Unlike most experts who pontificate about the gig economy, Steven Hill is actually part of it. The 58-year-old author, formerly a fellow at the New America Foundation, hasn’t worked at a permanent position for several years. In the opening of his 2015 book Raw Deal, he describes seeing more and more of his peers toiling under similar conditions. The subtitle of the book should make perfectly clear how he feels about the trend: “How the ‘Uber Economy’ and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers.”
Hill wrote his book because he saw the narrative about gig work being crafted by people like Uber’s Travis Kalanick and TaskRabbit’s former CEO Leah Busque, who prophesied an emancipatory revolution in American work. He felt these business leaders, and their boosters in the media and academia, were obfuscating the darker side.