The Power of Independent Thinking

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Posted: Wed. June 17, 2020, 4:36pm PT

Executive Director Graham Walker appears on the Trevor Carey show on KALZ radio in Fresno, CA to talk about the effects of California's law known as AB5. The law was passed in 2019 and requires freelance workers, or "gig" workers, to become employees of the company instead of independent contractors. There are many exemptions granted for certain professions, but Uber and Lyft drivers are most affected. Walker outlines how the law hurts those it was intended to help

Posted: Wed. June 17, 2020, 3:38pm PT

The death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer with a history of excessive force complaints has spurred protests, demonstrations, and riots across the nation. Peaceful protests are more than justified. However, the lawless riots are not; they are enacting the very injustices they claim to contest and on a colossal and catastrophic scale.

Posted: Tue. June 16, 2020, 8:48am PT

Schools were closed down for the spring, and many are projected to remain closed for the fall. How will this affect children’s academic development? Some propose handing out “A grades” to each and every student, regardless of their development. Others argue for holding each and every child back for a whole year. Failure: The Federal “Misedukation” of America's Children, by Vicki E. Alger:

Posted: Tue. June 16, 2020, 10:51am PT

Research Fellow Jonathan J. Bean, editor of Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader, appears on the Jim Bohannon radio show to discuss the riots taking place currently in America, compared to the race riots in the 1960s. Many cities have more diverse police forces and there are several black police chiefs and mayors compared to the 1960s, says Bean. He says that crime rates have also dropped dramatically since then.

Posted: Mon. June 15, 2020, 11:50am PT

Independent Institute Executive Director Graham Walker appears on the Jen and Don show on KTIE in San Bernardino, CA to talk about the California law AB5. The law redefines what a freelancer is in various occupations. It is forcing businesses to hire employees who were contractors. Enforcement of the law, passed in 2019, is now being stepped up. Some similar occupations are treated differently under law as exemptions to AB5 are given to some, but not other jobs. Movers, delivery drivers, nurses, doctors are treated very differently, bringing in to question the purpose of the law which is stifling innovation during a pandemic when jobs are needed most.

Posted: Sat. June 13, 2020, 1:43pm PT

The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer has sparked a massive reaction. Peaceful protests are clearly justified. Lawless and opportunistic riots, arson, theft, injuries, and killings are not. At the same time, it is obvious that weeks of COVID-19 fallout coupled with Floyd’s death have put a spotlight on the challenges and desperation that were already afflicting many of our urban communities.

Posted: Thu. June 11, 2020, 4:35pm PT

California is beginning to enforce AB5, the 2019 law that is forcing Uber and Lyft drivers and other freelance workers in California to become employees of a company, rather than contractors. Independent Institute Executive Director Graham Walker explains how workers want the freedom to work when and where they want, and companies don't want to bear the costs of onboarding part-time drivers. Exemptions to AB5 have been granted to certain occupations, creating "clients" of the California legislature, beholden to them and the unions who granted them exemption from this restrictive law.

Posted: Tue. June 9, 2020, 12:37pm PT

Which countries have handled the COVID-19 crisis best? Sr. Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa's Op-Ed Time to Listen to the Coronavirus Dissidents focuses on which countries have dealt with the pandemic without completely shutting down their economy. Are the heavy-handed policies indeed working? It may depend on how much (or little) bureaucratic intervention and testing the country has.