If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Open thread on the gig economy.

I was at a restaurant called Ojo de Agua moments ago, it’s a chain restaurant and if you ever get to try it I strongly recommend that you have the eggs tatemados.

Anyway, a big part of this restaurant is the fact that there aren’t any waiters. You need to queue and find a table yourself and you cannot order from the table.


Or so it was. A Colombian company called Rappi (similar to deliveroo) started sending “associates” to Ojo de Agua. They would have offer you a 2.5 dollar discount if *you ordered your food from the app.*

The Rappi associate would then queue for you, buy your food, and take it to your table, with a good discount (the eggs tatemados are 6.5 dollars, for reference)

This way you downloaded the app, which is what Rappi wants, and the associate made an income from the purchase...which is what they want.

Rappi doesn’t only do food; you can ask the associates to bring you virtually anything... you can have then do so called “rappi favores.” I’m talking cash, I’m talking delivering unopened gifts to recipients, and I’m also talking about buying prescription medicine, or taking your car into a service... ANYTHING!

You just hire an associate at an hourly rate. Typically college students, these associates have a myriad of skills, and tend to also have quite a good reception.

This is, however, the ultimate expression of a gig economy, and it’s not an easy job to have. Your income is highly dependent on factors you cannot control, and since you’re an “associate” you must declare your own income instead of having your taxes automatically retained by Rappi’s accountants.


In other words, the associates probably don’t pay any taxes on their income since they probably don’t declare it. An associate makes on average 6,250 pesos a month, which is 40% of the average income in Mexico City. But, they don’t pay any taxes on it!

Plus, as associates, they aren’t automatically registered into the Social Security administration (which runs healthcare for 60-ish percent of Mexicans). Instead they would need to voluntarily join... and if you’re a 19 year old college student thinking about the new Nike shoes... you’re not thinking about the inevitable, and gradual, deterioration of your body. So of course you don’t pay into IMSS. Even if it would cost around 45 dollars a month to insure your dumbass(and any dependents if you have a wife or children).


-I must clarify that as employees, they would only have to pay 5 dollars a month out of their own income, and Rappi would need to pay the remaining 40 dollars from their own money-

Rappi has come up with a plan to deal with this. Which is to give private insurance to all of their associates. Which is nice! until you consider that they’re all young, relatively well paid individuals working in the safest parts of the city.


So, Rappi would save themselves the 40 dollar obligatory health insurance by making them associates, and by having what is essentially a super-low-risk pool of insurees, paying virtually nothing to insure their associates as well.


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