The lie of the hustle

1 Min Read

Hustle-porn attempted to rebrand the instability of living paycheck to paycheck to sound fun and flexible but those doing the work know the real story.

One of the ways that gig companies have been able for years to define their workers as independent contractors is by exploiting the allure of individualism. The contractor has their freedom, the thinking goes, so why would they exchange that for a full-time job with benefits? But another culprit emerges from popular culture: the trendy pidgin to describe contract work tends to glamorize such work. Our jobs, for example, are now “flexible,” because we are the ones contorting ourselves to work at all hours, or we were professionally “nimble” because we were trying to survive on freelance gigs. The lingo around living paycheck to paycheck routinely tried to make the dreary carousel of contemporary life sound more fun.

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