Issues & Insights

Livelihoods And The Congressional Thieves Who Want To Steal Them

I&I Editorial

If there were any doubts that today’s Democratic Party is a corrupt and malevolent force, they were fully removed Tuesday when the House approved the PRO Act, a bill that will steal the livelihood from millions of Americans should it become law. Democrats care about nothing but consolidating their power and making their own lives more comfortable, even if it means creating hardships for others.

The legislation, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, is both a gift to labor union bosses and a burglar’s tool for aiding the outright theft of working Americans’ incomes. It was passed 225-206, with five Republicans voting for it (Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Pa.; Don Young, Alaska; John Katko, N.Y.; Chris Smith, N.J.; Jefferson Van Drew, N.J.) and one Democrat (Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas) against it.

In addition to stripping states of their right-to-work laws, which allow workers to be employed at unionized businesses without being forced to join the union, it also in effect outlaws independent contract work through its ABC test. Adopted by the California (of course) Supreme Court, the test is used to classify workers as either hired employees or independent contractors (freelancers and gig workers). The test was codified into law in California (of course) in 2019 through Assembly Bill 5.

Despite a veneer of legitimacy brushed on by a court and the California political class, a one-party Amerikan politburo run by Democrats, the test is a sham. It sets the bar so high that it’s virtually impossible to meet the requirements to be classified as an independent contract worker. Consequently, both the PRO Act and AB5 ban the existence of such arrangements.

There is no compelling or principled reason for lawmakers’ intrusion. Americans like the way they’ve set up their independent work structures. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2017 that 55 million Americans relied on jobs in the gig economy. A year later, data indicated that the number had grown to 57 million. In 2021, a year into the pandemic lockdowns that have wounded and killed businesses across the country, it’s safe to say the number is higher still. According to the BLS, 79% of independent contractors prefer “their arrangement over a traditional job.”

As freelancers, workers are free to make their own hours; generate emergency income; supplement their current income to pay for household projects or to put their kids through school; work for several different companies at the same time; and juggle family and school schedules. Many prefer to pursue the type of work they are comfortable with rather than be forced into taking on assignments they want no part of.

Independent contractors aren’t wallowing in poverty, either – 40% earned more than $100,000 year from gig work in the fourth quarter of 2018, while 35.7% earned between $50,000 and $100,000.

So why do the Democrats think they have the moral grounds to strip Americans of so many options?

As stomach-turning as it is to see the Democrats congratulate themselves for passing the PRO Act, it’s even more infuriating to hear them try to make a case for it. Every sound coming from their mouths, every word put out on social media, every sentence uttered to the press is union-based agitprop. Don’t take their claims with a grain of salt. Reject them for the unworthy-of-a-free-country propaganda that they are.

Some media reports are predicting the bill, as National Public Radio puts it, is “unlikely to advance in the Senate,” due to a lack of GOP support. The hope here is that they are correct. Yet a gnawing in our guts remains because five quisling House Republicans voted for it, and there are not enough GOP senators to stop the bill even if all 50 vote against should it come to a floor vote, unless one or more Democrats is persuaded to oppose it.

Of course Senate rules might not let it get that far, but we’re not comfortable with “the process” being the last refuge. The unions are “are amping up pressure on Democrats to eliminate the filibuster,” reports Politico, so the bill can pass. It’s tragic that those of us who still believe in liberty are watching it being wrenched away from us, and have no choice but to rely on politics rather than constitutionally guaranteed guardrails, and basic human decency, to slow the steal.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board 

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