“The Side Hustle is Increasingly a Fact of American Life” says the New York Times, and progressives want to restrict them. Of course, being a versatile guy who can do a lot of things people will pay to have done, I resent the “hustle” term, which makes me sound like “Seinfeld'”s Kramer with a law degree….and that, making what people like me do sound cheesy and even a little bit shady, is the idea. Legislators and Presidential candidates—guess which party!– have expressed great concerns about the so-called “gig economy,’ arguing that it is proof of unhealthy capitalism. (Amusingly, this is exactly what Elizabeth Warren did when she was litigating appeals while serving as a Harvard law professor, but that’s different.) The data does not support the latest argument for controlling your life and mine, however.
A recent poll of those who have more than one way of making money shows that 33% of them take on more than one paying job because they have to, while 48% so it because they want to.
Naturally, those who want to must be stifled for the greater good, and need to get with the program. California’s recently passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), set to take effect on January 1, 2020, will make it illegal for contractors who reside in California to create more than 35 pieces of content in a year for a single company, unless the business hires them as an employee.
The Pacific Legal Foundation argues in a lawsuit that “by enforcing the 35-submission limit, Defendant, acting under color of state law, unconstitutionally deprives Plaintiffs’ members of their freedom of speech as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”
Not to mention depriving them of the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The law is unconstitutional, and the fact that enough legislators could vote for such a restriction on personal freedom is one more indication of the totalitarian drift of the once respectable Democratic Party. Reason reports,
The bill’s pending implementation has wreaked havoc on publications that rely heavily on California freelancers. Just last week, Vox Media announced it will not be renewing the contracts of around 200 journalists who write for the sports website SB Nation. Instead, the company will replace many of those contractors with 20 part-time and full-time employees. Rev, which provides transcription services, and Scripted, which connects freelance copywriters with people who need their services, also notified their California contractors that they would no longer give them work. “Companies can simply blacklist California writers and work with writers in other states, and that’s exactly what’s happening,” Alisha Grauso, an entertainment journalist and the co-leader of California Freelance Writers United (CAFWU), tells Reason. “I don’t blame them.”
Now listen closely the reasoning of the legislator who dreamed up the law: “These were never good jobs.” Who, exactly, is she to tell me what a good job is? My compensation, when I accept any, for being a free-lance professional director and writer is often negligible, but in the arts, one doesn’t measure the value of the work by what it pays. Who are these people to constrain my options?
Grauso told Reason that CAFWU, the group fighting against AB5, is made up of 72.3 percent women, who would be some of the primary victims of the law:
“The reality is it still falls primarily on women to be the caretakers and caregivers of their families, and freelancing allows women to be stay-at-home mothers or to care for an aging parent.Being made employees kills their flexibility and ability to be home when needed. I cannot stress enough how anti-women this bill is.”
That too. But mostly, it’s anti-freedom. If you haven’t noticed yet, these people hate freedom.