TWiT 741: Jin Yang's Not Hotdog Method

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!


Sorry @MikeElgan, but I found it kinda funny that it took a law telling a business how to classify free-lance writers for you to get all upset about government telling businesses how to run their business or citizens how to run their life.
Why anyone would own a business in CA is beyond me.


Oh my god, I’m listening to this and shouting at my phone. Mike Elgan talking over Florence - she’s saying that no, she’d rather have a job. He just refuses to hear it because he’s so fixed in his anti government view. Many of us freelancers and I expect most gig economy workers would rather have jobs, would rather have protections - and @Leo, if companies like Twit can’t afford to pay benefits for their employees then they need to adjust the way they run! It’s a cost you should have to factor in.


Then you can look forward to some steep subscription fees in the near future for the shows you watch… :wink:

I was listening in the car, but don’t the employees get benefits? I thought it was if he had to make all the regular guests and show hosts who are freelancers permanent employees that he wouldn’t be able to afford it and would have to shrink the output of the network.


I too enjoyed this.

Also the law of unintended consequences strikes again

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Agree…he wasn’t getting what Florence was saying.

@ohthatflo will have to do like @MikeElgan and form an LLC. From the discussion it seems like that is the way to side step the law and keep on being a freelancer. It also gives some protection since the LLC has some legal responsiblity and not just the individual.


I thought Flo and @MikeElgan had excellent points. The government shouldn’t regulate the employee or freelancer’s decisions. I may be a subscriber to many of the places that Mike writes to, I follow his newsletter Mike’s List and also keep his as a bookmark. Mike is well educated and like he said, he chooses to be a freelancer because it allows him to the life he pleases.
@ohthatflo had an excellent point in siting that her husband is an employee for his company and has benefits that cover him and his spouse Flo. This allows the couple to be protected as the intent of the legislation. But if the legislation passes it will mandate that all employee’s have to carry this which is necessary.

I’m based in Indiana and work for a small call center, we are under 50 employee’s but have over 1000 clients. I have full health coverage, Dental and vision. I have a 401K that I put in 5% and my company matches me 100% for the first 3% 15 cents on the dollar for the remaining 2%. Is this an expense to my company yes, but it’s also a value that the build in for the employee’s. Our company also has a policy in place that if your spouse is eligible for benefits at another company, whether they use it or not they are not eligible to be added to our health care plan. This helps our company reduce the overall cost of the benefits they provide.

Yes, but how does taking away her right to write a weekly column give her a job? It doesn’t. It just takes away the job path she chose and leaves her only with the job path she rejected.


Because I have a weekly column I can afford to pay for my own healthcare. If they actually limited me to 35 columns a year for Insider Pro, I couldn’t afford healthcare. The law literally takes away my benefits.

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That’s the thing. The law apparently affects companies based anywhere, but only affects EMPLOYEES or freelancers based in California.

I’m on your side of this issue. I would rather the government not legislate business practices. It just seemed like you were putting words in her mouth.

Lets consider this. Median wages are going down and contract employment is going way up. Many in the gig economy are getting paid way less than minimum wage after costs have been factored in. Companies are firing employees at an alarming rate and replacing them with contract positions. I will let you take a guess at how many contract positions cost the employer as much or more than the employee position they replaced. If you guessed zero, then you are correct. At this rate, everyone will be a contractor pretty soon. But who cares about protection for the greater good?
Companies will have to suck it up and compensate their labor force like they did 20 years ago. That is all the law is requiring.


But a one size fits all law is not going to solve this problem for every industry.

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As I understand these laws (which is not very, being Canadian) the intent is to avoid employers treating a person effectively as an employee, but without having to pay them benefits, do the whole tax thing, etc. Like Mike, I started a company to be the interface between myself and the businesses I worked for, which seems to have worked.

An easy way around the law for freelance writers is for @ohthatflo, in her campaign to get the law changed, to have it changed to say something like “If a freelancer derives more than X of their income from one company, then they are effectively an employee, and need to be treated as such.” That way the situation @MikeElgan was talking about (which of these three outlets is supposed to hire me?), is satisfied, as he is not just working for one media outlet. Set X at an appropriately high number (85? 90?) and you’re golden.

Of course, from what I understand, many Uber drivers also work for other similar driving companies, so that provides an out for them, too. Hmm. Maybe it isn’t as simple as one might have thought, but it is perhaps a starting point? Or at least a data point?


I’ll have you know that in the good ol USA it’s traditional to exploit your workers!

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I do the same and I’m self employed…

That is how it works in the UK. If you are freelance, you pretty much have to register your own company (most agencies and clients won’t touch you, if you aren’t running through your own limited company). Your company has to pay you, your health insurance and corporate taxes etc. If you work for one company for most of the year (I’m not sure what the threshold is currently), the Inland Revenue states that you aren’t a contractor/freelancer and you are employed by the client and they have to pay employee taxes and health insurance.

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I totally agree with what you’re saying, but also see godfrey’s comment. This law was written as a one-size-fits all solution, which is a terrible legislative approach to a very complex problem.

In other news, I thought and @Leo and @MikeElgan gave very short shrift to the point Seth was trying to make about various communities not being on board with all the latest IoT stuff. His example of the motorcyclists not being interested in the latest smart helmet might have a bit too niche, but the point he was making was quite valid.

Acceptance/rejection of IoT isn’t just generational, it’s divided along urban/rural lines, class/income lines, majority/minority lines, education/lifestyle lines, etc. Everyone who rejects these technologies is not a “Luddite”. My household has a lot of tech – devices galore – but we draw the line at home assistants, “smart” (i.e. surveillance) appliances, etc. I know young families who are opting out of IoT altoghether, for various reasons…it’s not just older people. Also, a lot of folks – PoC, LGBT, political/religious minorities, etc. – tend to be more skeptical of technologies that monitor and report back data to whomever. Not everyone is an upper-income straight white Californian tech-utopian or an American. You guys forget what a bubble you live in. Just sayin’.