KQED Forum: Steven Hill On Why the ‘Uber Economy’ is Bad For Workers
KQED Forum with Michael Krasny, November 19, 2015
In his new book “Raw Deal”, author Steven Hill takes on Airbnb, as well as Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit, arguing for greater regulations on their operations and safety-net protections for workers. Listen to the interview on NPR-affiliate KQED in San Francisco.
About The AuthorSteven Hill is a political writer whose latest books are "Expand Social Security Now: How to Ensure Americans Get the Retirement They Deserve" (www.ExpandSocialSecurity.net) and "Raw Deal: How the 'Uber Economy' and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers" (www.RawDealBook.com). His previous books include "Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age" and "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy." Follow him at www.Steven-Hill.com and on Twitter @StevenHill1776
Reviews And Media
Praise for Expand Social Security Now
“Read this book before you vote. Few issues are more important to your personal economic future. Steven Hill shows what’s at stake, and he offers solutions that Americans of all stripes can agree on.”
—Robert B. Reich, author of "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few"
“Steven Hill has written a barn burner of a book. Or perhaps I should say ‘myth buster,’ because he systematically demolishes the false justifications for slashing Social Security. In place of misplaced animus and misleading arguments, he offers a strong case for dramatically expanding America’s most successful domestic program in an age of rising inequality and widespread financial insecurity.”
—Jacob S. Hacker, coauthor of "American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper"
“Steven Hill has written a vigorous defense of Social Security, the country’s most important social program. While most political debate in recent years has focused on ways to cut Social Security or privatize it, Hill goes in the opposite direction and argues for a robust expansion. Hill proposes a Social Security program that would be adequate by itself to support a middle-class retirement.”
—Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and author of "Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People"
“Expand Social Security Now! is a must-read. It is about the soul of our nation and what kind of society we want to be. Steven Hill lays it out plainly and powerfully, and shows what we can do about it.”
—Katrina vanden Heuvel, author of "Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover"
“Expand Social Security Now! is engaging, thought-provoking, and compelling. Hill’s bold plan to double Social Security benefits is a brilliant response to our looming retirement-income crisis, and to the nation’s rising income inequality. The book is a must-read for all those who hope to enjoy an independent and dignified retirement.”
—Nancy J. Altman, coauthor of "Social Security Works"
“Steven Hill has produced a dynamite handbook for angry Americans who seek to take back democracy. The true contest is not Republicans versus Democrats. It is the American people versus Washington. And this is the sleeper issue the people can win. The governing elites in both parties are trying to eviscerate Social Security—arguably the most successful and most popular program created by the federal government. Hill explains why the political insiders and their Wall Street patrons are wrong about Social Security. He shows us how to mobilize to defeat the power elites and expand Social Security rather than destroy it.”
—William Greider, author of "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country"
“The ability of a people to retire with dignity is the hallmark of a great nation, and with the inadequate 401(k)s of the Inequality Era, our nation is falling short. Steven Hill’s proposal to expand a twentieth-century idea for a twenty-first-century labor market is at once commonsense and radical.”
—Heather C. McGhee, president of Demos
“This book is terrific! Steven Hill proposes specific ways to expand Social Security and make it fairer for everyone. He also busts the myth that Social Security is ‘broke’ and shows why it matters more than ever in this election year—especially for anyone who wants to be elected to public office, or even the presidency.”
—Stephanie Taylor, cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Praise for Raw Deal
A provocative, remedy-based perspective on the joint complexities of economic stability and ever expanding technology.
This book is a must read for those concerned about how technology is disrupting the way we work and eroding the social safety net, and how policy makers should respond to ensure that the growing number of workers in the "gig" economy earn adequate benefits.
--Laura D'Andrea Tyson, UC-Berkeley and former Chair of the US President's Council of Economic Advisers
Steven Hill’s Raw Deal is superb. It is the best book I’ve read about the consequences of technological innovation and “creative destruction,” as the future hurtles toward us at breakneck speed.
--Peter Sims, co-founder and managing director, Silicon Guild and author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries
"Steven Hill's groundbreaking book on the part-time, unstable 'Uber Economy' shows how a new sub-economy becomes a work of law-flouting regress undermining full-time work. Remote corporate algorithms run riot!"
-- Ralph Nader, consumer advocate
For many years, Steven Hill’s analysis, commentary and activism have helped shape our understanding of the U.S. political economy. His latest book, Raw Deal is A riveting expose that shows with alarming lucidity what Americans stand to lose if we don’t figure out how to rein in the technological giants that are threatening the American Dream.
--Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation
Raw Deal combines compelling stories with lots of evidence and policy prescriptions in a one-of-a-kind book on the “new economy.” Getting below the techno-babble hype about “sharing” and “disruption,” Hill shows the enormous human costs of “no rules” labor markets.
-- Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Graduate School of Business, Stanford Univ, Fortune columnist, and author of Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time
In Raw Deal, Steven Hill documents in frightening detail the ways in which new forms of work promise to plunge US workers and their families into further economic hardship, risk-assumption, and instability. Fortunately, Hill does not simply anticipate catastrophe; he closes the book with an informed call for institutional reforms that would lessen the negative consequences of these potentially dangerous forms of work. Anyone concerned with US working conditions – whether American workers, worker advocates, labor market scholars, or policy-makers – must read this book .
-- Janet C. Gornick, Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York, Director, LIS: Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg
Raw Deal is a compelling work -- a stockpile of empirical analyses, anecdotes, and primary sourcing -- laying out the evidence of the incredibly detrimental, yet often-disregarded downsides of many of the most talked-about 21st century business models. Steven Hill's work is by far the most forceful case I've read describing the tragedy of the commons that is the 'sharing economy,' and provides a much needed reality check. Raw Deal is a necessary catalyst that encourages us to explore the dark side of Silicon Valley, presenting not only an in-depth critique, but a wealth of proactive solutions that could prevent the pending decimation of America's working class.
--Sascha Meinrath, Director of X-Lab, Palmer Chair, Penn State University
Steven Hill’s Raw Deal is an important book that will help shape the debate on the "sharing economy." It raises fundamental issues about the extent to which the sharing economy is largely an effort to evade crucial regulations which serve important public goals.
--Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research, publisher, Beat the Press economic blog
Praise for Europe’s Promise
Financial Times: "Steven Hill is a lucid and engaging writer. He makes you sit up and think."
Llewellyn King, PBS' White House Chronicle: "Steven Hill is an extraordinarily gifted writer."
The Economist: “In a new book, Steven Hill extols the European social contract for better government services. Life in Europe is more secure, he argues, and therefore more agreeable.”
Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker: “Like a reverse Alexis de Tocqueville, Steven Hill dauntlessly explores a society largely unknown to his compatriots back home.”
Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs: “Europe’s Promise is a timely and provocative book . . . the “social capitalist” policies of European countries represent best practices in handling most of the challenges modern democracies face today."