At the behest of labor unions, which are currently on a life support machine that’s hooked up to the hot air of the Democratic Party, the Biden administration has been quietly waging a war on work for the better part of two years.
Membership in private sector unions is at an all-time low and for good reason. The infamous thuggery of these organizations was finally curtailed in recent years as many states passed Right to Work laws and the US Supreme Court ended their ability to force government employees into membership. As it turns out, when the government doesn’t help unions hold workers hostage, most people don’t want in.
But that spells trouble for the unions, and ultimately, for the Democrats, as unions have historically used their donations to pad the pockets of politicians on the Left. Hence we get Biden’s war on work, particularly workers in the gig economy.
The gig economy ballooned in the years leading up to the pandemic, and, thanks to lockdowns that forced many workers into non-traditional jobs, that growth has only continued. That’s an incredible thing for most Americans. Gig work means setting your own hours, working from home, the ability to pursue passion projects, opening your own business, and often, increased earnings.
But in the 22 states that have yet to pass Right to Work laws, the growth of the gig economy is yet another blow for desperate unions. People who work for themselves can’t be forced into union membership after all. Due to this, unions and Democrats have carried out a concerted campaign to curtail the access Americans have to these kinds of jobs.
In California, they passed AB5 three years ago. It was an immediate disaster so bad that voters in the state voted to overturn it within one year. The law basically sought to change the definition of independent contractors and mandated that people be classified as full-time employees if the work they were providing as freelancers fell within the primary operations of a company. This, predictably, led to a lot of people losing their jobs as companies could not afford to hire everyone full time.
It really shouldn’t have to be spelled out why this law is so stupid. But since Democrats have been working to implement it at the national level for the past two years, it seems we must. First they tried to pass the PRO Act through Congress in a few different ways, and now, Biden is working with his Labor Department to implement it through a new rule.
First, if individuals want to be full time employees there are tons of jobs they could seek. No one accidentally becomes a freelancer. Rather workers seek out these jobs specifically to avoid 9-5 desk jobs.
Secondarily, mandating companies only hire full-time workers will lead to a terrible waste of resources (not all jobs require a 40 hour week), inefficiency (hiring and maintaining full-time staff is time-consuming and costly), less economic growth (companies will grow more slowly due to the inefficiency and costs, or won’t start at all), and higher prices (companies will pass the higher costs of doing business onto consumers) – just to name a few things.
And for what? Again, workers are not asking for this – or at least most of them aren’t. I, myself, am a freelancer and can speak from experience, we want this new work structure.
Instead, our Labor Department announced a proposal this week that is likely to destroy this sector and wreak economic devastation (not to mention cost a lot of people a lot of freedom). It also would mean consumers would lose access to services like Uber, DoorDash, Taskrabbit and many more.
Currently, two factors are used to determine who classifies as a contractor and who classifies as an employee – how much autonomy the person has over their work and their ability to increase their earnings through marketing or offering additional services. Biden’s new rule would add factors that are more in line with the test AB5 applied in California – how central the work being performed is to the company’s mission and how much equipment a worker buys.
At this point we have to just assume they want the economy in the gutter. No one can be this economically illiterate or behind the times. And what’s most disgusting about this is they know workers don’t want it (see the vote to overturn it in California, their inability to get the PRO Act through Congress, dying union membership, popularity of Right to Work laws, growth of the gig economy) and yet they’re still working to force it on us through unelected bureaucrats so they can pay off their friends.
Whatever you want to call this, it isn’t capitalism.