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Reblogged:Biden vs. Gig Work Update

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Over at Reason, John Stossel notes that "The Labor Department just imposed 300 pages of new regulations to reclassify many individual contractors as payroll employees."

Great. I guess that's why our tax preparer had all sorts of questions about gig work for us this year.

Naturally, news media uncritically parrot the administration's alleged justifications for the changes, despite the fact that, as Stossel reminds us, this terrible idea has already been tried and failed in California:
Four years ago, unions got then-Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D -- San Diego) to push through a new law that reclassified gig workers.

They were told they'd get higher wages, overtime, and other benefits.

Clueless media liked that.

Vox called the law "a victory for workers everywhere."

Ha! A few months later, Vox media laid off hundreds of freelancers.

"They expected that all these companies were going to reclassify independent contractors as employees," freelance musician Ari Herstand told me. "In reality, they're just letting them go!"

Herstand was dismayed to learn that when he wants other musicians to join him, he could no longer just write them a check.

"I have to put that drummer on payroll, W2 him, get workers' comp insurance, unemployment insurance, payroll taxes!" he complains. "I have to hire a payroll company." [links omitted]
Stossel also notes correctly that (a) some professions managed to get exemptions in California, and (b) Biden wants to make that law nationwide and without exemptions.

Never mind that it was so unpopular that even Californians partially clawed it back at the ballot box.

It's too bad that the best we can hope for in the next election is divided government. The Democrats would ram this down our throats if left unchecked.

The cash value of Trump "owning the libs" through easily-overturned means is zero. Case in point: Keystone XL never got built. (Image by Office of the President of the United States, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.)
And the Republicans? I seriously doubt that the current iteration of the Republican Party will do anything positive to protect gig work, much less roll back the regulatory state that makes moves like this possible: They'll be too busy infighting, or pursuing a theocratic and xenophobic agenda to worry about such unfashionable things as a free economy.

Maybe -- if he wins and he feels like it, and as he did for some things during his term -- Trump will roll back the new regulations, as if the Democrats will never come back into power again. Spoiler alert: When they do, a future Democrat can reintroduce these regulations or worse. (For an example from the world of Executive Orders, see also: The Keystone XL Pipeline.)

And that last, Trump supporters, is what is known as "owning" the libs without defeating them.

-- CAV

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