Thursday, February 13, 2014

Freedom from Work

by Clifford F. Thies 

When God expelled man from the Garden of Eden, he said to Adam "cursed is the ground for thy sake." Thus, it can be said, that work was made difficult both "because of" man and "for the benefit of" man. That work is not simply a punishment, but is also redemptive. 

With the release of the CBO report detailing how Obamacare will result in the loss of work totaling 2.4 million jobs, Democrats are revealing their disdain for work. In a sense, this is very old hat for Democrats. Back in the day Democrats were in favor of slaves doing the work in the South, they described the workers of the North as "wage slaves." Now, with the CBO report, they celebrate freedom from work.

How is it that Obamacare results in less work? It does this by penalizing those of modest productivity who work full-time. If these people work part-time, they would qualify for subsidies for Obamacare. Plus, they would qualify for any number of other welfare programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, Section 8 housing subsidies, heating and air-conditioning subsidies, they would get Obama phones, their younger dependent children would get child care paid for by the taxpayer and their older dependent children would get college paid for by Pell Grants. The welfare programs interact so that you'd have to be stupid to work full-time. Your pay might go up, but the loss of the subsidies would be greater. Plus, by being a single parent, qualification for these welfare programs is assured. 

It is as though the Democrats got together during the 1960s and decided to destroy the families and the neighborhoods of the poor, and to keep poor people from rising up the economic ladder of success. But, no, that was not their goal. Their goal was to alleviate suffering. The multiplication of suffering was an "unintended consequence.” It was only after the breakdown of the family and of the city, and the beginning of inter-generational poverty, that Democrats started to embrace "non-traditional families," and to view certain kinds of people as not capable of competing on equal terms and, therefore, in need of redistribution. I have grown sick of the denigration of work. What’s wrong with "hamburger-flipping jobs" or with "Wal-mart greeters"? To me, every one who works joins with me in the fraternity of the productive; although, obviously, some work pays better than other work. 

The marketplace rewards those who work, who work longer and who work in more demanding jobs and in jobs requiring higher skills, intelligence and diligence. In doing these things, the market reinforces the natural goodness of work and directs those who work to the production of the goods and service most in demand. And, at least over time, those who are successful in the marketplace develop sympathy for those who at least demonstrate their willingness to work. But, these laws of economics and of society are undermined by the excessive taxation of those who work and by indiscriminate welfare. As for those who insist that their intentions are good in the face of the consequences of their interventions into the natural order of things, their arrogance belies their true intention.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

"But, no, that was not their goal. Their goal was to alleviate suffering. The multiplication of suffering was an "unintended consequence.”

I'm sure that's what Johnson had in mind when he said, "We'll have those niggers voting democrat for the next hundred years"