February 6, 2014

ROSS DOUTHAT: Liberals, Obamacare and Work.

So far, nearly all of the left-of-center responses to the latest C.B.O. projections on Obamacare and workforce participation have emphasized the upside of the downward trend — the fact that what we’re seeing is just the end of job lock in action, which gives parents the freedom to cut their hours, near-retirees the chance to stop working a job they hate a little early, and so on down a sympathetic list. ”If Obamacare really does cause millions of people to voluntarily leave full-time employment,” Matt Yglesias writes in a representative piece, “that shows us how much avoidable suffering the earlier system was causing,” and you can find roughly similar arguments from Jonathan Cohn, Jonathan Chait, and others too numerous to name.

Yes, it’s almost as if they’re all part of an email list or something, distributing the same talking points. . . . But read on to see what they’re not talking about.