Friday, October 16, 2015

There Ought to be a Law!-- NOT!

As I watch the various rantings on the minimum wage- when imposed, how high - it strikes me as a bit odd.  I just saw a NY Times headline arguing that free-lance workers should have employer-sponsored unemployment and health benefits the same as for those receiving a fixed wage.

To be fair, the author begins by saying that freelancers report to no boss, have no fixed hours, take off hours and days whenever they choose.  But the resulting irregular wages should be taken care of by some new government program.  Also some government law should also take care of the fact that free lancers get stiffed from time to time.

I understand their concerns.  In addition to my paid wages, I, on occasion, earn some money in freelance writing and consulting.  for those gigs, I have to withhold enough taxes to cover the state, federal and social security demands.  I figure all self-employed people retain about 50-60 cents on the dollar.  (15%+5% +15% +no medical subsidy).  And, the work is NOT steady in the least.  It's pretty much feast or famine - but I also have a wage job, so the freelancing for me is more of a lucrative hobby than a living.  So, of course there is no pressure, unlike those making their entire living on freelance money.  I work for other professionals sometimes, and I am always a bit concerned that they will pay me, and pay me on time. I have a contract that calls for my pay to be provided within 30 days of billing.  I time my bills recently so that my final signed work wouldn't be sent until I had the bulk of my pay.  I trust people, I just try to hold them accountable.  And remember, my gigs are "extra" income, not primary.

So, perhaps I am not as sympathetic as I ought to be, but the NY Times piece reminds me, that we ought NOT rely on the government to resolve all our problems.  Freelance work has unlimited pay and great freedom, but it also has some drawbacks.  I do NOT want every tiny aspect of my life regulated by "Big Brother".  Already too much is regulated in too many ways in my view.  Our  healthcare, fluoridated water, and infant car seats are already tightly supervised.  Do we really want the government to regulate a lot more?

I have worked for various entities.  The Federal Government is by far the MOST wasteful, the least fiscally efficient, the most wasteful employer I have ever seen anywhere, anytime.  I think that is because Fed money is "Someone else's money" and because taxes and fees can always be raised to make up for these inefficiencies.

You may recall my election motto:  "Don't re-elect anybody!"  or the parallel, "Never vote for the incumbent - regardless."

My newer one, derived from our history, "He who governs least governs best!"  Whereas this may not be true in the extreme, we seem to not notice, that the government, and it's power, grows steadily.

Come quickly L^rd!

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