By Colton Pickard
Uber and Lyft have been in the spotlight recently as the question is asked, should Uber and Lyft consider their drivers' employees instead of independent contractors? Well, it looks like the state government in California is inches away from running off two more companies from their state as Uber and Lyft could be taking its ride-share operations out of California. This is because independent contracting and freelancing have been heavily restricted in California, making it hard for Californians to be freelance writers or work for Uber and Lyft. 1
This government overreach isn't going to punish the big corporations that have invested in California; it will hurt the workers. In this case, Uber and Lyft drivers will be left without a job because of their state government. The companies can simply move to another state. The two businesses were prepared to shut their services down on August 21. California's state government was going to force the two companies to consider their drivers' employees instead of independent contractors. Still, the companies won a last-minute reprieve. 2 The state of California was willing to put thousands of people out of work in the middle of a pandemic. Luckily for those workers, they'll have an opportunity to vote on the matter in November.
If socialists get their wish and turn America into a socialist nation, this will be the case throughout the country, not just California. There will be heavy federal restrictions on independent contractors and freelancers. Government overreach always hurts the workers more than it hurts the top one percent.
The United States is currently in a recession after almost every state shut down at one point since COVID-19 arrived in America. One of those states that shut down was California, and now the government is threatening to unemploy hundreds of thousands more workers instead of finding new ways to create more job growth, only because the government believes that Uber and Lyft are cheating its drivers. If the pay were as bad as the California government is leading people to think, then Uber and Lyft probably wouldn't be as successful as they are because people wouldn't want to drive for them.
The best thing that the government could do in this situation is to stay out of Uber and Lyft's business. Running both companies out of the state will leave Californians with the only option of using taxis, which won't be cheap with no competition. If the California government allowed the free market to do what it does best, then Uber and Lyft will continue to improve its working conditions and pay for its drivers. That's the great thing about the free market. Due to competition, companies offer better working conditions and pay for their workers so that they can be the best company, regardless of the industry. Hopefully, the California government realizes this and backs off.
Colton Pickard is a Journalism major with a focus in sports and politics at Middle Tennessee State University. Colton is involved with multiple political organizations on campus and is fighting for freedom and educating his peers on the real dangers of socialism.