The Republicans are supposed to have a “War on Women” that’s about as real as the Loch Ness monster, but the Democrats are developing a war that is considerably more authentic and quite a bit more sinister — a “War on Work.” From Reuters:
Democrats sought to turn the latest controversy over Obamacare and the economy into a positive political message on Sunday by casting an expected decline in American work hours as a boon to worker freedom and family values.
In a new partisan tussle over election messaging that is likely to color this year’s congressional mid-term campaign, Democratic lawmakers said a predicted drop in work hours brought about by Obamacare would mean more family time for mothers, more study opportunities for college students and less job stress for older workers.
“The single mom, who’s raising three kids (and) has to keep a job because of healthcare, can now spend some time raising those kids. That’s a family value,” Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said on NBC’s Sunday program, “Meet the Press.”
He was responding to a fiscal report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday that said President Barack Obama’s healthcare law would bring about a drop in work hours equal to the loss of 2.5 million full-time workers over the next decade.
Schumer’s blather is obviously meant to distract from the CBO’s report, rather than “respond” to it, as the Reuters loyalists would have it, but never mind. Something more disturbing, indeed quite literally depressing, is at play here. If we are moving toward a society in which people perforce work less, whether to get discount healthcare or any healthcare or some other governmentally imposed reason, we are moving toward a depressed society, a nation of the sad.
You don’t have to be a Freudian to see the truth in the father of psychoanalysis’ oft-quoted pronouncement that “love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness,” really the keys to our daily sanity. If you undermine our ability to work, to be gainfully and fully employed, you undermine our self-respect, virtually no matter what our occupation. When our ability to contribute to society and to the welfare of our families is curtailed, we become depressed, sometimes unable to function or even be creative with that vaunted free time. The vast majority of us anyway. People on the dole are almost always a depressed lot, sometimes terminally.