As the Democratic Party coalesces around 2020 candidate Joe Biden as an alternative to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, onlookers have taken it for granted that the former vice president represents a “moderate” Democratic option. While this is true, it’s only due to the radical extent of Sanders’s far-left socialism; Biden himself is no centrist. In fact, he’s quite left-wing on a number of fronts, and his stance backing job-killing California regulations is just the latest example.
In a weekend tweet, the Democratic front-runner touted his support for AB 5, an extremely controversial California regulation that limited companies’ ability to hire freelancers in a naive attempt to force them to hire more full-time employees. In reality, the bill backfired and hurt vulnerable workers across a wide spectrum of industries.
It limited freelance journalists to 35 articles annually, meaning that no outlet could even hire someone as a weekly columnist without adding them as a full-time staff member with benefits. In a plot twist that shocked exactly no one with any experience in journalism, this led to freelance journalism opportunities evaporating from California, as outlets suddenly faced massive new costs due to the regulation. Vox Media, for instance, laid off hundreds of California-based freelance sports journalists it had previously employed.
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