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Laboring for Unemployment

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

When you make it harder to hire people—as Obamacare does by imposing penalties on companies that fail to provide specified health insurance—you make it more unlikely that persons will be hired.

Consider the case of Automation Systems Inc., reported at National Review Online. After the economy went into a nose dive a few years back, the only way owner Carl Schanstra could keep the company alive was by slashing staff.

Automation Systems has managed to bounce back, and business is improving. Currently, Schanstra employs 37 people. He would like to hire lots more. But as soon his company employs more than 50, he’ll be socked with $40,000 in penalties and $2,000 for each additional employee. Even firms that already provide health care to employees will have to pay such penalties if they have 50+ workers and their insurance plans don’t offer as much coverage as Obamacare deems necessary.

When you must shell out $40,000 to the government—$40,000 more than all hitherto expected payout of salary and benefits—to hire your very next employee, you have a strong incentive to keep your company smaller than you might have liked. And workarounds like contracting consultants, as discussed last week, are not options for every company.

This reality may seem obvious to anyone with even modest knowledge of what it takes to create wealth and make a living. But somehow the obvious escapes the central planners in Washington.

Or maybe they just don’t care about the hardships their policies impose upon us.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.