Charles Payne

Turn on, tune in, drop out
-Timothy Leary

Not long ago, I began to wonder about the part-time work phenomenon in general, but the non-economic part of the equation, specifically. In 2006, the average month saw 2.2 million people forced into part-time work because of the economy, while 19.6 million chose to work part-time for other reasons. Fast forward; 7.2 million Americans are working part-time for economic reasons, and after declining those working less than full-time for non-economic reasons, is back to 19.2 million. This is part of a long-term trend sure to continue, now that the new healthcare law has made it so enticing to 'turn on, tune in, and drop out.'

The long-term trend (see chart) is clear that while many complain about limited options and onerous work demands on Americans, more and more choose to work part-time for reasons that have nothing to do with the economy. In fact, that segment of the work force has expanded 375% since the mid-1950s, while overall labor force is up 156%.The ability to collect more and more government benefits over the years has been a major underpinning of this trend. For many that have accepted this Faustian deal, the fact is life isn't any better when you become a ward of the state, and you accept a place in society devoid of pride.

"We need a better work-life balance. Ask a working mother if she could use a few more hours in a day to take care of her family." -Congressman Keith Ellison

Democrats went all out over the weekend portraying the 2.5 million people that will flee full-time work as a good thing, assuming many would be women, particularly single mothers (Chuck Schumer brought up the same single mother with three children used in the minimum-wage debate, making me wonder if that's off the table now?) When Congressman Ellison (D-MN) said, a mother could use a few more hours in a day to take care of her family, it made me wonder if these guys think women have no dreams of owning businesses, being successful, or having career-oriented fulfillment goals; beyond household chores.

But it was this old chestnut, the underpinning of the socialist movement in America; if the Europeans are doing it; it has to be the right thing.

"If you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more that the average of industrialized countries around the world." -Congressman Keith Ellison


Charles Payne

Charles V. Payne is a regular contributor to the Fox Business and Fox News Networks. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI), founded in 1991 which provides subscription analytical services to both individual and institutional investors.