Obama Pressuring Businesses Not to “Discriminate” Against Long-Term Jobless

 

Ayn Rand wrote that the “only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.”

President Obama is doing the exact opposite. With his “I have a pen” promise (aka despotism), he is pushing businesses to sign a White House pledge not to “discriminate” against hiring the long-term unemployed.

So, now we have a new classification of discrimination: Joblessness. How long will it be until “joblessness” is equated with gender and race in our anti-discrimination laws?

And what will come next? “Uneducated” discrimination? Businesses will have to pledge to hire people even if they don’t have the necessary education for the position. How about “inexperienced” discrimination? Businesses will have to pledge to hire people even if they don’t have the proper experience to actually do the job they’re being hired to do?

How far down the slippery slope of discrimination are we going to have to go before the government tells businesses exactly who they can and cannot hire? I’d say with the President’s pledge, we’re getting pretty close.

According to the White House, the initiative to solve the problem of “jobless discrimination” is designed to “help the economy, without the cooperation of an often dysfunctional Congress.”

Arthur Delaney, at the Huffington Post, writes that the number of long-term jobless—at nearly 4 million—is historically unprecedented, and that “recent studies have shown that part of the problem is companies not wanting to hire people with gaps in their resumes.”

No mention is made, of course, that big government and Obamacare are part of the problem. True to form, our president hones in on business as the primary stumbling block. Instead of shrinking government and setting the markets free, he doubles down on companies, reducing liberty while increasing presidential power.

“It really is sad to hear the stories of people who almost had a job at three months, almost had a job at five months, and then suddenly they’re unemployed seven or eight months and they can’t even get an interview,” White House economic adviser Gene Sperling told HuffPost on Thursday.

“Often inadvertently, companies put up screens or have built-in stigmas in their hiring practices that create a negative cycle for the long-term unemployed,” Sperling said.

In 2011, as part of the American Jobs Act, “Obama proposed banning job ads that discourage the unemployed and giving spurned job-seekers a way to file claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.” That proposal was shot down by Republicans in the House.

Now, Obama is trying to do the same thing in a roundabout way by pressuring companies to sign a “best practices” pledge regarding hiring those who have been out of work for a long time. More than 300 companies have already signed, including 21 of the 50 largest U.S. businesses by sales. Walmart and McDonald’s are among those who have made the pledge.

The White House is promoting the “best practices” promise as way to make America more prosperous:

Businesses succeed when their communities thrive. We recognize the benefits to our businesses, our economy, and our country of taking advantage of the talent, experience and skills of all Americans, including the long-term unemployed. Yet studies have shown that long-term unemployed job applicants are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities—even when they may have identical resumes and skills to other candidates.

First of all, no two people have “identical resumes and skills.” Second, I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t accepted practice (if not a “best practice” in and of itself) that businesses preferred hiring people already employed. 

I remember wanting to leave my job when I was in my twenties,  but my father told me quite firmly not to quit until I had another job lined up—no one wants to hire you if you’re out of work. That has always been a reality in the job market—not just in America, but in other countries as well.

Now, something that has always been part of the competitive process has been deemed by the President to be “discriminatory.” 

As Ayn Rand said, when the government gets involved in dictating “best practices” to businesses, you no longer have freedom and prosperity, you have tyranny.

When are people going to stand up to this President and say enough is enough? He has stated that he has a “pen” and that he is willing use it. In a very real sense, the pen is mightier than the sword, and that is exactly how Obama is wielding it.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JMaestro

    So just to get this straight: Obama wants us to think employers are victimizing those people who are themselves the long-term victims of Obama’s economic policies?

    Typical.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @

    I knew if there was enough time the gov’t would start forcing those on unemployment to work just as the Northern Europeans are. A dear relative said to me, ‘I don’t think an employer should just be able to fire somebody.’ I responded that the employees are free to just quit, so how is that fair? They can quit now, but that will change too. I think that got to her. Maybe. Of course they will also be telling companies how much to pay them.

    • #2
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    @KCMulville

    Really, what it tells me is that the White House simply assumes that the job market will continue to stink.

    After all, in a thriving labor market, there should be plenty of jobs so that employers would be willing to hire competent people, no matter what their recent employment record is. What this means is that there are so few jobs that the competition for each job is getting worse, and therefore every factor counts.

    Even more, they’re trying to make sure that their dismal record on job creation can’t be used against them.

    • #3
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    @DCMcAllister
    KC Mulville: Really, what it tells me is that the White House simply assumes that the job market will continue to stink.

    After all, in a thriving labor market, there should be plenty of jobs so that employers would be willing to hire competent people, no matter what their recent employment record is. What this means is that there are so few jobs that the competition for each job is getting worse, and therefore every factor counts.

    Even more, they’re trying to make sure that their dismal record on job creation can’t be used against them. · 3 minutes ago

    yep, they can just blame businesses. I am appalled by this on a fundamental level. The president is creating laws and “pledges” (which, in my mind, is a step removed from a law, and definitely can be used as a club), which is outside his constitutional powers. The government has no business dictating “best practices” to a company. Period.

    • #4
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    @dittoheadadt

    What th-??  So now the Left wants to make Equal Opportunity Unemployment a subset of Affirmative Action?

    “Arthur Delaney…writes that the number of long-term jobless—at nearly 4 million—is historically unprecedented, and that “recent studies have shown that part of the problem is companies not wanting to hire people with gaps in their resumes.”

    So…what he’s saying is it would be better to get that long-term unemployed person off the unemployment rolls, and replace him with a newbie?  Like that’s a net gain somehow??

    My brain may not be working yet today, but that just seems asinine.  The problem is there aren’t enough jobs!

    If the employer in question were going to hire Person B (not long-term unemployed), but because of Obambi’s suggestion the employer hires Person A (long-term unemployed), Person B just takes Person A’s place on the unemployment list!  And if Person B wasn’t unemployed to begin with, then hiring Person B opens up a job slot at Person B’s former employer.  But without more jobs, it’s just a zero-sum game.

    Does Obambi not understand math, or is it me?

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @JClimacus
    D.C. McAllister:

    When are people going to stand up to this President and say enough is enough? He has stated that he has a “pen” and that he is willing use it. In a very real sense, the pen is mightier than the sword, and that is exactly how Obama is wielding it. · · 14 minutes ago

    Have no fear! Your House Republican leadership is as outraged as you are by the imperial Obama presidency and has found the way to cut the President down to Constitutional size.

    Immigration Reform!

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @Ekosj

    “Businesses succeed when their communities thrive.” This one line represents exactly the wrong-headedness of the ‘progressive’. It is EXACTLY BACKWARDS!!!! Should be : ” Communities thrive when their businesses succeed .” Until the Left understands this, the war on capitalism will continue….with predictable results.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    dittoheadadt: That just seems friggin’ asinine.  The problem is there aren’t enough jobs, moron!

    Does Obambi not understand math, or is it me?

    I just had to repeat this. 

    And no, our Imperial President does not understand math, or he doesn’t care to. It’s not about numbers. It’s about power. 

    What’s truly asinine is so few Republicans and businesses are standing up to him.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    J Climacus

    D.C. McAllister:

    When are people going to stand up to this President and say enough is enough? He has stated that he has a “pen” and that he is willing use it. In a very real sense, the pen is mightier than the sword, and that is exactly how Obama is wielding it. · · 14 minutes ago

    Have no fear! Your House Republican leadership is as outraged as you are by the imperial Obama presidency and has found the way to cut the President down to Constitutional size.

    Immigration Reform! · 7 minutes ago

    Thanks for the reminder–as if I’m not angry enough this morning. Erg!!!!

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @RichardFinlay

    Just as the insurance industry has to deal with high-risk pools, all employers will have to deal with low-skill pools.  Member of these pools will be assigned to employers in proportion to their skilled-worker numbers, i.e., those not assigned by the government.  Members of the low-skill pools must be given raises and promotions consistent with those given to those lucky workers who have skills; otherwise, they will be victims of low status that will damage their self-esteem.  It will also be illegal for an employer to publically identify or otherwise discriminate against the low-skill pool members.  Because some skilled individuals might not see the value in having to actually produce results to maintain their employment and thus attempt to qualify for the low-skill pool, it will be necessary for the overseeing government agency to establish a means for assessing the skill level (read: privilege) of all workers and require appropriate contributions of effort from everyone according to their official level of ability .

    Then everything will be glorious.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    Macroeconomically, it’s pretty clear at this point that we’re reaping the double-whirlwind of creating the 20th century warfare state, financed by the funny money of the Fed and the income tax (Federal Reserve Act 1913; Federal Income Tax 1913; WWI 1914), being very successful at it (victory in WWI and WWII), and failing to understand that our post-WWII “wealth,” “manufacturing base,” and “high-tax, high-service” regime, or what Walter Russell Mead calls the “Blue Model,” only existed because we reduced much of the rest of the world’s productive capacity to smoking ruin.

    It wasn’t sustainable. So now we have significant structural unemployment. I’ll leave out the issues around subsidized liberal arts education, AKA the “higher education bubble,” leaving kids saddled with $10K’s of student loan debt that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy but provides them with no useful skills whatsoever.

    I have a headache.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    Ekosj: “Businesses succeed when their communities thrive.” This one line represents exactly the wrong-headedness of the ‘progressive’. It is EXACTLY BACKWARDS!!!! Should be : ” Communities thrive when their businesses succeed .” Until the Left understands this, the war on capitalism will continue….with predictable results. · 4 minutes ago

    I thought that exact thing when I read it. Free the markets and you will have economic freedom for those who are willing to work. Everyone won’t be equal, but they will have freedom of opportunity and more prosperity for all. The bigger the government, the less businesses thrive, and the more our communities—and individuals—suffer!

    • #12
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    @MatthewGilley

    Absurd, unenforceable tripe. If he gave even half a care about the long term unemployed, the real world solution would be to create demand for the services of such folk. That task, however, requires economic expansion and not executive orders, so this White House is not interested. It’s above the president’s pay grade.

    • #13
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    @gnarlydad

    dittoheadadt: Does Obambi not understand math, or is it me?

    My guess is he understands neither you or math. He certainly knows nothing about business.

    As others have suggested, hiring teams are tasked with finding the best performing, most qualified people to fill vacant positions. In a soft job market (such as we now enjoy) HR teams are flooded with hundreds of applications for each available position. Holding down a job, even flipping burgers, demonstrates a key qualification in a potential recruit: a willingness and ability to work.

    From a business perspective, how can it possibly be a “best practice” to ignore that metric?

    • #14
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    @Pilli

    “When are people going to stand up to this President and say enough is enough? He has stated that he has a “pen” and that he is willing use it. In a very real sense, the pen is mightier than the sword, and that is exactly how Obama is wielding it.”

    I don’t know…the sword seems pretty mighty.  Just ask Dinesh D’Souza.  He stood up to Obama.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @Larry3435

    Walmart and McDonald’s are among those who have made the pledge.

    Anyone who has been unemployed for the “long term” could have found a job at McDonalds (or someplace like it) long ago, if they had wanted to do so.  So long as Obama keeps extending unemployment benefits, these folks are not going to work at McDonalds anyway.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Surely no one is surprised. Obama and the Dems are Marxists. They are, or have been, winning. They can enforce anything. This is why I do not understand moderates or those that refuse to sully their private lives with politics.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MikeK
    Richard Finlay: Just as the insurance industry has to deal with high-risk pools, all employers will have to deal with low-skill pools.  Member of these pools will be assigned to employers in proportion to their skilled-worker numbers, i.e., those not assigned by the government.  Members of the low-skill pools must be given raises and promotions consistent with those given to those lucky workers who have skills; otherwise, they will be victims of low status that will damage their self-esteem.  

    This policy fits well with the new rules about “gifted programs in elementary schools. They must be “diverse” enough, i.e., not white.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/30/nyc-school-cuts-popular-gifted-program-over-lack-d/

    If not, they will be cut until there are equal numbers of smart and stupid.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Member
    @WBob

    The ability to cast every issue in terms of discrimination goes back to the very broadly interpretable language of the 14th Amendment, that all “persons” in a state’s jurisdiction are guaranteed “equal protection of the laws”.  This vague phrase is the source of all liberal power. 

    How long will it be before someone realizes they can use this clause to demand voting rights for non-citizens, even illegals, since they are “persons.”  Citizens being able to vote while other “persons” cannot doesn’t sound like equal protection to me!

    On the bright side, this clause could be used to eliminate progressive taxation.  People being taxed at different effective tax rates definitely isn’t equal protection!

     

          

    • #19
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    @DocJay

    Godel’s Ghost, you left out our garbage laws, regulations, and taxes which forced companies overseas. I have a headache too now. D.C., nice essay and the larger point of our descent in to the Randian nightmare is greatly appreciated. Crazy tweaker that she was, it is obvious that she knew what was going down. Obama could be a character in her novels but far more saddening is the national mentality that demonizes producers and extols takers. What have we become.

    • #20
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    @VanceRichards

    Employmentism is Hate!

    Jobs are plenty but discriminatory hiring is leaving those jobs unfilled? Even Obama can’t believe that.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pseudodionysius

    White House pledge not to “discriminate” against hiring the long-term unemployed.

    Let’s just leave Michelle Obama out of this, shall we?

    • #22
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    @Ekosj

    Hi Godel’s Ghost: Lots of moving parts in your post, and I’m not sure I agree with all of them, but one is unassailable: The post WWII American economic scheme: high wage, high tax, high service was only made viable because, except for America, most of the worlds productive capacity was either a smoldering ruin or locked away behind the iron curtain. Lots of folks on the Left look at that 1945-1965 (1970) period and conclude that America succeeded because of the high tax high service regime. In fact, we succeeded in spite of it, because we basically had the field to ourselves. Not so today. We squandered a 20-25 year head start by fooling ourselves that the gravy train would never stop.

    • #23
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    @Goldgeller

    It’s a very difficult situation for the long-term jobless. Because the economy is bad, their skills lag, and their jobs may even be phased out, which will just make a vicious cycle even worse. But in the end, the companies will probably be the best judge as to who they should hire. It isn’t just the long-term jobless, but also the “just out of college” people who have a work history problem. The solution is more jobs, not simply changing the mix of who gets hired.

    I get a little nervous when governments ask their people to sign these types of informal pledges. It could lead to worse things, like actual government laws, but in and of itself it isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen. It does seem to deflect from the real issue though– lack of jobs. 

    • #24
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    @RandyWeivoda

    How long before the people who have no gaps in their employment history will be seen as greedy?  Tell me you couldn’t picture some Occupy Wall Streeter saying “If you weren’t hogging all the jobs and would sit a spell on unemployment, there would be more jobs available for the rest of us.  You’ve gotta spread the wealth (and those jobs) around.”

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Member
    @MiffedWhiteMale
    D.C. McAllister

    dittoheadadt: That just seems friggin’ asinine.  The problem is there aren’t enough jobs, moron!

    Does Obambi not understand math, or is it me?

    I just had to repeat this. 

    And no, our Imperial President does not understand math, or he doesn’t care to. It’s not about numbers. It’s about power. 

    What’s truly asinine is so few Republicans and businesses are standing up to him. · 1 hour ago

    “What’s truly asinine is so few Republicans and businesses are standing up to him. ”

    I just had to repeat this.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Member
    @MiffedWhiteMale
    Gödel’s Ghost: Macroeconomically, it’s pretty clear at this point that we’re reaping the double-whirlwind of creating the 20th century warfare state, financed by the funny money of the Fed and the income tax (Federal Reserve Act 1913; Federal Income Tax 1913; WWI 1914), being very successful at it (victory in WWI and WWII), and failing to understand that our post-WWII “wealth,” “manufacturing base,” and “high-tax, high service” regime, or what Walter Russell Mead calls the “Blue Model,” only existed because we reduced much of the rest of the world’s productive capacity to smoking ruin.

    It wasn’t sustainable. So now we have significant structural unemployment. I’ll leave out the issues around subsidized liberal arts education, AKA the “higher education bubble,” leaving kids saddled with $10K’s of student loan debt that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy but provides them with no useful skills whatsoever.

    I have a headache. · 1 hour ago

    What we need is a 6-year conventional bombing campaign against the rest of the industrialized world.

    Hell, I’ll even let them re-institute a 90% marginal tax rate in the decade following…

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Moderator
    @AmySchley
    Ekosj: Hi Godel’s Ghost: Lots of moving parts in your post, and I’m not sure I agree with all of them, but one is unassailable: The post WWII American economic scheme: high wage, high tax, high service was only made viable because, except for America, most of the worlds productive capacity was either a smoldering ruin or locked away behind the iron curtain. Lots of folks on the Left look at that 1945-1965 (1970) period and conclude that America succeeded because of the high tax high service regime. In fact, we succeeded in spite of it, because we basically had the field to ourselves. Not so today. We squandered a 20-25 year head start by fooling ourselves that the gravy train would never stop. · 1 hour ago

    Maybe we should kick off WWIII, then.

    I’m joking.  I think.

    • #28
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    @JohnMurdoch

    Let me encourage the Richochetoise to re-read the White House “pledge,” and review the list of signatories.

    The signatories: big companies that are vulnerable to criticism from the media allies of the president; and big government contractors who aren’t stupid.

    The pledge: political theater. Note the use of the word “solely” several times. Yes–you can discriminate against Amy because she hasn’t worked as an attorney; you are just pledging that you’re not only discriminating against Amy because she hasn’t worked as a lawyer. (If you discriminate against Amy because she hasn’t worked recently, and because she’s a woman, you have honored your pledge.)  

    The document was written to be a stage prop–and doubtless pitched to the signatories as a stage prop. No one, anywhere, will get a job as a result of this. And nobody in the White House expects anyone to.

    That we–a forum that is sometimes characterized as the brightest lights on the right–are huffing and puffing over this charade, as opposed to, say, IRS and Justice Department oppression of Obama’s political opponents–would seem to indicate that this bit of political theater was successful.

    • #29
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    @user_503489

    Will he also be asking any of the long-term unemployed to sign a pledge to take one of the “jobs American won’t do”? 

    • #30

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