Kim Kavin sets record straight as the Left, alarmed by recent polling including Illinois app-based 1099 workers value flexibility/freedom over unions/collective bargaining, uses push polling in sham for PRO Act
“The true objective of this survey is not to gauge public opinion; it’s to sway it using loaded and manipulative language.” — Kim Kavin, 6/16/21
In case you missed it, Vox published the following online around midday Wednesday:
Freelancers USA co-leader, NJ-based Kim Kavin, took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon and thoroughly skewers the push polling techniques with thorough due diligence of the poll itself, conducted by Chicago-based Progressive Data Services.
Her 13-part tweet has been transcribed below for ease of reading.
Let’s spend a few minutes digging into this disturbingly biased new push poll from Vox and Progressive Data Services, which describes itself as a ‘think tank for the future of progressivism.’Kim Kavin Twitter thread, 6/16/21
There is a provision in the PRO Act that would add language called the ABC Test into federal law for the first time. This language would be based on California’s AB5, and would reclassify millions of independent contractors as employees under labor law.
These independent contractors include people working in fields as diverse as financial consulting, logging, music, freelance writing, translating, interpreting, online teaching, physical therapy, lifeguarding, theater and more. A small percentage of U.S. independent contractors are app-based workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers.
Study after study shows that 70-85% of independent contractors want to remain ICs. These include studies by the federal government itself, going back to 2015.
So, if you were to write a question for a survey about the PRO Act and its reclassification of independent contractors, one way to phrase it would be:
‘Do you support or oppose reclassifying ICs as employees, including in highly skilled and specialized fields, knowing that most ICs want to remain independent?’
Now, for comparison, let’s look at the Vox and Progressive Data Services phrasing, which you can verify by scrolling to Question 15 in their survey.
They asked: ‘Would you support or oppose a proposal to reclassify ICs, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, as employees, which would allow them to potentially form a union so they can negotiate for better pay and benefits—even if it means slightly higher prices for consumers?’
This phrasing is a master class in push poll scumbaggery. The true objective of this survey is not to gauge public opinion; it’s to sway it using loaded and manipulative language.
For starters, defining independent contractors as Uber and Lyft drivers in the question is at best wildly misleading, given that app-based workers make up such a small percentage of all ICs. Many ICs operate as LLCs or even S Corps; they are small business owners.
Next, the possibility of ICs being able to join a union after being reclassified as employees is just one possible outcome of the ABC Test language in the PRO Act. As we all just learned in California under AB5, it’s the ‘least likely’ outcome.
What actually happened with this ABC Test in California was zero new unions being formed, and a lot of ICs losing income and clients. Consumers weren’t forced to pay higher prices; instead, the services and goods produced by these ICs were eliminated from the economy.
With that recent history in mind, think about another way the poll question could have been phrased: ‘Would you support reclassifying ICs as employees under labor law in the PRO Act, knowing that it may cost them their current business relationships and livelihoods?’
Most people’s answers to honestly phrased questions would be far different.
Don’t fall for push polls about the PRO Act like this one. Tell lawmakers not to repeat the mistake of CA’s AB5. Keep the ABC Test out of federal law.
The PRO Act remains stalled in the U.S. Senate as only 47 of the 50 Democratic caucus members have cosponsored the S. 420 legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) made very clear back in late March he will not move the bill to the floor until 50 cosponsors sign on to the PRO Act.
Thus far, none of the 3 Democratic holdouts (Mark Kelly, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Warner) swayed by the push poll.
The full Vox article from Wednesday can be viewed here.