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The High Price of Obamacare and the Probable Erosion of the Democratic Base

My wife, Disgusted in Euclid(DIE), and I have been hearing it for a couple of months from the many young people we know who work retail jobs. Today, DIE heard a definitive announcement. She went grocery shopping at the local Save-A-Lot, a regional grocery chain. The young black female cashier told her that Save-A-Lot’s CEO had just announced that, because of Obamacare’s mandatory health insurance requirements for employers, that no employee would be allowed to work more than 24 hours a week, effective immediately.

That way, Save-A-Lot saves a lot by not having to pay for health insurance coverage to any of its employees.

I have no verified facts, no studies, no links, only anecdotal evidence, but it’s mounting. Retailers like JC Penney’s and Macy’s are scaling back weekly hours. Smaller businesses are doing the same. Their employees, who in this area are mostly young and largely black, are being told they can never work 32 hours a week ever again, much less 40. We know some people who were only scheduled for ten hours last week. And before any of you say “Well, they can just get another part time job,” think again.

All of these retailers demand “flexible hours,” you see. Any employee MUST be willing to work any shift, any day, at the sole discretion of the employer, with next to no notice, or be subject to termination. If they take another retail job to pick up the slack and there’s a scheduling conflict, they must choose which shitty low wage, extremely part-time job they want to keep, for they are not allowed to keep both. The employee has no rights, and no government agency to which to appeal.

Of course, this hasn’t made the corporate news. Obama and the Democrats are more quiet than a cricket in winter on this one. But the simple fact is, these people just aren’t going to be able to make it. They are being screwed, and they know it. Their parents, their friends, their relatives, already strapped themselves, can do little to help.

We know them. Most voted enthusiastically for Obama in 2008 if they were old enough, and all of them we know who voted in 2012 voted for Obama last year. And now, because of Obamacare, their hours are being cut? Where’s Obama, they ask? Where are the Democrats? Why don’t they DO something?

Sooner or later, and probably sooner than later, these young people will figure out that the Democrats just don’t give a damn about them, so they won’t vote for the Dems. They’re smart enough to know that the Republicans have never given a good goddamn, and certainly won’t vote for them, either. They just won’t vote. Sooner or later, and probably later than sooner, they may get desperate enough to take to the streets. After all, what will they have to lose?

I don’t know what will happen in the way of any kind of social change because of this disturbing if extremely predictable development, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a pollster to figure out that this ain’t good news for the Democrats next November, not that they don’t deserve whatever happens to them.

As for Obama, how can he not have known that many businessmen would simply cut employee hours in order to get around paying for health insurance when the mandate requires that “full-time” employees be covered? Either he’s so stupid he couldn’t see that one coming, or he’s sold his soul to the greed of the few, including he and his.

I’d bet on the latter. At least Pope Francis seems to know better.

As for me, it’s been a long week with a cold, an intestinal bug that has finally run its course, and more snow’s a coming. At least we found a damned good Mexican restaurant in Cleveland that can compete with San Antonio’s finest in the way of cuisine. And I’m for bed soon. Good night, and good luck.

We’re all gonna need it.

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