In order to justify the latest Obamacare news, the party line is that growing unemployment as a result of Obamacare would be good because it frees people from the drudgery of jobs:
An editorial in the Times celebrates the projected decline in work as “a liberating result of the law. . . . Workers . . . will no longer need to feel locked into a job they don’t like because they need insurance for themselves or their families.”
Given the high deductibles and narrow networks that make ObamaCare policies unattractive, we wonder if the CBO’s estimate might not turn out to be on the high side. And here’s another puzzlement: Working for pay is supposed to be liberating for women because it frees them from dependency on men. How can one square that with this new claim that dependence on the government is liberating because it allows people not to work?
Well, consistency is not the point. Work is liberating when it suits the party agenda, senseless drudgery when it does not.
Of course, it would be naive to say that work is not sometimes tiresome labor. Some of our laws—setting the number of hours, or amount of time devoted to breaks—are designed to reduce some of its more onerous elements. Much work is intrinsically boring. But whose duty is it to relieve people of that, and who will pay for that relief? The need for health insurance is just one thing that might keep a person “locked into a job they don’t like because they need” something or other. Is the new goal to redesign the world so that everyone loves his/her work? Good luck with it.
Now might be a good time for a quote from none other than Martin Luther King Jr.:
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
King was a preacher, after all. And this is an ideal that most people (including me) may not be able to reach. But it’s an attitude that life satisfaction comes from what we bring to it, and that there is dignity to work well done.