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I think this is a matter of personal preference, analogous to whether or not people want to be early adopters in technology or music, though not necessarily correlated with preferences in those other areas.


So if I hire someone to play Princess Elsa at my daughter's birthday party, requiring her to wear a certain uniform on a certain day during certain hours and setting a price, then she is therefore an employee?

Aren't setting prices and terms of contract a standard part of any contract?

If you are providing a marketplace for people to find contracts between parties, and you are in any way filtering what you will or will not allow on that marketplace, aren't you setting terms of that contract?



The IRS uses a 20 item check list. Reading though the list "So if I hire someone to play Princess Elsa at my daughter's birthday party" would clearly be a 1099. However, if they work though an agency then they might qualify as a w-2 for that agency.


Great link! I can't help but think this could be the root of the problem:

This 20-point checklist is only a guideline; it does not guarantee that a person is correctly classified. Most agencies and courts typically look to the totality of the circumstances and balance the factors to determine whether a worker is an employee.


No, the root of the problem is companies that want staff who they can work like employees but who they don't have to pay like employees, provide benefits to like employees, or accept liability on behalf of like employees.

There's nothing remotely new or novel about that; it's a dodge that companies have been trying to get away with for as long as labor law has existed.


The premise of Uber is that there were tremendous and ill-gotten gains being nefariously produced by taxi cartels. By busting them up, they could provide people with better service at an equal or lower price - all while ridding cities of a nasty bunch of operators in the process. Behold the righteous cleansing power of creative destruction!

Turns out that their case was a bit overstated (to put it politely). Sure, this was a problem with the medallion model, and Uber is providing a breakthrough solution. But they're not stopping there. To achieve the growth that will justify their valuation, they've got to undermine perfectly reasonable labor laws as well. So maybe not so socially beneficial after all.

Sociopathic tendencies of the leadership aside, one has to wonder if the real problem isn't the VCs who poured their funds' money into a business that could only win by undermining clear, reasonable, historically necessary, and broadly popular legislation. Had they limited their investment to an amount that could be returned simply by attacking cartels, that would be one thing. But insisting that Uber illegally strip-mine their work force may have flipped a once-good thing into the extractive menace column occupied by outfits like...well, taxi cartels.


>Sociopathic tendencies of the leadership aside, one has to wonder if the real problem isn't the VCs who poured their funds' money into a business that could only win by undermining clear, reasonable, historically necessary, and broadly popular legislation.

Well many of those VCs are ideologically opposed to the very concept of legislation being passed to regulate business in the first place, so they effectively got a double return on their investment in Uber:

* First return: actual financial gains when the business takes off

* Second return: a few more paid mercenaries elbowing their way through the rule of law


Weirdly enough, none of these guys has set up shop in Lagos. Or Moscow.


No, but if you hire her through an agency that you pay (and not her) then yes, her agency is her employer.


A pity you're getting downvoted because its a valid point, although wrong. The problem with your example is it fails the common language "none of your business" test.

Obviously if the work is illegally portraying a trademarked disney character at a party, the time and clothes are kind of important for accomplishing that task.

The "none of your business" test failed in the linked article where the two young women were subject to numerous rules having nothing directly to do with cleaning things.

For example the electrician who installed the high power wiring to my air conditioner condenser, teamed up with an apprentice. As a contractor its absolutely none of my business, I pay a fee for a service and he can bring 50 apprentices on the jobsite, as long as he gets the job done in a workman like manner up to building code following all safety laws, etc. I can provide no input on the tools he uses or the time he takes as long as there's no OSHA/EPA violation, pass the municipal inspection, etc. I'm trading money for fit for purposes accomplishments, not renting a slave to be bossed around.


I can't imagine that asking a contractor not to bring 50 extra people into your home is "none of your business", as it would potentially be pretty inconvenient if you were there at the time.

Similarly, having stipulations like "don't listen to music out loud while cleaning", is also IMO a reasonable thing to require (as someone who often works from home).

For the record, I do think that it's a problem that many companies are getting around the social safety net that employers are required by labor law to provide. But I think that's a problem better solved by decoupling our social safety net from employment--which I think unfairly ties people to their employers.


I could be self-deluded, but I feel like to some extent my ability to imagine the missing context, or even just a possible context for these things has increased in the age of social media, and online gaming, and soundbytes. I'm still aware that in many cases there's a high percentage chance a person is just a jerk.

Maybe it's a situation where working on the 8th floor makes most people more likely to take an elevator than if you worked on the 2nd floor, but if you do keep taking the stairs you quickly become very good at it.


It's still pretty good if you're not in YC, of course.


Charging property tax would be an interesting approach... it would at least address the orphaned work problem if unpaid intellectual property taxes meant that the work reverted to the public domain.


CA does not allow tips to count towards minimum wage.



What's the difference between this and websites competing with native Windows/Mac OS/Linux apps? Sure the performance isn't quite as good, but not being locked to a platform is a huge benefit.


From what I can tell, it doesn't affect Chrome, which is compatible with 4.3 devices. It's just a bug in the default browser, which they stopped working on a long time ago.


Isn't it a bug in the default browser and WebView, which affects every single application using WebView?


There's a key difference between the Econ 101 model and the real world that I feel is not talked about enough, but is explanatory for a lot of discrepancies in the market:

People don't pay for actual utility, they pay for expected expected utility.

So franchises are a reasonable solution to this problem: Franchise Ep. 1 was good, so consumers will go to Ep. 2 because they expect the chances are it's at least almost as good, as opposed to taking a ganble on some other thing they've never heard of before. For the studios, it's also a good way to cash in on something that was not an immediate success, but grew a gradual fanbase as well.

Other solutions to this problem include: subscriptions (paying a fixed cost each month for access to a large library in which you don't have to pay an additional cost for each thing you may or may not like), bundles (paying for a group of things that includes at least one or two things you know you like, and using their quality to vouch for the other things in the group), and money-back guarantees (which doesn't work very well for consume once content).


Theoretically, you'd still have some plausible deniability, since it could be one of those people pretending to be you.


Maybe, but if it's something that sounds like you, or is a situation related to you, or even if a friend knows that out of all their friends you use secret the most, all these things can harm your privacy. Imma stick with 4chan for this one.



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