Obamacare: Welcome to Neo-Feudalism

obamacareIt is axiomatic in history that the new worlds of the revolutionaries tend to resemble the social systems of the past. Tsar Alexander II freed 60 million serfs with the stroke of a pen, and seventy years later Joseph Stalin would re-impose serfdom under the guise of collective farms. He used bullets instead of ink. Similar stories can be told of the French Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, and probably all revolutions in some respect.

Alexander Hamilton wanted America to copy the British system, complete with political elites, state-supported monopoly corporations like the British East India Company, and all-powerful central government. It took two hundred years to overcome Jeffersonian resistance, but Hamilton finally won when TARP was implemented.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Barack Obama’s career-building commitment to the rhetoric of egalitarianism would lead to a stratified-by-force society resembling the old feudal model.

Get Fewer Hours, for Less Pay, and No Benefits

A friend of mine is facing the situation that has been making headlines lately; employers are cutting hours and eliminating their existing health care programs. Her employer (a farm-and-country retail chain) currently provides their employees with monthly cash payments earmarked for employee healthcare needs.

The company has been considering eliminating the cash payment, because paying the Obamacare penalty will be cheaper. Now, let’s examine this with the incredulous and caustic clarity that is my trademark – the company will stop giving money to employees for their healthcare needs, and give it to the government instead.

The employees lose their health program and are now individually liable for the Obamacare penalty if they fail to obtain health insurance on their own – fewer resources and greater obligations, a pincer strike on their standard of living.

FTE’s

Obamacare minstrels have been pointing out that the law goes into effect for companies with over 50 full-time equivalents – or “FTE’s,” so a company with 10 full-time employees and 100 part-time employees would have 60 FTE’s and would have to provide insurance but only for employees that work over 30 hours a week – in this case, 10 employees.

Fewer benefits, fewer hours, less income, and more obligations; employees lose at every bloody turn. To make up the difference, employees will scrounge for second and third jobs, as well as government support.

It used to be that you found a job and worked hard, so you would not have to rely on public support. Now, you will be dependent on the government whether you have a job or not.

We’re All Day Laborers Now

Corporate America is in a process of firing all of their employees and replacing them with temps. Much like some serfs were Villeins and some were Cottagers (the difference was that some retained land and others were landless laborers providing service to the lords for subsistence), there are several types of temp employee.

Some are just like standard employees, except that they have to reapply for their job every 3 to 6 months, while others are full-fledged employees of a temp agency, and are sent out on contracts to whatever employer has engaged them.

Check the job boards for your home town; temp agency jobs might be the bulk of what is available.

Revolutionary Destruction

Causing strain on social and economic relationships has been a tactic of ideological struggle between countries, factions, movements, religions, and all radicals since the beginning of time.

Causing stress within families can justify enormous social work bureaucracies; causing stress within the workplace can break down the economy and make employers and employees view each other as enemies and potential litigants; and so on with teachers and students, citizens and police, and any thing else you can think of to insert more arbitrators, sensitivity counselors, HR consultants, labor activists, and social workers into the workings of the nation.

I haven’t even included the doctors opting for early retirement. So, what will the part-time employee with no health coverage whose tax refund was eaten up by the Obamacare penalty and has no spare cash because scheduled hours were reduced do for healthcare? There will be Medicaid, and emergency rooms – but hospitals will be understaffed.

Perhaps you should become good friends with your local veterinarian; it helped on “The Walking Dead,” and it might come in handy as we slide into post-industrial feudalism.

About the Author

Mr. Waechter is an attorney and a recent graduate of Drake University.

 

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