Vox media has given extremely favorable coverage to the passage of a California law known as Assembly Bill 5.
As one story termed it, “California passed landmark legislation that rewrote the rules for the gig economy. …The bill makes it harder for Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies to continue treating their workers as contractors instead of employees. …That small status change is huge. These workers would suddenly get labor protections and benefits that all employees get, such as unemployment insurance, health care subsidies, paid parental leave, overtime pay, workers’ compensation, and a guaranteed $12 minimum hourly wage. It also means companies that hire small armies of independent contractors are fuming about the added cost — Uber and Lyft especially.”
Most of the glowing coverage surrounding the law focused on the impact the legislation would have on the legions of drivers that work for Uber and Lyft, as the quote above emphasizes. Now it appears there is collateral damage that hits close to home.
Like most economic illiterates, the Vox reporters just assume there’s a huge pile of money hidden somewhere inside the Uber and Lyft headquarters that greedy executives hoard like Uncle Scrooge and his bathtub full of gold coins. Somehow Uber, Lyft, and the rest of the companies providing gig-economy jobs will magically be able to absorb these huge additional costs for pay and fringe benefits without affecting the company in any meaningful way.
That is leftist fantasy. Legislative meddling in the private sector always has consequences and some are painful.
For hundreds of Vox workers this Christmas season reality hit and hit hard. They learned the traditional definition of ‘gig’ as a verb means to spear.
And speared is what these Vox workers got.
CNBC reports, “Hundreds of Vox Media freelancers will lose their jobs in the coming months.” Why? Because “Vox Media is preparing for a California law, Assembly Bill 5, which goes into effect in 2020 and forbids non-employees from submitting more than 35 articles per year.”
Here’s how those cost-free benefits imposed by the leftists in the California legislature work in real life. The hundreds of Vox paid freelancers will be able to apply for “about 20 part-time and full-time jobs.” Those remaining hundreds of freelancers who don’t land one of the mere handful of coveted jobs can continue to write for SB Nation, but as a Vox spokesman explained they “need to understand they will not be paid for future contributions.”
Way to go leftists! Your ill-informed economic meddling and moral exhibitionism has pushed hundreds of formerly paid freelance writers into the ‘will write for food’ ranks.
Some Vox employees are more acquainted with economic reality than leftist ideology. They can comprehend how the law affects them personally and how the law forced the company’s hand. “Rebecca Lawson, who covered the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks from San Diego, wrote a post on Monday titled, ‘California’s terrible AB5 came for me today, and I’m devastated.’ Lawson, who was editor-in-chief of the blog Mavs Moneyball, said she would be forced to step down as of March 31.
“‘SB Nation has chosen to do the easiest thing they can to comply with California law — not work with California-based independent contractors, or any contractors elsewhere writing for California-based teams,’ Lawson wrote. ‘I don’t blame them at all.’”
Smug Vox reporters earlier gloated about passage of AB 5 thusly, “The law would essentially rewrite the rules of the gig economy, and businesses of all kinds are panicking.”
Now you can add Vox employees to the list of those who are “panicking.”
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.