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Economy

Freelance Or Bust? Stitching A Safety Net For Workers 2.0

The boom of platforms for freelance workers, on the Uber model, presages a world where the wage system will no longer dominate. This will require new social protections for the good of workers — and the economy.

Where do I sign?
Where do I sign?
Benoît Georges

PARIS — Since the end of September, any U.S. resident over the age of 21 who has a car and an Android smartphone can offer occasional delivery services for Amazon. With its news service, called Flex, the e-commerce giant steps further into on-demand work for private individuals — a sector in which it was a pioneer 10 years ago with Amazon Mechanical Turk. In exchange for payment, Turk allowed Internet users to perform tasks such as analyzing images, moderating forums and conducting surveys.

This new way of working, which has been popularized by Uber, now goes far beyond passenger or package transport. In the U.S., independent workers have access to platforms for pet-sitting (DogVacay), on-demand moving (Lugg) and all sorts of other odd jobs (TaskRabbit). In France, they can offer their services on Youpijob or Hassle, but the most used marketplace for these tasks is no other than Leboncoin, whose services section has more than 100,000 offers from private individuals.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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