Monday, October 06, 2008

The Freelance Society

Well, Pretty Lady is fit to be tied. She didn't get up early enough to read the New York Times before breakfast, and now the comment thread on Mr. Krugman's editorial on health insurance is closed.

So she will just have to put in her two cents right here.

Mr. Krugman rightfully points out that Mr. McCain's proposed healthcare program is no such thing, for the vast majority of persons. It would force employers to pay taxes on health benefits for employees, while providing those employees a $5000 tax credit to buy insurance on their own. Hunky-dory!

The only problem is that insurance for a family costs, on average, $12,000 per annum. Pretty Lady is thrifty, but paying for a $12,000 plan with $5000 is beyond even her capacities. And the private insurance market, further deregulated under the McCain plan, categorically refuses to provide coverage for anyone who actually needs it.

Of course, in Pretty Lady's world, this whole question is risibly hypothetical--it ventures, in fact, into the realm of Complete Fantasy. For when Pretty lady was employed, she never made enough money to pay $5000 in taxes, let alone get that much back. And for the last ten years, like so many of her peers, Pretty Lady has worked freelance.

Freelance employment, for an increasingly large percentage of our generation, is becoming less and less of a choice, and more of a necessity. Ever since Pretty Lady graduated from college she has observed that Large Employers, being careful of their Bottom Line, have avoided paying benefits by hiring workers on a temporary and/or contract basis. Additionally, as we have seen, Large Employers are increasingly going belly-up. Pretty Lady herself has one good friend, the sole breadwinner for a family of four, who recently declined a contract job in order to remain with Lehman Brothers. For the security.

Employers, you see, are fast becoming a Thing Of The Past. The modern economy is based more and more upon fluidity, mobility, flexibility, Quick Turnover, and any other term you can think of for eradicating the 1950's model of Steady Jobs with Benefits and Pensions. More and more, working people are entirely on our own.

Of course, there is always Freelancer's Union, as well as Fractured Atlas, for which Pretty Lady is profoundly grateful. But she must vent a bit of frustration with this everlasting reference to Employers. Employer this, employer that, who is your employer? Direct deposit, from your employer! Get it through your employer!

WHAT freaking employer? GET A CLUE!!!

No comments: