Skip to comments.Fewer Americans Want To Work: An Obama Success?
Posted on 11/14/2010 5:33:01 AM PST by Kaslin
First, let me be clear about what Im not saying.
Im not announcing great news about the unemployment rate dropping, or job creation suddenly taking-off.
No, I meant what I said in the title. Fewer Americans want to work.
Its not that fewer Americans are searching for work. There are, to put it simply, less of us who want to work and to produce, and even among those of us who still want to work and produce, many of us are choosing to work fewer hours and to produce less.
And the reason for this is simple: because of the generous federal entitlements provided in the new Obamacare law.
According to none other than the Congressional Budget Office, many of us have decided we no longer will have to work as much as we once did, given all the assistance we can get via Obamacare.
This is not just political spin or partisan punditry. It comes directly from Douglas Elmendorf, the Director of the non-partisan C.B.O., a federal agency within the legislative branch of our government that employs people to analyze government policies, and consider their impact on the federal budget, and on the economy. The C.B.O. likely produces some of the most objective, fair, and non-politicized data that we receive from our government.
Speaking at a little-noted event at the University of Southern Californias Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, Mr. Elmendorf noted that, outside the healthcare sector of our economy, the greatest impact of the Obamacare agenda will be in the labor market. It was October 22nd, just days away from the big midterm election, and Elmendorfs presence at this conference, and his remarks at the conference, did not receive nearly the amount of press attention that they deserved.
Mr. Elmendorf stated that, in some cases, Americans will simply choose not to work, because their needs for healthcare will be provided by the enhanced Medicaid funding that is provided for in the Obamacare law. As Journalist Matt Cover noted at CNSNews.com (he was one of few journalists that actually reported on this event), this assessment of Obamacare by Mr. Elmendorf coincides with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosis remarks last May. Back then, Speaker Pelosi insisted that Obamacare would allow artists to quit their day job and pursue their art, free from the constraints of having to provide for ones self, because the government would now take care of artists healthcare needs.
That all sounded so good, right? It seemed like President Obama was making good on his agenda of, as he likes to say in his folksy fashion, gettin people some help
But notice the gravity of what Mr. Elmendorf is describing. Hes talking about Medicaid, a social care program from our federal government that is intended to offer short-term assistance to poor and lower income households. And the head of the C.B.O., the individual described as the top accountant to Congress, is making the observation that we have, as a result of Obamacare, given increasing numbers of Americans a reason not to work (or to not work as much), and to choose instead to avail themselves to a government welfare program.
In short, our federal government has incentivized (some) people to consume more than they produce. And this is a very destructive thing.
Unfortunately, this is also a common thing. When government tells people you dont have to provide for yourself, you can instead choose to subsist off of somebody elses effort, it is inevitable that some people will choose the latter. And when people make this type of choice, it does long term damage to themselves and their families and to the broader society as well.
So why couldnt the President of the United States and members of the U.S. Congress have anticipated this problem? There are at least a couple of different answers.
For one, naivety may have been the culprit. In the rigid and ideologically narrow worlds of liberal academia and politics (worlds in which Barack Obama has lived most all of his life), the lessons of history are usually ignored, and the possibility of government welfare programs failing isnt even considered.
It is also possible that less productivity in America may be a part of President Obamas actual agenda for change. If, for example, the President desires to not only elevate the poor in America, but also to lower the wealthy perhaps as a means of, as he often says, leveling the playing field and bringing the rich and the poor closer together then Obamacare would seem to fulfill his economic agenda. In this scenario, our nation as a whole becomes less prosperous (which in the minds of many would make for a more fair world), yet such a scheme purports to prevent people from failing too much, while preventing others from being too successful.
So is this an Obama success, or an unintended failure for the President? We may never know what is truly in the heart and mind of Barack Obama, but it is bad news for the nation he leads.
Right observation - wrong reason.
Who want to work when half the bounty of your labor is extorted and given to bums. There is a term for it when you are forced to give up much of what you produced. It is called “share cropping”.
If you let people keep the fruit of their labor, they will want to work. Who wants to work just to have half your labor stolen in the form of federal, state and local taxes amd user fees to be given to bums, welfare queens, illegal aliens, Wall Street bankers, NPR, green job subsidies, on and on?
I don’t want to work in this economic climate of socialism either. Workers are punished. I want turn getting a free ride on the gravy train. When is my turn?
No wonder the bums don’t want to work. They are getting all they need by extorting the hard-earned money from workers like us. Who needs to work when Uncle Sugar provides everything from cradle to grave?
>> and even among those of us who still want to work and produce, many of us are choosing to work fewer hours and to produce less
(and get paid more) the idea of UAW and other unions
I realized this a few decades ago. The amount of tax we were paying was insane. We moved to a lower tax state, which helped a little. But as time went by I found myself spending more time on my investments and less on my career. A tax driven decision, as I really dont enjoy the investing all that much.
Personally, I think we are too driven by consumption -- a lot of Americans want "stuff" and I don't think that leads to happiness. But, let me quickly say, that I would oppose any legal moves to force people to consume less, or consumer differently. People should live the lives they choose, not the lives which I would design for them. But I reiterate my own personal opinion that a more austere life, of lower consumption, might improve our character.
At the same time, our ability to produce goods with little labor is phenomenal. If you get rid of many useless jobs (advertising, lawyers, bureaucrats, etc.) you find that food, shelter and fuel are made available to the populace through the work of only a few.
We could, in fact, have a society in which everyone labors for 15 or 20 years, then retires to a life of leisure, though without a high standard of living. Given globalization, it's not clear to me that the high standard of living is an attainable goal anymore.
Maybe a return to village life, a Jeffersonian yeoman-farmer life, is actually possible. Spend your youth laboring away from home in an industrial setting, or on an oil rig, then return home and spend the rest of your days tending your garden, and raising kids.
[We may never know what is truly in the heart and mind of Barack Obama]
Oh, I think we will once he is out of office. His complete narcissism will not allow him to keep his mouth shut. I think the veil comes off of the carefully controlled and packaged, Obummer, once he is out of office.
Obama’s next book will probably be, “How I Screwed America and Enjoyed Every Minute of It,” and his next book “How to Bring a Super Power to it’s Knees.”
Obama’s next book will probably be, “How I Screwed America and Enjoyed Every Minute of It,” and his next book “How to Bring a Super Power to it’s Knees.”
It is a basic concept. If you let people keep the fruit of their labors, they have a strong incentive to work longer and harder and earn more wealth for their family.
The more of a man’s labor you extort from him, the less incentive he has to work, especially if on the other hand he has access to all manner of entitlements that provide for food and shelter precisely because he chooses not to work.
You get less of what you tax - tax labor more and you get less willing workers.
You get more of what you subsidize - subsidize laziness and sloth and you get more of it.
This is very straight forward and has been human nature since the dawn of time. The socialists know this and use it to make the highest number of people dependent on government.
What I have noticed is many people are no longer wanting “obscene” materialism, 60-70 hour work weeks, loss of family life and stress that entails.
People are downsizing, some out of necessity and some out of choice and they are finding they are much happier.
We will recover from these hard times and I think we will be a better nation from it.
My husband had a good job here in Arkansas, but the company’s refusal to hire more engineers (they were down to about 1/2 of what was needed) was putting huge stress on him. He was working pretty much every Saturday, plus 10+hour days and a lot of overnights. He received one COL raise in 3 years. For a while, he and I chalked it up to he was lucky to have a job in this economy and who were we to complain.
In 15 years of marriage, I hadn’t seen him this stressed out (and he was in the Navy for 9 years!). We were already living pretty frugally, having 3 kids in Catholic school, so it wasn’t a money thing, but a quality of life issue. His temper was short, he was missing a lot of things in the kids’ lives, and in short, the whole family was suffering.
After searching for a few months (he even put in for a transfer to a different plant w/in the same company), he finally found a job in Ohio where they work from 7-3:30 M-F. Same type of work and a little more pay, but way less stress and about 1/3-1/2 the difference in distance to our families.
Right now the stress comes from getting our house sold, and him living 1000 miles away until the kids and I move, but compared to what we had before, it’s not so bad.
I find myself in an odd situation. I have been unemployed for over six months so I signed on with a training program through the DOL which paid me an extra stipend for a six week period. But, because the paperwork was delayed and my employer wants me basically full time with a 30 mile one way commute, I am $300 in the hole so far at week five of six weeks.
That makes no sense especially waking the house up at 1:30 in the morning on the weekends.
I had to buy a new car this year. I couldn’t afford to keep repairing a 94 Ford Ranger for my 18 year old daughter and my 2000 Bravada. So I sold the Ranger, handed down the newer Bravada and bought a new car. Hopefully I can keep that 10 years too.
Anyways, I have been toying with the idea of getting a second part time job; something to at least cover the new car payment so I wouldn’t feel it. But I go back and forth in my mind, do I want to make more money to hand over to support the leeches (feed the monster), or do I just want to cut back (starve the monster). I’ve got to decide pretty soon. I’ve cut back on luxuries, but could cut back more. Or I could break down and get a second job. It sort of depends on what Congress decides to do about extending the temporary “tax cuts” Bush put in place. If they don’t I will truly become a slave.
I swear that one of the goals of the Marxist government we have right now is to eliminate ALL DISPOSABLE INCOME. Then the only place the population can turn to is them.
Last weeks job number and revisions were a lie. The seasonal adjustment scale was lowered to make the number improve by ~100k. Sad how the government continues to bandaid and deceive. There was no mention of this significant technicality anywhere in the jobs number release.
Wow. How were they able to get away with this?
Many years ago, so far back it was before cable and only PBS made documentaries, I saw a documentary that followed a family of four who were on welfare. These were white people rather than minorities and the expectation when the documentary began was that it would show how welfare helped these people go from poverty to success. Instead, and to the surprise of the producers, that family was perfectly content to live at what ever level being on the dole would allow them. For some, it is their nature. For others, it can become addictive, especially if the taxes on wages narrows the gap between work and welfare.
I have noticed this too. Healthy adult men who aren’t addicted to drugs or alcohol are long-term unemployed or get by on odd-jobs and they want to live that way. And they can because they get government assistance. Work for six months then lay off for six months or a year, live with parents, live off under-the-table odd jobs plus the wife’s salary. It has become culturally acceptable for an adult man to be a bum. Another gift of the Sixties culture.
You ain’t just a whistlin Dixie the federal govt wants EVERYTHING dependent on them, I did an analysis of the Fostering Connections Act, an act dealing with supporting abused and neglected kids. It is part of the Social Security Act. Commentary actually recommended the States cut back or eliminate their programs for the support of these children so that Uncle Sugar could completely take over, through the States’ social services agencies of course!
The socialists aren’t pussyfooting around, it’s just that you have to be in the right place to read it.
Perhaps we at the ranch are just very lucky people, but we haven’t had the need much in our lives for “Healthcare”. We need things daily such as a roof over our heads, and food on the table with healthcare as needed.
I have observed over time that the Left has targeted our food sources for control as well as “Healthcare”. Sometimes I think the “Healthcare” is a diversion as they shut down the water in the San Joaquin Valley where California was once the bread basket to the Nation, and for that matter to the World. I’ve read about the BIG Ag. Corporations dominating farming by controlling the seed production etc., and there’s been more reported on the matter as well. I just can’t think of it all off the top of my head at the moment, but the message is that a Nation that cannot feed its own perishes.
I’d say we need to watch what the other Left hand known as sleight of hand is doing more than we currently are.
That just gave me the shivers. Just this last week on a local radio station was a report that the rate of removing kids from their homes for “abuse and/or neglect” was up 40%!!
How could that be???? I don’t know for sure, but I think the judge making these decisions hadn’t changed from one year to the next.
And you neglected to post a backup for your claim, why?
That does not surprise me at all. The whole administration is nothing but a scam
I call it going Galt, myself.
I’ve been out of work for a year now. BUT I work full time now on our farm doing the building of new barns, tending the livestock, etc.
So although I am not bringing in extra dollars now, neither are we paying for auto upkeep and gas for the 110 mile round trip I was making each day.
I find myself losing weight and feeling much better because I get to do manual labor each day instead of sitting behind a desk and being tied to the e-mail system and pushing paper.
And like others have said before me. When 50% plus, of our wages is TAKEN away via taxes, fees or what not. Then it gets difficult after awhile to keep justifying to yourself that you are getting ahead when in reality you are just barely staying even or falling behind slowly.
“Right observation - wrong reason.”
You are just describing the opposite side of the scale. On the low end, government transfer programs reward non work. On the high end, goverment policies (taxes and regulations) reward non work especially beyond the cutoff point. We face an economic catastrophe because government policies encourage non productive activity at both ends of the scale.
You said a mouthful. A few days ago, Rush started mocking some of his weakling, effeminate callers “castrati.” And it gave me a name for so many young men I see these days, without ambition except to avoid working for the “Man.” The culture has done quite a piece of work on these Millenials. They don’t walk into the job of the dreams after they get their worthless degree, so they don’t hustle, become sponges on their parents, their friends, and the government.
Amen, and amen. I am too often in the grocery line with some welfare queen whose nails are done (mine aren’t), whose hair is sculpted (I cut my own), and who pays with food stamps (I pay with cash). Forgive me if I work a lot less and enjoy life more. I will gladly make my own shampoo, raise my own beef, and bake my own bread because what I do not spend I do not have to earn and pay taxes on.
It was Henry Blodget on businessinsider.com, on the 13th. I did post the link on a different forum entry, but not on this thread. My apologies. Henry supports his accusation in the article.
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