The Wall Street Journal has a pair of opeds today that are important reads, particularly for conservatives who are used to judging policies by the numbers. 

One tells the story of a woman who has worked hard in this era of high unemployment to find work and sustain herself, proudly avoiding government dependence.  Under ObamaCare, the insurance plan she’d paid for out-of-pocket is no longer available and her only choice is to enroll in her state’s free Medicaid program.

Note that she would be considered by the Administration as one of the favored few who have been “helped” by the system.  She was able to enroll online!  Her state’s website worked! She’s getting health insurance for free!

Except she knows that her healthcare isn’t free.  Someone else is picking up the tab, and she’d prefer to pay her own way, thank you very much.  But that’s out of bounds under this President.

Daniel Henninger then writes on our continued unemployment problems—which he argues are an even bigger disaster than the ObamaCare rollout (and that’s saying something).  He’s not focused on the hit to the GPD or the high public costs of extra unemployment payments.  No:  The real tragedy is the wasted lives and potential that are the result of an economy that discourages job creation.  I found this paragraph particularly poignant:

Unemployed middle-aged men look in the mirror and see someone who may never work again. Young married couples who should be on the way up are living in their parents' basement. Many young black men (official unemployment rate 28%; unofficial rate off the charts) have no prospect of work.

What does their future hold?

IWF’s Charlotte Hays has recently released a book lamenting the decaying of our culture.  I think it’s an incredibly important book, as the unraveling of the best of civil society has a profound economic impact, leading toward a less capable, motivated populace, and more people who lack family and community support systems and therefore too often end up depending on government.

Yet it works both ways.  Our broken economy is also contributing to our cultural decline as more and more men and women feel disaffected, unable to contribute and to work toward a positive future, and ultimately hopeless.

It’s depressing stuff, but one hopes that people remember a different era in America. It doesn’t have to be like this.  The American people are still the most industrious, entrepreneurial and creative in the world.  What we need is for government to get out of the way and allow America to restore itself.