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Author Topic: Obamacare Predictions for May 2015
Seneca
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So what happens when too many people see all this great free stuff and not enough want to work to support the economy?

Guess we need a repeat of the USSR and have to destroy our society in order to get people to remember socialism doesn't work. And that's only less than 25 years after their collapse. So much for the generational example it was supposed to provide.

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NobleHunter
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In 20 years, our problem isn't going to be getting enough people to work, it will be finding ways to distribute resources to all the people who have no work to do. We're already running into a demand problem because wages have not matched increases in productivity; it will only get worse if certain technological trends live up to their potential.
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Seneca
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I those advocating general welfare for anyone underestimate the laziness of humans in general.

During the soviet union humans clearly had the technology where not everyone had to work or even most people, and yet their economy crumbled and collapsed because they couldn't even get enough people to float their system on basic production.

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NobleHunter
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Was that because people were lazy or saw no point? I'm under the impression that improving your standard of living was very difficult in the USSR. If I get $200 a day whether I go to work or not, I'm not going to work unless I really like my job. Not a circumstance that often prevailed in the Soviet Union.

[bad Russian accent]In Soviet Russia, job works you![/bad Russian accent]

If I get $200 for staying home or $300 for work it's a different story. I choose to work because that extra $100/day makes a real difference in the options available to me. Again, not something that was true in the USSR.

There's also real value in working just to have something to do. Trying to keep myself occupied for an extra 40 hours a week would be a real chore. A job at least gives me something purposeful to do. If got that $200/day, I probably wouldn't put 40 hours in but I'd at least check in to see if they had anything worth doing. I'd also spend time writing, which would hopefully prove more valuable than my current job.

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Seneca
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quote:
The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office delivered a damning assessment Wednesday of the Affordable Care Act, telling lawmakers that ObamaCare creates a "disincentive for people to work," adding fuel to Republican arguments that the law will hurt the economy.

The testimony from CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf comes after his office released a highly controversial report that detailed how millions of workers could cut back their hours or opt out of the job market entirely because of benefits under the health law.

The White House and its Democratic allies accused Republicans, and the media, of mischaracterizing the findings. But Elmendorf backed Republicans' central argument -- fewer people will work because of the law's subsidies.

"The act creates a disincentive for people to work," Elmendorf said, under questioning from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

[/b]"The act creates a disincentive for people to work."[/b]
- Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director

Ryan clarified that the CBO report found not that employers would lay people off, but that more individuals would choose not to work.

"As a result ... that [lower] labor supply lowers economic growth," Ryan said.

Elmendorf answered: "Yes, that's right."

Ryan fumed that this would mean fewer people would be "joining the middle class."

"It's adding insult to injury," he said. "As the welfare state expands, the incentive to work declines -- meaning grow the government, you shrink the economy."

The CBO report on Tuesday effectively found that more people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid. The workforce changes would mean nationwide losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, the report said.

Republican lawmakers seized on the report as major new evidence of what they consider the failures of Obama's overhaul, the huge change in U.S. health coverage that they're trying to overturn and planning to use as a main argument against Democrats in November's midterm elections.

It's the latest indication that "the president's health care law is destroying full-time jobs," said Republican Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. "This fatally flawed health care scheme is wreaking havoc on working families nationwide," he said.



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LetterRip
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Elmedorfs answer was wrong - reduced labor only lowers growth IF labor is close to capacity OR it results in a shortage of a particular labor niche.

We have such a massive oversupply of labor there is no reason to anticipate this will happen.

Also Ryan has pretty big misunderstandings of economics it will likely increase people 'joining the middle class' in that it will provide more employment opportunities for those who want/need to work.

Also Kline misunderstands the report - he talks about it 'destroying full time jobs' - it should create more full time jobs based on this finding - since individuals will reduce overtime hours worked resulting in increased total employment both part time and full time.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
So what happens when too many people see all this great free stuff and not enough want to work to support the economy?


All what great free stuff? There's a small amount of stuff that's barely adequate to get by for those that have other priorities, but the only great stuff comes from income levels that can only be achieved through generating a higher income level than the support programs provide.

quote:
Guess we need a repeat of the USSR and have to destroy our society in order to get people to remember socialism doesn't work.
What socialism? This is welfare/public support, which has nothing to do with socialism. No one is advocating nationalizing industries and trying to replace market allocation of production resources with political direction of production here. Nor is anyone advocating removing the reward of higher income by way of working which is effectively what provided the disincentive to do so in the example that you're trying to put forward.
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D.W.
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I thought ACA was a disincentive to employers. How exactly does it disincentivize workers from working? Unless you know, they take a pay hit to cover the employer contributions?
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scifibum
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LR - the CBO is saying it will reduce hours worked. There is indeed a disincentive to work if it disqualifies someone for Medicaid or for the healthcare premium subsidies. I don't think there's any reason to dispute this.

Those disincentives could be compensated for in some way, of course.

However, it seems to me to point to the ultimate solution.

We (aside from a somewhat extreme and rather small minority) do not accept a system where indigent people are left to suffer and die from illness because they can't pay for treatment. This is why ERs can't turn anyone away.

It's also true that the pre-ACA status quo was not working very well. The overall costs of our system are way too high relative to our outcomes. So something needed to change.

It's fairly clear that most people aren't going to sign up for a guaranteed minimum income that eliminates the category of "can't pay for treatment."

It's also pretty clear that Medicaid and the subsidies of ACA create a disincentive to work in some situations. I think it's mostly people choosing not to take a second [or nth] household job, rather than choosing not to work at all - I'm not too worried about Seneca's worst nightmares.

If the effective tax on labor supply is unacceptable, and the dying-in-the-streets and do-nothing-and-keep-overspending-relative-to-outcomes options are still unacceptable, then it says to me that the solution is single payer.

As of now, most people seem to consider the ACA with its downsides a better solution that single payer.

I think if we're going to truly stand behind the de facto position that we don't just let people die in the streets because it's their own problem to figure out how to pay for whatever they need, then we either have to suck up the labor supply downside the CBO has just articulated, or we have to eliminate that downside with a more comprehensive overhaul - and the only one that escapes the dilemma, as far as I can tell - is single payer.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I thought ACA was a disincentive to employers. How exactly does it disincentivize workers from working? Unless you know, they take a pay hit to cover the employer contributions?

If you've been looking to retire, but can't because you've got a medical condition that would have left you dead in the water on the private market, the ACA opens up a way to make that affordable. Similar at the low end if you're a student or parent that has other possible priorities than private employment- improved eligibility for Medicaid now means that you're a little more free to focus on those priorities instead of having to work for health coverage (and, perhaps, daycare costs)

Those are the major groups that are predicted to drop out of the job market, making way for the current unemployed to actually get the jobs that they need and are actually actively interested in working in order to improve their financial situations.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
then we either have to suck up the labor supply downside the CBO has just articulated,
Except that it's not a downside- in our current state, the reduced labor supply is an upside, because we're currently extremely over-supplied with labor, and facing rapidly growing disemployment pressure as technology displaces the need for labor.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
I'm starting to think a dole might not be a bad idea. I think I have to turn in my conservative credentials just for having the thought.

Would it make it more palatable to call it a dividend? Because that's basically what it could be boiled down to- a baseline slice of total productivity paid out to each person by virtue of the implicit investment in the US represented by their citizenship.
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Seneca
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This is absurd.

We are running a budget deficit and will continue to do so, and it will get worse because of this unless economic activity grows a lot, which it won't thanks in part to the ACA.

quote:
However, the budget experts see the long-term federal deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy than they had previously predicted.
So instead of losing jobs and worked hours from the market we needed more to generate revenues to cover this mass deficit. Instead we are getting less. If we don't get more the only solution will be to raise taxes which will destroy even more jobs and isn't even a solution. Do you see where this spiral is headed?

As for single payer, that is a nightmare from hell. I'd rather take my chances on the open market than have the government tell me whether or not I am approved for care. The IPAB is bad enough, you want to turn over the whole thing to bureaucrats?

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LetterRip
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scifibum,

were you responding to someone else? DW perhaps?

DW,

I explained why it is a disincentive to maximize ones labor output - each threshold for ACA subsidy means that once you cross that threshold it can take numerous hours to compensate for the subsidy lost. Ie a 100$ per month loss in subsidy at a job that pays 20$ an hour for overtime would take more than 5 hours a month in labor to subsitute for the lost subsidy. So if you are on the threshold where doing an extra hour of labor loses the subsidy, there is a strong incentive to not take that extra hour of labor.

So it disincentivizes existing workers to maximize their labor output when they are close to a threshold level.

However, while it disincentivzes close to thresholds, that reduce labor can now be done by the currently unemployed.

So net effect is likely positive to the economy and taxes, unless we are at or close to full employment.

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D.W.
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Thanks Pyrtolin that make sense. Doesn’t cause me to fret but it is a solid example.
quote:
So if you are on the threshold where doing an extra hour of labor loses the subsidy, there is a strong incentive to not take that extra hour of labor.
So we need better gradation of subsidies? [Smile]
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
scifibum,

were you responding to someone else? DW perhaps?


No, I was responding you -

"...- it should create more full time jobs based on this finding - since individuals will reduce overtime hours worked resulting in increased total employment both part time and full time...."

It's going to cause a reduction in full time job equivalents, according to the CBO. I read the detailed analysis (appendix c: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45010-Outlook2014.pdf) - they do not expect the labor hours to be picked up by others.

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Pyrtolin
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To add to it- "retire" above very often actually means "Attempt to start an individual business venture, not "Start collecting a pension/IRA payment" People who do that are considered to have left the labor market because they're not seeking external employment, even though they're still being as productive, if not perhaps more productive than they would have been if employed by someone else. Fears of losing or otherwise not having access to employer provided group health insurance have been a huge disincentive to entrepreneurship which the ACA is more or less directly designed to address.
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LetterRip
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scifibum,

ok thanks. I'm reading appendix C, for specifics - here is a summary - effects are listed in order of expected impact.

Substitution effects are as the marginal utility of your labor decreases (each hour worked is worth less) you substitute lesiure for labor hours. This is partially what I was describing above with threshold effects can reduce the marginal utility of labor.

Income effects are - that some individuals work to achieve a specific baseline consumption thus reducing labor when they can meet that baseline consumption for fewer hours worked.

Here are there claims

1) They anticipate a substitution effect and income effect for some of those already working. This will result in some individuals exiting the work force; some individuals deliberately switching from current full time positions to part time positions; and some individuals forgoing overtime.

This will impact individuals with no preexisting coverage who are below 400% of the poverty threshold; or those who are workers who only work part of a year (seasonal workers, and individuals who work only enough to make what is needed to meet their needs for a year).

2) Impact of medicaid eligibility

This will primarily impact single childless individuals. The will gain coverage, and thus have similar substitution and income effects.

3) Impact on employer labor supply (ie exceeding 50 workers)

The 'penalty' for not providing insurance will be 'passed on' to the employee. Resulting in reduced pay, and thus reduced incentive to work

4) Excise tax on 'gold plated' plans

Will cause plan coverage reductions, but this should shift to increases in other forms of compensation (ie higher take home pay). However, the higher pay will be subject to income taxes - the net effect could be reduced total compensation, and thus reduced incentive to work.

5) Retirement decisions for elderly and disabled

might allow some to retire earlier

6) Effects due to productivity

Some employees might choose jobs better matching their skills since they no longer have to worry about not getting health insurance. This might result in reduced need for training because they are better qualified.

Others might improve their productivty through better health

Some employers might split jobs into part time to avoid paying for insurance reducing productivty.

Etc.

They project that the total demand for goods and services will increase.

So that ends their analysis.

All of this combined (increased demand for goods and services, some individuals exiting or reducing their supply of labor) should have a net increase in total employment (those interested in working being employed).

There doesn't seem to be anything in the report that provides a justification for a claim that total labor demand would decline. If demand for goods and services increases total labor supply has to expand to meet it, all else being equal.

For instance, lets say all small business cap their employment at 50 employees with a constant demand. For total employment it would actually increase. The reason should be obvious. Larger businesses provide economy of scale, so with business capped at 50 employees, we need more total businesses and each of them operating less efficiently than a combined larger business. (Other effects make the analysis slightly more complex - more competitors means lower prices which will increase demand; lack of economy of scale will drive up cost of doing business raising prices and lowering demand; etc.)

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LetterRip
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scifibum,

the reduction in total employment can only happen if there is a supply constraint on labor. With a glut of labor, as is the current case, there is no rational reason to expect a decrease in total labor demand.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
We are running a budget deficit and will continue to do so, and it will get worse because of this unless economic activity grows a lot, which it won't thanks in part to the ACA.
Do you accept as fact that the average reduction in the annual deficit over the past 5 years since Obama took office has been greater in absolute (or inflation adjusted) terms than under any other President in the last 50 years?

How do you explain that?

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Seneca
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quote:
However, the budget experts see the long-term federal deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy than they had previously predicted.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
However, the budget experts see the long-term federal deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy than they had previously predicted.

That's going to keep happening as long as politicians keep pursuing self destruction via deficit cuts instead of focusing on investing in growth.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
scifibum,

the reduction in total employment can only happen if there is a supply constraint on labor. With a glut of labor, as is the current case, there is no rational reason to expect a decrease in total labor demand.

Yes, there is. ObamaCare drives a decrease in labor demand among businesses.
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Wayward Son
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Would you like to tell us why you believe that, G3? And whether it pertains to this recent report?
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G3
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Check it out, one of my prediction came true already.
quote:
Originally posted by G3 on 01-14-2014 05:49 PM:
So 2 predictions: 1) this will continue and more people will be forced to work fewer hours or be forced to accept that their full time positions will become part time and 2) this will be called "anecdotal" no matter how many companies do it.

So on prediction 1, we know from the CBO report that this will be true as 2.5 million full-time workers will become part timer by 2025. Spot on with that prediction.

I was, at least for now, wrong on the anecdotal part but really, who could have predicted that millions being dropped from full time positions into part time work would have been called good news? I say for now because a claim this stupid can't fly for long. We'll see ...

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Would you like to tell us why you believe that, G3? And whether it pertains to this recent report?

It has been discussed heavily in many threads. I don't see the need to regurgitate it every time someone tries to deny it. You can google obamacare job losses.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I was, at least for now, wrong on the anecdotal part
Actaully, what you missed was "unsustainable" on that.

Many companies have loudly announced that they'd be doing that, then quietly retracted those plans, when they realized that they wouldn't be able to operate if they shorted staffing hours and the overhead/turnover from trying to maintain that costed them more than just offering proper compensation up front.

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G3
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What companies "quietly retracted those plans"?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
scifibum,

the reduction in total employment can only happen if there is a supply constraint on labor. With a glut of labor, as is the current case, there is no rational reason to expect a decrease in total labor demand.

Yes, there is. ObamaCare drives a decrease in labor demand among businesses.
TEchnological productivity gains drive a reduction in labor demand. Businesses cannot employ less labor than it takes to meet consumer demand, and won't waste money employing any more than it takes to do so. Obamacare may lead to some small marginal hikes in prices to account for having to pay a less suppressed cost of employment, but it's consumer demand that sets the bar for labor demand, businesses just serve to broker that demand to the people they hire to meet it.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Businesses cannot employ less labor than it takes to meet consumer demand...

Yeah, actually, they can.

Related news:
quote:
AOL is trimming back its employee retirement benefits, a move the media company's chief executive said Thursday was made necessary by new costs incurred by President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

"Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company, so we have to decide whether or not to pass that expense to employees or whether to cut other benefits," AOL's Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong told CNBC Thursday morning. AOL is the parent company of The Huffington Post.


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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
What companies "quietly retracted those plans"?

Darden Restaurants
John Metz (Announced and retraced for his Denny's franchises and Hurricane Grill)
Papa John’s
New York Area Applebees

Some of the big headliners from the initial wave of claims. Other's haven't as explicitly backtracked, but they also haven't actually cut hours, because it's not really possible, otherwise they'd have already cut the hours that they were wasting even without the ACA as an excuse.

(Disney, apparently, has gone the other way, and started looking to promote part time workers to full time status in order to give them better health plan access)

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LetterRip
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G3,

quote:
So 2 predictions: 1) this will continue and more people will be forced to work fewer hours or be forced to accept that their full time positions will become part time and 2) this will be called "anecdotal" no matter how many companies do it.
So on prediction 1, we know from the CBO report that this will be true as 2.5 million full-time workers will become part timer by 2025. Spot on with that prediction.

Reading comprehension fail. They are not being 'forced to work less'. It is people who want to work less doing so because it changes the economics (they can achieve the same equivalent income and benefits that they want with fewer hours). In this case it is people working fewer hours than the hours that the company would allow them to work - thus the complete opposite of your prediction. Also it isn't 2.5 million people shifting to part time - it is 2.5 million FTE hours being reduced. A significant source is earlier retirements of full time workers, another significant source is early retirement of part time workers, another significant source is reduction in voluntary overtime hours, another source is voluntary reduction of part time hours, only a modest part will be voluntary switching from full time to part time.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
G3,

quote:
So 2 predictions: 1) this will continue and more people will be forced to work fewer hours or be forced to accept that their full time positions will become part time and 2) this will be called "anecdotal" no matter how many companies do it.
So on prediction 1, we know from the CBO report that this will be true as 2.5 million full-time workers will become part timer by 2025. Spot on with that prediction.

Reading comprehension fail. They are not being 'forced to work less'. It is people who want to work less doing so because it changes the economics (they can achieve the same equivalent income and benefits that they want with fewer hours). In this case it is people working fewer hours than the hours that the company would allow them to work - thus the complete opposite of your prediction. Also it isn't 2.5 million people shifting to part time - it is 2.5 million FTE hours being reduced. A significant source is earlier retirements of full time workers, another significant source is early retirement of part time workers, another significant source is reduction in voluntary overtime hours, another source is voluntary reduction of part time hours, only a modest part will be voluntary switching from full time to part time.
This may be some of the best spin of the Obama era.
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Wayward Son
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I agree, G3. The Conservatives you quoted have spun the report way out into the stratosphere. [Big Grin]
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
What companies "quietly retracted those plans"?

Darden Restaurants
John Metz (Announced and retraced for his Denny's franchises and Hurricane Grill)
Papa John’s
New York Area Applebees

Some of the big headliners from the initial wave of claims. Other's haven't as explicitly backtracked, but they also haven't actually cut hours, because it's not really possible, otherwise they'd have already cut the hours that they were wasting even without the ACA as an excuse.

(Disney, apparently, has gone the other way, and started looking to promote part time workers to full time status in order to give them better health plan access)

I'll look at some of the others but let's start with Papa John's. John "Papa" Schnatter wrote a article about this:
quote:
Reading what has been written about statements I made on the effect of the Affordable Care Act on our franchisees reminds me of a quote from Lewis H. Lapham, former editor of Harper's magazine: "People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true."

Many in the media reported that I said Papa John's is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare. I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Clearly there was some misunderstanding somewhere.

So it really does look like he's walking back on this right? But let's go a little further in the story:
quote:
Here is the part of the interchange that was the genesis of the news:

Reporter: "Do you think your -- you know -- franchise owners... are going to cut people hours back to make them part time instead of full time?"

Me: "Well, in Hawaii there is a form of the same kind of health insurance and that's what you do, you find loopholes to get around it. That's what they're going to do."

Reporter: "My understanding is that if you're a full time employee, which is 35 hours or over, you'd be covered. Or if you're part time then you wouldn't be. So wouldn't some business owners just cut people down like 34 hours a week so they wouldn't have to pay for health insurance?"

Me: "It's common sense. It's what I call lose-lose."

The reporter asked what I believed Papa John's franchisees would do in response to Obamacare, not what Papa John's would do. In fact, her question was "wouldn't some business owners just cut people down like 34 hours a week so they wouldn't have to pay for health insurance?"

My answer: "It's common sense."

So is it going to be the "common sense" outcome or not? I think we all know.

He finishes:
quote:
Papa John's, like most businesses, is still researching what the Affordable Care Act means to our operations. Regardless of the conclusion of our analysis, we will honor this law, as we do all laws, and continue to offer 100% of Papa John's corporate employees and workers in company-owned stores health insurance as we have since the company was founded in 1984.
And how "common sense" will his future conclusions be you think? Sure, we all know.

The real question for Schnatter is why the, let's call it, clarification? Why the need to talk about how something so "common sense" does not mean for him what it means for his franchisees? Why does he need everyone to know that he will honor the law no matter what his analysis concludes?

Think this through, what is the message and who is the intended recipient here? The average consumer is not even aware of ObamaCare (hard to believe there it is) so Schnatter is not trying to talk to them. Schnatter's shareholders know he has to do the "common sense" things, they don't need to be told in the pages of Huffington Post. His own employees would be addressed via internal communications. So who's he trying to placate with this? Here's a hint: audit.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
I agree, G3. The Conservatives you quoted have spun the report way out into the stratosphere. [Big Grin]

I always picture Peewee Herman with these kinds of responses ...

However, the spin is how great it's gonna be that all these people get to "choose" not to work. They'll have all this leisure time now to finally write that symphony, solve those pesky scientific questions that have plagued mankind for months, solve pressing world issues, create great works of art, etc, etc. It's the most ridiculous spin I've ever heard.

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LetterRip
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G3,

again reading comprehension fail.

What the report says is that people who are working to achieve a target income rate, or target amount of consumption often work the minimum to reach that target.

If you subsidise insurance at 700$/month. Then that is 12*700$ = 8400$ less they need to earn to achieve the same consumption. So if they, for instance, are earning 10$ an hour then 8400/10 = 840 hours less they need to work each year to achieve the same consumption pattern/income equivalent.

A classic example of this behaviour is surfbums/skibums. There are plenty of people who hate their jobs and work only enough to meet their expenses.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
I always picture Peewee Herman with these kinds of responses ...
As the old Finnish saying goes, "What you shout into the forest, the forest will echo." Just think of me as the forest. [Smile]

quote:
However, the spin is how great it's gonna be that all these people get to "choose" not to work. They'll have all this leisure time now to finally write that symphony, solve those pesky scientific questions that have plagued mankind for months, solve pressing world issues, create great works of art, etc, etc. It's the most ridiculous spin I've ever heard.
The problem is the "spin" is what the CBO used to make its estimate. It's what's in the report. It didn't come from the pundits or the spinmasters, like
Boehner's "President Obama's [health care reform] law expected to destroy 2.3 million jobs...

If you disagree with people "choosing" not to work, then you have to discount the conclusions of the report, too. If the basis is "spin," the conclusions therefore must be "spin," too.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
the spin is how great it's gonna be that all these people get to "choose" not to work
I'm not sure why that's in quotes. Are you saying that the CBO was not specifically speaking of people who, in fact, choose not to work?
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
G3,

again reading comprehension fail.

What the report says is that people who are working to achieve a target income rate, or target amount of consumption often work the minimum to reach that target.

If you subsidise insurance at 700$/month. Then that is 12*700$ = 8400$ less they need to earn to achieve the same consumption. So if they, for instance, are earning 10$ an hour then 8400/10 = 840 hours less they need to work each year to achieve the same consumption pattern/income equivalent.

A classic example of this behaviour is surfbums/skibums. There are plenty of people who hate their jobs and work only enough to meet their expenses.

How is that a good thing? Don't you see that this ratcheting down to work the bare minimum while the government will have to increase deficit spending and probably raise taxes to pay for fewer working people will destroy our economy? The problem with socialism is that people are lazy.
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