Todd — I appreciate your response. I definitely see your point.
However, as it pertains to Uber/Lyft, I disagree that the contracted employee system is strictly in place to benefit corporations/CEOs, as I think it also provides tons of value to the various contracted employees, who I don’t equate 1:1 with the middle class. I don’t think of Uber as saving (or hurting) the middle class, but instead with providing tons of job opportunity for students, immigrants, part-time workers, and retirees. If Uber were to offer full benefits, for example, they’d have to cut their # of drivers substantially, reducing competition in key areas and worsening the product. Furthermore, they’d have to institute increased minimum hours for their drivers, as they wouldn’t want to provide benefits unless they knew you were going to drive enough for it to be worth the expense. By contracting their employees, the employees get maximum flexibility & Uber (and its customers) enjoy a superior product.
In general, I don’t think New Deal era policies make complete sense when considering certain modern companies like Uber/Lyft. Not every business model is designed to have a sustained, full-time workforce, and not every job is meant to provide the benefits we think of when we consider New Deal policies / classic middle class jobs (such as 401ks, health insurance, etc). I’m not saying the middle class doesn’t deserve those benefits, just that we can’t broadly impose them on every type of business.