Evading Prosperity

Doctor Zero pens an analysis of a coverage provision in the Obamacare bill that will likely result in a loss of part-time jobs. The provision would require employers to provide full benefits to part-time workers, which would make it prohibitively expensive to retain those workers as part-time.

As Ed Morrissey pointed out, the original Senate version of this health-care mandate would have encouraged businesses to evade it by reducing full-time staff and hiring more part-time employees. The revised version would have the opposite effect, virtually annihilating part-time employment by making it dramatically more expensive. Employers would have no choice but to provide expensive health-care benefits to their part-time staff, pay stiff penalties… or dodge this swinging pendulum of financial ruin by getting rid of part-timers altogether.

Businesses employ part-time labor to gain flexibility in covering their schedules. If the cost of such labor is greatly increased, they will find ways to do without it. You have no idea how much your life will change, if the tectonic plates of the labor market shift so violently. Many of the services and conveniences you take for granted will disappear. If you think the service and food quality at some restaurants are poor now, wait until the owners eliminate the part-time positions that allow them to beef up their staff for lunch and dinner rushes. We could find ourselves looking back on late-night drive-thrus and pizza delivery as fond memories from a bygone era. The retail sales industry is already reeling from online competition and steep operating costs. Many stores would find it impossible to continue their business model without part-time labor.

This would be annoying to the consumers of those services… and utterly devastating to their owners and employees. It would produce a disastrous ripple effect throughout an already shaky economy with high unemployment. Industries that don’t even rely on part-time labor would be impacted by the collapse of those which do. A lot of truckers are employed hauling food and merchandise to those restaurants and retail outlets.

Doctor Zero’s analysis brings to light the fact that the economy will suffer because of the effects of this bill that no one is considering. Every little provision and entitlement will have an effect hat will essentially result in someone paying more, and if that person paying more is a business owner, then the more that he pays may come at the expense of an employee’s salary.

But not to worry. I’m sure that the government will create a program to provide benefits to the people who lose their jobs from this. They’ll just charge an extra tax on business owners …


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