Appreciate these thoughts. Responding thanks to the thoughtful response on my own article. I agree that these companies transfer way too many costs to drivers. But one must realize that Uber, Lyft, and smaller competitors are locked in a downward spiral which inevitably hurts drivers. In the Internet Age, size is king and monopolies are once again possible. So in each market (consisting largely of big cities), Uber and its competitors attempt to drive down prices in order to build a customer base. This is natural, in capitalism, but of course it hurts drivers.
AB5 asks these companies to stop doing this and start being "normal" -- don't hire gig workers, just make them full time.
This is absurd, given the context we face today. Gig work is becoming common. I myself generally prefer it, unless I have a job I love. Yet nothing in AB5 recognizes the preferences of many drivers for a more flexible commitment.
I understand that Prop 22 will probably roll back the ability of drivers to accept or reject rides. That was your big point, right? But what's the point of being able to accept or reject rides when you're choosing between (for example) $10 and $12 per hour? The fact is that the rideshare business, like the taxi business, is set up to screw drivers. Travis Kalanick gets millions while drivers get nothing. Yet Prop 22 requires gas reimbursement, healthcare reimbursement, plus the minimum wage. That's about as good as you'll get anywhere in California, with the added bonus that you set your own hours.