Ronald Reagan once said that the most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

“Gig economy workers” in California are about to painfully realize this, and the artistic community online are rebelling against these liberal, meddling, legislators.

The Hollywood Reporter has the details on California legislation AB 5, which was signed into law Sept. 18 and will go into effect on January 1:

The bill, which cracks down on companies — like ride-sharing giants Lyft and Uber — that misclassify would-be employees as independent contractors, has been percolating through the California legislative system for nearly a year…

But the exemption for freelance journalists — which some have only just learned about via their colleagues, press reports, social networks and/or spirited arguments with the bill’s author on Twitter — contains what some say is a potentially career-ending requirement for a writer to remain a freelancer: If a freelance journalist writes for a magazine, newspaper or other entity whose central mission is to disseminate the news, the law says, that journalist is capped at writing 35 “submissions” per year per “putative employer.” At a time when paid freelance stories can be written for a low end of $25 and high end of $1 per word, some meet that cap in a month just to make end’s meet.

In other words, these legislators have made it impossible for California writers to make a living or compete with writers in other states who have not been hamstrung by their bureaucratic overlords.

“Democrats in power in California should be ashamed of themselves,” wrote Yashar Ali, one of the most prominent people on Twitter according to Time magazine. He later called the legislator out by name. 

“California Assemblywoman @LorenaSGonzalez has launched a direct attack on press freedoms with her bill,” he tweeted.  “I’d say she should be ashamed of herself, but knowing her, shame is not a sensation she’s familiar with.”

Then, amping up the rhetoric even more, he wrote, “Lorena perhaps you belong serving as a legislator in Iran or some other country that doesn’t value press freedoms.”

Because Ali is Iranian, he knows how insulting that statement should be to an American legislator… but Democrats these days don’t seem to care a great deal about the First Amendment or capitalism.

I moved from California at least in part to the excessive regulatory control these Democrats attempting to exert over Californians.  I’m happy to see liberal artists rising up and saying “no more” to these legislators’ excessive governmental control.

Image Credit: Pete O’Shea on Flickr

Hat Tip: The Hollywood Reporter

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.