Here’s the 2-minute oral testimony I gave at the 2020 NYS Senate Manhattan State Budget Forum to Senators Robert Jackson, Liz Krueger, Brian Benjamin, Brad Hoylman, Brian Kavanagh, and Jose Serrano regarding the various bills they are currently supporting that would reclassify many or all current independent contractors as employers or employees. (All were present except for Senator Jackson, who left before I spoke.)Continue reading “My testimony at the 2020 NYS Senate Manhattan State Budget Forum”
Only a government monopoly such as the MTA could brag about an “almost” 50% customer satisfaction rate.
And yet no one is willing to ask the most obvious of questions: why should the government, which is a coercive monopoly by its very nature, be involved in the transportation business at all? Why shouldn’t our filthy, crumbling, rat-infested, utterly unreliable subway system be sold off to a private entity to take over, modernize, and run efficiently and cost-effectively? And why should New York City and New York State be allowed to cripple, with unending and ever-increasing fees and regulations, the competitiveness of private ride-sharing companies like Uber that have a 97% customer satisfaction rate?
Re “A tough ‘gig’ in Albany” (Jan. 28): Lost in your amplification of the talking points of the politicians and union leaders pushing this legislation are the voices of the people whose lives will actually be affected by it. I run two freelance businesses that have taken me 30 years to build successfully — one as a jazz bandleader, another as a freelance graphic designer.
As a bandleader, I am hired by ever-changing clients in many different contexts. It would not be practical or possible for any of them to hire me full-time. If this law passes, they will not hire me at all. And my sidemen are many and ever-changing. I cannot hire any of them full-time and if forced to do so, will not be able to employ them under any circumstances. As a freelance graphic designer, my clients are many and ever-changing. Not one of them would hire me full-time merely to design, say, a website or a PowerPoint presentation.
I am 60-years old, and so am unemployable full-time. Even if I was to give up my independent businesses (as I will be forced to do), there will be no alternative but to face permanent unemployment, or to leave the state. For independent contractors older than me, the consequences will be more dire.
California’s independent contractors’ legislation does not “protect gig-economy workers,” nor does it “guarantee rights to workers.” (“Freelancers law making waves in New York,” Dec. 20).
On the contrary, it violates the fundamental right of employers and employees to contract freely under whatever terms they mutually judge to reflect their self-interest. As a result, it restricts choices, destroys opportunities, increases costs, lowers the standard of living and will ultimately destroy lives and livelihoods as it inevitably spreads from car services to musicians, photographers, writers and all other independent contractors whose very fragile livelihoods depend entirely on the right to contract freely with their employers and clients. Keep this destructive legislation out of New York.
Below are my opening and closing statements from an Oxford-style debate hosted by the NYC Political Forum. My friend Roberto Guzman and I argued against the proposition and won. (Reading time 8 minutes.)Continue reading “Debate: “Economic inequality is unjust and harmful.””
Below are my opening and closing statements from an Oxford-style debate hosted by The NYC Political Forum. My friend Roberto Guzman and I debated the affirmative case and won. (Reading time 8 minutes.)Continue reading “Debate: “Capitalism is the most morally superior political and social system.””