“Side hustle?” SIDE HUSTLE? 

Apparently Democrats think this is me

 “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.

20 thoughts on ““Side hustle?” SIDE HUSTLE? 

  1. Kalifornia, in particular, seems to remain bent on stoking the boilers of its “go woke, go broke” engine. Perhaps only after that train has been driven completely off the rails will its poor citizens be able to reorganize with a system of some relative sanity.

    • I’m doubtful that the same citizens who keep electing and re-electing the sorts of politicians who are rapidly destroying a once-great state are equipped to “reorganize with a system of some relative sanity”.

  2. If one sat down with the intent to come up with a piece of legislation that would destroy the teetering economy of the arts in California, it’s hard to imagine that it would be possible to produce anything worse than this. Graphic artists, musicians, extras, comedians, writers, and dozens of other technical trades like gaffers, sound engineers, camera operators are all effected. As to “These were never good jobs.”, well, people in the arts are generally aware that they didn’t choose a work path that follows a 40 hour week, with 2 weeks paid vacation. Indeed, for many of them that’s part of the reason that they chose it.

    • One more reason why the Electoral College proved its vitality in 2016. Hillary won California’s popular vote, and lost the other 50 jurisdictions. If we let that decide the elction, it would be tyranny of Wackoland. Exactly what the Founders wanted to avoid.

      • Apparently Democrats think this is me…
        Of course they do … in spite of realizing that you’re trying madly to put out their fires.

  3. Jack, Jack, Jack…don’t you know by now moronic legislators (and governments most generally) are much more reliable and credible than the market for goods and services and individual choice.

    Guess I’ll have to give up my consultancy, which keeps my (full time gig) students entirely current in my field of work.

    Anyone have big hacksaw to literally cut off California. If so please report to a border and start sawing.

  4. I think these Kali snowflakes voted for their chains… they should get ALL the government they asked for, good and hard.

    Socialism is all fun and games, until you run out of other people’s money and they come for you.

  5. It’s hilarious that Vox is one of the companies praising this law as a win–while at the same time directly contributing to the harm the law causes.

    I’m sure they fully believe this corrects the higher employment costs under the ACA that pushed many full-time employees into part-time status.

  6. Maybe we should limit how many patients a doctor can see before they are considered employees. Then we pay them a fair wage. That could also be applied other professions such as lawyers. Government being the omniscent being it is will know what fair is.

    • Assemblyman Lorena Gonzalez who introduced this awful bill represents South San Diego also introduced a bill to permit voter harvesting in elections. In other words people who have no relationship to the voter can take the ballot to a polling station. A recipe for voter fraud and corruption.

  7. So, is there anything about this law that would make it INAPPLICABLE to attorneys?

    I have many clients for whom I provide more than 35 items of work per year. But, I am self-employed, and a contractor. I don’t want to be in-house counsel for 10 different employers.


    • Just cut ’em off after handling thirty-five matters, Jut. No problemo! I’m sure the officious little Nazis at your state bar will be delighted to audit your billing records! For a fee, no less!

  8. From what I recall, a couple well represented professions, like lawyers, etc, were able to get “exceptions” in this law. I can’t blame the CA legislators for servicing their core constituencies, unions. And let’s be honest, a handleful of bloggers is but just a grain of sand in the dunes of ignorant default leftist CA voters. Most people will think it’s good for the little guy, the intentions are good (“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” rationalization), etc, blah, blah, blah. Local Dems get a bunch of votes, bunch of union money, and fuggedaboutit. By the time people realize this sucks, it’ll take years of litigation, 9th circuit will support it (unless the ideological balance of it is shifted), the Republicans and companies will be blamed for their greediness and lack of compassion, and so on and so forth. As Slickwilly said, the CA public will get it good and hard. And they won’t learn anything out of it, and the Dems elected by them will have no mandate to reverse course. It’s like that scene from the Warren Beatty movie Bulworth, in the black church, “What are you going to do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you’re not going to vote Republican! Let’s call a spade a spade!”

  9. Yet another item that makes me thankful I don’t live anywhere near California.

    Hmmm. I bet there are customers at conventions we have sold more than 35 books to in a year — so would I have to be made an employee of those persons? What about a fast food restaurant owner who sells me 35 burgers in a year — is he now my employee too? What twaddle.

    And yes…..very much anti-freedom.

  10. I hardly know where to start. It’s the so called “gigs” that people learn most from. It’s those with the widest experience who can not only make the most of their job (main gig), whatever it turns out to be, but who will accommodate to change, go with the flow and roll with the punches, get a kick out of learning new things from different people, be comfortable experimenting with ideas and opinions.

    retirement – grandpa M. was 54 when he found, as the British put it so accurately, to be “redundant” to his own business when one of his sons took it over. He’d been good at his job, learning the trade from his father and practicing it in one form or another since he was a child, bringing his expertise (and, necessarily, a wife) to the New World at the turn of the century. He had never done anything else in his life. Building and running his business was his whole world, full of customers, many of whom had become close friends. The job kept him active, on his feet, reaching, stooping, sorting, lifting, dealing with salesmen and stock deliveries. He appraised and bargained, bought and sold. He had fierce competition that excited him, and he enjoyed every minute of it.

    On the day he (was) retired, he sat down in a red plush chair in his living room and spent nearly every day for the rest of his life sitting there, having nothing else to do. No interests, no radio (no hobbies, no friends, not even any acquaintances. He’d never bothered to get to know his neighbors or attend any social functions at his house of worship. He had nothing in common with his family (the son who inherited the business never came to visit; too busy at work). The second-generation Americans who came religiously to visit, at least one group each weekend, didn’t speak either his original or his business language, nor he theirs.

    He died just after his 55th birthday. In the red chair.

    Grandpa B, on the other hand, came to America as a teen (I never learned what his father did) fired with energy, finally settled into one regular gig, evening delivery of the NY Herald, plus as many seasonal jobs as he could find: raking leaves, shoveling snow, gardening, helping the icemen, or cleaning up after the coal cellars were filled. And delivering groceries, meat, fish, whatever. He was a soda jerk at one point, a bicycle messenger and a lifeguard at the local pool at other times or concurrently. Like M., he built a business, but built it from a gig and all the customers he’d met doing the chores and odd jobs. From the start, he’d sold pickles door-to-door along with the newspaper deliveries. They were homemade, his mother’s recipe from the Old Country.

    Out of the pickle street sales and the customers who liked them enough to invest came what he called his pickle “factory.” His young wife died — of a sudden, hidden cancer, leaving three daughters — just as the factory became a financial success. Grieving, he concentrated on his daughters until the day the last one (the eldest) was married and, days later, left for “upstate,” the rural New York “away from Broadway” where he had bought a dairy farm with an apple orchard. Of course, said everyone who knew him, his favorite desert was baked apples with fresh cream.

    The families, daughters, in-laws and their families visited the farm as often as they could make the trip. We learned to milk a cow and churn butter, and lay on grass and blow the daylights off dandelions. When the kids had mostly all gone off to college and he was in his 70s, … one day he announced he had sold the farm and was going off “to be hippie in warm place” He moved to Venice Beach in — yes, that horrible place — California, took up painting, writing poetry and playing the piano, all badly but with gusto. He learned to drive and passed the test but they wouldn’t give him a license. So he took some advice and read some law. He didn’t speak English very well and wrote postcards to all of us that read aloud hilariously with his accent, but he also read voraciously to a grad level thanks to the newspapers he’d sold back when (he would never credit the public school he rarely attended, quitting in 10th grade) and to the surprise and dismay of everyone, argued and won his own case. After his third ticket for blocking traffic/driving too slow, they took away his license. He took up roller skating and a girlfriend, a 30-something bottle-blonde gum-chewing tough-talking roller derby princess instead. The happy couple was the favorite visit of his grown up grandkids. They lived together in hippie harmony, both gigging their hearts out – she sold her weaving, and he sold snapshots with his 1935 Box Brownie camera until the cache of film he’d found (and developed in the bathroom) ran out, and fixed stuff and gardened in the neighborhood. Both of them made, ate and gave away (never sold) his pickles. She nursed him during a brief illness when he was 99 years old and called us all when they knew he wouldn’t make it. He regretted only two things, he said: that he wasn’t going to live to 100. And that “they” wouldn’t let him take flying lessons.

    I didn’t realize until recently that I’d modeled my life on the spirit of his, Grandpa B., and that I couldn’t have done better. But now, I’m feeling it all closing in, even if I can’t gig much at all anymore, and only one of them is paid. The young people I know are holding on to their low-paying jobs with splitting fingernails; they don’t dare go looking for another. Many of them go to school when they’re not “working,” studying subjects that bring them no pleasure but will simply take them to another level (they hope) of income. And then, they say, when I offer them free tickets to this or that I am privy to from various volunteer activities, that sure, they’d love it, can they bring a friend … but … well, if they get an extra shift or need to get in some study time . . . .

    What a shame. What a waste. Even if this doesn’t become law, the idea is sick. Contagiously sick, to be spread among the sleeping woke.

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