For the past 15 years I’ve been studying and teaching political science, history, and economics, and until last week I had never heard the term “job lock.” I have heard nothing else in the time since.
Not sure who dreamed this one up first, but it seems everyone pushing big government these days received the memo about “job lock” and its effects upon the unsuspecting masses. You see, whether you realized it or not, for years you the downtrodden American have been under the mystical spell of something called job lock. Someone puts a gun to your head and says, “Devote all your time and energy to this one full-time job and I will grant you health insurance.” (Funny how on the other days of the week the “career” job with benefits is the unreachable goal of every young person in this nation.) So grateful are you to be blessed with the magic of health insurance that you neglect all other rational thought until one day you keel over at the feet of your fat cat boss and he sells your uniform to the next sucker in line.
Or something like that. That’s job lock.
Enter Obamacare, which somehow cuts out the middleman (your fat cat boss) and distributes the magic of health insurance to the masses without any cost borne by anyone whatsoever. Follow? You have thus been freed from not only your fat cat boss, but the responsibilities of working all together. Now you’ve got time to write that symphony. Seriously. That’s how the argument goes. And this is exactly what the Communists said for 75 years.
There’s a broader picture so see here, more broad than work in exchange for health insurance. The real exchange is one’s production (in any capacity) for one’s compensation (in any form). Eliminate the link between the two and chaos quickly descends. Might we all not want to write symphonies and vacation 12 months a year? Who exactly is working at the vacation resorts in this scenario? The robots aren’t that good yet.
Our federal government has said to its citizens, “Don’t worry about producing; we will take care of you.” The work you used to do is just now getting done, magically, by someone. Psychological appeals to “spending more time with your kids” and the like are false choices that, unfortunately, do fell the uninformed. The reality is that there is a trade-off between work and leisure, one that’s existed for all time and will for all future time. And though our society is often maligned for its citizens’ “working too much,” exactly when in history was this not the case? How much leisure time existed among cavemen? A lot… if you like looking at dirt. And peasant farmers? They spend a lot of time with their kids… toiling in the fields. In fact, there has never been a time and a place with so much leisure time as here and now, and the individual choice of what and how much to buy.
I’ve preached for 15 years that the three keys to life are make a lot of money, spend a lot of money, and have fun.
But you knew that all along.