U.S. Has 250,000 Less Jobs Due to Obamacare

(p. A15) Democrats loudly complain that people will lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. They never mention those who lose jobs because the ACA remains.
The ACA includes a penalty on employers that fail to provide “adequate” insurance for full-time workers. Thanks to the ACA, hiring the 50th full-time employee effectively costs another $70,000 a year on top of the normal salary and benefits.
. . .
In partnership with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in March 2017 I was able to commission Hanover Research to survey small businesses nationwide regarding their hiring and compensation practices. The result was a sample of 745 small businesses, representing every major industry and together employing almost 50,000 people.
. . .
Many businesses, when they do not offer coverage, keep their payrolls just below 50 full-time employees and thereby narrowly escape the ACA’s penalty. This pattern is not visible among businesses that offer coverage.
When we followed up, the businesses employing just fewer than 50 often said the ACA caused them to hire less and cut hours below the full-time threshold. The penalty caused payrolls to shrink or prevented them from growing.
Nationwide, we estimate the ACA-inspired practice of keeping payrolls below 50 has cost roughly 250,000 jobs. This does not count jobs lost when businesses close (we didn’t survey closed businesses) or shrink because of other ACA incentives.

For the full commentary, see:

Casey B. Mulligan. “How Many Jobs Does ObamaCare Kill? We surveyed managers at small businesses and put the count at 250,000.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., July 6, 2017): A15.

(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date July 5, 2017.)

“90 Is the New 65”

(p. A15) In this era full of baby boomers caring for frail parents, we’ve seen plenty of documentaries, plays and memoirs about dementia, infirmity, loss. But in the HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast,” Carl Reiner and friends take up another side of the phenomenon of longer life spans: the many people in their later years who are still sharp and vigorous and engaged.
The film, . . . , doesn’t pussyfoot around when setting its bar; no “life after 65” theme here. Mr. Reiner is interested in people 90 and above.
. . .
There is chagrin on occasion; no one likes the condescension that is often showered on people of this age.
“I think the culture stereotypes everything,” Norman Lear says. “Because I’m 93 I’m supposed to behave a certain way. The fact that I can touch my toes shouldn’t be so amazing to people.” (Mr. Lear is now 94.)
. . .
. . . there is plenty of life yet in the population born before the Great Depression. Now the broader culture needs to consider how to change its preconceptions if 90 is the new 65.

For the full review, see:
NEIL GENZLINGER. “Life Goes On (The 90-and-Up Crowd.” The New York Times (Fri., JUNE 5, 2017): C7.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date JUNE 4, 2017, and has the title “Review: ‘If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast’ Finds Vigor After 90.”)

“Inexorable” Trend Toward Remote Work

(p. B1) When Dell recently surveyed its 110,000 employees about their work habits, it discovered something surprising: While only 17% of Dell’s employees were formally authorized to work wherever they prefer, 58% were already working remotely at least one day a week. That’s good news, says Steve Price, chief human resources officer at Dell. In 2013, the company had said it wanted half its employees to work remotely for at least part of their week… by 2020.
. . .
. . . , data indicates that the remote-work trend in the U.S. labor force is inexorable, aided by ever-better tools for getting work done anywhere. Surveys done by Gallup indicate that in 2016, the proportion of Americans who did some or all of their work from home was 43%, up from 39% in 2012. Over the same period, the proportion who only work remotely went to 20% from 15%. Amazon.com , American Express , UnitedHealth Group , and Salesforce.com allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time.
. . .
(p. B4) . . . nearly every company that employs knowledge workers is still learning which jobs can best be done remotely, as the tools to accomplish remote work become increasingly powerful.
. . .
To understand the issues, it’s helpful to look at a company that has always been almost entirely remote. Automattic, maker of WordPress, the content-management system that powers 28% of all websites, has 558 employees spread across more than 50 countries, up from 302 in December 2014.
. . .
With teams that may be spread across a dozen time zones, Automattic relies on Slack for synchronous communication, Zoom for weekly video conferences and its own internal system of threaded conversations for documenting everyone’s work and for major decisions.

For the full commentary, see:
Christopher Mims. “More Workers Have Out-of-Office Experience.” The Wall Street Journal (Mon., June 5, 2017): B1 & B4.
(Note: ellipsis inside the first quoted paragraph, in original; other ellipses, added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date June 4, 2017, and has the title “Why Remote Work Can’t Be Stopped.”)