The House passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act earlier this week, a pro-union/anti-liberty law allegedly designed to provide protections for workers who want to join a union. In reality, the PRO Act destroys the jobs and livelihoods of tens of millions of people who work for themselves in order to create a new Marxist proletariat.
Under Marxism, the proletariat signifies the class of workers who are engaged in industrial production and whose chief source of income was derived from the sale of their labor power. Marxists believe the proletariat has been exploited under capitalism, forced to sub-standard wages from the business owners who control the means of production (the bourgeoisie).
The ultimate goal of this Marxist ideology is for the proletariat to unite and seize power from evil capitalists and create a communist society free of class distinctions — a goal shared by supporters of the PRO Act.
Originally passed in 2020, the PRO Act is modeled after the similar and highly controversial California bill, AB 5, that forced businesses in the state to reclassify what constitutes an independent contractor. Biden is a big supporter of AB 5 and is on record as a supporter of the PRO Act.
One of the major impacts of the PRO Act if it becomes law will be the virtual elimination of 57 million independent contractors (aka freelancers), including folks like me who write for a living. Brad Polumbo, a freelance writer for the Washington Examiner, explains:
[The PRO Act] purports to stop workers from being “misclassified” as freelancers in order to force companies to hire them full-time. But the PRO Act’s redefinition of freelance worker is so narrow that a worker can only provide a company with a freelance service that is outside its normal purview. For example, Uber is a driving company. It couldn’t hire drivers as freelancers, but it could potentially hire a janitor as a freelancer.
Essentially, flexible freelance jobs such as Uber drivers or part-time newspaper columnists would be illegal in their current forms. (My writing as a regular contributor for the Washington Examiner would be unlawful).
Some people might get hired on full-time as a result, but many more would lose work altogether — and many freelancers don’t want to be full-time employees. It’s often the flexible schedule and ad hoc arrangement that draws stay-at-home mothers to freelance writing or after-hours workers to their Uber side hustle.
“More than 70% of 1099-M gig workers say they are working independently by their own choice, not because they can’t find a 9-to-5 job,” Forbes reports.
Freelancing can pay well, too. According to a 2019 survey, a whopping 40% of gig economy workers earn more than $100,000 annually, while another 35.7% make from $50,000 to $100,000. And, of course, being your own boss, choosing which projects to accept, and having a flexible schedule are pretty darn attractive perks.
The PRO Act would take all this away from millions of independent contractors, whom liberal elites have declared “misclassified” or “exploited.” Because they know better than you. (emphasis mine)
If there was any doubt as to the Marxist pro-union motivations of the PRO Act, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka puts them to rest. Facing probable defeat in the U.S. Senate, Trumka is demanding an end of the filibuster to see it become law:
“We’re not going to let a few people stop it from happening. Its time has come. Its time is long past due to be enacted. And we’ll do it. Everything is on the table so far as we’re concerned.”
California’s AB 5 law affected roughly one million independent contractors, forcing many of them to leave the state. Some major publications stopped hiring freelancers from California and multiple companies announced immediate layoffs. Within a year after AB 5 became law, the state reported the first population decline in its history. Coincidence?
In Polumbo’s op-ed, he provided this unhappy conclusion:
Under the PRO Act’s framework, vital gig economy services we’ve come to rely on, such as Uber and Lyft, Instacart grocery delivery, and more, couldn’t exist as we know them. They’d either have to rearrange their business models radically and operate like the taxi cab companies and other outdated predecessors or go bankrupt trying to hire every single driver or delivery person as a full employee.
Millions of workers would lose the flexibility that made gig work attractive in the first place. The jobs that still did exist at these companies would quickly be forced to become the kind of 9-to-5 scheduled work many freelance workers intentionally sought to avoid.
The president is really just doing the bidding of labor union officials who want to outlaw competition to their traditional business model. Biden’s latest endorsement might make union officials happy — but there’s nothing pro-labor about it all. (emphasis mine)
If Mitch McConnell’s and Kevin McCarthy’s Republican Party was the firewall against socialism we were told they would be, radical legislation like the PRO Act wouldn’t have any Republican support. But alas, that’s not something we can count on.
The PRO Act had three Republican co-sponsors: “Former Democrat” Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA). They, along with John Katko (NY) and Don Young (AK) voted to pass it.
Republican support of Marxist ideology shouldn’t be all that surprising, especially since the party has been rebranded by Trump, and conservatism has been replaced by Trumpism and nationalism.
During the 2016 presidential primaries, Trump was asked what changes he would bring to the Republican Party if he were to be elected president. Using talking points that could have come from Bernie Sanders himself, Trump replied:
“Five, 10 years from now — different party. You’re going to have a workers party. A party of people that [sic] haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.” (emphasis mine)
So, according to Donald Trump, one of the ways he would make America great again would be to make the Republican Party into his version of the Workers Party of America, essentially creating a dictatorship of the proletariat.
Trump’s policy ideas addressing wages, trade, Social Security and other economic and non-economic issues in 2016 were eerily similar to those of the Workers party and its anti-capitalist, pro-Marxist proletariat philosophy.
The Workers Party blames capitalism for unemployment and low wages. Trump blamed the “rigged” economy for the plight of workers, calling it “unjust.” He also blamed private businesses for the exploitation of workers, and he launched a “good and easy to win” trade war to reign in “unfair” business and trade practices.
The Workers Party wants to destroy capitalism in order to bring an end to so-called class warfare. In 2016, Trump called for higher taxes on the rich, a $15 an hour minimum wage, socialized medicine and a “hands off” approach to the bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs.
Something tells me that if Trump were still in office, the PRO Act would become law after McConnell found a way to “conservatize” it.
The Far-Left has been clamoring for more Marxism and less capitalism for years and thought they had reached the pinnacle of their aspirations with the election of Barack Obama, but he just got the ball rolling.
Donald Trump and Nationalist Socialist Republicans kept Barry’s dream alive, and now we have the PRO Act, a bill that destroys millions of jobs to create a Marxist proletariat.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.