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Event Announcement | Video Video
Suspend California AB-5
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

An influential group of 153 economists and political scientists, are calling for the immediate suspension of California’s AB-5, a law that was passed in 2019 to regulate the use of independent contractors in a variety of activities. The "Open Letter to Suspend California AB-5" that is addressed to California Governor Gavin Newsom and all members of the California State Legislature. Each of the signatories is affiliated with one of forty colleges, universities, and think tanks in California.

This event features Independent Institute Executive Director Dr. Graham H. Walker interviewing Independent Senior Fellow Dr. Williamson M. Evers and Independent President David J. Theroux to discuss the Open Letter and the urgent need to suspend AB-5.

AB-5 has pushed all of the risks and all of the costs of a vibrant gig economy onto lower- and middle-income individuals, those who would benefit most from flexibility to work around the restrictive policies, the Open Letter states.

Blocking work that is needed and impoverishing workers laid-off from other jobs may not be the intentions of AB-5, but the law is having these unintended consequences and needs to be suspended. The current situation of voluntary (and mandatory) self-isolation has created an immediate need for flexible and low-cost ways of delivering goods to people.

Hiring laws, especially for firms with more than 50 employees, mean that companies are unwilling to make long-term commitments to traditional jobs. Employment decisions hinge on the costs of distributing risk. While employers are not hiring, gig workers could shoulder myriad tasks that are needed to flatten out the effects of the temporary emergency.

A mountain of work needs to be done, deliveries made, and people stranded at home helped to receive groceries and medications. Meanwhile, furloughed Californians stand on the verge of being wiped out financially because the law prevents them from working part time in a variety of indispensable positions.

Featuring
Graham H. Walker
Graham H. Walker is Executive Director and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy at the Independent Institute. He received his Ph.D. in public law and government from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Walker has served as Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Visiting Scholar in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), Senior Research Scholar at the Witherspoon Institute, Headmaster at Oaks Christian School, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, President at Patrick Henry College, Legislative Aide to former Congressman David Stockman, and Fellow at the Presidio Institute.
David J. Theroux
David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy at the Independent Institute. He received his B.S., A.B., and M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, he has been a director of eight corporations and four foundations, and he has been a member of the Nominating Committee for the Heinz Awards, William I. Koch Crime Commission, Prison Advisory Board for the California Little Hoover Commission, Board of Advisors of the Libertarian Christian Institute, and Executive Committee for the Templeton Collegiate Honor Rolls for Education in a Free Society.
Williamson M. Evers
Graham H. Walker is Executive Director and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy at the Independent Institute. He received his Ph.D. in public law and government from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Walker has served as Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Visiting Scholar in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), Senior Research Scholar at the Witherspoon Institute, Headmaster at Oaks Christian School, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, President at Patrick Henry College, Legislative Aide to former Congressman David Stockman, and Fellow at the Presidio Institute.



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