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The Great Liberator

Monday February 24th, 2014   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 12:44pm PST   •  


Obamacare, so says the Congressional Budget Office, will lead some 2.5 million workers to drop out of the labor force. But the White House sees the silver lining:

“Over the longer run, CBO finds that because of this law [Obamacare], individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods like retiring on time rather than working into their elderly years or choosing to spend more time with their families. At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job to provide coverage for their families, and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Source: White House Press Secretary, February 4, 2014;

I think the White House is on to something: Work is work, that’s why it’s called “work” not “fun;” Not having a job provides leisure and leisure is good. Retiring before you can privately save enough money liberates people to pursue their dreams and increases quality family time. Working to get benefits such as wages and health insurance is so, well, yesterday. Wow! Consider the following political spins that are likely to come from the White House in the future:

1. Obamacare has forced millions of Americans into part-time employment as employers avoid hiring full-time employees that require providing health care benefits. The spin: These part-timers with spare time on their hands are now free to pursue their dreams and spend quality time with their families. Score one more for the White House. Sadly, some of these part-timers are taking two jobs to make ends meet. These two-timing part-timers are failing to spend socially desirable time with their families and to dream sufficiently. But rest assured, the White House can be expected to address this regulatory deficiency with new regulations preventing this socially undesirable lack of dreaming and family time.

2. Raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour will reduce employment by approximately 500,000. The spin: Nearly a half million Americans will be liberated from the drudgery of employment. But $10 per hour will only free 500,000 Americans. Raising the minimum wage to $20 or $30 per hour should cause much more dreaming and family time.

3. The U.S. labor force participation rate is at a thirty-year low. The spin: millions of Americans are no longer trapped in a job. The extra dreaming and quality family time vastly improves family life across the nation.

I see a Nobel Prize in economics in President Obama’s future.

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February 2014