December 19, 2017

Our best hope for a decent and affordable adult social care must be minimizing the intermediaries’ takes, whether these are private or public

Sir, Diane Coyle when discussing the possibilities and need for organizing for instance adult social care, and thereto taking advantage of new methods to connect demand and supply and as exemplified by Uber, expresses concern for “the treatment and status of workers in platform public services (although it is not as if these are high-status jobs at present)” “Algorithms can deliver public services, too” December 19.

What’s missing though in that good analysis, is not having contemplating additional tech advances. For example Uber wants to buy self driven cars, in order to get the complications of human drives out of their way, but without realizing that consumers might at one point take direct contact with those cars, in order to get Uber out of the way.

The same will happen for workers in public services, though of course the increased demand for adult social care should help to keep up the demand for many of them. But, even in this case who knows? If you think of yourself as an older person soiled with your own feces, what’s currently is delicate referred to as an “accident”, who would you feel most comfortable with cleaning you, a not too human 1st class robot or a human? 

Sir, the way our generation, and governments have gone on a debt binge, to anticipate current consumption, there will come a time for a reckoning. If we do not find ways to minimize the intermediaries’ take, we will not afford the basic services we need and want.

Of course intermediaries are workers too… and that is why even for them we need to create decent and worthy unemployments.