There is such a thing a scarcity. Americans have been so prosperous for so long that many intellectuals are trying to convince themselves that it does not exist.
A few days ago I noted that Obamacare, according to the CBO, is going to entice people to work less and keep their income low in order to keep getting government subsidies for their health insurance. I thought it was self-evident that this was a really bad thing.
But to liberals, Republicans are the party-poopers spoiling their dream. At politico.com, we get a typical delusional response: “Why Do Republicans Want Us To Work All The Time?”
This week, America’s political class has been consumed by an intense, vitriolic debate over a single number: 2.5 million.
That’s the amount by which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, President Obama’s signature health care law will effectively reduce the U.S. work force over the next decade.
The initial Republican reaction was predictable: Pundits filled the airwaves, Cassandra-like, to paint Obamacare as the ultimate job killer. Never mind that, reading the fine print, it’s clear the CBO was talking about workers voluntarily reducing their hours in response to the law—not getting laid off or seeing their shifts scaled back.
And anyway, isn’t that supposed to be a good thing?
The president’s critics, in high dudgeon, are fulminating about lay-abouts and scofflaws actually choosing to work less than what God intended, predicting a host of ills that will supposedly befall the nation, from moral turpitude to economic ruin.
So paying people money we don’t have so they don’t work is a good thing? Of course it will lead to economic ruin! Duh!
The government is going to borrow money (until no one will loan it any money anymore) in order to pay people money to help them live on the condition that they not strive to make more money. If that is a good idea, then why don’t we pay everyone in the United States not to work at all?
The only reason we have been able to live on a shorter work week is because people in the past worked like dogs and built up wealth so that we, their descendents, are able to prosper while working fewer hours. That didn’t happen by borrowing money and giving it away. It came about through productivity, savings, and investment.
Inducing people to not produce by bribing them with borrowed money is an unsustainable path. It has nothing to do with wanting people to work more or work harder. It has nothing to do with “moral turpitude.”
It is about our nation’s economic survival. Reality cannot be ignored forever.