I have a friend that works at the local Walmart. He has been working about 30 hours a week for what amounts to wages that are below the poverty line. He went on vacation and was getting ready to go back. He got a call from his supervisor – just before he was starting back to work – that informed him that because of the Affordable Care Act, he could no longer work 30 hours a week because the company would be forced to offer him a health care package. The company was committed to avoiding adding health care to poverty wages, so his hours were being cut.
Of course, this friend isn’t really a friend. It’s me. I don’t really work for Walmart. I work at a University that is “committed to academic excellence in an environment of Christian concern.” Naturally, the Christian concern doesn’t extend to most of the faculty. For us, we just get emails from the campus minister.
Fortunately for me, I am making enough money from writing right now, that I can use the extra time. However, I am wondering how my colleagues with tenure track positions feel about this. I mean, I know most of them are disgusted by it, but I don’t know what anyone is doing about it. Essentially, in some sense, we are all working for and supporting immoral institutions that are exploiting workers and grad students. That doesn’t sit very well with me.