We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Call them self-employed, or gig workers, or outside contractors if you want. People who get no paychecks or job benefits.
For people who value independence and being their own boss, the price paid in uncertainty, lack of external structure, and anxiety, is worth it. There is nothing new about this. If you are a plumber with a truck you are a gig worker. So is a guy with a barbershop.
Historically, in America, being a "hired man" was not what one aspired to but rather what one did to accumulate your stake. With the industrial revolution, more and more people surrendered the freedom of lordship over their fate to re-enter a semi villein state of working another man's "land" for a set fee and as time went on provision of "benefits". Of course, those benefits only lasted as long as you stayed on the "land" and followed the "trade" determined for you.
(1388) The Statute of Richard II restricts laborers to their hundred and makes it compulsory for them to follow the same trade as their father after the age of twelve. The wages of both industrial and agricultural laborers are again fixed — shepherds, ten shillings a year; ploughmen, seven; women laborers, six shillings, and so on. Servants are permitted to carry bows and arrows, but not swords, and they may not play tennis or foot-ball. And here is the historical origin of the important custom of exacting recommendations: servants leaving employment are required to carry a testimonial, and none are to receive servants without such letter — the original of the blacklist.
Self-employed is a good deal if you have saleable skills and the self discipline to be on time with the product you contract for. Also, play fair with the tax man, license man etc. You'll be tempted to cheat. Don't. Cheating can ruin a bunch of good gigs and/or retirement. Sign me been there, done that.
It's basically being an entrepreneur without employees, and I'll be darned if I can see what's wrong with it. People seem to hate the idea because they're afraid the entrepreneur won't make appropriate choices to save for retirement and emergencies, which is a problem, certainly, but hardly one we can fix by treating people like zoo animals.