Left Uses Week of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday to Assail American Workers

Catalina Lauf

Catalina Lauf through Defense of Freedom PAC emerges as Patriots’ voice from the Midwest to fight lies from shoddy research including Chicago-based study released Tuesday

Throughout 2020, McHenry County Blog covered the issue of Worker Classification which was a central issue in the special election in California’s Congressional District 25.

During the spring campaign leading up to the May 12 mostly vote-by-mail election, the controversial California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) law had been supported in 2019 by Democrat nominee who served in the California Assembly (equivalent to an IL state representative).

The most significant reason for Republican Mike Garcia’s win in CA-25 last spring was the bipartisan coalition of voters, including many life-long Democrats crossing party lines to support Garcia because either they, a family member(s), or a friend(s) were negatively impacted by the AB5 law Garcia’s Democrat opponent voted for in Sacramento.

Veena Dubal

Quick review, the AB5 law was based on input from Left-wing academic who teaches law at Cal-Berkeley, Veena Dubal.

The AB5 law established the definition of employee classification, and to be classified as an independent contractor, the worker must pass the “ABC test”, to prove they are not an employee.

Many workers couldn’t pass the “B” portion of the test, because a client, say for a freelance writer could not sell their articles to a print publication because their business was publishing articles, and the publication was required by AB5 to make the writer an employee.

Additionally, the state of California through legislative action, provided for “exemptions” for certain occupations/professions for workers to maintain their contractor status. An initial set of exemptions were passed with the AB5 law, and last summer, more exemptions were passed.

So under the famous law for ballot initiatives in California, going back to the landmark days of “Proposition 13” of the late 1970s, the proponents of app-based businesses and their drivers, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. successfully placed Proposition 22 on the ballot to give all app-based businesses a voter-approved exemption under the AB5 law.

The approval was overwhelming:

While Prop 22 was passed overwhelmingly, Joe Biden carried California on the same day, and openly campaigned against Prop 22 as far back as Memorial Day.

Prior to the November 3 election, Uber and Lyft, under a court order to convert their drivers to employees to comply with AB5, were ready to leave California. The overwhelming victory made the court order moot.

Now, with Joe Biden sworn-in as the President of the United States and with a Democratic Senate, Dubal, and a Boston College sociology professor, had an opinion column published on MLK Day titled:

Gig Workers Are Employees. Start Treating Them That Way” The Biden administration has an opportunity to restore basic labor protections to the people who deliver our groceries and drive for Uber and Lyft.

Published in the New York Times, 1/18/21


Here’s the conclusion of the Leftist orthodoxy position paper Dubal placed in the New York Times:

“The Biden administration can end the state-by-state, sector-by-sector battle over basic workers’ rights. It can clarify that exemptions from employment and labor laws violate the Fair Labor Standards Act, therefore invalidating Proposition 22.”

Veena Dubal & Juliet B. Schor, New York Times 1/18/21


Betraying the Left’s utter contempt for the 10th Amendment and states, with few exceptions, implement labor laws, undermining the will of the voters of CA Prop 22 through decades old Federal legislation exhibits socialism’s worst of choosing winners and losers through government.

McHenry County’s Catalina Lauf, drawing in part from her work experience for Uber a few years back through her job working with the drivers, took to Twitter in the wake of the Dubal/Schor opinion piece with this 3-part tweet, transcribed for readability:

“Once again —liberal academics somehow think they speak for the American worker and companies alike. Contract workers LIKE being contract workers. The gig economy is booming & another example of the free market at its best (which is why the left doesn’t like it).

“Many Uber drivers for example work for Uber on their own time while they’re building other businesses, in retirement, raising kids (etc). It allows a flexibility that being a W2 cannot match. They are not victims — the left should stop interfering!

“Also — I love when professors comment. It’s like teaching entrepreneurship class at a University without having ever built a company / be an entrepreneur.”

Catalina Lauf tweets, 1/18/21


Kim Kavin

New Jersey-based freelance writer Kim Kavin, who successfully lobbied the NJ Legislature last year to stop an AB5-type bill from being passed, gave a writer’s mark-up on Twitter.

I must admit, my sides were hurting earlier this week when I read her mark-up of the Dubal/Schor opinion piece due to laughing hard and out loud, and you can see pics of her mark-up of the “atrocious” column through Twitter pics (click the individual pages to read her mark-up).

Trust me, Kavin tells the truth as she line-by-line skewers Dubal/Schor.

Sadly, what Leftists like Dubal want to do to the nation’s work force is no laughing matter, as everyone who works as a 1099 independent contractor, including in the gig economy livelihoods are at risk. Where California had AB5, Congress has the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act often mentioned by Joe Biden last year during his campaign.

In spite of the U.S. Senate being under Democrat control by the smallest of majorities (50-50+1), the filibuster can still be used to stop something so radical as the PRO Act as passed by the House last year. AB5, the precursor to the PRO Act started in a state capital and the groundwork has been laid for Illinois.

McHenry County Blog published last fall how Illinois Democrats were preparing for the possible legislation to establish an AB5 law here in Illinois, with an IL Senate resolution filed last May.

So Tuesday, the following was published through the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the University of Illinois:

The last two paragraphs of the executive summary say all one needs to read where this Chicago-based study was meant to do:

“On-demand workers for app-based transportation network providers generally earn sub-minimum wages in the City of Chicago. While Uber, Lyft, and Via drivers in Chicago make between $19 and $23 per hour in gross earnings, they earn significantly less after expenses and taxes. After accounting for vehicle expenses reported by AAA, gasoline prices published by the U.S. Department of Energy, and payroll taxes:

  • The average TNP driver in Chicago earned $12.30 per hour in 2019, 5 percent below the $13-perhour minimum wage in 2019.
  • The average TNP driver in Chicago earned $15.09 per hour in 2020, an estimate that is artificially inflated because TNP workers did not experience the usual levels of traffic congestion.
  • The average TNP driver in Chicago would have only earned $13.62 per hour in 2020 with prepandemic levels of traffic congestion, 3 percent below the $14-per-hour minimum wage in 2020

“This analysis suggests that the treatment of TNP drivers as ‘independent contractors’ suppresses their earnings, shifting income from the workers to the executives and shareholders of TNP companies. Two potential policy alternatives could be pursued to improve outcomes for TNP drivers in the City of Chicago:

  1. State lawmakers could classify TNP drivers as employees, granting them full employment rights and access to basic labor protections, including minimum wage laws, overtime pay laws, workers’ compensation coverage, unemployment insurance benefits, and the ability to collectively bargain.
  2. Elected officials in Chicago could incorporate a minimum driver pay standard into the Chicago Transportation Network Providers Ordinance, increasing average net pay to $15 per hour. After New York City implemented a minimum pay standard, driver pay increased by 8 percent, passenger wait times decreased by 18 percent, and TNP company commission rates fell — indicating that Uber, Lyft, and other TNP companies absorbed part of the increase in costs.”

Typical of the Left, in the 2nd bulletpoint above, minimizing the real, using their metric, hourly wage exceeded the Illinois minimum wage last year downplayed through less traffic congestion.

Catalina Lauf

Yesterday, Defense of Freedom PAC’s Catalina Lauf responded to the latest from the Left, including her own research to back her up:

“The whole concept of Uber/Lyft is gig. Drivers know exactly what relationship they’re getting into (1099) and in fact, prefer it. Many have other avenues of employment or simply want the flexibility. Why can’t anyone see that?

“Not to mention — if both parties know the relationship structure W2 (contractors) vs a W9 (employee) and willingly go into that partnership why is the government getting involved to tell them how to conduct their business relationship?

“Have you [responding to a comment] ever spoken to an Uber driver before? I’ve spoken to thousands. They echo the same thing this article lays out. I am beyond sick of leftist elitists like yourself [commenter] who think Uber drivers are ‘unskilled’. It is a complete false narrative.

“They are not going into a ‘labor market’ they enter the ‘gig’ economy because again, they prefer the flexibility and like to be their own bosses. Many veterans, moms, entrepreneurs and retirees make up Uber drivers — to call them ‘unskilled’ is complete leftist arrogance

“Have you [responding to same Twitter commenter] ever spoken to a small-business owner? If there is a massive oversupply of labor — why are manufacturing companies, farmers and other industries who look for workers in the demographic you’re describing…massively understaffed? They can’t find workers fast enough.

“The Left will try to convince you they’re looking out for ‘workers’ when in reality…they’re looking out for themselves. Wonder why they want to intervene in companies – the free market provided a better alternative to awful public transportation and now they want their cut.

Catalina Lauf series of tweets 1/21/21, external articles included Forbes “Do Uber Drivers Even Want To Be Employees?” 4/22/15, and Curbed Chicago “Uber and Lyft hurt CTA ridership, slow down buses, and worsen congestion: Ride-hailing trips have increased by 271 percent since 2015” 10/28/19


The 17-page study Lauf responded to, “On-Demand Workers, Sub-Minimum Wages: Evidence from Transportation Network Provider Trips in the City of Chicago” can be viewed here.

Additionally, The Washington Post published an article on MLK Day, “Biden campaigned on making gig workers employees. Now he has to convince Democrats: Once clear-cut, the uncertain future of gig work is the biggest labor issue facing the incoming Biden administration” can be viewed here.

Busy MLK Day week, with McHenry County’s Catalina Lauf response to the Left’s narrative complete with her own research.

The Defense of Freedom PAC responded admirably and Lauf emerged as a leader alongside Kim Kavin of New Jersey and Lisa Rothstein of California and many others on the frontline to protect our Freedom to work the way an individual chooses and the best opportunity to exercise our Freedom is with minimal government interference.


Left Uses Week of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday to Assail American Workers — 17 Comments

  1. And to think, we could have had Ms. Lauf instead of the milquetoast man.

    All his money pissed away on a futile effort from the get go.

    BTW, where has the milquetoast been as of late ?

  2. Milk Dud was on the links at his exclusive country club in FL, eating hard boiled eggs w/ beer at the 9th hole lunch tables.

  3. He’s dead, just like the Founders, so who knows what he would think about this modern issue?

    Do you or Ms. Lauf have any sources to infer he would be for or against such legislation?

    I know MLK Jr. organized strikes for sanitation workers and he opposed “right to work” laws so maybe it’s safer to assume he would be with the left when it comes to most labor issues.(?)

  4. Correcting,

    Let’s remember the USA of 50-60 years ago was a very different place opposed to the United States in the 2020s.

    While Dr. King favored union memberships and unions in general, there is nothing I could find in a quick Google search that says Dr. King favored compulsory membership in a labor union in order to be able to work. If anyone can find such evidence, please share.

    Please refer to the article from last fall where civil rights leaders in California were supportive of Prop 22 and dead-set against the CA AB5 law, and by extension, the PRO Act. Most notably, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., who was an assistant to Dr. King in the 1960s.

    All of the civil rights leaders, including Dr. Chavis, didn’t mince words at the compulsory kinds of law AB5 is, forcing you to become an employee opposed to being in business for oneself as an independent contractor.

    Please check it out, and let us all know what you think:


  5. “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.

    “Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer, and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.”


    Took me less than 30 seconds to find this on google.

  6. Yes, AlabamaShake, I saw those nearly 60 year old quotes in my Google search, too. You’re either too wet-behind-the-ears or you’re being intentionally naive.

    I grew up in the South, and I remember what labor unions were, and Dr. King referred to organized labor of his time, not what it devolved into in the late 1970s and 1980s, relegated to being lackeys of the Democratic Party.

    I’ll take Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.’s word from 2020 and trust the observation of someone who assisted Dr. King in the 1960s concerning Big Labor’s power grabs in the 21st Century, beginning with AB5 in 2019:

    “This [AB5] is another glaring example of good intentions causing bad consequences, specifically for Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other people of color who are trying to work as independent contractors on a legitimate path to becoming sustainable and profitable entrepreneurs.

    “Systemic racism in America today has many varied and debilitating manifestations that keep a knee on the necks of people of color striving to achieve success, empowerment and lift themselves out of poverty. In my view, the…California law, Assembly Bill 5, is unconstitutional and racist. Other states should become aware and alarmed by these non-progressive and regressive regulations.”

    Dr. King himself would NOT want the Federal government to take away from states what it is their decision to make, which was the freedom of the Taft-Hartley Act given to the states by Congress. That’s what 2020 Biden wants to do beginning with the PRO Act.

    Many states outside of the South became right-to-work states after Dr. King’s passing, and look at the failure of unions beginning with the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 starting the demise.

  7. So, when MLK says Right to Work laws “rob us of our civil rights and worker rights,” you think he…wasn’t talking about Right to Work laws?

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Your attempt to de-radicalize King doesn’t align with anything King said.

  8. AlabamaShake, you’ve answered my question, you are being intentionally naive.

    Labor unions through the 1960s were a genuine equalizer at a time when organized labor needed to be standing primarily for “worker rights”. That changed in the 1970s, and the 1980s, when blue collar workers started seeing REAL FREEDOM because of right-to-work laws, and the overly Democratic policies Big Labor union bosses adopted, the real “conservative”/”Reagan” Democrats fled the Democratic Party, and the control of Big Labor, into the modern Republican Party.

    As I said, Dr. King’s stances in the 1960s with Big Labor were the labor unions of another time, and right-to-work state protections of another time.

    Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. continues Dr. King’s legacy, as well as the thoughtful civil rights leaders who fought against AB5, and for CA Prop 22. That same coalition will work together to stop Big Labor’s power grab, in spite of Joe Biden’s stances.

    And it’s not going to stop with worker classification and the definition of a worker (“employee” vs. “independent contractor”), but all of the evil fruit Big Labor has fed, especially into healthcare, will come to light.

    Not de-radicalizing Dr. King, just pointing the fulfillment of his dream, through 21st Century Freedom, now relies on right-to-work protections and real Freedom to work the way the worker wants to work, instead of government telling people how to work.

    If states choose, on their own, to reverse their right-to-work laws, let ’em, it’s their call. But don’t let Washington mandate what a state must do through the National Labor Relations Act.

    Proof? Go find me evidence Dr. King advocated for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act by Washington especially given Joe Biden has called for repealing states rights for right-to-work laws. I can’t find it. He pressed for states, and observed states passing right-to-work laws.

  9. I’ve been in various unions at different times and in my current job, we often have to hire union labor.

    It’s a mixed bag if you ask me.

    Some unions are great, some are just looking out for those at the top and end up making bad deals too.

    The contractor issue is a completely different story.

    It would be a huge problem with my industry.

    We often need people with highly specialized skills for short periods of time.

    They are well paid and happy to be contractors and the business doesn’t have to keep people on staff just to have one specific skill the one week we might need it.

    What california did, like many things the left does is well intended but not practical.

    A better approach would be more along the lines of contractors must make at least minimum wage.

    You would be surprised though, many contractors are paid MORE than employees with the trade off of no benefits and the contractor pays all fica.

  10. Maybe the middle ground is the person hiring the contractor still has to pay for the employer share of payroll taxes.

    It would take away some of the incentives to abuse the system but still allow for independent contractors when it makes sense.

  11. No, John, I’m not being intention naive.

    You claimed that MLK never supported compulsory union membership in order to be able to work. You claimed you found nothing on google. I then showed that MLK *DID* oppose “right to work” laws and you claim it is something different, with no evidence.

    If your ACTUAL claim is that MLK didn’t advocate for the repeal/amendment of Taft Hartley, then you may have an argument. But to pretend that the MLK didn’t oppose RTW laws (which, by definition, forbid compulsory union membership) is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.

    And pointing to one guy who know supported Prop 22 doesn’t actually back up your claims. At all. Not only because Chavis absolutely doesn’t speak for MLK, but also because Prop 22 didn’t even deal with RTW/compulsory union membership.

    I truly don’t think you understand what MLK stood for and advocated for.

  12. Neal – I don’t know the particulars of your work/contractors situation, but it’s very possible (actually seems LIKELY) that – as you described it – wouldn’t have been covered by CA’s AB5/Prop 22.

  13. Every imaginable type of perversion and abnormality is becoming mandatory.

  14. The Beast is in control of the country. They’re now moving into the mopping-up phase. Two scenarios: a decades-long totalitarian nightmare, or the the messiness of conflict as Whites fight back. Either will be nothing like we’ve seen before.

  15. I don’t know if he ever specifically supported the repeal of Taft-Hartley, but it is clear he was an opponent of right to work laws, and King had no problem with the federal government intervening against states if they were doing something that denied certain people their rights. “States rights” is not an argument that would have swayed Dr. King.

    I agree with Shake that you are doing revisionist interpretation of Dr. King’s legacy to make him seem like more of a classical liberal/capitalist or perhaps like an apolitical, apathetic observer who defers to the outcome of the election when his record indicates he was not that but more left-wing. King did not mince words either.

    “We must be on our guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as “right to work.” This high-sounding label does not mean what it says. It is a dishonest twisting of words with the aim of making a vicious law sound like a good law. It is a travesty on the true meaning of the word “right.” This so-called “right-to-work” law provides no “rights” and it provides no “work.” It is instead a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. It is an anti-union law. Its purpose is to destroy the labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which the unions have improved the wages and working conditions of everyone. These so-called “right to work” laws, which are not right to work laws at all, have been enacted in the southern segregationist states in order to make a crime out of anyone trying to achieve the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is a whip to preserve the sharecropper wages and poverty system that has been used to keep working people in their place.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King

    What I was hoping for was that you might provide some MLK quotes about entrepreneurship or small business or something like that to try to make your point but you did not. Your argument is just that someone close to King doesn’t like it, so he wouldn’t; and racial progress has been made, so King would not support left wing labor reforms. This article reads like “how dare the left use Martin Luther King to push a left wing bill, MLK would have been on our side.” I disagree so hard! I think the burden of proof is on you to show how this is antithetical to MLK’s values or positions. My understanding of MLK leads me to find it entirely plausible, and even likely, that he would take the position of labor unions, not southern strategy Republicans.

    Regardless of what he thought about Taft-Hartley, he did not support individual states becoming “right to work” states. King also supported raising the minimum wage and regularly raising it to keep up with inflation. Dr. King was not John Stossel.

    Anyway, I was referring to the gig worker issue when saying we don’t really know what he would think, not right to work (which I know he opposed). I thought the emphasis of this article was about gig workers and you got distracted by the right to work issue. My point was that we don’t know for sure what he’d think about this very specific issue (the gig worker question) unless we can see some sources of him speaking about a similar and specific issue, but we do know King was left-wing, not a huge supporter of the free market, and we know what he thought about other labor issues, and we know his general ideology, so, if anything, I could see him siding with Democrats on this issue.

    It’s not uncommon for big union people or public transit workers to oppose Uber and gig work in general. Don’t you remember how taxi cab drivers who had a monopoly on that kind of service lobbied city governments to make it hard for rideshare companies to operate? Their argument, in part, was that these companies were undercutting them with their lower prices, stealing their business, and lowering wages across the industry while putting rider safety at risk. Uber said their service was cheaper so it’s good for consumers, especially the low income ones. Another criticism of Uber came from transit workers who thought they should get more government funding and then services like Uber wouldn’t even be necessary. If we funded our public transportation adequately, we wouldn’t need things like that (that’s what they say). These arguments are not rooted in market oriented thinking, but they are common on the left where Dr. King resided politically. So, no, I don’t find it far-fetched at all that MLK Jr. might be against the side of the market given some of the things he wrote/said about capitalism and socialism which I encourage people to read.

    I also doubt MLK Jr. would see unions as an unnecessary relic from a bygone era like you’re implying. He’d probably argue, like many others in the labor movement, that the middle class has stagnated and the rich have gotten richer *because* union membership declined. He would likely not see their decline in membership as a sign of them outliving their usefulness (to raise the standard of living for workers), but as a result of a coordinated multi-decade effort to undermine them — and probably due in part to there being more right to work states now than there were in the 1960’s when King was telling states to *not* become right to work states! He would probably be shocked to see union membership so low and would want to raise the numbers.

    Just so you know, I agree with Catalina Lauf that indie workers should remain indie, but whatever MLK Jr. might have possibly thought about that is irrelevant to me — I just happen to think your comments were arguing an opinion that is not supported by fact or strong logic or political theory, that the facts appear (to me) to support the opposite of what you’re saying, and that Dr. King was more radical than most Republicans and Libertarians (and even Democrats) like to admit. I agree with Shake that you are trying to “de-radicalize” Dr. King.

    Besides, the only reason to bring up MLK Jr. in the first place is to appeal to authority, one of the logical fallacies! We are all smart enough to know not to treat our wives as bad as Dr. King treated his so we should all be smart enough to determine politically what we agree and disagree with Dr. King on too. We don’t have to say, “Dr. King would have agreed with us!” to win an argument. Think of it this way — do Shake or any of the usual suspects ever come on here and talk about how we have to get rid of gig workers? Not really, because it’s an embarrassingly stupid position, even with an appeal to authority. That’s why he’s nitpicking you over an argument he feels he can win instead of talking about the gig worker part which is especially controversial and would be difficult for him to defend.

    Pay attention to what they respond and don’t respond to… I’ve been doing that with communists and Democrats for years and that’s why when they see me in person, unless they outnumber me 5 to 1, they run away. They know that unless it’s 5 to 1, they will never match me physically or mentally. But don’t let your PRIDE get you set up to get dunked on so easily. We are all capable of using search engines. Shake didn’t do nothing but tell you what is fact and tell you what I already told you, except he used quotations first. But then I found a better, longer quote… Such is life.

  16. So you all become field pickers that they can now go after JUST YOU! the small common man…

    The CZAR MACHINE IS IN PLACE .. to ruin our country wake up America!!!

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