The Free Market Memo

The PRO Act Would Make Bidenomics Even Worse

The PRO Act is little more than a big labor wish list that attempts to staunch the bleeding of union membership

By Jesse Ramos

Earlier this summer, Vice President Kamala Harris declared that “Bidenomics is working” and went on to tout a number of claims that would give one the impression that the American economy is doing great and smooth sailing lies ahead. However, such an impression would be quite incorrect.

Harris claimed that in July “we” added 187,000 jobs to the economy, citing this as some kind of huge accomplishment. In reality, 187,000 is 13,000 less jobs than predicted, and CNN cited those same figures as evidence that the economy is “cooling down” and job growth is decreasing. Add to that the fact that every month this year the reported new job numbers have later been revised down by tens of thousands, and it hardly seems to be a cause for great excitement. 

Harris also said that wages are up. In reality median real wages are down 2.7%, the worst decrease in 40 years. Harris claims that unemployment is at a record low, but fails to point out that this is due to over 7 million prime working age men having just dropped out of the labor force and thus no longer counting as unemployed persons.

It is no wonder that Gallup reports that in July 67% of the country thinks that economic conditions are getting worse, no matter how the Biden administration might try to spin things.

All of this makes the claim that Bidenomics especially cares about small businesses to be all the more laughable in the face of the administration’s support for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act that big labor and the politicians who thrive on campaign contributions from mandatory worker dues have been salivating about for years.

The PRO Act is little more than a big labor wish list that attempts to staunch the bleeding of union membership over the past few decades as Right to Work legislation has expanded to more and more states and workers increasingly choose to disaffiliate with unions that they see little benefit from.

This bill would eliminate Right to Work laws in the dozens of states that have adopted them, and instead implement heavily skewed methods of union formation, such as card check, and would allow virtually any vote that the union disliked to be redone until their desired outcome is achieved.

Corralling more workers into big labor unions is great for the power of the union bosses and the Democrat politicians that they fund using member dues, but independent self-employed people provide an obvious hurdle to this goal. You can’t unionize a workplace of one.

Thus, the PRO-Act seeks to destroy independent contracting as we know it by implementing California-style rules that will force companies to either hire contractors as regular employees with health care benefits and what not or stop utilizing their services altogether. Implementing this ABC rule in California led to a massive loss of work and forced some independent contractors to even flee the state altogether in order to preserve their livelihood.

But if passed at the federal level, there will be nowhere left to escape to.

If passed into law, the Pro Act would dramatically reshape and overturn the lives of the over 70 million Americans who work in some capacity as an independent contractor. These “solopreneurs” are the smallest of the small businesses that President Joe Biden claims to care about, yet his administration is pursuing legislation that would drive many of them to extinction.

Jobs in the “gig” economy would obviously be affected by such a radical change, but many more “traditional” jobs would be as well. 87% of real estate agents are independent contractors, as are 64% of financial advisors alongside numerous trades workers and truck drivers.

And despite claims that such contractors are being oppressed, it turns out that only 9% of them would prefer to have a traditional job, in contrast to 79% who prefer to be independent “solopreneurs”.

Senator Jon Tester has come out in support of the PRO-Act, despite its obvious disastrous track record in California, implying he cares more about union cash than he does the wellbeing of his constituents.

If Senator Tester really cared about protecting small businesses, he would embrace alternative legislation, such as the Employee Rights Act, which would protect independent contractors from losing their livelihood, defend the secret ballot in workplace elections, and require unions to have their members to opt-in before their dues can be used to fund political campaigns.

Bidenomics has wreaked havoc upon millions of American workers and their families, and unfortunately things seem like they will only be getting worse. This is why Americans for Prosperity-Montana has launched the Prosperity is Possible Tour to make it clear that economic decline and immiseration is a choice that we do not have to make.

From the blue-collar workers in the Montana oil fields, to the graphic designer at her dining room table, Americans for Prosperity is dedicated to defending the rights of all workers everywhere to support their families and pursue the American dream in their own way. We urge you to join us in building a better economic future for ourselves and our children.

Jesse Ramos is a former Missoula City Councilman and the State Director for Americans for Prosperity-Montana

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