This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by labor and tech reporter extraordinaire Edward Ongweso Jr., a staff writer at Vice’s Motherboard and cohost of This Machine Kills, a podcast about the political economy of tech.
Ed shares a bit about his own history as an organizer, which saw him involved in the successful campaign to pass the country's first ride-hail vehicle license cap for drivers in New York City, before expanding on his reporting about the nationwide strike of Uber and Lyft drivers on July 21. The gang discusses the package of antitrust legislation targeting the tech sector currently waiting for a floor vote in the House of Representatives, the provisions of the PRO Act reportedly included in Democrats’ Senate infrastructure bill and how they would impact labor struggles in the gig economy. Ed explains why Uber’s business model is not what it seems and that it is unprofitable by design, situating the company’s practices in the context of the possibility of a tech bubble in the stock market and its implications for the broader economy. The gang rounds out the conversation by zooming in on US-based tech entrepreneurs’ predatory and increasingly devastating push for the adoption of cryptocurrencies by vulnerable populations worldwide.
You can follow Ed on Twitter @bigblackjacobin and keep up with his staggeringly prolific reporting at Motherboard as well as his podcast, This Machine Kills.
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