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Archive for February 7th, 2014

Good afternoon Widdershin friends.  I hope this is a not just a good Friday, but a great Friday for you.

I dunno, DIY rhinoplasty seemed like a good idea...

I dunno, DIY rhinoplasty seemed like a good idea…

Sometimes the most difficult part of writing one of these posts is how to start it.  This is one of those posts.  It’s difficult because today’s subject combines  purposeful misrepresentation with political motive, but they are so entwined as to ultimately do harm to those actually promoting the misrepresentation.  In other words, it is something like describing the therapeutic benefits of Pinocchio performing do-it-yourself rhinoplasty.  Go figure — the subject does lend itself to a certain irony worthy of a post.

As most of you probably have read, the Congressional Budget Office has released an updated set of estimates for the economy.  On page 39 of the CBO report there was an update on the effects of the Affordable Care Act on the labor force.  Granted, the report talks in the elementary concepts of supply and demand within the labor force, but anyone who has successfully applied Oxy-10 for zits should be able to understand the concepts.

The report estimates Obamacare will reduce the supply of labor by about 2.3 million workers, an increase from the CBO’s prior estimate of 800,000 workers.  This reduction in the supply of labor will be from people voluntarily, I emphasize voluntarily, leaving jobs since they are no longer tethered to their jobs for the purposes of insurance — meaning people finally have a choice.

This report doesn’t say employers are reducing their demand for labor.  Just the converse is true — with these 2.3 million workers leaving their jobs, there will be an increase in the demand for replacement workers.  That is good news.

Not good news to the Republicans who ran over each other to get to microphones or Twitter accounts.  Just like Punxsutawney Phil — Mitch McTurtle emerged from his shell to proclaim, “Obamacare means the loss of 2.0 Million jobs.”  John Boehner and Eric Cantor joined the chorus along with the Heritage Foundation, Limbaugh, Hannity, the Faux News crew, and just about any Tea Party House member evolved to the point of enjoying both opposable thumbs and a Twitter account.

The headline writers of newspapers and online services took the bait, but of course they took the bait in order to promote a fake controversy.  These headline writers ignored other noteworthy facts such as the premiums under Obamacare are a full 15% lower than initially estimated.  There’s also an informed belief the “risk corridors” created under the ACA to protect against adverse actuarial impact will actually result not in increased spending, but with the insurance companies actually paying the federal government around $8.0 Billion.  You didn’t see those headlines because those headlines weren’t written.

The good news of employees no longer having to stay in jobs for insurance coverage has huge policy implications.  It will not only open employment opportunities for replacement workers, it opens new horizons for those who previously couldn’t cut insurance umbilical cords.  It will free workers to pursue other interests — start a new career, start a new business, or even spend more time with their families — all good and admirable societal goals.  Goals heretofore espoused by the very same people who are now critical.

Hate my job...A good news fact you don’t readily hear discussed is that when people are in jobs they love and utilizing their talents, they are more productive and most importantly, happier.  A societal goal so cheeky as to have been embodied in the Constitution by the words, “Pursuit of happiness.”

While I won’t cast aspersions on the strategic thinking of those crafting the Republican message on this issue, I’ll only say their family reunions are undoubtedly held in the lush jungle canopies of Borneo.  Given the real significance of the CBO report and its subsequent misrepresentation, the Republican Party is really peddling this slogan:

Work years longer in a job you hate

for an hourly wage we have no intention of raising.

Now that’s a slogan.

This is an open thread.


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