The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obama’s Part-Time Proletariat

Posted on | March 17, 2014 | 25 Comments

Victims of Obamanomics:

Having worked as a nurse’s aide for 15 years, Ms. McCurdy has been among the nearly 25 million workers in the United States who make less than $10.10 an hour — the amount to which President Obama supports increasing the minimum wage. Of those workers, 3.5 million make the $7.25 federal minimum wage or less.
And like many of them, Ms. McCurdy hasn’t been able to rely on steady full-time hours — she has often been assigned just 20 hours a week. Even if she worked full time year-round, her $9 hourly wage would put her below the poverty threshold of $19,530 for a family of three.

If the economy were in recovery, as Democrats insist, the increasing demand for labor would offer better employment opportunities for everyone. But we all know this is not true and, absent real recovery, Democrats instead want to impede economic growth by the job-killing method of increasing the minimum wage. They propose this increase not for any economic reason, but for the political purpose of maneuvering Republicans into voting against it.

Yet an important question to be answered is, why do so many low-wage workers find themselves stuck with part-time jobs?

Most commentators viewed the February jobs report released on March 7 as good news, indicating that the labor market is on a favorable growth path. A more careful reading shows that employment actually fell — as it has in four out of the past six months and in more than one-third of the months during the past two years.
Although it is often overlooked, a key statistic for understanding the labor market is the length of the average workweek. Small changes in the average workweek imply large changes in total hours worked. The average workweek in the U.S. has fallen to 34.2 hours in February from 34.5 hours in September 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That decline, coupled with mediocre job creation, implies that the total hours of employment have decreased over the period. . . .
The decline in the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by 3/10ths of an hour — offset partially by the increase in the number of people working — means that real labor usage on net, taking into account hours worked, fell by the equivalent of 100,000 jobs since September. . . .

And why is this?

Another possibility for the declining average workweek is the Affordable Care Act. That law induces businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees — full-time defined as 30 hours per week — to keep the number of hours low to avoid having to provide health insurance. The jury is still out on this explanation, but research by Luis Garicano, Claire LeLarge and John Van Reenen (National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2013) has shown that laws that can be evaded by keeping firms small or hours low can have significant effects on employment.

ObamaCare is killing Hope. We need a Change.



25 Responses to “Obama’s Part-Time Proletariat”

  1. Dana
    March 17th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    Consider what this means: if fewer total hours are being worked, then employers apparently need fewer hours from employees to meet production requirements. That’s not slow growth; that’s a recession.

    Still, I’d be a bit wary of statistics which include February: the global warming which hit the heavily populated northeast caused a lot of people to miss work and a lot of business to not get done.

  2. RS
    March 17th, 2014 @ 9:32 pm

    Pre-ACA the cost of one employee in my state before s/he received a dime in wages was around $10,000 per year in the form of taxes and regulations. Thus, a person making the $19,000+ poverty level wage is actually costing his/her employer $29.000 per annum. And trust me on this: Employers know the cost of hiring a new employee to the penny. Every cent the government mandates paying, whether by wages, taxes or regulatory costs, is a cent which is not going the either the worker, the employer or the consumer. And those cents add up to fewer cars, refrigerators, college educations and vacations being bought. No wonder our economy sucks.

  3. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm

    Virtually NONE of the people Democrats claim to want to “help” would actually benefit from an increase in the minimum wage. That’s because almost nobody stays at minimum very long. Even burger flippers who are barely adequate get a small raise when they pass their probationary period, and regular, if small, increments from there.

    In almost any field that starts out at minimum wage, if you aren’t making more than that in six months it’s because you are so woefully incompetent you probably will be fired during the probationary period.

    So WHO profits by hiking the minimum wage, then? Unions. Many union contracts are tied to the minimum wage in some fashion or another, and the union wages go up automatically when the minimum does. Since unions have been Obama’s most dependable supporters and enforcers, it’s a way for him to reward them yet again without appearing to.

  4. RS
    March 17th, 2014 @ 11:57 pm

    And the federal government. For every dollar increase in minimum wage, the government gets 15 cents in FICA and Medicare taxes.

  5. Eastwood Ravine
    March 18th, 2014 @ 1:44 am

    And that’s why the Democrats and their allies in the Press and academia are selling this “recovery” as a new normal.

    The only good thing to come out of all this is Obama is possibly creating a new generation of Reagan Democrats. All it takes is the right candidate with the right message, and people with courage to storm the caucuses and primaries to get them the nomination.

  6. K-Bob
    March 18th, 2014 @ 4:21 am

    Talk about killing Hope! I was preparing an article tackling the definition of “amnesty” when I wondered about the topic of famous amnesties.

    I had forgotten about Jimmy Carter’s blanket amnesty for Draft Dodgers. Since we’re seeing barack brag about his freaking “pen”, I got a shrinking feeling.

    You know, down “there.”

    The Pardon season is fast approaching, and it’s going to crush all aspects of Hope. Somehow, someone needs to start getting ahead of the curve or we’re going to be truly fzcked. Can the President pardon 50 Million people? Yikes!!

  7. Kyle Kiernan
    March 18th, 2014 @ 5:48 am

    If you like your full time job, you can keep your part time job.

  8. Quartermaster
    March 18th, 2014 @ 7:31 am

    Ah, tovarisch, you’ve acknowledged global warming. You will escape denunciation for this thread.

  9. Dana
    March 18th, 2014 @ 8:19 am


  10. Kirby McCain
    March 18th, 2014 @ 10:38 am

    If the unemployment numbers crept up one tenth during the Bush administration the dishonest MSN began delivering salvos of spurious criticism. Now they run interference for this Marxist failure known as the Obama administration.

  11. Bozikek
    March 18th, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    Ms. McCurdy has been among the nearly 25 million workers in the United States who make less than $10.10 an hour…

    Then Juanita sneaks through the border and takes Ms. McCurdies job at lower pay with no benefits or PTO. If McCurdy dislikes this she is racist.

  12. Bozikek
    March 18th, 2014 @ 11:33 am

    Comment from a friend on this matter (I cleaned up grammar and punctuation slightly)

    The problem is not the hourly wage . The problem is that over the years the purchasing power of the dollar has been going down. So while it was possible to raise a family of three with mom and dad
    working minimal wage jobs nowadays u can me 50k a year and barely make it.

    Increasing the minimal wage is simply going to hurt the purchasing power of the dollar as it would result in an increase in good prices .

    Hence inflation so instead of making it better you are going to make it worse for Ms I don’t make a lot of money.

  13. pabarge
    March 18th, 2014 @ 11:57 am


    A nurse can’t find full time hours and gets less than $11.00 an hour?

    Come on people. Who believes this stuff? Am I the only one out here who knows nurses? These people need an armored car to haul their wages to the bank and they need a cattle prod to ward off the hiring managers.

    This anecdote about a nurse on hard times is complete, utter, total, 100% B*llsh*t.

    Don’t read it.

  14. CrustyB
    March 18th, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    But Olivia Wilde and Wayne Brady say Obamacare is a good thing. And they’re actors so they know, right?

  15. ThePaganTemple
    March 18th, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

    It was Gerald Ford who pardoned the draft dodgers who fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War, if that’s what you were referring to.

  16. ThePaganTemple
    March 18th, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    Sorry, I just can’t, nor could I ever, get behind any assault on the minimum wage. If you want to solve the world’s economic woes, then you simply institute a flat tax, where everybody pays the exact same percentage (say, for example, 21%) with no deductions, no refunds, no exemptions, for any reasons whatsoever. Everybody pays it, period. In the meantime, a significant reduction reduction in the amount of regulations and a gradual but significant reduction in the federal workforce would be advisable. Allowing interest rates to increase by a limited amount would be necessary, unfortunately, but the reality is that should have happened long ago.

    But the idea of doing away with the minimum wage, when seen in the context of all of this, becomes wholly impractical, as you would be asking the working poor and lower middle class go hand over a significant portion of their wages, and not get them back at the end of the year.

    Since employers here would be getting significant reductions both in taxes and in regulations, I don’t think this is too much to ask for. Of course, most of them would agree. Then again, sex abusers would just like us to forget the whole thing when it comes to sex abuse laws, but that’s not very practical either. If you guys think employers wouldn’t slash wages to as low a level as humanly possible if the minimum wage law was repealed, you are all seriously deluding yourselves.

  17. Zohydro
    March 18th, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    She’s a nurse’s aide…

  18. K-Bob
    March 18th, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    Ford did an earlier pardon, Carter expanded it.

  19. ThePaganTemple
    March 18th, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

    I didn’t know that, or maybe I just forgot it. Carter was such a horrible president and did so much inexplicable shit, I started to tune him out after so long.

  20. K-Bob
    March 18th, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    Yep. Major diff.

  21. K-Bob
    March 18th, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

    I know. You just want to forget he was ever there. I can’t imagine the immensity of the void barack is going to make in history

  22. The Culture Of Corruption: Raising The Minimum Wage | The Camp Of The Saints
    March 18th, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

    […] the Comments section to a very perceptive post by Stacy McCain on what he calls Obama’s Part-Time Proletariat, Adjoran and RS lay bare the foul corruptions […]

  23. Adjoran
    March 19th, 2014 @ 1:02 am

    Ford offered conditional amnesty, requiring those who accepted it to work at alternative public service. Carter granted unconditional amnesty to all but military deserters and those convicted of violent acts.

  24. News and opinions for Wednesday | Walla Walla TEA Party Patriots
    March 19th, 2014 @ 3:55 am

    […] Obama’s Part-Time Proletariat […]

  25. FMJRA 2.0: Voting 4 Chikin : The Other McCain
    March 22nd, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    […] Obama’s Part-Time Proletariat […]