California has overreached in its effort to address the challenges in today’s tech platform gig-work economy.
The live music sector, the progenitor of the term “gig” work, is being swept up by this law. The irony would be comical if it were not such a serious problem.
There are some worthy arguments to be made for Assembly Bill 5 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, San Diego Democrat.
Like hell. There really is only the one argument, explicitly made by some Cali congresswoman or other when, in a rare burst of accidental candor, she complained that the state wasn’t glomming enough in tax dough off of rideshare drivers. Despite the property tax they pay on their cars, the fees for their license plates, the tax on every set of tires or quart of oil they buy, the tax on every gallon of gasoline, and their own yearly income taxes, they weren’t paying “their fair share,” see.
Funnily enough, though that revealing statement was fairly prominent in the reportage I saw at the time, it now seems to have vanished down the ol’ memory hole for some reason. I can’t imagine why.
Anyways, the writer quoted above is a California musician who feels “there are some worthy arguments to be made” for letting goobermint’s grubby thumbs dig deeper into any and everything it wishes, as long as they just leave him alone. His evident shock over this bit says it all:
However, the law has created a tangle of red-tape and administrative expense for large portions of California’s cultural sector.
NOOOO! Why, I can’t believe it! I WON’T believe it! Fret not, though; I’m sure things can all be ironed out with even more legislation, right? Right?!?
Under AB 5, we will be required to inform all U.S.-based musicians that they must now become employees of San Jose Jazz, or incorporate themselves before they will be allowed to perform for us.
If band leaders choose to pursue incorporation, they will then need to take on the responsibility of payroll and HR administration for the rest of their band.
In many performing arts disciplines, such as jazz, musicians are constantly reconfiguring line ups, performing as sidemen in various bands, and as one-time special guests for specific performances.
We will now be obliged to devote tremendous time and resources to constantly hiring, managing and tracking of musicians through this cumbersome process.
AB 5 unnecessarily complicates other work arrangements found in community cultural programming such as small festivals, neighborhood street fairs, parades and summer music series in our local parks.
San Jose Jazz is best known for producing our large Summer Fest which brings tens of thousands of visitors and requires hundreds of temporary roles to execute.
The vast majority of previously contract work roles will now be required to be employees.
Tough noogies, pal. You voted for it, by electing nothing but Democrat-Socialists in your state for years and years. As the old saw has it, sooner or later they always get around to something you DO care about. And now they have. More SHOCKING yet:
Typical of such legislation, AB 5 comes with a hefty list of exempted categories that are a Who’s Who of the politically connected and well-funded: lawyers, doctors, accountants, brokers, builders, and others.
Actors, choreographers, dancers, directors, producers, and musicians are among numerous roles in the performing arts that exhibit a multitude of contract work arrangements. None of these are exempt from AB 5’s rules.
So? If there are indeed “worthy arguments to be made” for handing government the power to make workplace rules of all sorts, why should performing artists be exempt from them, pray tell? Why should ANYBODY be? And can you really be so impenetrably naive as to find it surprising that the wealthy, powerful, and connected exempted themselves from the wonderful benefits of the law? Y’know, just like US Congresscritters routinely exempt themselves from having to comply with any and every piece of burdensome bushwa they roll downhill onto the rest of us?
Personally, after reading this whiny, clueless twaddle it would be a-okay with me if every last theater, concert hall, arena, neighborhood dive bar, and neo-hippie coffee house featuring annoying solo-acoustic singer/songwriters on the Left Coast closed up shop for good tomorrow as a result of this law. Voting the most intrusive, power-hungry nanny-staters extant into office again and again ought to be painful—not just for Uber and Lyft drivers struggling to eke out their meager living, but for everybody, right down the damned line. The lesson will be learned only after the misery is spread around widely enough for all to suffer. Let elections have consequences at last, I say.