February 9, 2014 in Opinion

Gary Crooks: Will you ‘like’ the future?

By The Spokesman-Review
 

(USA Today – “Facebook feeds across the U.S. and beyond were taken over Wednesday by a festival of one-minute films of user snapshots and highlights.”)

Oddly, my Facebook movie included coming attractions. Here’s a glimpse into the future:

• Citing gay marriage, millions of heterosexual couples divorce. Others stop having kids.

• Bitcoin! Should’ve gotten in on the ground floor.

• Goldman Sachs introduces a new “risk-free” financial instrument that promises to make higher education more attainable. Say hello to college-tuition-backed securities.

• Citing Obamacare, employers end Casual Fridays.

• Against all odds, the rise in the minimum wage doesn’t sink capitalism.

• The government does take all of our guns! Turns out it already had all the information it needed. Shockingly, we’re unable to fend off the most powerful military the world has ever known with our handguns and hunting weapons. The camouflage and camaraderie help for a while – “Wolverine!” – but alas.

• The North Spokane Freeway is completed. Just kidding.

• Global warming is a hoax. Grainy video at Breitbart.com shows climate scientists taking checks from the producers of “Punk’d.”

• Coal! Should’ve gotten in on the ground floor.

• Tuition bubble bursts; students kicked out of colleges; Wall Street bailed out.

• President Cruz? Didn’t see that coming. State of the Union changed to Ted Talks … and talks and talks.

• Democrats become “birthers,” pointing out that the president was born in Canada.

• On the 1,246th vote, Obamacare is finally repealed. Millions lose insurance.

• President Cruz promises the uninsured will get health care coverage, just as soon as the borders are secured.

• Barbed wire! Should’ve gotten in on the ground floor.

Worked up. Judging from the reactions of some conservatives to the recent Congressional Budget Office report, they believe it’s a good thing that workers cling to jobs just for the health care benefits. Their outrage also calls into question their fealty to time-honored principles.

CBO says that now that Americans can purchase their own coverage through the health care exchanges, they may choose to work less. Parents may spend more time raising their children. Sounds pro-family to me. Workers just shy of retirement age may choose to quit, rather than hang in there until they’re Medicare eligible. Sounds like individual freedom to me.

If they need to, employers can replace the lost labor. If they don’t, then who is harmed?

CBO took these factors into consideration and said it added up to the equivalent of 2 million fewer jobs than they previously predicted for the coming decade. By the way, that projection still shows employment rising. The key is that workers have more choices.

In addition, CBO said the Affordable Care Act could lower the deficit over the next decade, and it surmised that the insurance company “bailout” that congressional Republicans keep squawking about could actually benefit taxpayers by an estimated $8 billion. The law shifts money from lower-risk plans to higher-risk plans to stabilize premium prices. Insurers finance a portion of this.

Something tells me Obamacare critics will ignore all of that and start assembling 30-second “job killer” ads.

With a love like that. National Review founder William F. Buckley proudly asserted that a conservative is someone who “stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop,’ at a time when no one is inclined to do so.” In that vein, here’s Buckley on a certain British band, as they were “invading” America 50 years ago:

“The Beatles are not merely awful, I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are godawful. They are so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music.”

Just couldn’t let it be.

Associate Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at garyc@spokesman.com or (509) 459-5026.


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