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Now it’s some Canadians complaining about self-employment

Monday, February 09, 2015

You’d think the Canadians would be pleased. Canada’s jobless rate has just dropped further to 6.6 per cent after adding 34,500 jobs in the last month. But this is entirely accounted for by the fact that the number of self-employed individuals has gone up by 41,000. However according to this report this is terrible. The article claims that ‘self-employed does not equal making money’. What planet is this author on?

People chase work for rational reasons like ‘let’s go into business to make money!’ not irrational ones such as ‘I want to be poor!’ Yet this author is echoing the very same criticisms in the UK  which we’ve been following. Fortunately there’s also strong support in the UK for self-employed people.

Underlying the view being put by the critics of self-employment is the notion that the only legitimate form of work is a ‘boss–worker’ relationship where regulators ‘protect’ the worker! Self-employed people reject this boss–worker thing by being their own boss. But the detractors say that this is impossible and seek to stop ‘us’ being our own boss.

Misclassification, 'dependent contractors', et al.

This is why the ‘misclassification laws’ in the USA have been on the rise, reflecting the political power of the self-employed haters. Here’s the latest attack in New Jersey with predictions that this legal action will make unionization of US owner-drivers easier.

The ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are likewise under legal challenge with arguments that their drivers are employees, not independent contractors. This new attack is happening because of the development of the self-employed ‘app’ worker.

A Wall St Journal commentator says such workers are ‘dependent contractors’. But the ‘dependent contractor’ concept is social and legal nonsense that has been internationally discredited. We argued against this at the International Labour Organisation in 2003 and 2006, where the ILO eventually and formally endorsed self-employment.

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