Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on February 8, 2014 by Allahpundit

The CBO projects that [ObamaCare] will reduce the supply of labor, not the availability of jobs. There’s a big difference. In fact, it suggests that aggregate demand for labor (that is, the number of jobs) will increase, not decrease; but that many workers or would-be workers will be prompted by the ACA to leave the labor force, many of them voluntarily.

As economist Dean Baker points out, this is, in fact, a beneficial effect of the law, and a sign that it will achieve an important goal. It helps “older workers with serious health conditions who are working now because this is the only way to get health insurance. And (one for the family-values crowd) many young mothers who return to work earlier than they would like because they need health insurance. This is a huge plus.”

***

Oh my God, say opponents of the ACA, here is the government encouraging sloth! That’s true only if you wish to take away the choices the law gives that 64-year-old or to those parents looking for more time to care for their children. Many on the right love family values until they are taken seriously enough to involve giving parents/workers more control over their lives.

And it’s sometimes an economic benefit when some share of the labor force reduces hours or stops working altogether. At a time of elevated unemployment, others will take their place. The CBO was careful to underscore — the CBO is always careful — that “if some people seek to work less, other applicants will be readily available to fill those positions and the overall effect on employment will be muted.”

***

What the truth might be, and what few politicians would dare say, is there might simply be some value in lower economic growth

Initially, says one expert, there will be benefits in the fact that there is plenty of slack in the labor market. The combination of many unemployed Americans and many people finding jobs just to get insurance means that if a few people cut back their hours, there will be more hours for the people who want them. In and of itself, that theoretically means people will be much happier, says Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center at the University of California-Berkeley, though that effect would dissipate as the job market improves.

“GDP growth isn’t a good in and of itself,” he says. “The question here is what’s going to create the most happiness for the greatest numbers of people. Being in a situation where people have to work full time or 40 hours a week at a job that may not be the best match for them because that is the only way to get health insurance is not the way you create the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.”

***

Already, based on the work of Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg, there is evidence that much of the recent drop in the labor participation rate down to 1970s-levels is being driven by the availability — and the potential abuse — of welfare programs that disincentivize work

I can’t say I blame some people for making this choice. And many are, given the parabolic growth we’ve seen in the number of people collecting disability and food stamp benefits over the last few years.

According to a presentation by Gary Alexander, Pennsylvania’s secretary of public welfare, a single mom is better off earning a gross income of $29,000 and applying for welfare benefits (including children’s health insurance, child care and housing subsidies) that would give her a total of $57,327. If she worked hard and earned a gross income of $69,000, her after-tax take home pay will be just $57,045.

Why then, would she take that extra shift at work or apply for a promotion? Especially since these numbers don’t account for the additional health care subsidies available under ObamaCare.

***

Here is how I would frame the issue: There are specific classes of people who plainly benefit, in fairly uncomplicated ways, from benefits that provide an incentive to work less, or leave a job outright. The obvious examples are the ones that liberals keep invoking: Parents of young children (for whom the family-friendly tax overhaul that conservative reformers like to tout would presumably have a similar effect), and people with a disability or chronic medical condition that makes work a simple misery.

But there also lots of people who emphatically do not benefit from being given an incentive to either detach from the workforce or (if they’re already unemployed or underemployed) remain detached rather than taking a lower-paying job. And given the current economic landscape, especially — in which persistently high unemployment coexists with a growing population of workers too discouraged to even look for work — the size and scope of a work-discouraging effect matters a great deal: The bigger the effect, the more likely that the people dropping out aren’t just, say, parents cutting hours to spend more time at home while the other spouse works full time, but people we should want to be attached to the workforce, for their own long-term good and the good of the economy as well.

Which is why it’s appropriate that the new C.B.O. projection of 2 million to 2.5 million job-equivalents disappearing has inspired more disquiet and debate than the old projection of 500,000-900,000 … because it’s a sign, however provisional, that the costs of Obamacare’s workforce effects might exceed the benefits. I don’t see liberals reckoning seriously with that possibility, and I think they really should.

***

In 2024, spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Obamacare health insurance exchange subsidies will absorb two-thirds of the $4.9 trillion in revenue the CBO expects the federal government to collect. Add in the rest of mandatory spending and interest payments on the debt, and 96 percent of tax revenues will already be spoken for before Congress allocates money to pay for defense, veteran’s benefits, education, transportation, the court system, international affairs and other budget items…

In short, the CBO is portraying a future in which a smaller proportion of workers in a relatively weaker economy will be expected to subsidize an increasing number of government beneficiaries. And Obamacare is making matters even worse.

With one hand, according to the CBO, Obamacare will spend $2 trillion over the next decade on expanding Medicaid and subsidizing individuals to purchase health insurance. With the other hand, its subsidies will discourage the economic equivalent of 2.5 million individuals from working.

***

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says the CBO report vindicates Obamacare, because “this was one of the goals: to give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked, but to follow their passion.” Pelosi is particularly invested in this view. She’s been mocked for years now for her repeated claims that Obamacare is an entrepreneurial bill because it would let Americans quit their jobs to, among other things, “write poetry.”…

[A]ccording to the CBO, not every lost hour of work is the amateur poet’s gain. Yes, Obamacare lets people keep their health insurance even if they quit their jobs to master iambic pentameter. But the law also raises the implicit marginal tax on people looking for work; the more you earn, the fewer subsides you get. Thus, for many people, the costs of taking on more or better work will exceed the gains. So at least some people won’t feel liberated so much as trapped

Hopefully voters will look for ways to liberate these Democrats from the curse of job-lock come November.

***

The larger betrayal, Mr. Mulligan argues, is that the same economists now praising the great shrinking workforce used to claim that ObamaCare would expand the labor market.

He points to a 2011 letter organized by Harvard’s David Cutler and the University of Chicago’s Harold Pollack, signed by dozens of left-leaning economists including Nobel laureates, stating “our strong conclusion” that ObamaCare will strengthen the economy and create 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually. (Mr. Cutler has since qualified and walked back some of his claims.)

“Why didn’t they say, no, we didn’t mean the labor market’s going to get bigger. We mean it’s going to get smaller in a good way,” Mr. Mulligan wonders. “I’m unhappy with that, to be honest, as an American, as an economist. Those kind of conclusions are tarnishing the field of economics, which is a great, maybe the greatest, field. They’re sure not making it look good by doing stuff like that.”

***

Every man and woman sitting idle because there is no work to be had — or because idleness literally pays better — is a potential poultry farmer gathering no eggs, somebody who could be growing roses or baking bread or proofreading romance novels. Say’s Law — that we produce in order to consume — is not a mere economic abstraction, and scarcity is not the product of economists’ imagination. They are features of the real world — they are physical facts. Every barrier that politicians put in the way of dealing with scarcity through free exchange and the division of labor — every tax, rule, and regulation — not only separates a worker from a paycheck but, more important, separates a worker from work, from the process of production and experimentation that enables us to, among other things, eat, and live in houses, and read J. K. Rowling books to our children.

Pope Francis is right to worry about the economics of “exclusion,” but he is wrong — and destructively wrong — about the instruments of that exclusion. The diversity of human interests, human desires, and human abilities is in effect infinite, and so too, therefore, are the uses of labor and opportunities for employment. Surely there are many paths to a “right livelihood” waiting to be discovered. And yet there sits official Washington, along with its supramarginal gyrus in the media, trying to figure out how to “create jobs” like an ape doing one of those monochromatic jigsaw puzzles with half the pieces missing, desperately working at “manipulating the world in order to get what we want from it,” forcing together pieces that do not fit.

And that is the perverse price of politics: that there are so few jobs to be had when there is so much work to be done.

***

Work is a virtue that should be reflexively encouraged. It is the means by which standards of living are grown, human potential is reached, individual lives are focused, positive and negative instincts are channeled, resources are utilized most efficiently, and, above all, by which dignity remains intact. It is the best antidote to personal and national ossification and sclerosis, and the primary means by which our present material comfort was achieved. It is the driving force behind improvement, both real and imagined, in the nation’s mainstream culture. Whatever the ideal role of government in contriving work or wages for those who are without them, we should all presumably be able to agree that if we are going to have an intrusive state, it should be doing precisely the opposite of encouraging people to limit their involvement in work.. (Prudence dictates that I couch this asseveration with a disclaimer: No, I do not consider it the role of government to force people to work against their will, nor to support them if they choose not to. But that is a decidedly different question from whether it should do more to enable them not to work.)…

Progressives who are scratching their heads and asking themselves why conservatives who are “pro-business” and who have long wished to decouple health insurance and employment aren’t thrilled at recent developments might do well to heed their own advice. “George W. Bush,” Barry Switzer one quipped, “was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.” The implication of the joke: How you get somewhere matters. They are right, and so, herewith let it be resolved: Being forced to buy products is not the same thing as choosing to; leaving work because Uncle Sam is helping you out on the side is not the same thing as electing to leave without assistance; and winning the fruits of success without the hard work that has traditionally served as a prerequisite is no victory at all. We deserve government that recognizes these truths. Will we get it? Time will tell.

***

DOMENECH: I think the real question Chris for you is, how many jobs are too many jobs? How few jobs are too few jobs. Its one of these situations where I think, in terms of the evaluation that the American people are going to make for themselves, my own perspective is, I’d rather have that family working more hours, because it’s going to increase their income over the course of time. It’s going to lead to better outcomes for their family. The perspective on the other side is, well, they’re working fewer hours, but they’re going to have health insurance, they’re going to have Obamacare there for them. And I think that that’s a question of what kind of economy do you want? Do you want one where people are working more hours for themselves and their families? Or do you want one where some people are going to be working more hours to pay for the subsidies, and some people are going to be working fewer hours but they’ll have health care?

***

***


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Comment pages: 1 11 12 13

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM

LOL! Wish I could! Due to health issues, I can only safely have a nip or 2 during the early evening hrs… ):

** clink **

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I flipped the 13th page?

Really?

Uh oh…

Hummna hummna hummna

That should chase away any bad omens!

Now, I really must dash!

———————————————————->

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 1:49 PM

And Bishop.

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Bogus.

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

BG has been especially obnoxious lately. Must be something in the water…

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2014 at 1:53 PM

I have been scolded by the guppy as much as any for my OT posts
on QotD…
I pay her no mind…
if you didn’t catch it wonderfully put see Axes post here
Axe on February 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM
I am not a writer…and ill never write as well or lyrically as Axe..
but he brings up many great points (as he often does)..
by midnight screaming ‘I hate amnesty’ isn’t news…
when Cano and RWM were posting on all eight cylinders QofD was better than any American news source ..take the boston bomber news
that broke all night…wasn’t the QotD topic…
nor was Benghazi the night it happened…or the Arab Spring..
yet QotD had dozens of news bits from all over the world before
those fools in the LSM woke up…
we also share ideas…thoughts…knowledge…experiences..
for my part…I am proud to post here to share what ive seen what I know…but more for the information I gain from you all…
yes I worked at JPL/NASA and I dream of space often…
but cozmo dreams of it daily…its minds like his that spawn the
big ideas that drive this country..
and Ms Js logically well written gifted posts…
the tunes Ive never heard or just haven’t in a long while.. good stuffs
(yes we even need Sparky …for comic relief)
yes ive drawn a few bits for fighter jets…but I learn a ton
from the men/women here who have served with honor…and flown those jets..
what they know ..I don’t…what they have seen I never will…
its one thing to tell you all about the new APKWS 2.27 RPG..
its a whole different view from those that fired one in anger…
we are learning things at a much faster rate than others.. because of QotD..
and by time morning joe reads his first prompter…we know hes lying…
yes each of us could spend 24 hours a day in constant search for
the truth alone.. but QotD has many bright minds…
with many outlooks and sources…so its better…faster…
we learn…together….
when someone speaks of things ive never seen or heard…I listen..
I do not scream at them for being off topic like a guppy I know..
guess that’s enough ranting…

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

oh and I better not forget the Scrumpy poems…
like ive said I don’t write…she does
and our lives are better for her posts..
the return of FD…and LMUSA…both great wise posters
no matter what the topic…
heck ive learned more about shingles and cats in the
last week than ive ever known…
the ‘my take’ posts each morning from KJ…
im sure ive left some off…not by intent..
HA is a treasure of wonderful people with vast knowledge..
relax…breath…and enjoy..

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Who told you you couldn’t write??? Tell me where they live…

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

laffs..I can hardly spell…that’s why I draw for a living..
a picture is worth a thousand words you know…winks
im happy to leave the serious writing to axe and jack and you..

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

MY spelling is so bad, even spellcheck has given up on me. Though I have been told that my spelling gets better the more I drink…(reported to me on late nite QOTD–so take that for what it’s worth *wink)

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

jebus I left off mr Schad…
short..blunt…concise…logical..
even kind when you get under the gruff..
yet another HA treasure to be sure

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:29 PM

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

laffs I know what you mean…
spellcheck sent me a note last week..
they want their program back…over usage..
mine does not get better with drinking…
sad to say…and im part irish..so it should…dab gum it

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:29 PM

A nicer stream of consciousness I’ve not seen on QOTD. Well done.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

LMUSA
I haven’t done the count on it
but wouldn’t you think QotD has a third the posts HA gets daily??

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

ty..but I must admit I clip’d much of it from what Axe said..

when a honored solider comes to HA to share what he knows..
im smart enough to shut up and listen..
I don’t care if its tidly winks he wants to talk about
nor am I concerned what the darn TotD is…
they deserve our respect I believe.

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

ty..but I must admit I clip’d much of it from what Axe said..

when a honored solider comes to HA to share what he knows..
im smart enough to shut up and listen..
I don’t care if its tidly winks he wants to talk about
nor am I concerned what the darn TotD is…
they deserve our respect I believe.

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Well I am sorry I missed Axe’s original then, but your additions seem quite apropos.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Axe on February 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

QotD on the night of the 7th….

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 3:09 PM

6. Not including any thumbs, how many fingers am I holding up?

Axe on February 9, 2014 at 1:23 AM

5

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 3:16 PM

but your additions seem quite apropos.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 3:06 PM

g2g left out a real good one because modesty is so cool…his own contributions.

You’re both treasures.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 3:16 PM

goodafternoon mr Schad….
hope you didn’t mind me letting out the secret
of your kindness behind the gruffness..(see post above)
your slip is showing…..a tad…

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Damn, I feel a group hug coming on…

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

smiles…glad im not the only one that had
to clear the ‘smoke in my eyes’…
perhaps I should draw more and type less..

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 3:38 PM

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

msupertas on February 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Damn, I feel a group hug coming on…

lovingmyUSA on February 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Aww… :)

As a big Kinks’ fan myself, I was going to post this one to you last night, but I got too tired and decided not to. FTR, it’s from my favorite Kinks’ album (which also contains “Death of a Clown), and I used to play it for my (very cute) ex-wife, who’s also a big Kinks’ fan!

Anti-Control on February 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Java class:

A Topic object encapsulates a provider-specific topic name. It is the way a client specifies the identity of a topic to JMS API methods. For those methods that use a Destination as a parameter, a Topic object may used as an argument . For example, a Topic can be used to create a MessageConsumer and a MessageProducer by calling:

Session.CreateConsumer(Destination destination)
Session.CreateProducer(Destination destination)
Many publish/subscribe (pub/sub) providers group topics into hierarchies and provide various options for subscribing to parts of the hierarchy. The JMS API places no restriction on what a Topic object represents. It may be a leaf in a topic hierarchy, or it may be a larger part of the hierarchy.

The organization of topics and the granularity of subscriptions to them is an important part of a pub/sub application’s architecture. The JMS API does not specify a policy for how this should be done. If an application takes advantage of a provider-specific topic-grouping mechanism, it should document this. If the application is installed using a different provider, it is the job of the administrator to construct an equivalent topic architecture and create equivalent Topic objects.

kcewa on February 9, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Nevermind all this group hug claptrap! Where the hell is my girl Pickles???

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Scram, barbarian!

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 5:12 PM

What is it with you savages and your hugging?

DarkCurrent on February 9, 2014 at 5:13 PM

“Who goes there?’

“HARK!”

ladyingray on February 9, 2014 at 5:14 PM

A Hazelnut in every bite.

kcewa on February 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM

A Hazelnut in every bite

kcewa on February 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Have you ever crossed that bridge on 15th Ave a few blocks east of Northgate? There’s a creek down there full of kappa who’d just as soon steal a cucumber out of your groceries as say hello.

DarkCurrent on February 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Have you ever crossed that bridge on 15th Ave a few blocks east of Northgate? There’s a creek down there full of kappa who’d just as soon steal a cucumber out of your groceries as say hello.

DarkCurrent on February 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

I don’t go under bridges.

kcewa on February 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

self edit…sorry I should correct this
before I get corrected…
the new APKWS is on the 2.75″ platform…I mistyped 2.27
http://www.baesystems.com/product/BAES_051993?_afrLoop=312390623371000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Precision_Kill_Weapon_System

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/apkws.htm

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/apkws-ii-hellfire-jr-hydra-rockets-enter-sdd-phase-02193/

the last one talks about the tests the firm I worked for did…

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 5:44 PM

I don’t go under bridges.

kcewa on February 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

I would hope not ;)

DarkCurrent on February 9, 2014 at 5:47 PM

sorry.. self edit…
before I get corrected..
the newer APKWS system is on the 2.75″ platform
I mistyped 2.27…sorry

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/apkws-ii-hellfire-jr-hydra-rockets-enter-sdd-phase-02193/

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Nevermind all this group hug claptrap! Where the hell is my girl Pickles???

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Busy, I believe.

Anti-Control on February 9, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Busy, I believe.

Anti-Control on February 9, 2014 at 5:59 PM

I found her in the Zimmerman thread.

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

In any case, I feel like I’ve said all I can on this. It’s almost feeling really silly at this point. Would be great to stick to discussing the actual posts on the blogs.

bluegill on February 9, 2014 at 8:44 AM

By your own admission and believe me when I say it is well documented. You don’t even read the post. Yet you still comment. Should’ve read them. No, you just like commenting. Prove me wrong.

Bmore on February 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM

going2mars on February 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Coocoo for coco puffs!

You forgot yourself matey! Without YOU how would I know what is going on that vast expanse of Space eh?

Your contributions mean as much as anyone elses, trust me on that!

Thanks for posting, made my evening, glad I popped back in! :D

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Java class:
kcewa on February 9, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Dude! It’s not about coffee!

How could you post such a thing under a false title eh?
Thought I was gonna learn somthing… /// ;)

Wait………. I did, sort of. Thanks!!

I am wiser in Java now…

Not Lol!

But on the other hand now I can group topics, I think…

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Swooosh!

:D

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Lanceman, tell Sparky that Scrumpy says ‘Hi’ :)

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Lanceman, tell Sparky that Scrumpy says ‘Hi’ :)

Scrumpy on February 9, 2014 at 7:23 PM

I will MERM Sporky.

Lanceman on February 9, 2014 at 7:28 PM

When corruption flourish.

RdLake on February 9, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Comment pages: 1 11 12 13