Steven Hill, Salon, Nov. 27, 2020
The U.S.’s embarrassing problems with something as basic as voter registration should serve as a wake-up call
Throughout the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the ghosts of 2000, hanging chads and Bush v. Gore were rapping loudly at the door.
For many members of the American public, voting has become a confusing ritual, even if one does not take the latest twist into account — a president who refused to accept that he lost the election.…
Now how do we reform the U.S. Supreme Court?
By Steven Hill, Salon, October 27, 2020
Other countries show many ways in which a nation can de-politicize nominations to its highest court
The battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett has put a key issue of U.S. politics with renewed vigor onto the national agenda: How to achieve a degree of bipartisan balance, as other countries such as Germany manage to do it?…
Latest Election Stunt Proves Uber and Lyft Are Their Own Worst Enemies
By Steven Hill, Naked Capitalism, October 16, 2020
Like so much about politics today, the debate around Uber and Lyft’s Proposition 22 in California has quickly become polarized. Simplistic media narratives like “Silicon Valley versus labor unions,” or Uber’s self-serving argument that its drivers prefer flexibility over security, leave voters confused and torn.…
The Red Mirage
By Steven Hill, The Globalist, October 13, 2020
What happens if Trump declares victory on election night, and tries to dispute any “late” uncounted ballots — both in the courts and in the free-for-all of public opinion?
So imagine this Nightmare Scenario: With so many more Biden supporters voting by mail in a close election, it is likely President Trump will be ahead on election night, based on partial returns in a number of battleground states (a scenario that has been called “a red mirage”).…
How to Avoid Banana Republic Elections
By Steven Hill, Common Dreams, October 4, 2020
However this election turns out, a bipartisan effort should be mounted to make voting more efficient and secure.
Is the US about to hold another banana republic election? The ghosts of 2000, hanging chads and Bush v. Gore are rapping loudly at the door.…
Kamala Harris’s Uber Test
by Steven Hill, American Prospect, August 19, 2020
The vice-presidential nominee did little as a state and local prosecutor as Uber and Lyft rose to prominence. Now California wants to force drivers to be treated as employees, and Harris appears to be on board—for now.
Family gatherings at Kamala Harris’s house are about to get a lot more interesting.…
The Challenges of the Post-Coronavirus Workforce
By Steven Hill, Hans Böckler Stiftung, July 6, 2020
With millions of workers affected, the short-term shocks of the coronavirus pandemic have been unprecedented. But what will be the longer term impacts of new ways of working remotely or at-home? Will a more “distributed” workforce be a less unionized and less empowered workforce?…
Amazon Workers Fight Back
By Steven Hill, Hans Böckler Stiftung, February 27, 2020
This past holiday season, Amazon workers in the US, Germany and the EU gave CEO Jeff Bezos his worst Christmas present – a growing workers movement.
The Christmas holiday in the United States is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, a moment to honor values like sharing and charity.…
California needs more ‘social housing’ to solve crisis
By Steven Hill, San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, January 26, 2020
San Jose and Oakland are classic examples of a supply/demand market failure that SB 50 will not solve.
The affordable housing crisis continues to humble California policymakers. Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill, SB 50, is the latest attempt, but it fails to recognize that a major reason for this crisis is not simply a lack of overall housing supply.…
Forget SB 50 — San Francisco needs a bold plan for social housing
By Steven Hill, 48 Hills, January 9, 2020
European cities show how more than half the housing stock can be taken out of the private market — and it works.
State Senator Scott Wiener has reintroduced his housing bill, SB 50, which seeks to alleviate the housing crisis by forcing more density around transit corridors.…
Golf courses…or affordable housing?
By Steven Hill, 48 Hills, Dec 17, 2019
Just one of San Francisco’s five public courses, which consume 1.5 percent of the city’s land, could provide affordable housing for 10,000 people.
Despite all the public concern over the affordable housing crisis, and an alphabet soup of ballot and bond measures in recent years intended to address it, San Francisco has achieved limited concrete results.…
A Blow Against “Bogus Self-Employment” And Gig Economy
By Steven Hill, Hans Böckler Stiftung, Dec 11, 2019
A new pro-labor law in California closes worker misclassification loophole and inspires labor advocates around the world.
Workers in California recently received a major boost with the passage of a landmark labor law. The state of California passed Assembly Bill 5 (abbreviated AB5), that requires most companies, including app-based companies like Uber and Lyft, to treat “independent contract” workers as employees.…
21st century California workers need portable safety net
By Steven Hill, San Jose Mercury News, July 18, 2019
Allowing companies to eliminate worker benefits unleashes a race to the bottom
As Uber and Lyft scramble to find a profitable business model, it’s not surprising that they are opposing California Assembly Bill AB5. If this law goes into effect, it would force them to treat their California drivers as employees rather than as so-called “independent contractors.”…
Beyond the valley of the gig economy
Interview with Steven Hill, 48 Hills, July 10, 2019
‘Raw Deal’ author Steven Hill on Uber tech, the perils of the “Californian Ideology,” and the twilight of the elites.
The overarching theme of this year’s LaborFest is “Labor On the Edge: Dystopia or a Future for Workers.”…
Is Uber the Amazon — or the Enron — of the transportation industry?
By Steven Hill, Medium, May 9, 2019
Uber has been promoting itself in its pre-IPO roadshow as the “Amazon of transportation,” but the comparison is misleading. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is cleverly positioning his company so that it appears as more than just a taxi-like ride-hailing business, highlighting itself as an online platform that can connect users to a number of transportation-related side businesses.…
Shared Responsibility: Better Than Single-Payer
By Steven Hill, The American Interest, March 25, 2019
Americans are going through another episodic bout of introspection regarding the nation’s floundering health care system. That volatility likely will increase as the 2020 presidential election season unfolds. At least six leading Democratic candidates for president are supporting a “Medicare for All” approach.…
Gov. Newsom’s California data dividend idea is a dead end
By Steven Hill, San Jose Mercury News, March 7, 2019
Plan won’t benefit consumers or give them the privacy protections they deserve
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently proposed that consumers should “share in the wealth” generated from our data by companies like Facebook and Google. But his plan for a “data dividend” is the wrong approach.…
Should Big Tech own our personal data?
By Steven Hill, Wired, February 13, 2019
Or should consumers sell their data — receive a “data dividend”?
FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND Google seem to take turns making the wrong kinds of headlines. Last month it was Google’s turn. The company was fined $57 million by a French regulatory agency, the first time a large Silicon Valley company has been penalized for violating the European Union’s new privacy rules known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).…
Co-determination takes the spotlight in the US
By Steven Hill, Hans Böckler Stiftung, February 12, 2019
German-style codetermination gains ground in the US, pushed forward by presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren. Will Trump’s America take a page from Europe’s “social capitalism”?
Over the past year in the United States, German-style codetermination has moved closer to center stage in the national debate over inequality and worker’s rights.…