“In short, does gig work equal a good job?” I think so. It depends on what you value. The issue at hand is complicated and the author is insightful in how she describes the new workplace. One of the issues that isn’t being covered is the previous economic model that required a High School diploma has been replaced by a system requiring higher education. The HS model encouraged a trade off of predictable security for unsatisfying or even sad compliance to an employer/employee system. The education system with its necessarily rigid system provided a strong base for a working class society. What happened however is the HS system has been replaced by the Higher Education system in which the rigidity is not instituted and a person is expected to find their own way.
This makes the confining experience of office work with all of its banality and routine unrewarding. When the old system began the rewards were clear, fair pay & stability led to healthcare and home ownership and equity. The old system has aged and those rewards have faded. The trade off doesn’t work and the skills that were learned in the new system of self reliance made the point of choosing security very undesirable. In the old system you were expected to get to school/work by the bell, take your break when the bell rang, return to class/work when the bell rang. In the new system you were told when class was and you were expected to be there or keep up somehow while getting your work done on time. You were free to do with your day what you wanted but in the end you had to have your work done and demonstrate your knowledge. Which of these sound like the gig economy?
The days of GM employing communities is over and Facebook, Google or Apple will never match that. The last 2 generations have been educated to service and not to make or build. There is no line or work bench necessary for this kind of workforce. Why should we restrain thousands of capable people in a system that it wasn’t designed for? The gig work option makes it possible to be a member of the workforce while using the tools learned in Higher Education. The goal in my opinion should be a formal way of enabling the transformation of the workforce from the old system to the new system once and for all.