Today, in response to Uber’s op-ed in the New York Times and policy paper outlining a future portable benefits system, R Street Institute President Eli Lehrer issued the following statement:

“Uber is taking a huge step in the right direction by proposing a portable benefits system. The proposal does a great job balancing flexibility and security. As the coronavirus raises economic questions about what business will look like during recovery, an expanded ‘gig’ economy that offers the possibility of high-quality jobs with flexible benefits could help restart Americans’ geographic mobility, reverse the decline in U.S. business formation, lure more individuals into the workforce and offer increasing opportunities to those who would benefit most from work.”

Four years ago, Lehrer wrote in National Affairs about The Future of Work and called for a system of benefits similar to the one Uber is proposing, including benefits funds, insurance coverage for job-related injuries and new laws that would protect independent workers from prejudice and harassment.