Obama fights against US coal exports

March 24, 2014
In Obama's crosshairs

In Obama’s crosshairs

I’m not sure what the people of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado did to Barack Obama –after all, they gave him the electoral votes he needed to win reelection– but he sure has it in for their major exports and the jobs they create:

The leaders also announced that the Netherlands was joining the U.S. and other countries in an effort to stop the international funding of new coal-fired power plants by development banks.

“We’re pleased that the Netherlands has joined our initiative that will virtually end all public financing for coal-fired plants abroad,” Obama said. “It’s concrete action like this that can keep making progress on reducing emissions while we develop new global agreements on climate change.”

Per Bryan Preston, the US is the world’s second largest coal exporter, and each million tons exported creates over 1,300 jobs. Now, why on Earth would an American president work so hard against American economic interests, especially in difficult times with such large numbers of people unemployed and under-employed? It’s almost as if he sees American power as a problem, something to be solved by managed decline… Nah, couldn’t be.

I sorely wish more people in those coal-mining states had seen the danger Obama poses to their own livelihoods and the nation’s well-being; I’ve little doubt we’d be in a better situation right now, if they had. But that’s done, and now we have to work to convince voters that any Democrat nominee in 2016 is going to be beholden to the same radical environmentalist interests that Obama is placating with this initiative. Those factions are not interested in mitigating the problems with coal use until a genuine replacement comes along or with good conservation practices in its mining: they want to ban it outright, now, and the consequences be damned for communities reliant on its extraction and an economy dependent on the energy it produces.

And, right now, they have their guy in office.

Read the rest of Preston’s report for the international implications of this agreement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Glorious #Obamacare Victory: lost hours and decreased wages!

February 4, 2014
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

Heckuva job, Democrats:

A historically high number of people will be locked out of the workforce by 2021, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law will contribute to this phenomenon, the CBO said, citing new estimates that the Affordable Care Act will cause a larger-than-expected reduction in working hours—eliminating the equivalent of about 2.3 million workers in 2021.
In 2011, the CBO estimated the law would cause a reduction of about 800,000 full-time equivalent workers.

“CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 to 2 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive,” said the report.

As Bryan Preston points out, this is the equivalent of losing almost the entire workforce of Nevada.

But, hey, it’s worth it if it brings wonderful new benefits to people, such as creating jobs… Oops!, I mean saving people money, right??

Well, about that promise

A new study finds that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare.

In other words, Obamacare is going to cost some of the very people it was designed to help.

So, not only will Obamacare inflict people with higher premiums, bigger co-pays, and smaller provider networks, but it will on top of all that reduce most people’s income.

Genius. I hope the voters remember to reward the Democrats in November for all their hard work.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama Administration Urges More Unemployment

November 17, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Setting more welfare traps for people out of work.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

President Obama has presided over a terrible jobs market.

Unemployment is more than two-percentage points higher today than the White House claimed it would be if the so-called stimulus was enacted.

Even more worrisome, the employment-population ratio seems to have permanently fallen, which is bad news for economic performance since our output is a function of how much capital and labor is being productively utilized.

So what’s the response from the Obama Administration? Well, they want to further subsidize people for not working.

I’m not joking. Here’s some of what has been reported by the Huffington Post.

The Obama administration on Friday came out strongly in support of extending long-term unemployment insurance past its current expiration date. …”We have always done so when unemployment is this high and would make little sense to fail to do so now when we are still facing the burdens of the worst…

View original 681 more words


Obama Advocates Higher Unemployment for Lower-Skilled Workers (and Some Great Election News from Colorado)

November 6, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

I quote the New York Times from (I believe) 1987: “The ideal minimum wage is zero.” Every time the government raises it, it hurts those newly entering the workforce and those with fewer skills. Why do progressives hate workers?

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Perhaps because he wants to divert attention from the slow-motion train wreck of Obamacare, the President is signalling that he will renew his efforts to throw more people into the unemployment line.

Needless to say, that’s not how the White House would describe the President’s proposal to increase the minimum wage, but that’s one of the main results when the government criminalizes certain employment contracts between consenting adults.

To be blunt, if a worker happens to have poor work skills, a less-than-impressive employment record, or some other indicator of low productivity that makes them worth, say, $7.50 per hour, then a $9-per-hour minimum wage is a ticket to the unemployment line.

Which is the point I made in a rather unfriendly interview with Yahoo Finance.

But a higher minimum wage is popular with voters who don’t understand economics, and unions strongly support a higher minimum wage since it…

View original 566 more words


The Obamacare Chronicles: Labor votes for Obama, labor gets its thank-you

August 19, 2013
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

In the form of having their hours of employment cut to avoid the (delayed) employer mandate in Obamacare:

The predictions and fears of the Affordable Care Act’s adversaries have begun to materialize, specifically fears that the law will encourage employers to demote their employees to part-time positions in order to evade federal health care requirements. Popular clothing company Forever 21 is the first of what might be many companies to limit its non-management workers’ hours to 29.5 a week, just below the 30-hour minimum that the ACA deems full-time work.

Explaining that the company “recently audited its staffing levels, staffing needs, and payroll in conjunction with reviewing its overall operating budget,” Associate Director of Human Resources Carla Macias informed employees that effective August 31, they will no longer be full-time employees of Forever 21.

It is a move that will likely harm the reputation of the company, will absolutely harm the economic circumstances of its employees, and will function as a tangible example of the Affordable Care Act’s consequences and shortcomings.

Although the ethical nature of Forever 21’s decision is debatable, it is both rational and understandable. A company that boasts regularly low prices and frequent, sensational sales, Forever 21′s competitive success is largely dependent upon its ability to maintain low manufacturing and operational costs. The ACA is an undeniable burden on this principle, and Forever 21’s management has the prerogative to take any legal measures necessary to avoid raising the costs of its products.

Contra Ms. O’Neill at Policymic, who does a good job with the economics of Forever 21′s dilemma, I don’t think the ethics are debatable at all. Forever 21′s management owes a fiduciary responsibility to the company’s owners to return the most profit at the least cost while staying within the law and the laws of good business. This is their primary duty. They owe their employees nothing more than what is required under law and the overall decent treatment again dictated by good business sense. (Happy employees leading to less turnover and higher productivity.)

What they do not owe their employees is anything that actually harms the business. As the article reports, Forever 21′s business niche is as a provider of low-cost clothing, presumably mainly to a budget-conscious student and working-class clientele. To do this, they have to keep costs down. Obamacare makes this impossible with regard to health care benefits (1), so the managers are faced with three choices:

  1. Pay for insurance as required under Obamacare and accept a lesser profit margin in a business that’s already low-margin, thus betraying their primary duty to their owners;
  2. Pay for insurance as required under Obamacare, but increase prices to the consumer, thus hurting Forever 21′s competitiveness and probably lessening profits, again violating the main reason any business exists;
  3. Adapt by controlling expenses, in this case by reducing employee hours to avoid the employer mandate’s tripwire.

In the end, they still probably harm their business, assuming a higher instance of unhappy employees, but it’s the least harmful option that also meets management’s primary responsibility — to create a profitable business for the owners. It is, in fact, the unquestionably ethical choice.

As I’ve said before, I feel sorry for anyone seeing their hours cut, but don’t blame the company, which is simply making a rational choice. Instead, lay the blame directly where it belongs, with the Democrats who voted for it and their Leftist and Big Business enablers who shoved this anti-constitutional monstrosity down our throats, thus creating the perverse incentives that lead to Forever 21′s decision.

And, to the extent that any of you seeing your hours cut voted for Barack Obama and the (Social) Democrats, blame yourselves, too.

Elections, as they say, have consequences.

via Bryan Preston

Footnote:
(1) And maybe their other costs, too, as their suppliers will likely have to meet Obamacare’s mandates and thus pass the costs along in the form of price increases.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obamacare and job losses: when you’ve lost NBC… Updated: More job cuts

August 14, 2013
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

Oh, my. This is not going to make Obama or his spokes-droid Jay Carney happy at all. NBC is a reliably pro-Obama (read: “toe-licking”) network, so for them to point out how Obamacare is creating a nation of impoverished part-time workers is… interesting, as Spock might say:

Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,” said Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises, including a restaurant in Kennebunk. “I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.”

Goodridge said he’s cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won’t trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The provision takes effect in 16 months.

Luke Perfect, who has worked at Goodridge’s Kennebunk Subway for more than a decade, said it was “horrible” to learn he was among the employees whose hours would be limited, and that it would be a financial hardship. “I’m barely scraping by with overtime,” he said.

Read the whole thing. I’ve covered this phenomenon before, and we’re going to see a lot more of it as this anti-constitutional monstrosity goes into effect. Also have a look at my blog-buddy ST’s post on the topic; it’s a good one. (1)

PS: I have a lot of sympathy for the people losing hours and facing financial hardship because of this (2), but I have to ask, how many of them voted for Obama and his Democratic enablers? How many of them backed their unions’ demands that Obamacare must be passed, all while assuming their union leaders must know what they’r talking about? How many of them trusted the pro-Obamacare propaganda spewed by the so-called news networks, without thinking critically about what they were claiming? Like I said, you have my genuine sympathies if your hours are being cut back… but next time think, damn it!

Footnote:
(1) Of course it’s good; she quotes me, after all.
(2) But I have none for the Democrat congressmen who rammed this thing down our throats. Payback is coming in 2014 and 2016, and you chuckleheads who sold out your constituents are going to get it on Election Day, good and hard.

UPDATE: At Via Meadia, Walter Russell Mead reports on public school districts cutting back staff hours due to Obamacare.


That’s some economic recovery you have there, @BarackObama

August 7, 2013
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

Of all the jobs created since 2009, almost 90% have been part-time:

Since January 2009 the country has added a net total of 270,000 full-time jobs, but it has added 1.9 million part-time jobs, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.

And much of that is directly attributable Obama’s economic policies, especially businesses avoiding the crushing burden imposed by Obamacare.

No wonder he prefers late-night, softball talk shows.

Heckuva job, Barry.


Glorious Irony: Half of Obamacare employees at call center will get no health care

July 26, 2013

Because –I bet you can guess– they’re being hired part-time:

Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president’s Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup.

Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.

The Contra Costa County supervisor whose district includes the call center called the whole hiring process — which attracted about 7,000 applicants — a “comedy of errors.”

Read on for a tale of bungling and incompetence — at least on the part of Contra Costa authorities who couldn’t realize this very thing could happen, since Obamacare gives employers every incentive to go part-time.

And for those employees angry that they’ve been misled, what did you expect from an Obama administration project? Competence? Please.

This is yet more proof that the universe has a sense of humor. Bitter, dark, and cruel, but a sense of humor nonetheless.

via Karl Rove

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


To deal with #Obamacare, school district cuts employee hours

May 31, 2013
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

A little Blue on Blue action for your Friday, as one liberal constituency, school district employees, feels the pain to satisfy the demands of another, the “free healthcare and unicorns for everyone” crowd.

Elections. They have consequences:

1 [sic] of Indiana’s largest school districts is cutting the hours of 610 part-time teaching aides and cafeteria workers to save money and to avoid providing them health insurance under the federal health care overhaul.

Fort Wayne Community Schools Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend says it’s cutting their hours from 30 to 25 each week beginning June 3 because insurance would have cost $10 million. Beginning in January, large employers must offer health insurance to those who work at least 30 hours per week.

Friend told The Journal Gazette for a story Monday the insurance matter is “something that almost all employers with part-time employees are trying to resolve.”

And I don’t blame the school district one bit. They have a certain amount of dollars to work with each year, but their costs are going to go up tremendously in 2014 if they don’t make changes. Labor is another cost, so there’s a logical place to make cuts. Sadly, it looks like those targeted are also those who already make the least.

Once again, the progressive failure to understand basic economics and human nature winds up hurting those they claim they want to help.

via Conservative Intelligence Briefing

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Obamacare Chronicles: 129 laid off from Missouri hospital due to wonderful new health bill

May 15, 2013

"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

At this point, there’s not much we can do about it, folks. Losing a Supreme Court decision and the 2012 election guarantees that Obamacare will go into full effect on January 1st, 2014 — Happy New Year!

All we can do for now is observe and take note of the pain (some of it our own) as businesses make their plans to deal with the forthcoming train wreck, plans that include laying people off to cover the new, federally-imposed expenses:

From Channel 41 Action News (1), Kansas City, Missouri:

I’ve reported on the consequences of Obamacare before, and we’re going to see more and more as we approach 2014 and enter our Brave New World of government-controlled health care. The PPACA imposes immense burdens on businesses, and they will have to act rationally in response, whether by passing on costs to the consumer or cutting costs elsewhere — by layoffs, for instance.

People who voted for the Democrats since 2008 are, in effect, getting exactly what they voted for, even if they refused to see it at the time.  (2) To use the cliche, “elections have consequences.”

But so do bad laws, and the people can always fix their mistakes in the next election. Obamacare is the “Mother of Bad Laws,” and I predict its myriad problems are going to cost the Democrats dearly as voters harmed by Obamacare first get worried, then annoyed, then angry, and then royally ticked off. Democrats are already so worried that some are retiring to avoid facing the voters in 2014.

Elections have consequences for the ruling class, too.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

Footnotes:
(1) For any Obamacare apologists in the audience, before your knee jerks too much, note that Channel 41 is an NBC affiliate, not the evil FOX. When you’ve lost NBC…
(2) No, I’m not saying the people laid off in Missouri all voted for Obama and thus got what they deserved. Some almost certainly did, but we don’t know who or how many. Presuming innocence, they all have my sympathy.  But the broad electorate voted for people who used anti-constitutional means to pass a horrendous law in expectation of getting Free Stuff(tm), in violation of all the laws of economics. To them, I can only quote the words of the late, great Mayor Ed Koch: “The People have spoken … and they must be punished.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Raytheon Moving California HQ to Texas

May 3, 2013

And California, one of the most self-destructively governed states in the Union, loses another company, its jobs, and its tax revenues. Really, if I didn’t live here, it would be fascinating to watch an “economic super-power state” drive itself off the cliff chasing Thelma and Louise. Thank you, Jerry Brown and the legislative Democrats.


The April jobs report and the part-time recovery

May 3, 2013
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released it’s report for April today, showing numbers that should at least be slightly good news for the administration: unemployment down to 7.5% and 165,000 jobs added. Recovery!!

AEI’s James Pethokoukis says “not so fast:”

US job growth in April beat economist expectations as nonfarm payrolls rose 165,000, and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5%. But the report contained worrisome signs that President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.

While the American economy added 293,000 jobs last month, according to the separate household survey, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — “involuntary part-time workers” as the Labor Department calls them – increased by almost as much, by 278,000 to 7.9 million. These folks were working part time because a) their hours had been cut back or b) they were unable to find a full-time job. At the same time, the U-6 unemployment rate — a broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want a full-time gig – rose from 13.8% to 13.9%.

What’s more, there wasa  0.2 hour decline in the length of the average workweek. This led to 0.4 percentage point drop in the index of average weekly hours, “equaling the largest declines since the recovery began,” notes economist Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Let’s see, more part timers and fewer hours worked. Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin says what we’re all thinking: “This is not good news as it reflects the reliance on part-time work. … the decline in hours and rise of part-time work is troubling in light of anecdotal reports of the impact of the Affordable Care Act.”

Jim adds that, if the Labor Force Participation Rate were the same now as it was when Obama took office, then BLS would be reporting unemployment of between nine and ten percent. (And see this for a graphic chart of how the LFPR has gone down under Obama)

It’s not that unemployment is going down, it’s that the number of people who’ve given up looking for a job is growing, and an increasing number of those who have a job are limited to part-time work, thanks to Obamacare.

Such is the nature of the Obama “recovery,” the worst since the Great Depression.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Why Are Young Americans Supportive of Obama When His Policies Are So Bad for Them?

April 6, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Ya got me. Talk about voting against one’s own interest. Click through to see interesting analysis of how entering the job market in a bad economy sets a young person on an underperforming path for a long time to come.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Young people voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers, but the question is why?

As I explain in this interview for Blaze TV, they are being hurt by his policies.

It’s not just that youth unemployment is high. Obama’s policies also are hurting those who found jobs. Simply stated, these “lucky” folks are getting below-average pay.

The Stepford Students?

I specifically explain that academics have determined that those entering the labor market in a weak economy will suffer a long-run loss of income.

Some of you may think I’m clutching at straws because I don’t like Obama, but perhaps you’ll believe the man who formerly served as the Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Here’s some of what Austin Goolsbee wrote several years ago for the New York Times.

…starting at the bottom is a recipe for being underpaid for a long time to come. Graduates’ first jobs…

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Quote of the Day: Doing business in Texas vs. California edition

April 1, 2013

An observation on why Texas might have more appeal to business owners, from John Harrington, owner of Shield Tactical, who recently relocated his company from Orange County, California, to Austin:

In Texas, he said, “it’s an iota of bureaucracy.” In California, “it’s like before you put up your range you have to be worried about whether the noise level is going to bother the 10-headed duckmouse.”

That made me laugh, but it’s also so very true. One company found the regulatory environment here so burdensome, it wrote California a “Dear John” letter.

Oh, and if you think “duckmouse” was a joke, consider that Sacramento would rather let Central Valley farms die of thirst than fight the EPA over a two-inch bait fish.

BTW, the first linked article is a good one on how Texas is working to encourage firearms manufacturers to move to Texas from states that are imposing more and more restrictions. Smart man, that Governor Perry.

via Moe Lane and Rick Wilson

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The death of common sense in America

March 31, 2013

Writing on the rolling global financial crisis, the Diplomad shakes his head at the foolishness reigning in the US today:

The western world continues on a totally unnecessary suicidal path. What was once common sense is no more. Everywhere one looks, the insanity is evident: The refusal to deal with real issues and the insistence on taking up marginal or even totally extraneous issues instead is stunning. Here in the USA, our economy remains stagnated for no logical reason. Instead, for example, of freeing up the exploitation of our vast fossil fuel resources, we continue to push money at phony green industries, throw road blocks in the way of our private sector’s ability to get those fuels, block importation of fuel from our friends in Canada, and blather on and on about discredited, voodoo science global warming. Our leaders rulers take lavish vacations on our dime, push ruinous tax and spend policies, including the criminally destructive Obamacare, and avoid cutting even a bit of our bloated spending. A hypothetical “threat” to reduce ever so slightly the rate of growth in spending is declared disastrous and the equivalent of a nuclear attack. 

Well, when you put it that way…

Instead, we allow ourselves to waste our energies on issues of far less importance, such as same-sex marriage (1) or “assault weapons bans,” or whatever false crisis the left raises to distract us from their near-criminal mismanagement of the nation’s affairs.

And the truly frustrating this is that it often works. At least for now, common sense is truly dead.

Read the rest for a discussion of Europe even-worse state and for an explanation of how the Greek banking crisis lead directly to the Cyprus bailout.

Footnote:
(1) My apologies to supporters of allowing same-sex marriage (I’m one, too), but I simply do not believe this is one of the crucial issues facing our country, today. Not when our national debt is astronomical (and growing), our national borrowing to support out of control entitlements resembles a heroin addict needing his fix, Islamic jihadists want to reach paradise over our corpses, and crazed dictatorships that hate us are desperately seeking nuclear weapons. There are far, far more important things demanding our attention as a nation.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Huzzah!! Another @BarackObama milestone!

February 25, 2013

Admit it, you’re impressed:

Obama unemployment achievement

That’s right, kiddies: we’ve had more high unemployment under Barack Obama than under any president since Harry S. Truman… combined.

Well done, sir. Well done. smiley applause

But, still, his fans are happy:

"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

Sigh.

via Denis through AH Malcolm

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


February 5, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

So, let’s make ourselves poor in order to fight a problem that does not exist. Right. If you look at it, this “idea” is at its heart misanthropic.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Regular readers may remember last year when I shared some remarkably silly data from the “Happy Planet Index,” which supposedly showed the United States ranked below very poor nations such as Cuba, Albania, and Venezuela.

Red is unhappy

It turns out that nations got lower grades based on their energy consumption. And since energy usage is one of the key indicators of prosperity, that explains why the United States also trailed such global garden spots as Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, Moldova, and Tajikistan.

Well, the authors of the Happy Planet Index are not the only ones who explicitly embrace stagnation and decline as a strategy to deal with so-called climate change. A leftist think tank in DC is now arguing that we should work less, which means we will produce less and consume less energy.

But that means we will earn less, and therefore consume less. In other words, they…

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More #Obamacare job losses. This thing needs to be killed.

February 2, 2013
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

And the good news (1) keep rolling in:

Hospital layoffs and the Affordable Heath Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is designed to make health care easier to get, but now, one local hospital says Affordable Health Care is the reason it is laying people off.

Clifton Springs Hospital let almost 60 non-clinical employees go last Friday. Hospital officials says it’s all because they’re trying to get ready for the impact of the new health care act. The act changes the way health insurance is run and the way hospitals are paid.

The Affordable Care Act means many of you will be making more decisions when it comes to your own health care. Health care workers say co-pays and deductibles will be higher, that means things like x-rays and MRI’s will cost you  more. So people will be forced to decide if they really want them. That might mean fewer people in the hospital.

Clifton Springs Hospital is preparing for that now. Last Friday, Clifton Springs Hospital laid off 58-full time employees. The reason is to get ready for the Affordable Care Act that will unfold over the next four years.

Lewis Zulick, Interim CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital, said, “That was something that we realized, especially over the last 6 months or so, that we had to do something to really match up our revenue to our expenses. That really had to do with the kind of volume we were experiencing at the hospital.”

In other words, from reading the article, it’s due to Obamacare’s refusal to allow insurance companies to pay for certain procedures, pushing that cost off on the consumer. It’s not a decision the doctor and patient make together (“Do I need this?”), but one forced on the consumer by government regulation — and that written by supposed “experts,” bureaucrats who know nothing about individual patients and their needs. The hospital anticipates fewer people opting for such procedures, thus leading them to make the logical business decision to lay people off.

Ergo, Obamacare costs jobs.

One can argue, of course, that some at least of these were unnecessary procedures that drove up insurance costs, and I wouldn’t disagree with you. That’s what’s been called “defensive medicine,” in which doctors will order “just one more test” not so much out of medical need, but to avoid being sued in our litigation-plagued society. Conservative reformers have long complained of needless malpractice suits that drive up costs for everyone.

But the solution is tort reform, dealing with the abuse of the legal systems, not top-down command-and-control rationing and regulation of the insurance and medical industries. (Ironically, uber-progressive California was the first state to introduce major malpractice reform. In 1975, under Jerry Brown!) And certainly government should never come between a doctor and patient in deciding treatment.

Meanwhile…

A global medical technology company has laid off nearly 100 employees at its offices in Tennessee and Massachusetts and is blaming the layoffs on the medical device tax tied to ObamaCare.

London-based Smith & Nephew said Thursday it laid off fewer than 100 employees between the two offices, which operate as the company’s advanced surgical devices unit, according to The Commercial Appeal.

The company specializes in developing orthopedic reconstruction products, has nearly 11,000 employees and operates in over 90 countries, according to its website.

The Affordable Care Act includes a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, which is expected to raise nearly $30 billion over the next decade. The tax is applied to gross sales revenues.

A tax is a cost of doing business. When you raise costs, the company has three choices: it can eat the lost profits, harming the owners — perhaps a small businessman and his family, or shareholders, which may include employees and pension funds; it can pass the higher cost on to the consumer, running the risk of pricing themselves out of the market; or, they can cut other costs to balance things out. Materials are one cost, but using cheaper materials is one sure way for a medical company to be sued out of business.

But, guess what? Labor is a cost, too!

And so, thanks to the medical device tax in Obamacare, nearly 100 (more) people have lost their jobs.

Eventually, the problems are going to accumulate and annoy and outright harm enough people that they will demand something be done. Democrats and weak-kneed Republicans will want to just tinker with it, promising “fixes.”

But there is no way fix the problems with Obamacare, because Obamacare is the problem. From its most basic concepts to its details, it is one huge, honking, accelerating disaster. However long it takes, it must be repealed, destroyed root and branch. Do to it what Rome did to Carthage.

Sigh. We had our chance in 2012 to take the monster out before he did too much damage. But, we blew it then, and people are suffering for it.

And so we fight on.

via Brian Faughnan and ST.

RELATED: Stephen Green on “How to ruin healthcare in just 2000 easy pages!”  Meanwhile, the cheapest plan for a family of five under Obamacare will cost up to $20,000 per year, per the IRS. That’s almost half the median family income in the US. What was that about “affordable, again?”

Footnote:
(1) For Orwellian definitions of “good,” that is.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Another reason to like Tim Scott

December 18, 2012

Aside from the fact that the current representative and senator-designate from South Carolina has a good character, the right politics, and a clear-eyed view of our real problem, he worries all the right people:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People isn’t too excited about the appointment of Rep. Tim Scott to South Carolina’s soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Senate seat.

(…)

Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy and policy at the NAACP, told The Daily Caller Monday afternoon that the group welcomed diversity in the Senate, but expects the new senator to work against the NAACP’s agenda.

“It is important that we have more integration in the U.S. Senate,” said Shelton in a phone interview. “It’s good to see that diversity.”

“Mr. Scott certainly comes from a modest background, experience, and so forth, and should be sensitive to those issues,” he said, referring to Scott’s impoverished single-parent upbringing in Charleston, SC.

“Unfortunately, his voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives raises major concerns,” Shelton said.

Shelton explained that the NAACP platform is crafted through an annual voting process which engages grassroots-level delegates who vote on the group’s national agenda. That agenda calls for an expansive role for federal government spending in black communities.

Because federal intervention has done such a bang-up job for Blacks. Just ask any beneficiary of the Great Society’s urban policies. And that War on Poverty? We fought it, and poverty won.

While Ms. Shelton does have some nice things to say about Congressman Scott, it’s clear her views are trapped within the statist, dependent, and identity-group paradigm that dominates the Democratic party. And yet Blacks are far worse off under Obama, who is pursuing those very policies the way an alcoholic chases a beer wagon.  But, to be honest, the NAACP stopped being an organization seeking the best interests of African Americans at the same time they entered into a monogamous relationship with the Democratic party. (Helpful tip: if you’re an interest group and you give yourself wholly and forever to one political party — they no longer have to take you seriously, because they know they have your votes no matter what they do.)

Meanwhile, here’s hoping that Mr. Scott has a long and fruitful career in the Senate and that, rather than coming round to the NAACP line, he encourages NAACP members to realize there’s another, better way to help Black Americans prosper.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Yikes! Student loan bubble bursts.

November 28, 2012

“The next subprime crisis.” This is bad.


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