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employees, unless they meet specific and rigorous standards allowing them to stay independent.

The PRO Act takes direct aim at the powerful new technology-enabled trend referred to as the “gig economy.” These are freelancers and entrepreneurs of many different stripes who are buying into the flexibility of this new high-tech economy.

But entrepreneurship and flexibility are exactly what big-government politicians and certain special interest unions don’t want.

Proposition 22 passage in November 2020 provided protection for app-based transportation and delivery firms, such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, from AB5.

But this still leaves many independent contractors subject to the law. This includes many truckers who are independent operators and are impacted by these onerous new requirements.

Truckers are seeking relief through the courts, now principally through the California Trucking Association moving its case to be heard in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, truckers have gotten a court injunction to hold up their need to submit to AB5 requirements.

Another significant provision of the PRO Act would be the effective elimination of right-towork laws that exist today in 27 states.

Right-to-work laws enable workers in unionized workplaces that do not wish to join the union and pay dues to opt out. The PRO Act eliminates this option and forces all workers to pay union dues.

Considerable academic research points to positive economic results in right-to-work states in the way of higher employment growth, higher productivity, higher population growth and higher personal income growth compared with states without right-towork laws.

The Census Bureau reports annually on net population outbound and inbound for every state.

In the most recent report, 9 of the 10 states with the highest population inbound were right-to-work states, and 8 of the 10 states with the highest population outbound were forcedunionization states.

It is no accident that today, the number of American workers in unions is about half what it was 40 years ago.

We are entering into new times. Sweeping change was already taking place before COVID-19 hit us. Now our post-COVID-19 economy is reemerging with new realities.

For our marketplace to get where it needs to go, we must embrace change, embrace the new, embrace entrepreneurship and flexibility. These are all things progressives don’t want. If the PRO Act becomes law, today’s challenges regarding labor and supply shortages will just get worse.

It’s time to embrace the new.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www. COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS. COM.

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