Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Progressivism, Statism, The United States | Tags: Federal Jobs Programs, Free the Private Sector, Incompetent
President Obama is worried about unemployment. He keeps bragging that his administration has created 4 million jobs in the last two years, numbers that are dwarfed by the 88,319,000 Americans who have given up looking, and given up hope.
A big part of the problem is that Obama believes that his administration created those jobs, and that jobs are actually created by government training programs. “There are no fewer than 49 federal job training programs administered by nine agencies that cost taxpayers some $14.5 billion in 2010. A General Accountability Office performance audit in 2011 looked at fiscal year 2009 and determined that ‘only 5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess whether the program is responsible for improved employment outcomes,’”according to the Wall Street Journal.
Of the five programs studied, the positive effect “tended to be small, inconclusive, or restricted to short-term impacts.” A 2011 Department of Labor study found that the benefits of job training under one of the most extensive efforts, the 1998 Workforce Investment Act, “were small or nonexistent.”
GAO reports in the 1990s, in 2000 and in 2003 had similar conclusions, finding that multiple programs duplicated efforts, ran up costs and produced few benefits. The reports did little to stem mission creep.
From 2003 to 2009, Congress added three more programs and spending rose by $5 billion. Don’t laugh, but two more programs have been added since, though spending is down slightly because of the end of the 2009 stimulus.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines “Green Jobs” as 1. jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources or 2. jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishments production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
So lawnmower salesmen and sprinkler salesmen would count as “green jobs,”nurserymen, city street sweepers, smoke jumpers, farmers, I’m not being creative enough here—the official definitions are so broad and nonspecific that almost anything could be included.
The BlueGreen Alliance is an advocacy group that combines labor unions and environmentalists — which received a $6 million job-training grant from the stimulus. In spite of having spent nearly $3 million so far, the Alliance has only placed 16 workers in jobs that lasted longer than six months. Why do they insist on government programs?
Free up the private sector, and see how job creation is properly and profitably done.