SF Chronicle Recommends: No on Prop 21 & Yes on Prop 22

by Jamie

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The San Francisco Chronicle endorses capping government-set price controls and salvaging a  pseudo-independent contractor status to preserve the gig-economy business model

The San Francisco Chronicle Recommends:

Vote No on Proposition 21 - Rent Control Localization

Vote Yes on Proposition 22 - A New Independent Contractor Status for the Gig Economy

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Proposition 21 rescinds state law in favor of localized rent control.  However, rent control is bad so the less of it the better. Gavin Newsom also rejects Proposition 21 in favor of legislation (AB 1482) passed less than a year ago that limits rent increases.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s “No on Proposition 21” recommendation entitled, “A Bad Idea Unimproved by Age” states: 

Economists and studies broadly agree that rent control policies reduce the quantity and quality of rental housing by discouraging its construction and maintenance. Studies have linked rent control policies in San Francisco and Berkeley, and other cities with declines in the overall availability of rental housing. (9/14/20)

This is a hard rejection of rent control by a newspaper deeply inclined to propagate pro-government intervention policies. My general shock at the San Francisco Chronicle’s “No Recommendation” is that it goes against my sense of the persuasion of the Chronicle’s editorial board and the flavor of current Chronicle writers, such as senior political writer Joe Garofoli. 

I am reminded how the Joe Biden candidacy had no traction in the Bay Area yet ended up knocking out the Bernie and Warren camps. In a region and state enamored with government intervention, the degree of intervention becomes the question. I commend the Chronicle for choosing classical-liberalism based on economics, rather than pseudo-liberalism based on untruths told by syndicates and politicians. Next up, I ask the Chronicle to oppose the minimum wage.  

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Proposition 22 creates a new gig worker compensation package granting work benefits beyond salary while preserving a faux-independent contractor status.

The San Francisco Chronicle states in the endorsement of Proposition 22 entitled, “Don’t Stifle the Gig Economy”:

….[Prop. 22] will keep the app-based, ride-hail, and delivery services operating in California. The legislative recalcitrance and lawsuits from labor-beholden politicians in the state capital, San Francisco, and elsewhere give us no confidence that a reasonable solution could be reached if the initiative were to fail. (9/13/20)

The Chronicle wants regulation but not so much regulation and mandated employee benefits that legislation kills industries. That is a balancing act libertarians do not practice; however, we are proud to endorse every act of legislation that increases freedom from government intervention. Both of the San Francisco Chronicle’s recommendations increase the liberty of citizens by reducing state oversight and control.

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