Hickenlooper in CNN Commentary: Rethinking Employment

The Story:

On Wednesday, CNN’s Opinion webpage posted a commentary by Presidential candidate John Hickenlooper, a former Governor of Colorado, about what jobs policies will look like during his term in the White House.

The Ideas:

Hickenlooper expressed a number of ideas. Some of them are common within the Democratic primary field. For example, he endorsed an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and he said that “we absolutely must achieve universal medical coverage, so that people can change jobs, change careers, or start new businesses” without worrying about the consequences of such a move on their health coverage.

Much of the commentary, though, works on a more conceptual even philosophical level. Hickenlooper is concerned about the “gig” economy, about the vast numbers of people who make their living outside of traditional concepts of employment or a corporate structure. He is concerned that the “traditional definition of a job is shifting” in ways that will make much Washington-based policy obsolete.

The Thing to Know:

Hickenlooper’s commentary includes a reaffirmation of the (capitalist) notion that it is the private sector that drives jobs growth. He believes that federal policy should work within and through the private sector “to channel the energy and innovation of employers.”

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