The coming ruin of the economy under Obamacare, and who will be blamed for it

Linked on Drudge is a remarkable story. Two businessmen, the president of Papa John’s fast food chain and the president of a New York area franchise that operates 40 Applebee’s restaurants, said that because of the increased cost of running their businesses under Obamacare, they may have to cut back on hiring or even lay people off. In any case, they cannot expand but must shrink.

The response was a series of furious Twitter messages attacking the companies and calling for a boycott. The premise was that businesses should maintain or increase the number of their employees regardless of costs, and in any case should never lay anyone off, and that to do so is an anti-social act deserving of the severest punishment. The authors of these messages share what we can now say is the common American view: that wealth and capital simply exist, like rocks and mountains, but that some people have managed to gain an unfair share of this wealth and capital, and therefore the only question for human society is how to re-distribute the wealth and capital.

By re-electing a president who made it clear he has no plans to improve the very weak economy, and whose signature legislation will greatly damage the economy, America declared as a country: “Economy! I don’t need no stinking economy! All I need is government!”

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The article reminds me of the scene in Atlas Shrugged where the looters tell Henry Rearden about the “Steel Unification Plan” they are about to announce under which steel companies which produce more steel have to share their profits with steel companies that make less steel, and which will automatically drive his company, the most productive in the country, into bankruptcy. He asks them how he can keep running his company under a law which will cost him more money the more he produces, and they tell him, “You’ll find a way!”

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James N. writes:

Well, the doctors will be blamed first. They are perfect kulaks. They will be smashed and replaced by nurses.

Next, the drug companies and medical device companies will face ruin as they are taxed out of existence AND AT THE SAME TIME are blamed for the halt of progress.

Then, the shells of the ruined insurance companies.

Invariably, the Stupid Party will start bleating then (and only then), that some repressive measures will have to be taken. Can’t allow wreckers and capitalist roaders to block progress.

After that, as everything grinds to a halt, who will be left to blame? Bush? Maybe Emmanuel Goldstein.

November 11, 9:15 p.m.

Terry Morris writes:

Recall the scene as well when Dagny Taggart is talking with her brother James. He says something to the effect of “You’re smart; you know what to do to fix this.” She replies that there is nothing left that she or anyone else can do. [LA replies: That’s after Directive 10-289 is promulgated. I believe that scene was kept in Part II of the movie.]

I’ve noticed this trend for several years now. And it isn’t just coming from the common man (or woman) who can somewhat be excused for his economic ignorance. It is coming from the likes of respected newspaper columnists and political pundits, who the common citizens read and trust as truthful and reliable, and knowledgeable. They are all in for a rude awakening. The scale of human suffering that the collapse portends is unheard of in human history. God have mercy on us all.

By the way, the calls for boycotting these companies—my God! These people are cannibalistic.

Terry Morris writes:

I think the disaster is imminent with or without O’care. The lowering of interest rates to zero seems to have sealed our fate. It is Atlas Shrugged come to fruition.

Karl D. writes:

Those furious Tweets are hardly surprising. These are the same people who think that computers, cell phones, life saving drugs and all of their favorite gadgets simply appear out of thin air. This is especially true for blacks, Hispanics, and most women under thirty. They have no concept of the brain power, organization, and staggering costs it takes to get from a simple idea to their greedy little palms. We are a “finished product society.” Not only are we now a nation of leftists, but of morons who are wholly incapable of critical or deductive reasoning. It is not the meek who shall inherit the earth, but the fools.

P.S. There is a wonderful show on television called “How it’s made” (I forget which channel), which shows the sheer complexity of what it takes to make something as simple as a bag of frozen French fries at a factory level. And this doesn’t even include all the government red tape they have to slash through to exist, as well as marketing, advertising and anything else you can think of.

LA replies:

You wrote:

Not only are we now a nation of leftists, but of morons who are wholly incapable of critical or deductive reasoning. It is not the meek who shall inherit the earth, but the fools.

When the elites gave up on reason, including the conservative elites, the middle classes and masses were sure to follow. Just two examples out of scores I could give: (1) the way conservatives equated Iraq with Germany and Japan, and said that since Germany and Japan had been changed into functioning democracies after being conquered, the same would be true for Iraq; (2) the way conservatives moved from celebrating our new-found friendly relations with Kaddafi, to urging on and cheering for his murder, without a single objection raised in mainstream opinion.

Further, regarding the use of reason, I would say that in principle, though not in practice, the U.S. has now reached the state of metaphysical liquefaction, of non-being, that has characterized Britain for many years. By which I mean, we no longer have any norms (other than of course PC norms which are the opposite of traditional norms), therefore we have no ability to recognize something as abnormal or strange; we no longer believe in the good, therefore we have no ability to recognize something as bad; and we no longer believe in logical consistency, therefore we have no ability to recognize or object to the grossest contradictions.

As just one result of this loss of reason (which is tantamount to a loss of identity and of being itself), no matter what failed policy is exposed in no matter how gross and disastrous a manner, e.g., Benghazi, it makes no impression on public opinion. In a recent issue of National Review someone said that Obama would be damaged by the contradiction between his high-flown claims about the Arab Spring and the reality of the Benghazi attack. But damaged in whose eyes? The eyes of American public opinion consisting of reasoning men? But there is no such public opinion any more. There is the dominant left-liberal mob, and there is the Republican/conservative opposition which is half submerged in left-liberalism itself.

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November 12

Here, from an entry this past August 13, is a comment in which I made observations that complement the above:

Terry Morris writes:

Subject: Facilitators of jihad

I saw a bumper sticker that read: “Freedom of religion means ALL religions.” I simply resigned the country to its fate.

LA replies:

Mr. Morris’s comment captures the whole issue. Americans will support anything that is advanced in the name of “freedom,” even their own slavery and destruction. They judge the goodness of a thing according to whether it is proferred in the name of freedom, instead of judging whether a thing ought to be free according to whether it is good or at least not unacceptably bad. They lack the intelligence—or, more precisely, they lack the will to think—that would enable them to think their way out of this trap. Their belief in freedom as the highest good is so deeply embedded in them that, in their present state, nothing can reach it or extricate it.

Does history offer an example of an entire people that lost the ability and desire to think logically and sanely about the basic requirements of their political existence, and then regained it in time to save themselves? I don’t know of one, and I can’t see it happening in our case. The inward deliquescence—the liquefaction of our will to exist, and thus of our desire to think logically about the requirements of our existence—has already occurred. It is systemic. It affects liberals and conservatives. I am not saying that it is impossible that we will recover our sanity as a society before it is too late. But I am stating that there is no reason to believe that we will recover it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 11, 2012 02:06 PM | Send

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