Symposium—The Death of Work

Socrates (470-399 B.C.) was a famous Greek philosopher from Athens, who taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle, and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. Socrates used a simple but ingeniously profound method of teaching by asking philosophical and revelatory questions. The Greeks called this form “dialectic” – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas by moving back and forth between points of view to determine how well ideas stand up to critical review, with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being Veritas – Truth.

Note: This Symposium is based in part on an article by Arnold Ahler, “ObamaCare: ‘Liberating’ the Workers,” in Daily Mailer, FrontPage, Feb. 6, 2014.

Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work.

~ Einstein

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps [abled welfare recipients] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars [workers/hosts]. 

~ Darwin

Characters:

Socrates

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Propaganda Press, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Scott Pelley, CBS News anchor

Democrat Socialist Party, Sen. Harry Reid, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, White House Secretary of Lies & Misinformation Jay Carney

Mark Steyn, Conservative Writer, Radio Talkshow Host

{Setting: Symposium of Socrates, Washington, D.C.}

Socrates: We are gathered here today at my Symposium to discuss the subject of work. Two theories of work predominate history—God vs. Man.  God, in his Holy Word commanded, “If a man doesn’t work, a man doesn’t eat.” From earliest antiquity, even in the Garden of Eden, man was given work to do before he knew what a women was, or even before he had children.  Nevertheless, Charles Darwin in 1859 concocted his contrived, evolution atheism in a book called, On the Origin of Species. In it he wrote about a new worldview which has contended that there is no God, that all matter came about as the result of a “Big Bang” 13.7 billion years ago through purely materialistic forces; that mankind isn’t special at all, wasn’t “created in the image of God” but was merely the blind product of natural selection, whose existence was secured by chance and through survival of the fittest.

Therefore, since the 1860s up to the twenty-first century the majority of the world believed that there is no Holy divine law which mankind is obligated to follow, no natural law or natural rights which transcend the laws of man. This new humanism claims that Man is the center of all things – Man is god. This radical paradigm shift is atheistic, humanistic, progressive, evolutionary, man-centered philosophy and is founded in two major ideas. The first by Mussolini who said, “Everything inside the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”  The second by Nietzsche whose Will to Power philosophy describes what many have believed to be the main driving force in humans: achievement, ambition; ruthlessness to reach the highest possible position in life by any means necessary.

Psychologist, Dr. Alfred Adler incorporated Nietzsche’s Will to Power into his individual psychology. This can be contrasted to the other Viennese schools of psychotherapy:  Sigmund Freud’s Pleasure Principle (Will to Pleasure) and Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy (Will to Meaning). Each of these schools promotes and teaches a very different primary dynamic force in Man.

CBO: In our Feb. 2014 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report  it was revealed that ObamaCare will have a “substantially larger” impact on the job market than the originally anticipated reduction of 800,000 full-time workers. Instead, the CBO predicts that the law will reduce the workforce by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, and 2.5 million over the next decade.

Socrates: Most people would consider that bad news. Yet according to the propaganda media organizations that have devolved into little more than Obama administration cheerleaders, most people are wrong. In short, the Democrat Socialist Party seems to be using any means necessary including sophistry to save the ongoing disaster known as ObamaCare, ergo, bad news is good news.

Propaganda Press: New York Times has trumpeted the good news that under the progressive Obama administration there has been more than tripling in the reduction of workforce participation; indeed this is liberating the worker from having to work. ObamaCare will free people, young and old, to pursue careers, retirement, or leisure without having to worry about health coverage. Workers can seek positions they are most qualified for and will no longer need to feel locked into a job they don’t like because they need insurance for themselves or their families. It is hard to view this as any kind of disaster.

Propaganda Press: The LA Times turned the bad news of the CBO estimates that on balance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase aggregate demand for goods and services, in part by relieving lower-income people of the burden of health insurance or healthcare expenses, to a positive, so more people can increase their spending on other things. In turn, that will ‘boost demand for labor,’ especially in the near term, while the economy remains slack.

Propaganda Press: CBN New Anchor Scott Pelley said that, the CBO report was “both surprising and widely misunderstood,” and that reduction in labor aren’t “necessarily jobs being lost. They’re also workers choosing to work less.” ABC’s Jonathan Karl also played up the good news angle, noting that people “can qualify for subsidized health care without a full-time job. And again, others will actually find it’s just not worth it to work full-time.” NBC’s Brian Williams noted the reduction in jobs or working hours, but insisted that “the White House is cautioning, for its part, that those departures are more a result of workers’ flexibility to leave their jobs and still have health insurance.”

White House Minister of Lies & Misinformation: Jay Carney went much further than that. In a released statement, he insisted that individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, and that they “would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Democrat Socialist Party: Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) chimed in as well, claiming the CBO report “rightfully says, that people shouldn’t have job lock… We live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want,” he told reporters. If all of this “liberation” has a familiar ring, it’s because Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said virtually the same thing four years ago. She spoke about musicians and other creative types who could quit their jobs and focus on developing their talents. “We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care,” Pelosi declared at the time.

Socrates: Yet who exactly is being ‘liberated’? Logically, does it follow that millions of people forced into welfare, forced not to work in order to try to obtain their healthcare through ObamaCare is a good thing? Not working isn’t liberation, but voluntary slavery!  In reality such subsidies and relieved burdens amount to nothing more than cost shifting. That means millions of Americans will indeed be bound to their jobs to pay for the subsidies and burdens of other dependent-class Americans through ObamaCare who the Democrat Socialist Party gleefully heralds are now ‘liberated’ from work. Adding insult to injury, in Nancy Pelosi’s universe, much of those costs will apparently be borne by those less artistically inclined and/or creative.

CBO: Unfortunately, ObamaCare provides a massive disincentive to work more, or even work at all. If those subsidies are phased out with rising income in order to limit their total costs, the phase-out effectively raises people’s marginal tax rates thus discouraging work.

Democrat Socialist Party: The idea that people are “better off” due to increased dependency on government is the essence of progressivism. Gene Sperling, Obama’s top economic-policy adviser, inadvertently added fuel to that particular fire. What this report said is a rather obvious point, which is that as people have greater access to healthcare, there is going to be some two-parent families where someone says I’m going to work a little less because we can get healthcare and I’m going spend time raising my children. There is going to be somebody out there who because they can afford healthcare has wanted to retire and may retire earlier. This is about giving Americans more choices.

Socrates: Wrong. This is about giving some Americans more choices at the expense of other Americans who are being forced to underwrite their fellow Americans’ insurance subsidies. As the CBO report mentions, if such underwriting comes in the form of increased taxes, there will be two parent families forced to work a little more and see their children a little less. Some Americans will be forced to retire later, rather than sooner.

The reality that there will still be 31 million Americans uninsured in 2024, despite almost $2 trillion in new expenditures. The report also states that “between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.” But the most troubling statistic once again concerns government dependency. The federal government will be subsidizing five out of six million policies in 2014, and a whopping 19 million out of 24 million in 2024. Yet in 2008 before ObamaCare was enacted America had 30 million uninsured which Obama and his minions used as a pretext to establish socialist medicine in the first place.

The Obama administration, Democrats and their media allies apparently believe such dependency is, as the New York Times puts it, “liberating.” Perhaps it is, as long as one ignores the reality that, more often than not, it is achieved by kicking one’s dignity, decency and ambition to the curb.

Mark Steyn: Work and purpose are intimately connected: Researchers at the University of Michigan, for example, found that welfare payments make one unhappier than a modest income honestly earned and used to provide for one’s family. “It drains too much of the life from life,” said Charles Murray in a speech in 2009. “And that statement applies as much to the lives of janitors — even more to the lives of janitors — as it does to the lives of CEOs.” Self-reliance — “work” — is intimately connected to human dignity — “purpose.”

Another quote from my book After America, from the presiding genius of the British welfare state: When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want,” to be accomplished by “cooperation between the State and the individual.” In attempting to insulate the citizenry from the vicissitudes of fate, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams: Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity. “Cooperation” between the State and the individual has resulted in a huge expansion of the former and the ceaseless withering of the latter.

Socrates:  Let us hear the conclusion of this matter—Should a man work all the days of his life by the sweat of his brow as God commanded, or following Freud’s Pleasure Principle, must Man collectively become de facto slaves to hedonism; bloodsucking parasites on the backs of society’s citizens who are forced to work for your pleasure and welfare? This brings to mind Ann Rule’s famous aphorism: “Lazy people tend not to take chances, but express themselves by tearing down other’s work.”

Undeniably the globalist pendulum has swung away from Darwin’s savage struggle for survival of the fittest, away from Marx’s triumph of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, away from Nietzsche’s ambitious Ubermenchen and Will to Power, away from Mussolini’s god-State paradigm, to Sigmund Freud’s Will to Pleasure “where every man does that which is right in his own eyes”… even if that means creating a fraudulent ‘right’ for others to pay for their ‘welfare’ — even if that means tens of millions of able-bodied American citizens are paid by their socialist government not to work.

Yet, I hear the leitmotiv of God whispering through Ages… If a man doesn’t work, a man doesn’t eat.

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