HURRAY FOR OBAMACARE
Most people are going to like it. And it will make the citizenry — and the economy — healthier. This is bad why?
One reason, say those who would shut down the entire government rather than allow American families better health care security, free preventive care, and the rest, is that companies will shift from full-time workers to part-time workers to avoid having to provide health care. Well, the trend toward part-time workers began long before Obamacare became law. And at least one large employer — the nation’s largest, in fact — is doing exactly the reverse. From Forbes: “Full-Time Workers-Obamacare Not Such A Job Killer After All?”
And while I have you, I want to reiterate what I think is the under-emphasized driver of much of this. How is it possible for so many people to benefit from Obamacare when we all know there is no free lunch? Part of it will come from increased efficiency and better alignment of incentives. But part of it comes quite simply from leaning on the best off to shift things a little more in favor of “everyone else.” There will still be a vastly wider inequality gap than there was in the Fifties and Sixties and Seventies when we had things like unions and high tax rates on the rich. (Actually: counterproductively too high rates.) But grabbing an extra $38,000 in tax on each $1 million in dividends and capital gains you earn each year will still pinch you a little, and help the single mother with a child whose health care previously she could not afford.
Visit healthcare.gov and see for yourself.
HURRAY FOR AUSTRALIA
And our friendship therewith. And the new US Ambassador to Australia, whose introductory video is embedded here.
HURRAY FOR NONDISCRIMINATION
One of the (many) little noticed advances of the past five years, of little interest to most Americans, but of intense interest to hundreds of thousands who are transgender, is this: Transgender Americans are protected against discrimination in employment in all 50 states under federal law. (It was a unanimous, bipartisan decision.) You may not know any trans folks. If and when you do, you will likely find, as I have, that — as with any other folks — some are lovable, some are annoying, some are CEOs of multi-billion-dollar publicly traded biotech companies (well, one I know, anyway) and some struggle in the most difficult of circumstances. America is better when we judge people by the content of their character and their work product rather than by the color of their skin — or other personal attributes irrelevant to how well they sweep floors, code software, flip burgers, or run corporations.
Quote of the Day
Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.~Teddy Roosevelt, 1902
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