How to Kill The Work Ethic: Obamacare and The Dependency Agenda

pic_Work-Ethic

Changing people’s incentives doesn’t make them freer. 

Charles C. W. Cooke writes:  There is a point in almost every debate at which the losing party recognizes its predicament and concludes that its only remaining play is to try to corrupt the language. In Texas, pro-choice hero Wendy Davis has begun, risibly, to describe herself as “pro-life”; in his second inaugural, President Obama cloaked the most ambitious statist agenda in a half-century in the patois of limited government and rebellion; and, in my own country of birth, authorities that lock people up for speaking do so in the ostensible name of “respect.” If you can’t beat ’em, confuse ’em.

Work-EthicYesterday morning, Obamacare’s beleaguered partisans got in on the act, too. Responding to a CBO report that suggested the law would encourage more than 2 million people either to seek less work or to leave the labor market completely, progressives picked up their tricornered hats and their muskets, and started to shout incoherently about “freedom.” In a lovely illustration of the truism that progressives really haven’t the slightest clue what it is that conservatives believe, the Huffington Post’s Senior Congressional Reporter, Michael McAuliff, spoke for the cabal, suggesting ludicrously that,

There’s an irony in the GOP complaining that ACA lets people quit jobs. I mean, what’s wrong with freedom?

To answer a remarkably misguided rhetorical question, there is nothing at all “wrong with freedom.” As Patrick Henry rightly argued, above all other things “liberty ought to be the direct end” of government, for, after that, everything else is mere indulgence. But there is an awful lot “wrong” with using the word “freedom” where it does not apply. After all, it is one thing for a person to choose not to work and to accept the natural consequences of that decision, but quite another indeed for a person to choose not to work because others are being forced to subsidize his well-being. One can reasonably attest that redistributing wealth to underwrite preferred social outcomes is “necessary” or “virtuous” or “kind” or “practical” — or even, more cynically, that it is the inexorable end product of a democratic system in which one man can vote himself the contents of another’s wallet. But one cannot claim that it makes either man “free” — at least not without twisting the word and the concept that it represents beyond all meaningful recognition.

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Does the Obama administration really plan to make the case that negative liberty is but a mirage and that, the state of nature’s “forcing” one to work being akin to actual compulsion, the state must step in everywhere to liberate the citizenry from reality’s harsh claims? One suspects not….

Read the rest…

National Review Online


One Comment on “How to Kill The Work Ethic: Obamacare and The Dependency Agenda”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet Changing people’s incentives doesn’t make them freer. Charles C. W. Cooke writes: There […]


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