Gig economy poses tough questions for US - FT.com
This is a very one sided article which seems to misunderstand nearly everything which is going on with the gig economy.
"A handyman for hire, he is not employed by anyone, but is not his own boss either. Instead, he operates in a grey zone that is expanding quickly, as more Americans find work via online platforms or apps in what is known as the gig economy."
No, he's an independent contractor. He works for himself, on his on time, and performs the work as he sees fit, but at the request, and direction of the customer. He uses TaskRabbit as a matchmaker.
"In common with most gig economy workers, he is classified as an independent contractor for TaskRabbit rather than an employee, according to rules introduced before the second world war. The rules, however, look increasingly outdated."
Outdated? Perhaps, if the author means too difficult to clearly create the independent contractor relationship, but otherwise this is the relationship everyone wants.
"A growing number want to see an overhaul of existing regulatory structures, which often prevent them from receiving two sought-after forms of support: safety net benefits, such as pensions, and training."
There are always fools, just look at the large number of low wage workers lobbying for a $15 minimum wage, even though we know that it will eliminate many of the jobs these low wage people hold. They are simply too foolish to actually understand that this massive job loss will bite many of them lowering the chance for them to ever advance.
Everyone wants a free lunch, and the progressives find it easy to call employers dirty scoundrels, point out the fact that they have money, and sell the fools on the idea of the free lunch. But no lunch is free. The worker will pay somehow.
The real problem is that Congress is terrified of losing the power to regulate employees. This would be a huge step-down in power for Congress. But few of the employees, and employers want the restrictive relationship of employment, which would result in many areas in huge declines in worker number, and in some areas would simply eliminate the workers altogether.
What Congress needs to do is to reform the tax rules, converting our income tax system to a consumption tax, eliminating the payroll tax, and then allow the work relationship to float freely. It will not because that would eliminate vast graft, and corruption which accrues to the politicians today.
The second thing Congress needs to do is reform what we today call employment benefits to create systems where these new independent contractors can quickly, easily, and most importantly, cheaply create the coverages, and insurances they want, and need. Again the lack of graft, and corruption will slow this process.
We continue to hold to the dying progressive system as if it offers us some superior system, but it does not. To the contrary, it offers restrictions, not liberty, and control by others, not mature independence.