Be Bold, America!
Be Bold, America!
Side Hustle Safety Net: How Vulnerable Workers Survive Precarious Times

Side Hustle Safety Net:  How Vulnerable Workers Survive Precarious Times

 “Be Bold America!” Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 5:00pm (PT)


Back in 1929 when the market crashed and the Great Depression began, Uber, TaskRabbit, and the gig economy were almost a century in the future. So why are the laws we use to protect the workers who power those businesses unchanged from 100 years ago?

As we learned with startling clarity during the unprecedented economic upheaval of the pandemic, our social safety net legislation is divorced from how Americans on the margins survive today.

Government policies have not kept up with the changing nature of how we work, and too many people—the forgotten jobless of the gig-economy who don’t qualify for government assistance—are falling through the cracks. While the relief money provided during the pandemic was a godsend for millions, for others, namely workers like drivers, delivery people, and handymen, that vital assistance never came due to archaic and pro-business unemployment laws.

Interview Guest:

Alexandrea Ravenelle, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her first book, Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy has been translated into Korean, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.

Dr. Ravenelle’s research has been published in The New York TimesRegions, Economy and SocietyJournal of Managerial PsychologyConsumption Markets and Culture; and New Media & Society.

She is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and Russell Sage Foundation to study the impact of COVID-19 on precarious workers in New York, and funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to study the impact of elite gig work.