She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.
“The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly” is to me a cautionary parable about not compounding one mistake with an even bigger mistake. You could, especially under the current regime, restate that as not attempting to solve one flawed government policy by swallowing another flawed policy — rather than voiding the first.
Obamacare is one flawed government policy. Its flaws are legion. They had to pass it before we could discover daily what is wrong with it. Turns out Obamacare is the Shakespeare folio of flawed government policy; scholars could spend the next 400 years studying it and still continue making new discoveries.
Today’s new discovery, courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office, is that Obamacare’s negative employment effects will be three times worse than previously estimated. The current estimate is now “a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”
Locker Room readers may remember my discussion about how Obamacare has created perverse incentives for, e.g., fast-food restaurants to cut employees’ hours to part-time. I have discussed how part-time work is at an all-time high, with most new workers being categorized as “involuntary part-time workers” thanks especially to Obamacare.
National Review is featuring a confrontation between the president and a fry cook who has been moved to part-time and makes only $7.25/hour. Naturally,
The president responded by urging states to increase the minimum wage. “I am working to encourage states, governors, mayors, state legislators to raise their own minimum wage,” Obama said. “Obviously, the way to reach millions of people would be for Congress to pass a new federal minimum wage law. So far, at least, we have not seen support from Republicans for such a move.”
Never mind that the president’s response doesn’t come close to addressing the greater problem; that the poor man isn’t allowed to work full time because of the president’s signature law. That notwithstanding, his solution would be to raise wage costs on employers and think it would encourage them to have employers work longer hours? No, despite his best efforts, demand curves slope downwards.
There is widespread agreement among economists that a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers.