In a recent post to The Plum Line, a Washington Post blog, Paul Waldman calls Nick Hanauer and David Rolf’s essay the kind of big economic idea America needs. He writes:
[B]oth parties are essentially offering the same menu of policy options they have for some time, with only slight variations. Republicans want to cut taxes and roll back regulations. Democrats want to increase the minimum wage, raise the overtime threshold (allowing millions more to get overtime) and mandate paid family leave.
Even the Democratic ideas are essentially about updating existing rules to account for inflation, or broadening benefits for some workers. As of yet, they haven’t proposed anything truly transformative. But big ideas are out there.
One of them is laid out in the current issue of the journal Democracy, where Nick Hanauer and David Rolf propose what they call a Shared Security Account as a way of re-imagining the relationship between employers and employees in a world where that relationship is increasingly part-time and short-term.
At Fusion, Felix Salmon cited Hanauer and Rolf’s plan when discussing how we can adapt to “the sharing economy.” He writes:
So, how do we level the playing field, and give participants in the new economy the same kind of security that has long been enjoyed by most people working more than 35 hours a week? America has long been built on the foundation that success and security should come from hard work, so how can we expand that principle so that it includes hard work for on-demand services (like Uber) or for multiple employers? […]
One way is to fight to reclassify companies like Uber as employers, and their drivers as employees. We’ve seen some recent victories on that front, but, as Justin Fox says, it does feel a bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. After all, the fight for fully-fledged employee status can actually create incentives for companies to make working conditions worse. […]
But now technology entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has come up with another idea, fleshed out in the latest issue of Democracy with co-author David Rolf. “An economy based on micro-employment,” they write, “requires the accrual of micro-benefits.”
Read the original essay here.