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Can an incoming tide be stopped? Some powerful people are trying

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Some claim that freelancing, self-employment, whatever you want to call it, is surging in developed economies. For example:

•  One USA survey states that freelancing there has grown from 53 million in 2014 to 55 million in 2016, now making up 35 per cent of the workforce, an amazing observation if true!
•  In the UK, the rise in self-employment is well documented and authenticated. Over 4.7 million people were self-employed in early 2016 having grown from 11.9 per cent in 2000 to 14.9 per cent of the workforce.
•  However, in Australia self-employment has been fairly steady, bouncing around the 18 per cent mark for the last decade.
 More...


Responding to an age of economic uncertainty

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On Friday ‘The Trump’ becomes US President leading to, who knows? Meanwhile, Putin outmanoeuvres everyone as the master puppeteer of the Syrian ‘solution’. Ultimately it’s about oil? Chinese President Xi Jinping is the star attraction at the Davos capitalist soiree. That’s unsurprising! Based on purchasing power comparisons, China is now the world’s largest economy. The British pound is travelling south due to Brexit. Several pending elections in European countries could well see further disintegration of the EU.

From these snapshots the only thing we can say about economic certainty is that we live in a period of economic uncertainty! So do global forces make us powerless? No! More...


ICA Executive Director ponders the nature of work

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Against a backdrop of 'revolutionary' social and political developments in 2016, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has posted a new blog which looks at the prospects for the new world of work in the year ahead. Noting the seemingly unstoppable growth of all forms of self-employment, Ken also examines some of the adverse reactions to self-employment and surveys some recent (and quite diverse) academic discussion about the value of 'being your own boss'. You can read Ken's full blog post hereMore...


To gig or not to gig? Fairness and the new economy

Monday, August 08, 2016

This month, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has an article in Flying Solo explaining why the new unfair contract laws for small business people are so significant. It’s a rather timely article because the ACCC has just released a new guide to the laws.

It’s worth being aware of your rights as a ‘solo’ business person under these new laws. These Australian laws are a global first. It’s these sort of laws that will make the ‘gig’ economy fairer and hence sustainable as a new business model.  More...


Getting a handle on the Chinese economy

Monday, August 31, 2015

The stock market gyrations of the last week-or-so were somewhat crazy. From a panic crash to creeping back to ‘normal’? It all seemed to relate to speculation about China.

The follow-up analysis is as up-and-down as was the stock market. The blog ‘Peak Prosperity’ is VERY pessimistic about China, saying China’s debt is now 300 per cent of GDP and in Spanish/Greek territory. And there’s an even more pessimistic assessment saying that China’s economic data is unreliable.  More...


The rise and rise of self-employment

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Australian union movement has this week been debating its future. It’s worried. Its membership in the private sector is plunging below 14 per cent of the workforce (less than 17 per cent overall). It’s frantic that new disruptive technologies such as Uber, job networking, crowd-sourced funding and more will create an explosion in self-employment. It is horrified that people will become their own bosses!  More...


Classifying independent contractors: Two different approaches

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ICA has previously discussed the dire situation facing self-employed people in Massachusetts. It is clear that its anti-self-employment laws are blatantly discriminatory. If anything, the situation in 'mad Massachusetts' seems to be getting worse. Our friends at ‘New Jobs for Massachusetts’ have provided us with a story about ‘Heinz’, a specialist electrical contractor who tried to set up business in Massachusetts. He was literally forced to leave the state because of its ‘dumb’ laws. And now it appears that franchise operations are in disarray because of those same anti-contractor laws.  More...


International tax attacks on the self-employed

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In recent times we've heard of a number of cases where local tax authorities have made it difficult to engage independent contractors. This sort of story is not confined to Australia. In fact, it is common and global. I had several days of discussion with the Professional Contractors Group in London last week. Their tax problems under IR35 continue unabated. More...


Asian surge through the eyes of Macau

Monday, December 02, 2013

 I’ve just spent this last week at a global small business conference in Macau.  Attendance was largely from the Asian region with a smattering of others from across the globe. Although the conference was about small business issues, discussion took place within the context of understanding the broader economic environment. There was a range of impressive presentations, mostly from Asia-based speakers to a packed auditorium. More...


GEEIndex launched in Asia

Sunday, December 01, 2013

During October I undertook the first phase launch of ICA’s Global Entrepreneurs Enabler Index in Washington DC. This week the second phase of the launch was conducted at the International Small Business Pan Asia Congress 2013 held in Macau.

I can report that the GEEIndex was received with significant interest! I’m hoping ICA can make a contribution to Asia’s avoiding many of the bad small business policies that have been so common through Western countries over the last few decades. More...



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