Joshua Ferguson is libertarian YouTuber, podcaster and California resident. Like most of us here, he’s been hit hard by the incomprehensible “gig economy killer” law that was just forced on innocent Californians at the turn of this decade. AB5 was aimed at Uber and Lyft but instead gutted the freelance industry overnight. No one is quite sure what to do. The law is so vague, so poorly written that it has caused chaotic confusion that has ended in many companies simply choosing to end their contracts with California freelancers completely rather than unknowingly incurring the wrath of the California Franchise Tax Board.
Ferguson – also known as @HourlyStruggle – decided to create a video to help clarify some of the “joys” of AB5 for those who don’t understand it and don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s probably the best explainer of this woefully tragic bill that I’ve seen so far. It’s worth a look, particularly if you’re not sure what all the fuss is about. Pay special attention to what is about to happen to the nail salon and hairdressing industries. Scary stuff.
Ferguson also offers links embedded in the video description to help people do their own research and verify the information for themselves.
Even if you don’t live in California, you should watch this because I recently discovered some extremely disturbing news. Congress has already sent a federal version of AB5 through committee and it is currently sitting in the House waiting for a vote to be scheduled. HR2474 is very scary and every freelancer in America should be paying attention to how it’s weaving it’s way into law. I will update the situation with a more detailed post in the coming days.
In the meantime, watch this video and share it everywhere. The California freelancers, truck drivers, musicians, translators, interpreters, transcribers, etc. etc. who have been complaining about this aren’t being melodramatic. Imagine living in a country where the government tells you which careers are “real” careers and which ones are “garbage” careers that they need to protect you from.
You’ve just imagined the People’s Republic of California.