End of the road for worker misclassification?

Pandemic

Krutika Amin and Cynthia Cox, “Unvaccinated COVID-19 hospitalizations cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars,” Peterson Foundation on Healthcare and Kaiser Family Foundation, August 20, 2021, https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/unvaccinated-covid-patients-cost-the-u-s-health-system-billions-of-dollars/

Max Hauptman, “Vaccine resistance in the military remains strong, a dilemma for Pentagon as mandate looms,” Washington Post, August 21, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/08/21/vaccine-mandate-pentagon/

Hannah Knowles, “A Texas GOP official’s covid-19 death went viral. Then came calls for vaccination — and bitter divides,” Washington Post, August 21, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/21/scott-apley-covid-death-vaccine/

Katie MacBride, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, August 21, 2021, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1429287685244420101.html

Guardian, “Trump booed after telling supporters to get Covid vaccine,” August 22, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/22/donald-trump-rally-alabama-covid-vaccine

Ben Guarino, Laurie McGinley, and Tyler Pager, “Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine wins full FDA approval, potentially persuading the hesitant to get a shot,” Washington Post, August 23, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/23/pfizer-vaccine-full-approval/

Adela Suliman and Bryan Pietsch, “Third Pfizer dose significantly lowers risk of infection in seniors, Israeli data shows,” Washington Post, August 23, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/08/23/covid-delta-variant-live-updates/


Afghanistan

Danielle Pletka et al., “What Went Wrong in Afghanistan?” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-went-wrong-in-afghanistan-11629472600

Barbara Starr et al., “ISIS terror threat forces US military to establish alternate routes to Kabul airport,” CNN, August 21, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/21/politics/kabul-airport-terror-warning/index.html

Emily Stewart, “The history of US intervention in Afghanistan, from the Cold War to 9/11,” Vox, August 21, 2021, https://www.vox.com/world/22634008/us-troops-afghanistan-cold-war-bush-bin-laden

Associated Press, “The Latest: Pentagon asks airlines for help moving evacuees,” August 22, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/afghanistan-kabul-evacuation-3e03946e8f84540927761d0b83efd769

David Roberts, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, August 22, 2021, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1429538957742592012.html

Tim Shipman, “Tony Blair attacks Joe Biden’s ‘imbecilic’ Afghanistan retreat as Kabul chaos deepens,” Times, August 22, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tony-blair-attacks-joe-bidens-imbecilic-afghanistan-retreat-as-kabul-chaos-deepens-jw782ghxr


Gig economy

Something Laura Forman does, without being explicit about it, is suggest that the writing is on the wall for the “independent contractor” scam, otherwise known as worker misclassification. She writes a lot about California’s Proposition 22 and how investors react[8] to a recent court decision striking it down,[9] but also points out a number of places where attempts are being made to force or have already been successful in forcing gig economy companies to classify their workers as employees.[10] Smart corporate executives would recognize that this scam isn’t flying, but it’s clear they don’t actually have a business plan,[11] and at least two smart writers have labeled Uber a ‘bezzle,’[12] “John Kenneth Galbraith’s coinage for an investment swindle where the losses have yet to be recognized,”[13] as serious analysts continue to doubt Uber’s potential for profit.[14] And whatever can be said about Uber generally also applies to Lyft; it’s just that the bigger company gets more attention.

So assuming these companies’ executives aren’t idiots—yes, I know, a dubious assumption—one then has to assume that they are fully aware of what they are doing and are simply trying to stretch out their highly-paid jobs as long as they can. ’Cause you know their names will all be mud when this comes crashing down.

Laura Forman, “An Uncomfortable Proposition for Gig Economy Investors,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-uncomfortable-proposition-for-gig-economy-investors-11629754144

Justin Ray, “Prop. 22 is ruled unconstitutional: What it means, how apps reacted and what happens next,” Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/newsletter/2021-08-23/proposition-22-lyft-uber-decision-essential-california


  1. [8]Laura Forman, “An Uncomfortable Proposition for Gig Economy Investors,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-uncomfortable-proposition-for-gig-economy-investors-11629754144
  2. [9]Jeong Park, “Court rules California gig worker initiative is unconstitutional, a setback to Uber and Lyft,” Sacramento Bee, August 20, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article253647838.html; Preetika Rana, “California Ballot Measure That Classifies Uber, Lyft Drivers as Independent Ruled Unconstitutional,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/proposition-22-is-unconstitutional-california-judge-says-11629512394; Justin Ray, “Prop. 22 is ruled unconstitutional: What it means, how apps reacted and what happens next,” Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/newsletter/2021-08-23/proposition-22-lyft-uber-decision-essential-california; Margot Roosevelt and Suhauna Hussain, “Prop. 22 is ruled unconstitutional, a blow to California gig economy law,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-08-20/prop-22-unconstitutional; Faiz Siddiqui, “California judge rules unconstitutional the measure classifying Uber and Lyft drivers as contractors,” Washington Post, August 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/08/20/uber-lyft-prop-22-unconstitutional/
  3. [10]Laura Forman, “An Uncomfortable Proposition for Gig Economy Investors,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-uncomfortable-proposition-for-gig-economy-investors-11629754144
  4. [11]David Benfell, “This is not a business plan,” Not Housebroken, July 8, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/20/this-is-not-a-business-plan/
  5. [12]Cory Doctorow, “End of the line for Uber,” Pluralistic, August 10, 2021, https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/10/unter/#bezzle-no-more; Yves Smith, “Uber Is Headed for a Crash,” New York, December 4, 2018, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/will-uber-survive-the-next-decade.html
  6. [13]Yves Smith, “Uber Is Headed for a Crash,” New York, December 4, 2018, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/will-uber-survive-the-next-decade.html
  7. [14]Trading Places Research, “Uber And Lyft: The Limits Of The Amazon Model,” Seeking Alpha, August 15, 2021, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4449578-uber-and-lyft-the-limits-of-the-amazon-model

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