The Color of Business: Why the Gig Economy is the New Sharecropping

The various manifestations of the “Gig Economy” are just modern versions of Sharecropping and a de facto form of Slavery.


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Whether it’s driving an Uber Rideshare, taking assignments via Fiverr, Podcasting on YouTube, or writing on Substack, Laborers are working in the various versions of the Gig Economy are working in the context of the modern equivalent of a Sharecropping Agreement. There is a consensus, in the historical literature, that Sharecropping was little more than a more palatable Extension of Slavery. Meanwhile, the relevant corporations hold all the purse strings. If they decide to charge higher fees or place constraints on the “Independent Contractors” working on their respective platforms, the Laborers are trapped and powerless.

The majority of the Social Media Influencers are little more than Disposable Assets for Larger Corporate Entities. Without the leverage of the larger corporations that run Aggregate Platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc., there would be no way for the majority of the Talentless Hacks that have become Social Media Influencers to ever reach a wider audience. Traditional paths to notoriety have Gatekeepers who filter out those who lack the Requisite Talent or Ambition to become Influential.

These Aggregate Platforms have not Democratized Labor, however. Platforms like Fiverr have opened up different Developing World Labor Sectors to International Exploitation, but not increased the potential for earning a Living Wage in the process. There is a Race to the Bottom in Terms of Compensation on platforms like Fiverr as Moderately Educated Laborers from Developing Nations are willing to accept compensation far below what…



Jeffrey P. Colin/JP Colin Design

Neo-Degenerate Artist | Multidisciplinary Art Machine | Godzilla Fan | I Write about the Arts. Learn more at WWW.JPCOLINDESIGN.COM