A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Butterflies Are Not Free

Good news everyone! According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, Americans will be free from being locked into an unfulfilling job because of the healthcare benefits. In a few years, the report surmises, workers will choose to work less hours, or give up their jobs altogether.  The loss of man hours are being expressed in the report as a loss of 2.3 million jobs.

Naturally, opponents of the Affordable Care Act are not seeing Americans freed of job lock as a good thing. Freedom from this occupational hazard could mean that many people will start their own businesses. Or, if acid-tongued conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer is accurate, they will become butterfly collectors who will thrive on the taxpayer’s dole.

His full critique “Obamacare’s War on Jobs” is available in all of its full view, propaganda splendor at

Krauthammer insists that Americans have always had the freedom to voluntarily give up their jobs for other pursuits. In his view, the subsidies available to Americans for their newly acquired health care insurance policies are a disincentive to work. I’m sure this is news to every worker who still has such incentives as mortgage, food, clothing, and other basic necessities to keep their jobs.

He jumped on Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s statement that workers would be freed to pursue their passions in the arts, photography or writing when they would not have to hold onto their day jobs for the sake of healthcare coverage. Krauthammer goes on to quote Marx (Karl, the least amusing of the Marx Brothers) who philosophized in The German Ideology about a Communist society where he ‘could “hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner.” 
His Marx quotation doesn’t necessarily aid his argument of a person dependent on others to meet his basic needs. The “hunt in the morning” is a food gathering concept common to all cultures and a tribute to the concept of self sufficiency. "Fish in the afternoon” - more food gathering, more self sufficiency!  “Rear cattle in the evening,” which I would be willing to bet can be a lucrative business venture even in a communist society; and “criticize after dinner.” Okay, many of us do engage in this activity, but only because we don’t have the luxury of writing blistering statements in The Washington Post and getting paid for the honor!

Then, strangely for a conservative commentator, Krauthammer continues his proletariat tirade by coming to the defense of the American factory worker. He mourns: “The taxes of the American factory worker — grinding dutifully at his repetitive mind-numbing job — will be subsidizing the voluntary unemployment of the artiste in search of his muse.”

Oh, how heart-warming! Krauthammer is now so concerned about the lives of the American factory worker! Where was your concern when your Wall Street brethren shipped the factory workers jobs off to China? And the jobs that are still here are most likely unionized labor, which your ilk is so fond of criticizing (and in some states legislating) out of existence, before, during, and after dinner!
Krauthammer and his conservative company love to paint Obama’s signature piece of legislation as some sort of job crushing behemoth. In actuality, many workers will undoubtedly voluntarily quit their jobs to pursue other opportunities, but this should in turn create vacancies in the job market which would be a godsend to the 7% still unemployed from the last recession.    

Regardless if liberals are painting silver linings on the clouds of big government or the strength of Nancy Pelosi’s rose-colored glasses, the conservatives are sure to shield their eyes from the luster of social progress. In any event, someone will have to quit their job and start a business producing butterfly nets, for the millions of Americans who will suddenly chuck it all for the sheer sake of collecting…that is, if Krauthammer’s prediction comes true… 

(Thank you for reading.  EDITOR’S NOTE: Karl Marx was not related to the Marx Brothers comedy team. However, we are still trying to substantiate a rumor that he did tour with The Floradora Sextette.)


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