When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Monday, October 3, 2011

Obama’s Jobs Bill: Hire somebody who's not unemployed and you'll get sued!

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The U.S. has a very serious unemployment problem (among other serious problems).  Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke has called it a "national crisis"--
“We’ve had close to 10 percent unemployment now for a number of years and, of the people who are unemployed, about 45 percent have been unemployed for six months or more. This is unheard of.”  (emphasis added)

Hardly surprising then, that the Obama administration has proposed a "jobs bill." What is surprising is that Obama's bill  would make it likely than any employer who hired someone who was not unemployed, would be sued--Mr. Obama’s jobs bill would prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants because they are unemployed. . . Unsuccessful job applicants could sue and recover damages for violations, just as when an employer discriminates on the basis of a person’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

This proposed legislation would apply to any business having 15 or more employees. While everybody agrees we need to reduce unemployment, this proposal, if enacted, will have the opposite effect. Rather than risk getting sued, employers just won't hire--

. . . the proposed solution to this problem in President Obama’s jobs plan is a case of the cure being worse than the disease. It is not hard . . . to imagine that someone could think this proposal is a good idea, because most people have never run a business. . . Every out-of-work lawyer will find plenty of opportunities to extract money from small-business owners (the bigger companies have lots of lawyers to defend them): “Settle with my client, or we will sue you.” And it hardly matters if you are guilty or innocent. Either way, you have to waste time, energy and money defending yourself, which of course the contingency lawyer knows. Do you realize how expensive it can be for an employer to defend even a baseless claim? How do you prove your innocence? And the bottom line is this: Even if this goes through, it still won’t compel business owners to hire someone they don’t want to hire.

Who are the biggest losers in this scheme? Everyone. This is just one more reason for a business owner to avoid hiring anyone (there are other reasons, as well). . . . (Chicago business owner Jay Goltz in the New York Times-- http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/is-this-the-right-way-to-help-the-unemployed/ )

Is it asking too much to ask the President of the United States to consult with at least one small business owner before proposing "jobs" legislation?  With this provision included, this is a really, really bad "jobs plan."  President Obama obviously has no experience nor understanding of running a business and meeting a payroll--and he is obviously clueless about creating conditions that will encourage employers in the private sector to hire--in fact, in trying to "help," his administration is making things worse. Thomas Paine said, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."  In this case, the Obama administration appears unable to lead, unwilling to follow, and therefore just needs to "get out of the way."

The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects