Uber, Lyft, and the growing problem of temp jobs

Through all of this, Uber maintained that it needed to be regulated in a fundamentally different way (or, preferably, not at all) because it was a technology company, not a taxi service. It was just an app through which people who wanted rides connected with people who were offering them — an interface that skimmed 20 percent off the transaction between each rider and driver, sure, but basically, just a collection of ones and zeroes.

Behind the tech talk, though, Uber was an old-fashioned company, working off a set of assumptions that dated back to the late ’60s, when the details of a new class of worker — the temp — were being hammered out.