Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Why do you think they call it work?
My mother used to say some people would bitch if they were hanged with a silk rope.* I think she was talking about Republicans.
I was listening to the news this morning and learned that a report from the Congressional Budget Office indicates that one of the consequences of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is that the number of people working may drop. Apparently the statisticians are predicting that some people will leave the work force or reduce their hours because their income is no longer needed to pay for health insurance. For example, a person who is currently working multiple part-time jobs may realize he or she only needs to work one. Or perhaps a two-income couple will realize they can get by on one income now that they're no longer saddled with $1000 a month in health insurance premiums. In short, the Affordable Care Act could lead to more people experiencing less stress and financial pressure, i.e., some people are going to be able to enjoy more leisure time. This possibility is generating all sorts of sound bites from the right about what a horrible, horrible outcome this is and how it's yet another example of the rolling train wreck that is Obamacare.
I don't get it. How is people having to work fewer hours to survive a bad thing? Work is something people do because they have to. For most people on the planet, it's a necessary evil, a means to an end and not the end in itself. Even people who genuinely like their jobs would probably prefer to spend less time at the job and more time doing other things. If work was fun, you wouldn't see bumper stickers telling the world "The worst day fishing beats the best day at work" or "Retired - every day is Saturday!" So if the Affordable Care Act means more people get to enjoy time having fun instead of staring at a computer screen or flipping burgers it strikes me as being one more thing to be happy about.
Then again, the S.O.'s ultra-conservative teabagger cousin recently hurled what he thought was the ultimate insult against the S.O.: "He only worked when he had no other choice." WTF? Isn't that what all of us do? If we didn't have to do it, it wouldn't be called work.
[*It always struck me as an odd saying. I think I'd complain no matter what type of fiber was used. What's the point? Silk doesn't chafe so the rope burn will be less dramatic? You're still dead.]