The Dark Side of the Sharing Economy-Share Economy Pros + Cons
Is the new entrepreneurial sharing economy fair for workers? We talk about the ‘Share Economy Pros + Cons’. Inspired by Robert Reich’s article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “In Sharing Economy, Workers Get Stuck with the Scraps” we explore the employer and employee viewpoint to the new way to work.
Reich posits that employers benefit more than workers in the new ‘sharing economy’. The employer gets low cost workers for a pittance because they don’t need to pay the fees that go along with a permanent workforce; insurance, benefits and more.
Although Uber disagrees, Reich doesn’t think that Uber workers are making more than minimum wage in general. The main point of this conversation is that for someone looking to replace a full time income, these new solopreneur platforms may not make the grade.
On the Other Hand…. What Are the True Share Economy Pros + Cons?
Bobby rebukes the premise that solopreneurs are being taken advantage of, by saying you can monetize your down time with the sharing economy. Uber and other companies state that they’re helping employees who may not have other options.
Who benefits from the sharing economy? Maybe these jobs are good options for the unemployed or the individual looking for part time work. If a mom can drive for Uber or work for TaskRabbit while the kids are in school, maybe these are ways to boost the family income that wouldn’t ordinarily be available.
We go back and forth discussing the pros and cons of these new ‘independent contractor’ type jobs. Maybe they’re okay to pay the bills, while looking for a full time job. Yet, it may not be easy is it to cobble together a full time job with the sharing economy jobs. Further, we look at the legal requirements for the employer.
Another angle is how these new services help consumers. We discuss whether they benefit, at the expense of the workers. For example, an Uber sale helps riders but hurts the drivers’ income.
What are your thoughts about the sharing economy, benefit or liability?
“Robert Reich Bashes the New Sharing Economy” at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.com
Wellness in the Workplace-How to Feel Better
Who doesn’t want to feel better? We discuss sleep and employer wellness initiatives. Learn how to get what’s yours and feel healthier.
What’s the impact of lack of sleep on worker?
“More and more research indicates that they’re taking the correct approach. Bosses can get mean and workers less productive when they don’t get a good night’s sleep, according to one recent study. Sleep is such an important predictor of the ability to get our jobs done well that getting one extra hour a night can increase wages by 16 percent a year on average, according to a study by economics graduate students at the University of California at San Diego. That’s more than the boost from an extra year of education.” According to Jillian Berman at the Huffington Post, in “Here’s Proof You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Sleep to Succeed“.
We explore whether the work all the time culture cause poor health habits.
Healthier employees help the bottom line. Benefit the employee and the employer. Yet does your employer hurt or harm your health habits?
Although it’s great to have the ‘wellness’ benefits, employers have to give the support and time to use these healthy options. In the next inspiration article, we talk about the mixed message some employers convey. They may have health plans and benefits with no support or time to actually participate.
According to “Your Employer’s Plans to Make You Healthier Don’t Work-Because Your Job is Killing You” by Ben Schiller at Fast Company;
“But there’s a problem. The evidence that wellness initiatives work is limited; in fact, there’s more to say the $6 billion is being wasted. One problem is awareness. Gallup found only 24% of staff at companies with programs participate in them, largely because they don’t know about them.
“The wellness programs are not having nearly the impact they could be having,” says Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management and well-being. “I think they’re well intended but it doesn’t matter if they don’t get used.”
Bobby riffs on work-life balance. Why is 40 hours a full work week? Should we change our outlook?
We finish with tips to improve wellness:
- Get your sleep.
- Get out of the office.
- Turn off electronics in bed.
- Turn off electronics at night.
- Prioritize your life. No one has time for everything.
- Be mindful of how you’re spending your day.
Drop in Oil Prices-How Does this Impact You?
Drivers are elated with the drop in oil prices. It’s giving us extra dollars in our pockets every month. We explore how the drop in oil is impacting our behavior now as well as discuss whether we should assume oil will be low priced indefinitely.
June 2014 oil was priced at $107.
In February, 2015 oil cost $50 a barrel. On October 6, 2015 oil is still hovering just shy of $50 a barrel. Yet, Katy Barnato writes for CNBC, “Could Oil Prices Shrink to $20 a Barrel?”
Reasons why oil is falling? There’s more supply of oil than demand. Yet as supply increases above demand, prices fall. Yet, with falling prices, producers will tend to produce less oil. So, in the future, the markets will move towards equilibrium.
Enough with the economics lesson.
What does this mean for you as a consumer? According to Barnato’s CNBC article;
“When we look at the next few quarters, we expect U.S. oil production to decline because of low oil prices and in Iraq, production growth will be much slower than in the past. And the demand is creeping up,” Birol told CNBC on Tuesday from the Oil & Money conference.
“So therefore, to think that oil prices will be with us forever may not be the right way of thinking.”
Lower oil prices make driving cheaper yet, we implore you not to go out and buy a gas guzzler just yet.
Recognize that oil prices are cyclical -they go up and down. Don’t assume that they’ll stay low forever. The takeaway from this conversation is not to react to short or intermediate term economic news. Be smart and continue to conserve oil. You’ll be better equipped to handle a potential future high oil priced environment.
“Get Ready for $10 Oil” by Gary Shilling in BloombergView.com
The Final Secret
Barbara shares secrets of her Mom’s shopping strategies. Listen and find out!
(Featured image courtesy of bootleggersson on Flickr)