Fear of the truth
Democrats in denial: ObamaCare clearly killing jobs
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It is often said that liberals don’t understand economic incentives. If they did, it’s presumed, they would have known that ObamaCare would destroy jobs by making labor more expensive.
I don’t think it’s true that they don’t understand how these incentives work. As two items in the news the past week demonstrate, they understand the incentives perfectly well except when they’re too invested in denying the truth about them.
Last week, I wrote about the Cadillac Tax, which essentially the Democrats’ attempt to eliminate “too good” health insurance by levying a punitive tax on companies who provide more generous benefits than Democrats prefer. When they included the Cadillac Tax in ObamaCare, Democrats understood exactly what they were doing. They were trying to eliminate something they don’t like by adding to the cost of that thing.
So yes, Democrats know: Make something more expensive, and people will do with less of it.
The problem, however, is that ObamaCare does exactly the same thing with respect to the cost of labor in general. By mandating that employers provide health insurance for everyone who works 30 hours a week or more, and by insisting on standards for said insurance beyond what many employers would choose if left to their own devices, Democrats have made it more expensive to procure the services of labor.
The result, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, has been entirely predictable:
- In the Philadelphia area, 18 percent of employers are cutting employees (compared with only 3 percent who are adding), and a similar 18 percent is shifting the composition of its workforce to more part-time workers as a result of ObamaCare.
- In New York State, 21 percent of manufacturers and 16 percent of service firms are reducing employment specifically because of ObamaCare.
- In the Atlanta area, 34 percent of businesses plan to hire more part-time workers than in the past.
Why is this happening? That isn’t even hard. What did I just tell you about incentives? When you make something cost more, people will get by with less of it. No matter how much liberals try to insist ObamaCare is not the cost of it, we know that it is and the companies themselves are telling us it is.
So then: How can they possibly deny it? We’ve already demonstrated that they can understand how economic incentives work. They are only too happy to use them when it suits their purposes. Yet they don’t understand that job-killing incentives are at work in the details of ObamaCare to kill jobs?
That makes no sense.
Unless: People have a powerful (and not very helpful) ability to disregard what they should clearly understand if they don’t want to understand it. Consider Democrats’ reactions to news stories this past week about President Obama going off to play golf after commenting on the murder of James Foley by ISIS. Republican criticisms of Obama for this? Why, they were purely political and completely illegitimate! Yet when George W. Bush played golf during crucial battles in Iraq, they were making the same criticisms. You could say this just shows they’re hypocrites, but I think in many cases they desperately want to believe there is nothing wrong with things Obama does, even though they blasted Bush for doing the same things.
They want that desperately enough to convince themselves that Obama was right and Bush was wrong. How do you deal with the obvious inconsistency? You simply wallow in denial.
That’s what they’re doing with respect to the destruction of jobs by ObamaCare. They’re wallowing in denial. They’re entirely capable of understanding what’s really happening. They just don’t want to understand it. (And you had better believe they don’t want you to understand it.)
I actually saw Obama asked about what’s happening in the job market, and he responded dismissively, “That’s not because of the Affordable Care Act. That’s because of other factors.”
Oh? And what other factors would he have in mind? None. Not that it would matter anyway. Obama doesn’t believe ObamaCare is killing jobs because Obama doesn’t want to believe that. So he wallows in denial.
Surely you’ve seen this in your own life. You’ve seen people going broke, but in denial. People trapped in addiction, but in denial. People losing their marriages, or in trouble in their jobs, or needing desperately to change their diets . . . but in denial. The truth is obvious to everyone else, but they don’t see it – not because they’re not capable of seeing it, but because they simply don’t want to.
That’s the Democrats’ view of ObamaCare in a nutshell. Don’t expect them to acknowledge the negative impacts of the law. They won’t, because they don’t want to. It seems astonishing until you recognize the human capacity to disregard what is plainly obvious and easily understood.
You don’t help yourself when you act in fear of the truth.