Last week, the California Senate passed a new bill that will cause somewhere between one million to two million workers, perhaps even more, to lose their status as independent contractors. If California governor Gavin Newsom signs the bill, an independent contractor will have to satisfy the following legally binding criteria:
1. Be free from the “control and direction” of their employer
2. Be performing work that is “outside the course” of the company’s usual business
3. Have their own independently established trade, occupation, or business
“How would you like to pay for that, sir?” For most of my lifetime, there have been three possible answers to that question: cash, a check, or a plastic card. Go to Beijing, however, and you will see very few payments in those forms. People pay with their phones, using digital payment systems created by the two biggest Chinese tech companies, Alibaba and Tencent.
by Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davisvia VoxEu.org (Centre for Economic Policy Research)
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Tariff hikes, tariff threats, and tariff retaliations have become a major source of economic uncertainty, stock market volatility and concerns about the global outlook (e.g. Blanchard 2019, Crowley 2019, Evenett and Fritz 2019, Fajgelbaum et al. 2019, Jacks and Novy 2019). This column draws on three initiatives that aim to quantify the rise in trade policy uncertainty and its role in stock market volatility.
Balance is one of the innate concepts of the human condition, vital but never entirely attainable. Aristotle concludes his Politics with the imperative in every society of seeking a balance between the male “Dorian” and female “Phrygian” modes – not necessarily gendered but a human necessity all the same. Balance in baseball is a goal; the American League’s long streak of victories over the National League in the All-Star Games is concerning to the keepers of the sport. And, most obviously, the balance-of-power doctrine in matters of war and diplomacy are as old as these arts themselves.
Eighty years ago this month the most catastrophic war in history broke out. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded her neighbor, Poland. From before dawn German shells and bombs fell across the breadth and width of the country. Despite the obvious buildup of military forces on the other side of the frontier, the Poles had not fully mobilized because British and French statesmen worried that such a mobilization might encourage Hitler to go to war—as if he needed any encouragement. In every sense, the German invasion of Poland proved to be a disaster for Poland, a disaster exacerbated by the willful policies of appeasement that the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had fostered over the previous two and a half years.
interview with John Yoovia The Heritage Foundation
Monday, September 16, 2019
Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo talks about the meaning and importance of judicial independence and current threats to judicial independence that the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist called one of the “crown jewels” of our system of government.
The idea of the West is difficult to define. It has known many incarnations over the centuries. In the fourth century CE, it was used to designate the division between the western and eastern Roman empires. In the later Middle Ages, it was used to separate the western and eastern Christian Churches, the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox. In its modern incarnation, it dates back some 600 years.
The U.S. Department of Justice has recently sued the Baltimore County government alleging that its written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants. It turns out that black applicants failed the written test at a rate much greater than white applicants. That results in fewer blacks being trained and hired as police officers.