GOP Representative Wants to Pay Employers to Hire the Long Term Unemployed

Democrats complain frequently that Republicans don't have a short-term jobs plan, but via The Hill here's a jobs proposal from the GOP side of the aisle. I'm not convinced, however, that it's a very good one:

Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) introduced legislation late last week that proposes a new pilot jobs program under which companies would get a $7,000 subsidy if they hire people who have been out of work for six months or more.

Dold said his proposal, outlined in his Back to Work Blueprint Act, would take money from current job training programs and turn it into a more effective incentive for companies to hire the long-term unemployed.

"The existing federal government programs to provide employment and training solutions are well-intentioned, but with unemployment remaining unacceptably high we must constantly look for new and innovative ways to help get the long-term unemployed back to work," Dold said Monday. "My approach would create an incentive for employers to hire and retain long-term unemployed workers, while giving these job seekers a powerful tool in this difficult job market."

Dold's bill, H.R. 6568, would require the secretary of Labor to study the feasibility of creating certificates for workers who have been unemployed for six months or more and who are deemed to be "reasonably hirable."

Now, it may be the case that the current federal job training programs aren't measuring up and, if they're not going to be shut down, it's worth experimenting with ways to redirect the money. But I suspect Dold's plan would still have a number of problems. For one thing, as the story suggests, verification would be troublesome. In many cases it's probably not actually all that easy for an employer to confirm for tax purposes that a newly hired worker went unemployed for six months prior to being hired.

A bigger potential problem is that it would incentivize employers to delay hiring if their best potential hire hadn't yet made the six month mark. You'd probably see a lot of employers gaming the system, including some small amounts of mild cheating, especially at the margins where it would be easy to fudge fired and hired dates. But mostly you'd see employers wait it out, keeping some people out of work for longer. Pay employers to hire workers who have been unemployed for six months and they'll make sure that more new hires stay unemployed for a full six months before getting hired. 

Relatedly, it could well end up as little more than a handout to firms that hire a lot of seasonal workers. When I worked at a restaurant in a beach town, it was pretty common practice for many employees to be let go during the slow winter months, only to be rehired by the time Spring Break or Memorial Day rolled around. Would the folks who stayed unemployed that whole time qualify for the credit, even though they were rehired every year? 

Obviously if you subsidize the hiring of individuals who have been unemployed for a reasonably long period of time, you'll get more of that, all else being equal. But you'll also probably get more activity that you didn't want too.  

Legislators in both parties love gimmicks like these because they can say they are working to promote jobs. But in the end there's no clever solution to high unemployment. What the unemployed actually need is a stronger, more confident economy with clear, stable, minimal rules and regulations for employers. The best thing that policymakers can do is provide that clarity and stability and otherwise stay out of the way. 

Reason's November 2011 cover package on free-market jobs plans is here

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  • Auric Demonocles||

    On average, the people who have been unemployed for 6 months are going to be worse/less qualified employees than the ones who have been employed. Therefore, this would be incentivizing inefficiency.

  • John||

    It would be. But presuming those people are hard workers, the inefficiency wouldn't last long. And I think there are some inefficiencies that result from people no longer being employable if they are out of work for more than six months.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But presuming those people are hard workers, the inefficiency wouldn't last long.

    But that is going to less true, on average, of this population than the population of people unemployed less than 6 months.

    And I think there are some inefficiencies that result from people no longer being employable if they are out of work for more than six months.

    I'm not suggesting that companies should refuse to hire someone who hasn't been working in the past 6 months, just that actively encouraging it is detrimental to the overall economy (and of course to the people who have been unemployed less than 6 months in particular).

  • wareagle||

    a counter-argument could be that this long-term unemployed person is going to be hungrier than the typical new hire, someone so glad to be back in the workforce that he/she will bust ass in a big way. This, of course, has nothing to do with govt sticking its nose into the fray.

  • John||

    Sadly a lot of companies look on long term unemployment as a really bad thing. And that has bad effects. Some people are just really unlucky and are unemployed do to no fault of their own. And of course our entire unemployment insurance system incentivizes people staying unemployed until they find a job as high paying as the last one.

    I really do think it is a problem. But this is not the way to deal with it.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    Not only does the unemployment insurance system disincentivize hiring, many places are not willing to hire someone who earned more in the past than they're willing to pay now. I have a close friend who can't even get a job at a McDonalds because he used to be an executive and nobody will believe how willing he is to take just about anything at any pay rate (it doesn't help that he's in his mid-sixties...)

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The managers are probably worried he's going to take their job in about six months.

  • Rasilio||

    Back in the Dot Com bust I ran into this.

    In fact while I was being told to my face that I was not getting a job as a delivery driver for Schwans I laid it out for the idiot.

    I basically told him...

    "Look I made $65k a year in my last job because I musted my ass off and found better ways of getting things done than my predecessors.

    So yes, if I was hired here and a a job in the IT field popped up yes I'd jump ship, but in the mean time I'm not going to sit on my ass and just collect a paycheck from you, I'm going to be the best damn driver this company has with the goal of moving into management within 12 - 18 months at the outside.

    Now you have a choice, 6+ months of me being the best driver you got, or some slacker who is going to go through the motions because all he cares about is the 6-pack he's gonna buy on Friday"

    Needless to say it didn't help me get the job but it sure felt good to lay into the idiot.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    "many places are not willing to hire someone who earned more in the past than they're willing to pay now."

    So true. Sometimes they worry you'll leave as soon as something better comes along, but guess what? So will the teenager or 20-something they hired. The idea that someone cannot, for reasons of necessity or leisure, negotiate a lower pay position in life is a statist, cog-in-the-machine mentality.

    "it doesn't help that he's in his mid-sixties"

    Yeah, I'm 50 and can I just give a big "fuck you" to all those who think anyone over 35 is too feeble to be employed? It's ridiculous.

  • The Hammer||

    Careful, sir. You don't want to break a hip or something with all that salty language.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Also, one could argue that in a crap economy like this one being out of work for 6 months doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as it did in a more robust economy.

    People underestimate how much our economy has been reamed by the last two administrations. Sure, there are many who are going to wait out their 99 weeks of unemployment before they start looking. But there are some who just woke up one day to find out that their field (and related fields) had no openings. Sucks. And the only answer is a free economy.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    My colleague is an IT networking geek, but he used to be paid six figures and is 65, so he's got a very tough row to hoe. Currently he's working part-time running a tiny network for a small business. Doesn't even cover his mortgage.
    Both Bush and Obama have a lot to answer for.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, either his skills never deserved $100k plus a year or there is no reason whatsoever that he should not be making the same salary unless he's living in the middle of nowhere and unwilling to relocate.

    I have literally a dozen recruiters a week contact me with job openings and I just have my resume posted to Monster and Dice, I'm not actively searching for a new job.

  • ||

    Could be that people assume that a 65 year old IT geek's skills are out dated.

    I would recommend that the guy remove all dates from his resume and LinkedIN profile. Make it impossible to tell how old he is and see how many interviews he gets then.

  • freeforall232||

    Remember long ago when Republicans introduced legislation to get the government out of the marketplace?

    Now they are just arguing on the best way they can use the government.

    The GOP is now barely a shadow of what it once was.

  • Name Nomad||

    You've been out of work for five months? Apply again in a month. We might have a spot for you then.

  • John||

    Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) introduced legislation late last week that proposes a new pilot jobs program under which companies would get a $7,000 subsidy if they hire people who have been out of work for six months or more.

    Peter, doesn't that make them long term UNEMPLOYED rather than uninsured?

  • Peter Suderman||

    Yes, fixed the headline.

  • Rasilio||

    You know it is funny, this is the ONLY news media publication I have encountered where the writers regularly read the comments section of their articles.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No! Think for once! This doesn't make any sense at all! People aren't pieces on a chess board to be moved around by a player until you reach perfect employment! They will find a way to game the system or they don't participate at all. LOL.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Lou was a lot smarter than you are, tengfow...

    If that is your real name!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's nice to see GOP legislators have as little grasp on the mechanics of private sector staffing as do the Democrats. You cannot incentivize hiring from Washington. You can remove D.C.-imposed obstacles for employers, but that's not what this is. I mean, what the fuck? Go be a Democrat if you're coming up with solutions like this.

  • John||

    You cannot incentivize hiring from Washington

    Sure you can. What do you think things like affirmative action do? You will probably do more harm than good. But you can certainly do it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Affirmative Action may spur different hiring, but not more hiring.

  • John||

    True. But if you pay people and lower the marginal cost of hiring, you are incentivizing hiring. That is what this would do.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But if you pay people and lower the marginal cost of hiring, you are incentivizing hiring. That is what this would do."

    Some of these people got their heads screwed on so tight now, they can't even understand what you're talking about anymore...

    This was proposed by a Republican, John. So it must be wrong! Obviously we can't get rid of a federal government jobs training program--and replace it with what amounts to a tax cut for most companies! ...because...because...

    Republicans!

  • The Hammer||

    Add one more name to the dipshit brigade, for whom anything less than Obamanian devotion to the GOP is heresy, and intelligent discussion of issues is unacceptable.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You're right about that, but Washington can incentivize more hiring. It just requires the subsidy to be so high it covers the cost of employing the person to the point that their added value to the company is worth it. In most cases, $7k isn't enough, but a higher one might be. If the subsidy was $50k, a lot of employees would make more sense since the employer may only be paying $5k to have an extra working that increases revenue by $30k.

    Although, I just realized that you could have meant in the macro sense. In which case I would agree that the government can't incentivize more hiring (over the long run).

  • Ken Shultz||

    You guys are getting it all backwards.

    If this is about hiring from Washington, then hiring from Washington is a federal jobs training program--that's Washington training people for jobs...

    Giving companies what probably amounts to a tax break instead? That isn't hiring from Washington, that's hiring from employers.

    Again, just because something isn't the ideal, doesn't mean it isn't an improvement. If we can turn a freaking government program into what amounts to a tax break--then we should pretty much always do that every chance we get.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Giving companies what probably amounts to a tax break instead? That isn't hiring from Washington, that's hiring from employers.

    How can that work? Unless, as Auric says, they are nearly fully subsidizing the cost of employment, no business is going to be swayed by this. They either need additional staff and can afford it, or not.

    At most it's going to push hiring of people out of benefits at the expense of those with still weeks of unemployment checks ahead of them. If it somehow worked it would end up costing taxpayers more.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's not true. Marginal costs matter. Even small costs matter. There are a hundreds million people who do one thing with their money rather than another every day because one option costs a few cents less than another. If you make hiring 50 long term unemployed people cost $350,000 less the first year? Then hiring those 50 people is a more attractive option than it was before...

    Besides, the benefit isn't just in the hiring of long term unemployed people. You're also eroding a government program. First you replace a federal program with a tax incentive, then if you want to get rid of the incentive in the future, you can do that... But you may have to replace the federal program with a tax incentive first...

    Can we do the EPA next?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    To my eye those cost reductions are going to be pretty marginal for most. I'm forever dubious that adding pages to the U.S. Tax Code can solve anything, but I'll look for examples of where this kind of incentive has ever been successful.

    But hey, at least Labor can add staffing to certify the long-term unemployed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    We could effectuate an even better solution by just slashing corporate tax rates across the board, or better yet? We could get rid of the corporate tax completely!

    But, like Tim Cavanaugh once wrote, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

    This isn't creating a tax incentive where there were no costs before; this looks to me like replacing an inefficient government program with a tax incentive. It may not be perfect, but compared to what we have now, it's pretty good.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

    Fuck that shit. I don't come to reason for that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    LOL

    Just for the record...

    Cavanaugh's the guy I remember using it, but apparently it was a Voltaire quote.

    And I don't remember what context Cavanaugh used it in; he could have been using it to write against that kind of thinking...

    But there's no way I'm gonna support making things incrementally better either--not so long as I can oppose progress on the basis that it isn't perfect!

    ...that's what being a libertarian is all about.

  • freeforall232||

    Where does the $7,000 come from? Why not return it to the taxpayers? Why are you insistent on defending a big-governemnt program with an (R) next to it? Isn't big government bad regardless of the label?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) introduced legislation late last week that proposes a new pilot jobs program under which companies would get a $7,000 subsidy if they hire people who have been out of work for six months or more.

    Dold said his proposal, outlined in his Back to Work Blueprint Act, would take money from current job training programs and turn it into a more effective incentive for companies to hire the long-term unemployed."

    I'm not against giving the money back to the taxpayers, but if the ideal isn't one of the options, then why not support making things better than they are now?

    Barack Obama is the president. He may be the president for another four years. Barack Obama will not support taking money away from job training and giving it back the taxpayers. He'll never sign it. And the Republicans don't haven enough votes to override a veto.

    So, do I want the perfect solution?

    Yes?

    If we can't get the perfect solution, does that mean we should take our bat and ball and go home, pout and console ourselves with the idea that we're real libertarians?

    I say no. I say we improve things the best we can. And this proposal is definitely an improvement.

  • Robert||

    Consider that the people the money's going to are taxpayers. They're not exactly the same taxpayers the money was taken from, but there's bound to be a large overlap there. Would you rather the gov't hold the money longer, distorting the market even more by having people speculate on where it'll be spent eventually?

  • freeforall232||

    You're telling me that "The government's already got the money so they might as well use it." This proposal is not an improvement but just another mechanism by which elected officials excuse not returning our money! Imagine if this bill passes and then an unlikely spending cut is proposed. The howls of objection from Republicans that "You're going to put people out of work if you cut spending!" Simply. Pathetic.

  • AlmightyJB||

    In Illinois republican = democrat.

  • freeforall232||

    In Illinois America republican = democrat.

    FTFY

  • sarcasmic||

    You can remove D.C.-imposed obstacles for employers

    Those "obstacles" are the result of hard work by well-intentioned regulators. They were put into place as a result of some abuse, or possible future abuse, by unscrupulous capitalists who care only for profit. They must be controlled or there will be anarchy and chaos.

    Repeal is not an option.

  • SugarFree||

    Scale back Federal spending to 50% of its current cost. Cut taxes to 40% of that level and devote the rest to paying off the debt. Give that 20 years and then I'll come back and take a serious look at all these "jobs proposals" if there is still a problem.

    It's like seeing a drowning person and rigging up and elaborate rebreather system and lowering it to him with a sophisticated mini-sub. Just pull him out of the water, morons.

  • Rasilio||

    While I agree with you that Federal Spending needs to be scaled back significantly there is the issue of HOW.

    The overwhelming majority of Federal Spending comes from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Military. Those 4 programs combined equal 75% of the Budget so any attempt to get to a 50% cut means massive cuts to each of those programs.

    The problem with that is cutting them that much has real problems that need to be dealt with. For example an overnight 50% cut in those entitlement programs would kill ten of thousands of people, and with the military it is even harder because scaling back our miltiary responsibly means significant short term increases in spending as we decomission and demilitarize bases and equiptment.

    Sure, a phased drawdown of spending on those programs over the course of 20 years could maybe get us to a 50% cut ut we're looking at a LONG time before we can get anywhere near that.

  • SugarFree||

    Well, it's just a fantasy anyway. It'll take a complete collapse and a whole lot of death to fix this. The Terror will look like a picnic in the park by comparison.

    Although, if I was KingFree for a day, I'd means-test the living shit out of Social Security and Medicare.

    The military would take more than a day.

  • sarcasmic||

    But what about my retired aunt who spent her entire Social Security benefits for one year on veterinary bills for her sick puggle?

    If Social Security were means tested, her and her husband (a wealthy retired business executive) would have been denied benefits, and she likely wouldn't have been able to justify spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a sick dog. But since the money was free from the government, why not spend it on vet bills?

    Why do you hate puggles?

  • SugarFree||

    They are a vile mockery of the laws of dog and man.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I assume this is some sort of pug/poodle hybrid. We've got to nuke sarc's aunt's state to remove this abomination.

  • SugarFree||

    pub/beagle--all the barking of a beagle and all the breathing problems of a pug in a single package.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That seems less horrible than a pug/poodle. Instead we'll just have to fire bomb the state.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Beagles are the ultimate life form.

    I guess I'm what you would call a beagle supremacist.

  • robc||

    You could eliminate SS and welfare programs with a negative income tax.

    That prevents poverty, so seniors dont need any larger SS payments than that.

    The tax wouldnt even need to be "revenue neutral", it only has to bring in (Current revenue-transfer payments cut) to be deficit neutral.

    I did some back of envelope type calculations the other day and I think the rate would be ~37% (remember that this is replacing not just the income tax but the SS part of FICA for both employer and employee, so that is 12.4% of it right there, which makes the rate more like 25% -- but with a huge minimum before it kicks in).

  • Rasilio||

    I'm not exactly sure how this negative income tax would work but I know that you could provide universal health care for what we spend today on government health care by simply setting up a government funded Health Savings account for all Americans with the government funded portion being on a sliding scale based on income and family size ranging between $2000 and $16000 a year and you would still have about $200 Billion a year to set aside for a small medicare program for those who come down with high cost chronic illnesses such that no one would insure them and the government provided funds could never cover the cost of their treatment.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Twenty years is probably too long, since we'd go under at least one recession during that period.

    Without an incentive to match spending to tax revenue, your plan would likely end up in the dust bin.

  • SugarFree||

    Isn't paying down debt spending?

    Oh, that's right. It's always Opposite Day in politics.

  • Rasilio||

    Hmm, $7000 to hire someone who has been out of work for 6 months?

    Ok mr job seeker I have an offer for you, I hire you and you work for me for $15000 ($30k a year) for 6 months, at which point I lay you off. You go collect your 26 weeks of Unemployment and I hire you back the day it ends. I have another guy who will be taking your place during that 6 months ad you'll rotate 6 months of work and 6 months of unemployment.

    I now get the equivalent of a Full time employee for a year for only $16,000 far less than I could actually hire anyone for.

  • John||

    What about your share of unemployment benefits?

  • Rasilio||

    The employer doesn't pay the benefits, he pays premiums on the insurance (it is technically a government run insurance program paid for your employer) and yes that may mean my per employee Unemployment Insurance rates would go up, possibly to the maximum rate but this would likely happen in industries where workers were fungible commodities and turnover was already high meaning those rates would already be at or near the max anyway.

  • Drake||

    I think that varies by state but I am unwilling to invest the time to investigate.

  • robc||

    My former company, we got our rate down to the minimum. Over a decade, we had two people collect unemployment, one for one month, the other for 3 or 4.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Dold said his proposal, outlined in his Back to Work Blueprint Act, would take money from current job training programs and turn it into a more effective incentive for companies to hire the long-term unemployed."

    Somebody needs to explain this to me better...

    If he's talking about turning spending into tax cuts, I should oppose this, why?

    "A bigger potential problem is that it would incentivize employers to delay hiring if their best potential hire hadn't yet made the six month mark."

    Another potential problem is that companies might start innovating new ways to solve their personnel problems--and if they start to do that better than government training programs? and it starts helping with our long term unemployment problems, then that might make Barack Obama and his stagnant, stupid, leviathan philosophy look bad...

    ...and, obviously, we can't have that.

  • wareagle||

    the Congressman is from IL. Repub, yes, but there is something about certain states that is tough to overlook.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I was being sarcastic.

    The only thing wrong I see with turning a god damn government program into what probably amounts to a tax break is that it isn't a perfect solution--it's only head and shoulders better than what we've got.

    ...which is to say, it isn't a problem.

    When you start to transition away from the government doing things, this is what it looks like. Transitioning away from the government doing this is a good thing.

  • wareagle||

    Transitioning away from the government doing this is a good thing.

    that's why I mention his being from IL, not the Obama connection. When has IL ever turned away from govt doing something. Repubs, Dems; we're talking different types of beans in the same chili.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, the idea is that good ideas come from where we find them.

    If Obama proposed slashing a federal jobs training program and replacing it with a tax incentive instead, I'd absolutely support that...

    I'd pinch myself to see if I was dreaming, but then I'd support it because it's a good idea. ...no matter who proposed it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's like seeing a drowning person and rigging up and elaborate rebreather system and lowering it to him with a sophisticated mini-sub. Just pull him out of the water, morons.

    It's like seeing a drowning person and throwing rocks at him.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    there is the issue of HOW.

    We could start by not using the tax code as a vehicle for grandiose social engineering schemes.

  • Fluffy||

    This program already exists.

    That's the really funny thing.

    It's called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

    It's also pretty easy to get an additional tax credit for employer-run "training" for the long-term unemployed. (I.e. you hand a new hire the training manual and the feds cut you a check.)

    This proposal would increase the dollar amounts, but it's not a fundamentally new program.

    The amount of paperwork required to get either existing credit is so demanding that nobody hiring one or two people a year bothers to attempt to get the credit. It's too big a pain in the ass. It ends up being a subsidy to large employers who can devote compliance staff to tracking the hires and applying for the credits.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It ends up being a subsidy to large employers who can devote compliance staff to tracking the hires and applying for the credits.

    Another subsidy for the Bigger is Better fetishists. Shocking.

    Fuck that, and don't give me that tired old bullshit about, "Any tax break is a good tax break" (I'm looking at you, Ken). This is just another way government advantages the few at the expense of the many. Cut everybody's taxes equally across the board, and knock off the industrial policy bullshit.

    And, just for fun:

    "So, it says here on your resume you were laid off. Why did they lay you off, and keep the other people in your job category?"

    "They were all jealous of me."

    "Ummm hmmmmm. We'll be in touch if something suitable comes up."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Any tax break is a good tax break" (I'm looking at you, Ken). This is just another way government advantages the few at the expense of the many.

    1) Just about any tax break is a good tax break.

    2) We're not just talking about the tax break; we're also talking about starving a government program of revenue.

  • Rasilio||

    ""So, it says here on your resume you were laid off. Why did they lay you off, and keep the other people in your job category?"

    "

    "They didn't, they laid off the entire department"

    "Because I was the most Junior person in the department"

    "Becasue I was the most Senior person in the department"

    "There were no other employees in my job category"

    There are a LOT of very good answers to such a question, some would be true, others not so much but still effectively unverifiable.

  • Cytotoxic||

    If you are having trouble getting work, you need to get on over to Alberta or maybe (MAYBE) Saskatchewan. We need your hands.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    I think Ian and Sylvia wrote about this one, a 'couple' of years ago. First line of the second verse:

    http://youtu.be/wjfTDPhMdTk

  • ||

    Wow. Saskachewan? Really? My hometown is having an oil boom?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    we're also talking about starving a government program of revenue.

    That's a good one. Timmay! would laugh his ass off.

    We're talking about the dispensation of favors to a preferred class of subjects.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) introduced legislation late last week that proposes a new pilot jobs program under which companies would get a $7,000 subsidy if they hire people who have been out of work for six months or more.

    Dold said his proposal, outlined in his Back to Work Blueprint Act, would take money from current job training programs and turn it into a more effective incentive for companies to hire the long-term unemployed."

    That's the proposal under consideration.

    That's what it looks like when the government gets smaller.

  • ||

    Looks to me like when the government stays exactly the same size but does something different...

  • ||

    To avoid employers waiting to hire someone until they've been unemployed at least six months, just tier the tax break. Unemployed 3 months? $3500. Unemployed 5 months? $5800-ish. You get the picture and can do the math yourself. Might even throw in the "Unemployed 18 months? - $10,000".

    Just stating the obvious.

    CB

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Why the fuck should any business owner expect to be rewarded by the government for a decision which will improve his business operation and make him money? And if that decision will not make him money, then he's a fucking idiot if he takes a bribe from the fucking government to make his operation less efficient and ultimately less profitable.

    and-

    Serious Question:

    How/Why/When did it become conventional wisdom that the government is responsible for training employees? Once upon a time, business owners and managers hired new people with the explicit understanding that they would train them for the job they were to perform, usually by "apprenticing" them to an experienced worker, and paying them as they learned on the job.

    I used to be somewhat sympathetic, but now, every time I her somebody moaning about how hard it is to find good help, I assume that person is just too dumb and too lazy to take the time and effort to train his people to do the work as he wants and expects it to be done.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "How/Why/When did it become conventional wisdom that the government is responsible for training employees?"

    It happened incrementally, and it's certainly worse with the Obama Administration. I think it just has to do with the government taking over so much responsibility for education.

    It's a moral hazard thing. As the government increasingly took responsibility for job training by way of student loans, etc., businesses increasingly leaned on the government for all that free effort.

  • ||

    I used to be somewhat sympathetic, but now, every time I her somebody moaning about how hard it is to find good help, I assume that person is just too dumb and too lazy to take the time and effort to train his people to do the work as he wants and expects it to be done.

    Remember Brooksie, an employer can only train the willing. I suspect a good number of potential hirees have unrealistic expectations of the work expected of them for whatever the wage is. That breeds the problem of an employee feeling (like almost all employees do) that they are being over-worked and underpaid, with too much being demanded of them.

  • ||

    Also, I am overjoyed to see you posting again! -)))))

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Brooks isn't the only one who is late....

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    How/Why/When did it become conventional wisdom that the government is responsible for training employees?

    Right about the time a bachelor's degree and/or government service of some kind was considered the key to entering the middle class, which was roughly the post-WW2 era.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Gracias, Groovus.

  • Robert||

    A few yrs. ago I wanted to see if I could split with an employer the bounty given to hire me off welfare, but then found out it's not payable to just anyone, only to a qualified (i.e. state-established) program that gets welfare clients jobs.

  • Tejicano||

    Am I the only one who recognized the photo of PVT Joker getting his hair cut in the opening scenes of Full Metal Jacket and wondered what that has to do with the article?

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