No headlines say this. A few lines in some of the financial papers hint at it, explaining why every rideshare and gig delivery company just took a massive stock hit. Frankly, when it comes to hard news, it’s tough to go wrong with the financials.
On Wednesday the 5th, President Biden’s Department of Labor issued a reversal for the Trump-era “final rule” that defined most gig workers as non-employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In an interview, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh explained that this was designed to make gig workers eligible for the benefits everyone else gets. In reality, what it’ll do is force the contracting companies to limit worker hours, particularly during slow periods, so they aren’t suddenly required to pay overtime for someone who’s just sitting around doing nothing. For customers, it’s going to be just that much harder to get a ride at odd hours or to get food delivered.
(The following is one of our occasional ventures into short fiction. We hope you enjoy it.)
The killer backed out of the room into the empty hallway and knelt at the keyhole; peering inside, he examined the end of the old-fashioned key. From the pocket of his windbreaker he took a small pair of what looked like bent needlenose pliers padded with thin strips of cloth. These he inserted. Gripping the key, he turned until he heard the lock click. The pliers went back into the pocket, and were replaced by a flash and small magnifier.
He peered through the lens, tsking at a couple of small scratches he’d left with the tool. From a different pocket he removed a bottle labeled (but not containing) Wite-Out. Using the brush, he carefully and methodically applied a thin coat of translucent lacquer onto the end of the key, dulling the scratches. It would dry long before the body was ever discovered.
Besides, by then they’d be looking for a vampire, not him, he thought, and chuckled to himself.
Your elderly parents trust Tucker Carlson and refuse to wear a mask no matter how much you beg them. Uncle Gene is getting secret messages from Q about the Conspiracy and is convinced that Trump won the election and that mass arrests of Congress are coming soon. Your college friends have moved to Portland to join the Resistance, and your ex just dropped out of Harvard Law to become a cop. Meanwhile, the president you worked hard to help elect has backtracked on his campaign promises so far that not only is he not legalizing marijuana and mass-pardoning prisoners, instead he’s banning menthol cigarettes.