As a diehard Mets fan, I can tell you with far too much pain and aggravation how long it's been since 1986. In the thirty-one years since the Mets have failed to win another World Series, Congress has also chosen not to meaningfully update the tax code. So while tax reform still may not be quite as rare as a championship in Flushing, whether you like or hate the current GOP proposal, modernizing the tax code is an opportunity that doesn't come around very often.
The world has changed a bit since the heyday of Mookie Wilson and Keith Hernandez. We didn't have iPhones back then. No Netflix. No Google. No Facebook. No Amazon. No internet at all in fact. And certainly no sharing economy.
Whether it's Handy, Uber, Lyft or any of the hundreds of startups connecting people who need a service with people who can provide a service, 45 million Americans (one in five adults) have now worked in the sharing economy (that number is projected to grow by another 20 percent over the next three years alone).
The sharing economy has radically changed both the way we work and the way our economy functions. And everyone who works in the sharing economy has to deal with an outdated tax code that never even imagined the existence of this type of work or this type of approach in the first place. That needs to change.
That's why lawmakers need to ensure that the tax reform bill includes the New Gig Act proposed by Senator John Thune and Congressman Tim Rice. This addition would make it clear that sharing economy workers are independent contractors who are free to come and go as they please, accept or turn down work as they please, and work for as many platforms as they want. Tens of millions of people have chosen to work in the sharing economy mainly because of its tremendous flexibility. That appeal is what drives these platforms. It needs to be codified in law and the New Gig Act finally does that.