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Job Destruction

March 13, 2014

Let’s review.  Barack Obama says he wants American labor to improve, so he encourages ideas to foster this.  That’s the job of the president, right?  Some are prerogatives unto themselves and some are part of other policy changes of his administration.  The major points against Obama regarding American jobs are:

1.  As part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare (which I have criticized before), for purposes of American employers, the federal government now considers full-time work at less than 40 hours.  I am pretty sure it is 35 hours equals full time at this point.  The positive here is it makes more workers admissible for health care benefits with fewer hours spent at work- ostensibly a good thing.  The obvious reality, however, is this only means employers are more inclined to hire people for fewer hours a week to avoid the requirement for health benefits to those employees- even if that means underemploying a higher number of people.  In effect, this aspect of the ACA promises to curtail sufficient working hours for millions.  Talking to any respectable economist would have given Obama’s administration enough an indication of this.  But it’s alright, it frees people to do other things… like peruse the classified ads to find another job to make up the difference they just lost so they can continue paying rent…

2.  Obama is in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour.  Granted, he hasn’t proposed anything to actually do this.  But encouraging it is as irresponsible as lowering full-time hours.  Beside the fact this would do nothing to solve the dilemma of the working poor and impoverished- low wages are not the problem, inordinately high living expenses are, and they always go up with the wages and beyond- this type of increase has only one sure result: it is going to lead to people being fired in order to make the budget work for a workplace.  Fewer people are going to be expected to do the same amount of work.  In a word, this is idiotic.  I am thankful this has not been enacted in any real means.

3.  I heard on the news this morning Obama’s next genius idea is to expand the applicability of overtime pay.  Again, this is positive on the surface and in affect if done properly.  All it is sure to do, however, is diminish the possible hours of employment of most employers.  It is another way to reduce the income of a household under the guise of an act in the workers’ best interest.

This leads to very few conclusions.  It’s really an either/or kind of thing.

Obama is oblivious or indifferent to the real-world ramifications of his ideas, or those he likes, as implemented by the federal government.  It doesn’t matter if his intent is malicious, apathetic, or munificent.  The affect is the working class suffers when, conveniently, the monied class (including most of Congress and the executive branch leadership) does not.  If this is the case, the ineptitude of his administration and himself in an official capacity are dangerously short-sighted or negligent.  Even if these ideas could work well, they don’t as administered by his government and this should have bearing in what he says and encourages as the chief executive.  None of the changes listed above would do well for the majority of small employers, and I doubt they would be welcome by bigger ones.

Or, Obama and his supporters in these things intend the long-term consequences of such things when proposed or encouraged.  The reality of this is much less defensible and more frightening.  (It is in accordance with previous acts of the federal government, though, such as  free trade agreements and corporate bailouts being passed in contravention of the electorate’s will, just like Obamacare was.)  Detrimental intent on the part of Congress and the executive branch leads to the natural question of why any such results would be desired by those in power.

For all of those too easily averted from this possibility by the fear of the latter possibility, feel free to say “conspiracy nut” at any point.  But use your own logic on the point I raise here first.  If you can develop a real rebuttal to how the federal government is not either inept or malicious in its actions regarding job definition in the United States over the last several years, by all means, do it.  I would love to be wrong about this.


From → politics

  1. Nice piece! I liked all but the first line. The president, and our government, should not be involved in private sector employment. The fact that they are is exactly why we’re in the mess we’re in.

    • I agree completely. I also find it a coincidental state: in the U. S., the companies own the government through Congress, whereas in Russia, the government owns industry. It’s essentially the same system in reverse. No wonder they’re acting so much like us.

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