Friday, August 8, 2014

Political Bias Whether ObamaCare Helps or Harms Economy

Commodity, the bias of the world.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John

We all have our biases, and we are all born a little bit conservative and a little bit liberal.

As a test of my own bias, I answered a poll today on whether ObamaCare helps or hurts the economy.

Here is the poll, and here is my vote which is marked by an X

Total number of people who voted in this poll: 7,548

1) Do you believe ObamaCare mandates will further strain America’s fragile economy?

13% voted: No, any adverse effects are speculations that have been greatly exaggerated by opponents of the law to scare the American public.

X, 86% voted: Yes, nationally known employers have stated they will increase part-time labor to avoid the mandates, increasing the number of Americans living below the poverty line.

1% voted: I don't know.

2) Do you believe it is government’s role to mandate health insurance coverage?

13% voted: Yes, government should ensure the wellbeing of its citizens.

X, 86% voted: No, it should be a personal responsibility and decision.

1% voted: I don't know.

3) Do you believe Obamacare mandates will negatively impact small business?

12% voted: No, Obamacare will positively impact overall insurance rates essentially spreading the cost across individuals and business.

X 86% voted: Yes, small business that can’t afford to offer insurance to their employees will be effectively forced to provide coverage due to Obamacare.

1% voted: I don't know.

4) Which political party do you most closely align with philosophically?

10% voted: Democrat

X 32% voted: Republican

5% voted: Libertarian

20% voted: Tea Party

28% voted: Independent

6% voted: Other

As you can see, the poll was skewed towards conservatives , with a total of 57% saying they were aligned with Republicans, Libertarians, or the Tea Party, and 43% saying they identified with Democrats, Independents, or Other.

If you are liberal or left leaning, you are for a minimal wage and progressive taxation for higher incomes. If you are conservative or right leaning, you don’t believe taxes should be increased for anybody, and the free market should set wages.

If you are a liberal Obama adviser, you tend to believe ObamaCare will be good for the economy. Indeed, David Cutler, a Harvard economist who supports ObamaCare, says the health law will reduce health costs by 5% by 2015 and its repeal would cost 250,000 to 400,000 jobs a year.

If you are a conservative economist, like Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago or John Goodman of the National Center of Policy Analysis, you believe ObamaCare will discourage hiring, cut full-time jobs, hurt small businesses, and convert the economy from full-time to part-time employment.

If you are Larry Kudlow, an influential commentator on the Larry Kudlow show, you will maintain the health law is one of the main factors slowing economic growth , the other being the high U.S. corporate tax of 39%, far above the international average of 25%.

If you are typical American, you will have a pessimistic bias towards the economy. According to an August 6 WSJ/NBC poll: 79% expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the American political system, 76% lack confidence their children will have a better life than they do, 71% think the country is on the wrong track, 71% agree that economic problems are due to the inability of elected officials to get things done, 64 % say they still feel some impact from the recession, and 49% believe the U.S. is still in a recession.

So much for the bad news. The good news is you can vote on November 4 to help change the situation. Your vote will probably be determined by your bias, your political affiliation, and your feelings about the “facts” as you see them. I hope the rest of the electorate thinks as you do.

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