E-Cuisine Jobs of the Future
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  • Richard

    Not legal here in New York. By state law, an employee who works a six hour period, beginning before 11 a.m. and ending after 2:00 p.m. must be given a paid, one-half hour lunch break.

  • WigWag

    There is nothing very “new economy” about what Professor Mead calls “e-cuisine.” This post reminds me of the ubiquitous dabbawala in Mumbai who make a living delivering and picking up tiffin (lunch containers packed with fresh food). The tiffin is collected from the workers home (sometimes in the suburbs) or often from a proprietor from whom the worker purchases the food, and is delivered in time for the mid day meal. After lunch time is over, the container is picked up and redelivered to whence it came.

    Indian immigrants have brought the tradition to several American cities including New York. I am willing to bet that Professor Mead could find a service to deliver Tiffin to and from his home in Jackson Heights although I doubt that the service has found its way to Dutchess County yet.

    While e-commerce may add another layer to this tradition, it is at least a century old in India and thrives despite the fact that many people in Mumbai still don’t own computers.

    I suspect Professor Mead may be right; serving as dabbawalas may be the new profession of choice for unemployed Americans. In India, these jobs are menial and low paying. The fact that Professor Mead relishes the idea that this represents the future of the American economy really says it all; doesn’t it?

  • Jim.

    What was that device called in Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”? The Fillows Feeding Machine?


    @WigWag —

    People doing service jobs (from delivering food to emptying colostomy bags) deserve more dignity than people leeching off of unemployment benefits. The fact that you’re unwilling to give them any respect is a big part of the problem, not part of any solution.

    You’re keeping them down by telling them they’re entitled to be beggars, and spitting on them if they try to climb their way up the bottom rungs.

  • Here are some other areas that could use all kinds of new service providers…

    1) Getting to/from the airport. This is an insanely expensive proposition, whether by cab or shuttle.

    We can’t all rely on getting picked up, nor is a train the answer for enough people. With $8-12 one way fares, it isn’t all that affordable. Couple that with limited locales served by trains, and it adds to the expense.

    An enterprising person could start up a “ride club” or use social networking to schedule drop offs and pick-ups. If every person in in a “near suburb” got a flyer offering the service, it could grow by word-of-mouth.

    Of course, this is probably illegal. We must, after all, protect the cab driver and shuttle companies from “foreign competition.”

    2) Contractors waste hours going to Home Depot for shopping runs. Offering delivery is a tad outside the ‘mission’ of these stores. Start a delivery service for getting a bag of 10 1/2 copper fittings to your plumber. He can work on the PVC while waiting for the delivery.

    Smart phones and text make this easy to start. BIG value proposition for the contractor. Great job for apprentices too.

    3) See #2, but for restaurants that don’t deliver.

    Rinse and repeat.

    Fixing broken windows
    Shoveling walks
    Offering to deliver groceries

    There are millions of unfilled jobs waiting to be found, any one of which could set someone on the path to self-sufficiency.

    The governing elite don’t want this. They want dependent sheep, shepherded by a rich class of over-paid and over pensioned public employees, funded by a connected super rich that put up with the high taxation in exchange for protection from bankruptcy or competition. You know….WigWag’s crew.

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