January 25, 2011

State of the Union suggestion

Here's the opening of a long, sad article, Obama's Jobs Search, in the New York Times Magazine about how, despite all the economic geniuses in the Obama Administration, nobody can think of anything meaningful to do about unemployment:
Three days before Christmas, President Obama gathered his economic team in the West Wing’s Roosevelt Room to review themes for his State of the Union address. The edge-of-the-cliff crisis he inherited had passed, but with more than 14 million Americans still out of work, he was looking for bold ways to bring down unemployment. The ideas presented to him, though, seemed familiar and uninspired. “You know, guys,” he said, according to someone in the room, “I’ve told you before, I want you to come to me with ideas that excite me.” Nothing he was hearing excited him. 

Let me repeat an idea of mine from November about how Obama could boldly lower the cost of hiring Americans. It certainly won't excite Obama, but it is one thing he could actually do politically -- and, in fact, is the one thing he has the personal expertise to do in a week -- that would give a jolt to hiring:
Obama should declare victory in the half-century old War on Discrimination—which Ed Rubenstein of VDARE.COM recently estimated costs 8 percent of a year’s GDP, or over a trillion dollars. ... Hiring legally unprotected whites is dangerous because that accumulates statistical evidence of disparate impact discrimination. But hiring legally protected minorities is a legal minefield because of the potential costs of discrimination lawsuits if they don’t work out and have to be let go. (A friend who owns a small business explains: “If I can’t afford to fire them, I can’t afford to hire them.”

Not surprisingly, firms have been slow to hire American citizens, who can get them in trouble with the Feds. Employers have been using the recession to outsource work to Asia or to hire illegal immigrants off the books. It makes more sense to work a few official employees long and hard than to hire many.

To rectify this, Obama could announce that his election as President shows that the civil rights war is over and it’s time to reap the peace dividend: the federal government can dramatically cut back its persecutions of employers for hiring the wrong people.

Nothing the President could do with a stroke of his pen would do more to cut unemployment by making it legally safer to hire Americans than Obama announcing that, between now and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014, he will lay off most of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission bureaucrats and other federal racial inquisitors.

And the business climate would be immediately improved by Obama abolishing the EEOC’s innumerate “Four Fifths Rule.”

Similarly, Obama could order the Justice Department to switch sides in the Bush Administration’s egregious Vulcan Society disparate impact lawsuit.

Are you expecting to hear any better ideas from Obama? From the GOP? 


Anonymous said...

Immigration moratorium.

Anonymous said...

i'm a bit dismayed with your sense of white victimization, the truth is i just don't see it... instead i see white privilege.

i'm just not convinced that there is a persecution of white males.

Anonymous said...

Whence this nonsense that he "inherited" this bad economy? He was a senator when the Bush White House and Democratic Senate combined to ruin the entire world economy.

And his solution is to be TurboBush - more of what ruined us! More stimulus! More easy loans! More immigration!

Anonymous said...

Drop Biden and pick up Al Sharpton as the new VP. That would be cool.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'll bet some folks at the White House read you, Steve.

They must be laughing their asses off over this one.

If they actually followed your advice... sure, it would be a boon to employment and business... but, what would the Obama folks do for patronage and graft?

The quota and set-aside business is a goldmine for the politically connected.

And, "dismayed" Anonymous, do you realize that the way in which you've phrased your reply essentially endorses Sailer's view?

When did people who don't use capital letters start reading Sailer?

See, this is why I figure some people in the White House are reading. The truth is funny as hell. Even the grafters and set-aside profiteers at the White House probably get a good laugh out of the whole cruddy mess. It's human nature.

Peter A said...

Of course, there is no persecution of white males in the US. Steve, at least in this case, isn't really asserting there is - he's saying that affirmative action doesn't actually help blacks - it makes employers scared to give blacks a chance because a bad black employee is more likely to run screaming about discrimination if you discipline them than a bad white or Latino employee. In my experience this is true - the companies I've worked at simply do not hire blacks. Too much risk. In this country blacks still suffer disproportionately from discrimination, but ironically a lot of upper middle class blacks want it that way because they make a living as "race men".

Anonymous said...

Once again, you actually assume that Obama cares about America and all Americans rather than what he actually cares about - which is taking the wealth generated by Americans and redistributing it to the people he likes.

And why is he a Soc...er, Democrat if he doesn't like to do that?

Anonymous said...

Obama's latest schtick is "boosting American competitiveness." I'm guessing that a large share of 'boosting our competitiveness' will focus on minority high school dropouts who, with hundreds of billions in additional intervention, can be brought from a 6th grade reading level to a 7th grade reading level.

Oh, and amnesty. Because we need millions more such dropouts to 'boost our competitiveness.'

Anonymous said...


Another aspect to this is the difficulty in firing an “older” worker. The discrimination lawsuits are much tougher to fire someone over 40. That is a real problem for a small business.

We live in a society with a zero percent savings rate, fragmented families, and live for the day attitude. Many people are one paycheck away from losing everything. They look at their job as not just their livelihood but their retirement package (as in they have to keep working forever because they took all those bitch’n vacations and always drove nice cars).

The only way around this is for employers not to hire older workers in the first place.

More Anon said...

Are feminist-driven employment practices as harmful as race-based ones? Plaudits to Rubenstein for tackling the costs of EEOC anti-racism, but I'd love to see a similar analysis for the anti-sexism league.

Anonymous said...


Get rid of OSHA, and the entire Department of Education. For starters.

jody said...

you know i've been thinking, maybe obama doesn't worry about the effect of an open border on employment numbers for black americans, because he sees government as the proper employer of black americans.

perhaps he imagines he can lower their unemployment numbers continuously by simply hiring more barely employable ones into make-work positions and non-jobs.

this is certainly something that is happening, the growing payroll of the national government and state governments. whether it is a major contributor to mitigating unemployment for black americans, i could not say.

Anonymous said...

Yahoo Screenshot: Obama economic strategy rests on hope!!!

Story here.

Anonymous said...

When did people who don't use capital letters start reading Sailer?

Lets not forget jody. But he is our jody.

Anonymous said...

"Get rid of OSHA"

So long, OSHA! Welcome back, unions!

OSHA may seem annoying at times, but it's possibly the one thing that ensures protection for a non-unionized workforce.

Anonymous said...

There is another 'peace dividend' waiting to be reaped. I would hazard that the global economy will never recover confidence until this dividend is declared.

Declare victory over climate change (by default, opponent failed to show up), and reap billions immediately in direct cost avoidance (bureaucrats, grant eating parasites, scammers, etc, etc). The real benefit though is in lowering the hurdle rate of every possible project on Earth. Um, except wind farms and other bogus malinvestments.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Svigor said...

i'm a bit dismayed with your sense of white victimization, the truth is i just don't see it... instead i see white privilege.

i'm just not convinced that there is a persecution of white males.

One man's persecution is another man's justice, I suppose.

But no one can deny that Euro, Christian or Christian-descended males have fewer rights and legal privileges than other groups in this country. That black privilege, for example, is enshrined in law.

If you want to talk cultural privilege, well, nobody holds a candle to Jews. They get to have their cake and eat it too. Maybe you should start worrying about Jewish privilege? You know, have a sense of priorities about these things?

I know - maybe you can describe "white privilege" for me, and then we'll see whether whites or Jews are more privileged?

Who knows? Maybe we'll wind up renaming it "Jewish privilege"?

Karl said...

What kind of ridiculous nonsense is this garbage about white men not being persecuted in the US? Are these people from Mars? No not persecuted at all- just demonized day in and day out in all the major newspapers, tv stations, Hollywood movies and schools. Treated like third class citizens for admission to college, job opportunities, and any response against it is labeled as “proof “ of the racist evil they were looking for all along. White men who manage to "make it" are forced to regurgitate the lies to get ahead. White men in the west live in an Orwellian nightmare. Get your head out of your a**.