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Originally published August 16 2015

Why Democrats are so afraid of the 'gig' economy based on decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions that bypass government control

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Today's Democratic Party is not what it used to be. The modern entity has become a hotbed of left-wing progressive extremism that is intolerant of opposing views, hateful of those who don't conform or comply with liberal ideology, and which seeks to control as much of our lives as possible.

Consider recent Democrat-led angst over varying aspects of the so-called "gig economy" – a sector of the economy featuring "sharing" or "collaborative" technology. Think Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit and Airbnb. As these tech-driven start-ups have become more popular (and more profitable), Democrats are rising up in mayors' offices, at state houses and in Congress to find new and innovative ways to control and regulate them (these concepts are actually one in the same).

Writing in the National Review Online, Charles C. W. Cooke lashed out at a recent speech by Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who had criticized the gig economy in general.

Cooke observed:

It is a supreme irony of modern American life that the political movement that terms itself "progressive" is, in the economic realm at least, increasingly passionate about the status quo. Speaking today about the burgeoning "gig economy," presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton could not help herself but to set modernity firmly within aging ideological tram-lines. Developments such as AirBnB, Zaarly, Uber, DogVacay, and RelayRides, Clinton conceded, are not likely to "go away" any time soon. But they are worrying nonetheless. Indeed, the "sharing economy," she proposed, is "polarizing" and it is disruptive — guilty of no less than "displacing or downgrading blue-collar jobs." Technological advances, she concluded, must not "determine our destiny."

And who should decide destinies, what is and is not "polarizing," and the like? Hillary, of course.

Economic policy only a Democrat could love

Clinton isn't the only Democrat to jump on the anti-gig economy bandwagon. In recent days avowed socialist Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City agreed to drop a bill he proposed to limit Uber's growth in the Big Apple. Under the measure, for-hire vehicle firms with 500 or more cars would have only been able to grow their companies by 1 percent a year (NYC is Uber's largest market), thereby effectively limiting the company's financial growth (and with it limiting employment).

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, has also criticized the lack of "regulation" of the freelancing that comprises the gig economy. Writing in the Washington Post, he complained that Washington was not doing enough to regulate it.

What's more, he is arguing from an assumption that Americans working in the gig economy are not able to comprehend the supposed risks involved, and as such are inherently being abused by the companies they work for:

[M]any of the business models in this on-demand economy are built on the premise that workers are independent contractors, not employees. That means companies do not have to pay costs such as health insurance or retirement benefits. They also typically do not pay a share of unemployment or workers' compensation coverage.

So these workers, even if they are doing very well, exist on a high wire, with no safety net beneath them. That may work for many of them — until the day that it doesn't. That's also the day that taxpayers could be handed the bill, which is why Washington needs to start asking some tough policy questions.

Out of touch

Cooke believes such thinking belongs in 1938 – not 2015. For the Millennial generation, he says, the development and arrival of share systems like Uber are satisfying and useful, not "scary" things that will cause harm or damage to the economy. Not only are such ventures incredibly successful because they fulfill a need, but they are generally free, thus far, of the kind of crushing regulations that would make them much less efficient and, hence, much less valuable to the public (but much more valuable to big government control freaks).

How, exactly, is this a bad thing? Unfortunately, in post-modern America, where the (un)-Democratic left has hijacked the public education system, popular culture, entertainment and the media up is down, right is wrong, and bad is good.

And control is always preferable to simply allowing Americans to freely pursue their happiness.

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