Consumer Reports implies that a part time job with Obamacare is better than a full time job without it
First of all, I understand that Consumer Reports is big on protecting its copyrighted material. However, fair use does permit me to quote small excerpts for the purpose of commentary and criticism. I will keep these quotes down to the bare minimum that is necessary.
On page 15 of their March 2013 issue, a reader expresses concern about
“CEOs claiming that Obamacare will force them to reduce employees’ hours due to the cost of insuring them”
Consumer Reports responds by saying
“even if that happens, those low-paid employees will, for the first time in 2014, have access to good insurance they can afford”
Before I get to my main point of criticizing Consumer Reports on their response to the reader, I’d first like to address their statement of “even if that happens.”
It’s not a question of “if.”
In the real world, it is already happening.
I cited real world examples of it happening in these two previous blog posts: Obamacare is encouraging restaurants to replace full time jobs with part time jobs and Obamacare supporters are shocked that its opponents’ predictions of job destruction are coming true.
Therefore, Consumer Reports comment of “even if that happens” is an attempt at denying that Obamacare is definitely and has already caused some workers to be switched from full time to part time.
Given that the alleged mission of Consumer Reports is to help people, this denial on their part is disgusting and shocking.
Now, on to my main criticism.
Although Consumer Reports doesn’t specifically say that a part time job with Obamacare is better than a full time job without it, they do imply such a thing, based on their complete and total refusal to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, some workers might be worse off as a result of this policy.
In the real world, this reduction in hours may cause some workers to be unable to pay their rent – but Consumer Reports implies that such a thing is OK, because at least they’ll have health insurance.
In the real world, if someone thought that having health insurance was a bigger priority than being able to pay the rent, they are perfectly capable of acting accordingly on their own, without the government making this decision for them. What Consumer Reports is saying in its response, then, is that people are too stupid to prioritize how they spend their own money, and that the government must make this decision for them.
Shame on Consumer Reports for glossing over and dismissing the readers’ concern for and the real world evidence that Obamacare is causing workers to switch from full time to part time.
And more importantly, shame on Consumer Reports for implying that people are too incompetent to prioritize how they spend their own money.
Barack Obama is such a hypocrite. On January 10, 2013, he signed a bill that provides armed guards to himself and his wife for the rest of the lives. However, in 2004, when Obama was an Illinois state Senator, he voted against allowing people in their own homes to use guns to protect themselves and their families from rapists and murderers.
In February 2013, the following happened in Illinois, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
HIGHLAND – Debi Keeney says she last fired her gun 15 years ago, when she took shooting lessons.
The gun was a gift from a friend but it mostly stayed in a side-table drawer, she said, gathering dust. Then, early Sunday morning, Keeney pulled the trigger again — this time, she said, to save her sister’s life.
“I’m very grateful that it fired this morning,” she said Sunday afternoon.
Keeney, 55, said a man forced his way into her apartment in Highland, threw her to the floor and then put her sister, Donna Carlyle, 47, in a choke hold. He demanded money as Carlyle gasped for air.
“All I could see was Donna’s face going blue, like her life was being choked out of her,” said Keeney.
The alleged intruder, 33, was being treated at a hospital Sunday for two gunshot wounds and was listed in critical condition, police said. They have not released his name.
Illinois’ self-defense law allows a homeowner to use deadly force if an intruder breaks in violently, or if the homeowner believes deadly force is the only way to prevent the intruder from committing a felony.
Fortunately for Donna Carlyle, enough other Illinois state Senators disagreed with Obama during that 2004 vote.
If Obama had his way, Donna Carlyle would have been choked to death by that burglar.
The U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from killing U.S. citizens without due process. This means that they must first be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted before being executed.
Obama violated this when he used the U.S. military to kill a teenage U.S. citizen who was born in Denver. Obama also killed two other U.S. citizens without due process.
If Bush had done this, the “anti-war” protestors would have been livid. But since they were actually “anti-Bush” protestors and not “anti-war” protestors, they don’t seem to care that Obama did this.
NBC News reports:
Of the scores of people dubbed terrorists and taken out by American military drone strikes, three men — all killed in the fall of 2011 — were U.S. citizens.
But the most controversial drone strike took place on Oct. 14, 2011, when 16-year-old Abdulrahman was killed by U.S. forces.
Family of the Denver-born teenager say he had no ties to terrorist organizations and was unjustly targeted because of his father.
Prices are not just random numbers that get picked out of thin air. Instead, prices communicate information about supply and demand. So when the supply and/or demand situation changes, it makes perfect sense that the price would change accordingly.
Economic theory predicts that when the government sets the price of something lower than the supply/demand equilibrium, the demand will exceed the supply, which is the definition of a shortage. More than 4,000 years of various examples of price controls from all over the world show this to be the case.
Today, the BBC reported:
Argentina pegs supermarket price rises for two months
February 4, 2013
The Argentine government has put a temporary price freeze on all products sold in the country’s main supermarket chains to try to fight inflation.
Argentina’s commerce ministry has asked consumers to monitor prices in the chains.
It wants them to keep receipts and has set up a hotline for shoppers to call if they spot any price rises.
The inflation that’s referred to in that article is caused by the government increasing the supply of money with nothing of real value to back it up. This makes the money worth less, and causes prices to rise. But that’s not a real price increase. So, as inflation devalues the currency, the government’s price freeze will actually force food sellers to lower their (real) prices.
If it really is a “temporary” measure for only two months, it’s possible that inflation might not be severe enough for the price controls to result in a substantial drop in (real) food prices.
But I am skeptical about these price controls being “temporary.” My guess is that the price controls will last a lot longer than two months, and as time goes on, inflation will devalue the real value of the currency enough so that the (real) prices will fall significantly, which will cause shortages. And then the government will wrongly blame the shortages on the supermarkets and farmers, and instead of getting rid of the price controls, the government will take action against the supermarkets and farmers, which will cause the situation to get even worse.
Of course, I could be wrong about all of this.
Anyway, let’s see what happens in Argentina as a result of these price controls.
For the record, here’s what happened after Venezuela set price caps on food a decade ago:
Since 2003, Hugo Chavez has been setting strict price controls on food, and these price controls have been causing shortages and hoarding.
In January 2008, Chavez ordered the military to seize 750 tons of food that sellers were illegally trying to smuggle across the border to sell for higher prices than what was legal in Venezuela.
In February 2009, Chavez ordered the military to temporarily seize control of all the rice processing plants in the country and force them to produce at full capacity, which they had been avoiding in response to the price caps.
In May 2010, Chavez ordered the military to seize 120 tons of food from Empresas Polar.
In March 2009, Chavez set minimum production quotas for 12 basic foods that were subject to price controls, including white rice, cooking oil, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, cheese, and tomato sauce. Business leaders and food producers claimed that the government was forcing them to produce this food at a loss.
Chavez has nationalized many large farms. Chavez said of the farmland, “The land is not private. It is the property of the state.” Some of the farmland that had been productive while under private ownership is now idle under government ownership, and some of the farm equipment sits gathering dust. As a result, food production has fallen substantially. One farmer, referring to the government officials overseeing the land redistribution, stated, “These people know nothing about agriculture.”
Chavez has seized many supermarkets from their owners. Under government ownership, the shelves in these supermarkets are often empty.
In 2010, after the government nationalized the port at Puerto Cabello, more than 120,000 tons of food sat rotting at the port.
In May 2010, after price controls caused shortages of beef, at least 40 butchers were arrested, and some of them were held at a military base and later strip searched by police.