Update on The Biggest Economic Story of 2013

I predicted last year that the biggest economic story of the year would be the end of full-time employment in the retail service industry.  An update:

The nation's largest movie theater chain has cut the hours of thousands of employees, saying in a company memo that ObamaCare requirements are to blame.

Regal Entertainment Group, which operates more than 500 theaters in 38 states, last month rolled back shifts for non-salaried workers to 30 hours per week, putting them under the threshold at which employers are required to provide health insurance. The Nashville-based company said in a letter to managers that the move was a direct result of ObamaCare.


  1. Dick Gillette:

    Well, that's not very patriotic of them. Don't they appreciate that central planning isn't easy?

  2. Matthew Slyfield:

    What they appreciate is that "central planning" is an oxymoron.

    First rule of warfare: No plan survives contact with the enemy.

  3. MingoV:

    What amuses me is the surprise and outrage of left-wingers when they learn of these events. Obviously, they do not understand simple stimulus-->response actions. They believe the following: raise the costs and hassles of employing full time workers-->no employment changes. We call Republicans the stupid party. We should call left-wingers the stupid people.

  4. Don:

    Da-um! You must be Nostradomus or something! Who could have possibly predicted this would happen!!!

    Do you read tea leaves too?

    Actually, I'd REALLY like to know how many of the 20 somethings working for Regal voted for O's reelection, and how many will be surprised. I wonder if the Administration will come down on Regal for fomenting fear among the uneducated (because the educated are ALREADY fearful, or bellying up to the bar if they have the right friends).

  5. AnInquirer:

    I am not sure that there is widespread understanding of the impact of part time employees on the need to supply health insurance. (Employers will have a firm grasp of these definitions within a couple of years.) Here is my understanding:

    A full-time employee is one who works an average of at least 30 hours per week. Part-time employees contribute to full-time equivalents. (Seasonal workers are excluded unless they work for an employer for more than 120 days.) To determine the total number of full-time and full-time equivalent employees for a particular month, the employer must add together (a) the total number of full-time employees for the month, plus (b) a number that is equal to the total number of hours worked in a month by part-time employees, divided by 120. If this sum is over 50, then the employer is subject to the Affordable Health Care penalty.

    Part-time employees are not counted for purposes of calculating the actual penalty amount. An employer will not pay a penalty for any part-time employee, even if that employee receives subsidized coverage through an Exchange.
    You can just imagine the games that will be played, usually to the detriment of the individual employee. Many employees -- perhaps the majority of them -- would have been better off without Obamacare on the books.

  6. Not Sure:

    Once those brilliant planners in government finally figure out what's happening, how long do you suppose that 30 hour threshold will last?

  7. mesaeconoguy:

    I do.

    Welcome aboard.

  8. anonzmouses:

    They will blame the employers to the end. The employers are just mean and hate Obama and poor people. They refuse reason beyond that point.

  9. anonzmouses:

    No. It will be replaced by Single Payer (i.e., fully nationalized medicine). This has been the plan since the beginning.

  10. WG:

    For the record, Regal Entertainment is based in Knoxville, TN, not Nashville.

  11. MNHawk:

    I'm sure a leftist Hollywood will relent a little on the upwards of 95% of a movie's gross that gets instantly kicked back to the distributors, so that that lowest on the food chain can get health insurance bought for them.


  12. nehemiah:

    Another right wing business owner trying to embarrass Obama, right guys? He is just using this "ploy" to reduce staff/costs. Probably wanted to cut these people for a long time. All business owners are like that, right guys? They should suck it, incur the increased costs and just take it out of the obscene profits, right guys? Right guys? Guys, Hello? Anybody out there?

  13. nehemiah:

    That should read suck it up. My bad.