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Trump’s self-employed revolution

Monday, January 09, 2017

Last week, our Executive Director, Ken Phillips, contemplated some ‘revolutionary’ thoughts around self-employment as part of the summer break ‘think’ process.  

But those thoughts are minor compared with President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals for self-employed people in the USA. According to Forbes magazine and CBSNews,  Trump is going to open the tax floodgate for the self-employed, allowing them to access the 15 per cent tax rate he intends to apply to companies.


This would be a massive reversal of the Democrats’ aggression towards self-employed people which has been going on since around 2010. In that year, with the strong backing of President Obama, Congress introduced a ‘misclassification’ Bill that withered in Congress. We analyzed it at the time. However, what followed has been a series of concerted attacks against self-employed people through the IRS and US Deparment of Labor. We commented further in 2013. These attacks have continued through private or union-sponsored class actions targeting the gig economy and more.

However, assuming the Trump tax changes occur, the USA will experience not just an incoming tide of self-employment, but a wave of tsunami-like proportions.

Some serious considerations!
It’s time, then, for some serious thinking. Here’s a great start. We’ve been offered a link to a collection of outstanding discussion pieces on self-employment available through the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management. Through this link: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-management-and-organization/latest-issue up until the end of February, you can read these discussion pieces.

Our thanks to Tui McKeown for organizing access to these research/discussion papers.


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