Things we are reading today - December 28th, 2022 - Gig Workers, Dark side of Consulting, AI taking our jobs

Whats up with the gig workers

Gig workers in India are an ignored and often overworked class of people who have largely been bereft of labour rights and benefits.

But in a first for the country, the Rajasthan government is likely to propose a law to protect the rights of gig workers and make them beneficiaries of various state welfare schemes, in the budget session of the state assembly in January.

As per Niti Aayog, around 7.7 million people are employed as gig workers as of June 2022 and their number is likely to treble by 2029-30.

The government has been slow in doing its job but lets take a look at how companies are treating the gig workers.

Urban Company scored the highest with 7 out of 10 scores while Amazon, Dunzo, Ola, Pharmeasy, and Uber scored no points, according to the ‘Fairwork India Ratings 2022: Labour Standards in the Platform Economy’ report.

The dark side of Consulting

Cost cutting is something that most business strive for. It is one of the simplest ways of increasing profit. What is often ignored are the larger ramifications of cost cutting outside of the P&L statements.

Though the McKinsey method of cost cutting has long drawn criticism—in his 2013 book, The Firm , reporter Duff McDonald famously wrote that McKinsey had been the “impetus for more layoffs than any other entity in corporate history”—it wasn’t until a few years ago that the firm found itself at the center of several full-blown public scandals.

Writer and former McKinsey consultant Anand Giridharadas once said of the firm:

Even at its best, much of the work is about increasing investors’ share of the profits by reducing labor’s share.

we aren’t throwing shade at McKinsey specifically. Its the industry practices as a whole that we want you to be aware of.

And insofar as McKinsey—like every other consulting firm—makes its money by making other companies money, it has tremendous incentives to stay its path. Or, as senior partners told one employee uneasy with the firm’s work with fossil fuel companies, “If we don’t serve coal clients, BCG [Boston Consulting Group] will.

Will AI make you jobless?

Chill. Most likely not.

An important reason why ChatGPT/AI won’t take our jobs is because tech never has. No matter how advanced out tech gets our economic and cultural systems will still condemn us to toil.

The idea that we’ll one day be able to live lives of blissful indolence while robots carry out our busywork isn’t new. In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted future generations would work 15 hours a week in a paper titled ‘Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren ’. He believed that as machines improved the productivity of our labour, people would be able to work less.

Looking at myself, I think Keynes was horribly wrong. Human’s are working as much as we ever have. But he was right about the robots.

Many of the jobs people did in 1930 have been replaced by automation. We don’t send small children down chimneys anymore, no matter how many applications I send to the council. Some jobs are obsolete but they’ve been replaced with other jobs.

Well, the link is enough. Don’t know about great investors but I am feeling lazy. Please read on.