I’ve certainly no objection to such individual security accounts. Sounds like a sensible way of dealing with the problem in fact. Except for one point. If you ask people whether they’d like sick pay they say yes. If you ask them whether they’d like to pay for sick pay, as opposed to be paid for it, they’re, at minimum, a lot less sure. If you ask them whether parental leave should be included in an employment contract most do say yes. Ask them to pay for it and support drops rather dramatically. And so it is for most of the components that make up the standard benefits package. Sure, there’s bits that employers have to give (paying their share of your Social Security pension for example) and there’s bits they’re tax privileged in providing (health insurance) and bits that some of them provide to produce a nice package (paid maternity leave for well paid staff). But economically all of these come directly from the cash wages of the employees. There’s always a choice here: pay more money or provide more in the benefits package. The employer is going to craft whatever mixture she thinks will best captivate those she wants to employ but all employers get this.
Read the full story at The Problem With Worker Protections And Benefits In The Gig Economy
Tim suggests that workers may choose to accept more cash up front instead of having an employer provide benefits. If, for example, a worker is offered the option of more cash today or having the employer pay into his social security account, many if not all workers may chose more cash in their pocket today. But having workers take more cash today does not necessarily mean that they will be prepared when they are older. There might be a return to the pre-New Deal area where elderly people were left to be cared for their families or to their own devices. Perhaps there is some middle ground where some but not all benefits are included in a security account.