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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.