New Regs

In talking about yet another example of California foolishness, this statement caught my eye:

The rebuilt economy taking shape is based on freelancers working from home. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey just said his employees could work from home “forever.”

I expect that California, New York and the rest of the Usual Suspects will soon pass regulations that specify that “home offices” will need a special state inspection certificate, require that home offices must have x, y and z facilities, need to show proof of regular cleaning and maintenance… you get the idea.  All, of course, to harass people who just want to earn a living, and work in a manner which suits them.  Why would the government do this, you may ask?

Because they can.

You heard it here first.


  1. Not to mention the addition of the myriad flunkies to “administer” the program, the additional taxes, fees, bribes and payoffs, the insanity of the “certification” process…. I will never comprehend how anyone could live in that kind of heavy handed, jackbooted society. Yeah, the weather’s nice, but I can tell you from experience, 300 days of sunshine and warm in a row gets boring.

    1. This.

      A side effect of telecommuting is that you don’t have to live on the same *continent* as your job. A former co-worker would regularly take long trips to other countries, working her job from the hotel. Vietnam, New Zealand, Canada etc. Wouldn’t have worked if I was in charge of the VPNs (because she did this without telling the client and if I were running a VPN for a major health insurance organization connections from random IP addresses outside the US would NOT happen).

  2. Pardon me while I break out my crystal balls, er, ball.

    I think an unintended consequence to the chinkvirus will be a change in real-estate:

    – Companies realize that, if a large percentage of their work force works remotely, they don’t need large offices in expensive city centers. That market will shrink, which will suck for the landlords who own those buildings. It’ll also suck for the bars/restaurants/stores in those areas. Say la vee.

    – Residential real estate will have to accommodate a home office in addition to the requisite number of bedrooms. That office will need to be set up with appropriate lighting, phone, internet, storage, etc. Many homes will need TWO offices for couples where both work from home full-time, because if you’re telecommuting once in a while you can deal with using the kitchen table, but for full-time you need an actual office.

    – There will still be a demand for office space, for people whose homes can’t accommodate an office or who for one reason or another want an office outside the home (kids, and their associated noise, at home for instance). Pick a bedroom suburb of a big city (for instance, the town I lived in when I lived in NJ, where the vast majority of residents commuted into NYC), find a defunct strip mall (there are plenty) and divide it up into secure 100 square foot offices. Rent them out for a few hundred a month (not much more than the average commuter paid for public transportation) and you’ve a license to print money.

    – When making a living is no longer tied to being near transportation (either highways or public transit), homes in the more outlying areas will increase in value while those with convenient commuting will suffer. Likewise, areas with lower taxes will see a real-estate boom as people move to them AND keep the same jobs they had, because you can now live anyplace you have high-speed internet no matter where your job is. Those outlying areas will also see more tax income by virtue of more people living and working in them, and the areas those folks moved from will see a decrease in both taxes and property values.

    To your point, I expect places like NYC to try a telecommuter tax. NYC tried that with commuters, wanting to tax people who lived outside the city but commuted in, and based the tax rate on the combined income even if one half of the couple didn’t work in NYC. Actually got thrown out by the Supreme Court (don’t recall if it was NY Supreme Court of SCOTUS). At which point companies with any brains will make your home office an official company office (which they do in effect now, my job is based in NYC but I only pay PA taxes because I never actually set foot in NYC).

    1. > That market will shrink, which will suck for the landlords who own those buildings.

      It’s not the buildings in the city centers that will have a problem–those can be repurposed into housing units (yeah, rents will decline, but adjustments can be made over time). Lots of people like living in city centers (I enjoy being able to walk to a wide variety of restaurants, bars and other entertainments. I don’t enjoy the authoritarian nature of city governments).

      It’s the suburban sprawl campuses that are the least pleasant to work in and the hardest to repurpose.

      Consider these spaces: in the midst of this:,-122.0238802,2103m/data=!3m1!1e3

      You can’t turn those into high density housing–the NIMBY types (and there are PLENTY of those in Palo Alto/Cupertino) will scream bloody murder. You’d have to tear them down completely and rebuild lower density housing. If the telecommute thing takes hold California will start draining people even faster, which means housing prices will drop and make those places ghost buildings.

      > It’ll also suck for the bars/restaurants/stores in those areas. Say la vee.

      The change will come slowly enough that they will adapt. There are already lots of housing in city centers, so folks who work from home will still want to get out for lunch on some schedule, and dinner etc.

      1. The real problem with California draining people is that they will bring their idiotic voting to other places. Okay, not *every* Californian, but, there is a pattern there.

    2. Any attempt by New York to tax companies with telecommuters but no actual commuters will only push the companies out of the city (and out of the state, quickly after), just as high real estate and high taxes pushed workers out of the state and into commuting into “The City.”

      Of course, on the other hand, if New York can tax people who work there but do not have a “domicile” there (which is usually how people are taxed outside NYFC), I can’t see the courts disallowing a tax on employees who have an economic “presence” in New York City but not a physical one.

  3. Freelancers……somebody please inform Jack Dorsey that AB-5 in CA, pushed through the legislature by that esteemed linguist Lorena Gonzalez (see her response to Elon Musk over his intention to take Tesla out of CA), essentially outlaws “freelancing”, and requires that they be “employees” with all the attendant benefits. The Gig-Economy is not wanted in CA.

    1. That was my first thought reading that, that CA had banned freelancing to save the exploited workers from themselves. Though if they are Twitter employees, they aren’t freelancing, and, surprise, surprise, the author of that passage has no clue what the word actually means, and we shouldn’t expect better from a journalist and graduate of a teacher’s union run school.

  4. The bastards will then move to my state, and continue to wreck it, rather than fix their own.

    1. One would hope that the experience of working to construct a business for yourself and the experience of keeping records and having to plan ahead would make them reconsider their selections for their representatives, but based on my experience with my brother and his wife, that would be a vain hope. They are even more blindly, ferociously leftist, and seem particularly resentful of the fact that after they formed their business they were not issued the machine for their basement that prints money.

      1. Freelancing is not the same as what Dorsey described. What he described are simply displaced employees still working for the same employer. Freelancers have no employer and are therefore business owners. I do believe the over intrusive gov’t will invade people’s lives in any way it can and the results are always disastrous.

        I was a true business owner for more than 20 years in Florida with all the required state licenses, and office, insurance, etc. 14 years ago I basically shut the whole thing down, from a public view, and relocated to another state and continued to do my work. My work life is now “under the table” and it will remain there for the duration of my life. I see no benefit from including gov’t into any aspect of my life and go out of my way to keep it out even if it means a cut in pay. Being involved with the gov’t is very expensive to business owners, with no benefit at all that I have ever seen. I do architecture and engineering work.

        1. After WW2, it was the popular idea that the Germans and Japanese were somehow naturally inclined to obey authority and demand a regimented life with all that idea entails. Not just for the past fifteen years, but for at least the last fifty years, people ostensibly American have shown the same desires and inclinations. I was just thinking a few days ago that it’s been at least fifty years since I heard anyone say, “It’s a free country”. I think we can confidently say that given the opportunity every government employee at whatever level will do whatever he or she can to become a Gauleiter and every citizen wants to be a subject well-cared for.

  5. You heard it here first… NY will try to force at home workers out of state to pay NY income tax if ANY work they do pertains to NY.

    Bet on it.

    1. NYFS is already trying to tax the incomes of out-of-state volunteer health care workers.

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