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Anti-Trump Democrats get political black eye from small business

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The anti-Trump forces in the USA have just suffered a surprise defeat in a Californian bye-election that has likely implications for the November US Presidential election.

The Democrats suffered a massive backlash against them because of vicious anti-small business laws that have crushed the self-employed small business sector in California.

The law (AB5) started on 1 January this year and essentially outlawed self-employment in California. It’s caused havoc with huge job losses, large numbers leaving the state and economic collapse in independent contractor industry sectors. This bad job wave swept across California just before the Covid-19 disaster.

The Democrats who control the California legislature and created the anti-self-employed laws have responded with arrogance. Go get a union ‘employment’ job they say! Self-employment’s not a ‘real’ job the Democrats claim. Voters have thought differently.

The political power cards play out as follows.

In the US Federal Congress (parliament) the Trump Republicans control the Senate (upper house). But the anti-Trump Democrats control the (lower) House of Representatives with 235 seats to the Republicans’ 197 seats. This Democrat control of the House of Representatives frustrates and limits the Trump agenda. California is the key state giving Democrats their control.

Of the 435 seats in the House, 53 come from California. The Democrats have 46 of those seats. If the Trump Republicans were to win 20 seats from the Democrats and Trump remained President, Trump would control the US Congress. The Californian Democrats’ hatred of small business raises just that scenario: a Trump Presidential and Congressional win.

Just a week ago a Republican Trump loyalist won a bye-election for a Californian House seat, defeating the incumbent Democrat with a 19 per cent swing. A bye-election ‘flip’ of this sort has not happened in California since 1998, let alone one with a swing of this size.

The Trump Republican candidate campaigned hard against the Californian Democrats’ anti-small business law (AB5).

The national implications are clear. The Democrats’ Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has endorsed California’s AB5, promising to take it across America if he wins. The Trump Republicans will campaign saying Democrat Biden will destroy small business across America. It’s powerful political messaging underpinned by the glaring reality of California’s AB5.

The Democrats have dug themselves into a deep hole. Their actions speak of hatred of self-employed, small business people.

What unfolds in the USA with the November Presidential and Congressional elections over the rights of self-employed people holds potential lessons for Australia—namely, can a political party attack self-employed, small business people and survive politically? Watch this space!
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