Hire Me, Or I'll Sue


When he rolled out his “pass this bill” jobs bill, which did not actually exist at the time, President Obama boasted of a provision that would reward employers with a tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed:

Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job. We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work. This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job.

It will surprise no student of Obama’s economic brilliance to learn that the Georgia program he referred to, Georgia Work$, is bankrupt, and gained only 12 new enrollees in August.

Those who have been unemployed less than six months will be delighted to learn Obama is offering businesses a $4,000 bounty to hire someone else.  But don’t worry, because once the “Pass This Bill” bill actually became a bill, through the novel act of writing it down on paper and submitting it to Congress, we learned Obama slipped another fantastic unemployment-reducing idea in there, as Zachary Roth at Yahoo News reports: “a provision that would allow unsuccessful job applicants to sue if they think a company of 15 or more employees denied them a job because they were unemployed.”

This is meant to combat the scourge of employers using their unspeakable and horrifying economic freedom to slurp the tasty foam off the top of the unemployment latte, by demonstrating a preference away from the long-term unemployed.  Free market types refer to this as “competition,” but the word is not well-understood by President Zero Job Growth, and he’s really tired of those painful headlines about folks growing old in his long unemployment lines.

Reducing the tax and regulatory burden on businesses is clearly out of the question, so our statist President and his Party want to address the unemployment problem with the only tool in their intellectual toolbox: re-distribution.  Jobs are now a State resource to be allocated to the deserving, not an agreement reached between willing participants in a free market.  Don’t remove the government obstacles to business growth!  Instead, create a vast new legal burden by deploying raw government power to force what remains of the private sector to hire the “right” people.

This genius idea would certainly create lots of jobs for lawyers, who just happen to be one of the Democrats’ most loyal constituencies, but that’s got to be a total coincidence.  As Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), whose own “American Jobs Act of 2011” is vastly superior to the Obama boondoggle, put it: “If you’re unemployed and you go to apply for a job, and you’re not hired for that job, see a lawyer. You may be able to file a claim because you got discriminated against because you were unemployed.”  I guess we’d have to cross our fingers and hope millions of desperate unemployed people didn’t abuse the system!

This incredibly stupid idea is guaranteed to increase unemployment, by making businesses terrified to hang up a “Help Wanted” sign.  How many small businesses have the funds to survive a tidal wave of “anti-discrimination” lawsuits from the horde that will respond to every job opening… many of them hoping for an opportunity to file a suit?  Let me be indelicate here: some percentage of the long-term unemployed are there because they’re less attractive candidates than the people who “grab all the jobs.”  Obama wants to give them a club to beat employers with.

Besides creating a windfall for trial lawyers, the inevitable result of Obama’s “unemployment suit” chaos would be the clear need for a massive new government agency to be created, so that discrimination claims could be wisely analyzed and mediated outside of court.  This would actually be presented to shell-shocked business owners as a wonderful cost savings, to spare them from the financial burden of battling an endless wave of lawsuits.