Just 113 Shopping Days left Until the Next Crisis

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… only 110 shopping days left until the can starts moving still further down the road.

Incompetence, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from malice. This is the pettiest, most overtly incompetent and destructive administration in memory – both sides of the aisle – and we were treated to late-night television of them congratulating each other for their hard work. Disgusting.

In a shabby display of partisan one-upmanship, we just experienced a government that thought it politically prudent to deny death benefits to survivors of its fallen warriors; to close the World War II memorial to those in whose honor it was erected; to roll out the president’s signature legislation on software known to be faulty and untested; to refuse to talk to the opposition while calling them intransigent; to call Republicans “terrorists,” “arsonists,” “suicide bombers,” “domestic abusers,” and so on, while describing Iranian president Rousani (ex-CEO of Hizbollah) as “moderate.”

Republicans were no better. Insisting on gutting the only accomplishment of a sitting president is beyond tilting at windmills, it’s hallucinatory; conducting a high-profile information operation (trying to make ObamaCare the issue) while the press is reading from White House talking points is delusional; the Speaker of the House not talking to the Senate Minority Leader for the first nine days of the shutdown is dysfunctional; openly bickering among themselves only feeds the self-righteousness of the opposition, and so on.

What Democrats got from this deal: a clean CR and a clean debt-ceiling relief, and perhaps mostly, cover for the “embarrassingly inept” (Robert Gibbs’ words) rollout of the ObamaCare network interface. What Democrats lost from this deal: any chance of deterring a guaranteed lame-duck remainder of the president’s term. What Republicans got from this deal: two days of focus on ObamaCare. What the Republicans lost from this deal: getting anything meaningful done about spending, ObamaCare and entitlements. The Republicans gave President Obama a blank check for a promise to negotiate later, but that may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for him. His behavior, and that of his cohort, has made future relations with Congressional Republicans far more difficult – and Democrats need at least some Republicans to get anything done (at least until after the 2014s, and probably after that as well). It’s the typical self-inflicted wound of short-term thinking.

What Americans got out of this deal: Nothing but a breather until these morons go at each other again.

the Unintended Consequences of Explaining the Unintended Consequences

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A consequence of the previous page – These People are Afraid of a Brain Drain?! – is, if they believe what they say, then they know this law is bad for Americans.

If abiding ObamaCare would cause high-value aides to leave, then ObamaCare must be judged as being anti-competitive. Therefore, when American business is brought into compliance, it will reduce our competiveness, causing business to do whatever it can to reduce the arbitrary costs of ObamaCare – set key employees aside and 1099 or part-time as many of the rest as they can. If you’re small enough, do what you can to stay under 50 employees. Avoid union involvement (they will bind you to the most expensive plans). One can only guess how much of a depressive this exerts on the unemployment and labor participation rates.

People who repeatedly seem mystified by the effect of regulation on employment are forgetting a fundamental relationship in business – to be hired, you must be worth more to the company than you cost. If, for example, you make $25 an hour (of which you take home ~$20), you cost your company ~$39.73 an hour, thus you must represent more than $39.73 an hour of productivity, else the company has no reason to incur the cost. Everything that increases the cost of employment depresses employment. It’s not rocket science.

Therefore, it behooves every company to minimize the costs of ObamaCare, depressing hiring, and what hiring does occur will be less favorable to the new-hire (than before ObamaCare). The 99%, in other words, are the ultimate victims of a program that says it helps them.

“But wait!” I hear you scream, “the unemployed with ObamaCare are better off than the unemployed before ObamaCare.” Well, yes, but, being unemployed, their premiums are picked up by everybody else, raising absolute governmental costs of ObamaCare, resulting in some combination of higher debt and higher taxes. This, of course, further raises the business cost of hiring, further depressing hiring, further increasing unemployment, putting more people in the subsidized pool, further raising government spending, and so on.

It’s a self-licking ice cream cone – it’s set up to solve a problem it creates.