Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Progressivism, Regulation, Statism, Taxes | Tags: Absence of Thought, Misunderstanding Incentives, No Careful Research
• The members of the gang who constructed ObamaCare in the back rooms of Congress, do-gooders all, were anxious to see that ObamaCare made the people healthier. Problem — obesity. Lots of people were too fat. (Nevermind that overweight people are apt to live longer) The obvious solution was to tell the people how many calories the food they were eating contained. (Nevermind that there is no evidence that calorie labeling is effective in combating obesity. Multiple studies have shown that this simply is not the case. A study in Philadelphia showed that the regulation had no effect whatsoever on fast food consumption, and most people didn’t even notice the labels in McDonald’s.)
Common sense would indicate that pizzas, burritos and sandwiches are apt to have choices of many ingredients, each one of which requires a calorie count, that can be ordered in many combinations (hold the olives).
Although the law is designed to target corporate fast-food giants, in practice it will largely affect individual franchises that effectively operate as independent small businesses. For example, over 80 percent of McDonald’s locations are owned and operated by franchisees. Each of these franchisees will now be tasked with complying with the mandate–paying for new signage, removing profit-generating advertisements to make room for the calorie data, updating menus every time recipes change, and accommodating inspectors. Furthermore, it’s unclear what penalties restaurateurs will face if they inadvertently fail to comply.
The regulation is doomed to fail, because the do-gooders inability to keep its hands off our lunches outran thought and careful analysis.
• Consider the absurdity of developing a new government-run health care plan because health care costs too much — and coming up with a plan that actually raises the cost of health care and the cost of insurance policies — that increases the cost of each item used by the medical profession with a tax levied on “medical devices” — and then expects future costs to go down because of the medical innovation that is discouraged by a tax that forces many innovators out of business.
• Consider the absurdity of developing a new government-run health care plan because there are so many people who don’t have health insurance. We were told that 46 million Americans were in desperate need of health insurance. This was the reason for the Federal Government to take over 1/6th of the U.S. economy. After five months of ObamaCare a questionable 3 million people have enrolled, but not necessarily paid.
About 39 percent of the uninsured are in five states —Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. About 21 percent of the uninsured are not citizens. Up to 14 million are eligible for existing programs — Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, veterans benefits — but have not enrolled. 9.1 million have household incomes of at least $75,000 and could purchase insurance but don’t want to. Increasing numbers are signing up for concierge medicine outside the system.
• In the State of the Union address, President Obama received a standing ovation when he said “Because of this law, no American can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a preexisting condition like asthma, back pain, or cancer.” This was not true in January, and it has not been true since Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996. That law required all individual insurance plans to have guaranteed renewability. It also prohibited all group health-insurance plans sold to businesses from denying coverage to individuals because of preexisting conditions. Medicare covered anyone age 65 or older regardless of preexisting conditions, ditto Medicaid. That wasn’t an intrinsic absurdity — just a plain lie.
• They were sure that computerizing all medical records into a national high tech database would save the U.S. more than $81 billion annually. That turned out to be a flawed study. Evidence on efficiency and safety are mixed, errors widespread, and most medical centers developed their own systems at great expense, but they don’t necessarily talk to each other, let alone talk to the federal government, nor is it clear that to be desirable. The problem seems to be that the systems were developed by High tech engineers instead of developed by clinicians to develop what would work for them. In some cases the doctors are followed around by ‘scribes’ who record data so the doctor doesn’t have to. How many typos do you do each day?
Are you mad yet?
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Media Bias, Progressivism, Regulation | Tags: All About ObamaCare, For Your Enjoyment, The Republican Response
Here are Six Answers to your Most Pressing Questions today, or they would be the most pressing if you’d thought of them.
- When Obama Rewrites ObamaCare, Why Doesn’t Anyone Sue Him? Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has a remarkable legal mind, and it pays to listen. “President Obama has repeatedly suspended parts of the Affordable Care Act without the consent of Congress. The latest unilateral action happened Monday night, when the administration announced another delay of the employer mandate, the law’s provision that businesses with more than 50 employees must provide their employees with insurance starting in 2014 or pay large fines.“
- Why is Janet Yellen so concerned and disturbed about income inequality? James Pethokoukis explains why “income inequality” is a flawed enthusiasm of the Left. “A ‘very concerned’ Janet Yellen told a congressional panel today that she thinks income inequality is “one of the most important issues and one of the most disturbing trends facing the nation at the present time.”
- Actually, We Won the War on Poverty, And sorry liberals; It was conservative ideas that did it. “After all, despite the alarm of the current debate about America’s poor, the country has actually reduced poverty more than we often appreciate—and that decline in poverty has been less about the liberal programs of the New Deal and Great Society and more about economic growth and center-right welfare reforms than is widely recognized.”
- Why I’m Getting Sick of Defending ObamaCare: Incompetence, politics, and delays frustrate advocates of health care reform. Waiting for a Democrat to notice that all is not well? Ron Fournier is beginning to have trouble with it. “It’s getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation.“
- HIT Apologia: Health Information Technology, promised by the Left to save all the costs racked up by ObamaCare, forced on the health care industry with a $20 billion appropriation from the HITECH law to upgrade information technology. A team of RAND Corporation researchers projected in 2005 that rapid adoption of HIT would save the U.S. more than $81 billion annually. Not the first time people got a little overexcited by the wonders of high tech. Seven years later, information on efficiency and safety are mixed and health care expenditures have grown by $800 billion. The evidence is overwhelmingly negative. You doctor probably has more interaction with his computer than he does with you. They gave the problem to engineers to solve instead of doctors to develop what would work for them.
- “ObamaCare both sucks and blows” John Podhoretz offers up full-throated outrage at the latest announcement that “the Obama administration is once again unilaterally delaying a key aspect of its health-care law and what this act of astonishing royalism suggests about the president and his fundamental disrespect for the American system of checks and balances.” For your enjoyment.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: DC Court of Appeals, Silencing Opponents!, The IRS Got Slapped Down
“The IRS may not unilaterally expand its authority through such an expansive, atextual and ahistorical reading of the law.” The Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit used these words in a February 11 ruling that struck down an Obama administration regulation on tax preparers.
In the same week, President Obama illegally delayed the employer mandate and out of thin air created a bizarre loyalty oath to administer to companies suffering from ObamaCare, a federal court unanimously smacked down his IRS for executive overreach.
Federal judges should use this phrase as a guideline and include it in future rulings, replacing “IRS” with “Health and Human Services” or “the President of the United States,” as the case in question requires.
The background: In 2009, Obama named former H&R Block CEO Mark Ernst as deputy IRS commissioner. He led the devising of new regulations for tax preparers. The new rules required paid tax preparers to be licensed, pay fees and undergo federally approved training every year. No big deal for the big Tax preparer outfits or those who did it full time, but it would drive out of business the Mom and Pop tax preparers who hang out a shingle once a year and make a few thousand helping people with their taxes.
There’s a federal law that Obama appointees were barred from participating in any matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.So Obama hired Ernst as a “civil servant” rather than as a political appointee. But Congress never gave the IRS any authority to regulate tax preparers — none. The administration dealt with that by pretending that federal law says something that it doesn’t. Didn’t work. The IRS can regulate tax attorneys, accountants or agents who represent taxpayers in battles with the IRS over audits, tax-court cases and appeals. Helping to prepare a tax return is not practice before the IRS.
Much of Obama’s recent actions in revising laws to fit his agenda seem to be much more related to Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals than to whatever he learned or didn’t learn in law school.
Was Obama rewriting the rules for the employer mandate politically motivated? Is it possible that people who get their health insurance at work will be upset when they find they are losing their policies, or losing their doctors, or having the cost of their health insurance skyrocket? Is it possible that the rules will cause employers to let people go?
If medium-sized employers fire workers to get under the threshold for being required to offer insurance, these firms are now required to certify to the IRS, under penalty of perjury that ObamaCare is not a factor in the firings. ” To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.“
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Law, News of the Weird, The United States | Tags: Fabulous Hospital, Fabulous Oncologist, Not Immune After All
Sorry about the light posting recently. I just finished a course of radiation treatment following surgery in December, and it has temporarily wiped me out. Fatigue. All is well, however, and I’ll just be tired for a couple of weeks.
Misspellings and odd juxtapositions of letters are to be excused. Be patient. We had about an inch and a half of snow on Saturday, which melted on Sunday and we’re back to our normal rain and clouds. Good. Did not need icy streets just now. Told to take extra vitamin D to cope with our gloomy climate. Figures.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Bad Assumptions, ObamaCare Flaws, Unworkable Mandates
Surely you expected this. Everyone has been talking about when larger businesses have to face up to the employer mandate in ObamaCare. Will they meet the mandate, with policies that are acceptable to the ACA? Will thousands of people be dropped by their policies? Will thousands of people be cut back to 28 hours so the companies don’t have to supply health insurance. Will they join everyone else in being furious that they can no longer see their doctor, but must search for a new one?
— If the employer mandate were to take effect immediately, you would have a lot of angry people right before the mid-term elections. Can’t have that. Charles Krauthammer said that” delaying the employer mandate simply to ease political pain before an election is the kind of stuff they do in banana republics.”
— CNS News points out that President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department today issued a new regulation that for the second time directly violates the plain and unambiguous text of the Affordable Care Act by allowing some businesses to avoid the law’s Dec, 31, 2013 deadline to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.
— There are an avalanche of regulations still to come under ObamaCare. 28 new paperwork rules will cost $1.4 billion a year to comply with. It would take 22,800 employees working full time to complete the new paperwork. These regulations will cost $1.4 billion annually just in completion of the paperwork.
— Many assumptions in heath-care myths we live by turn out to be completely untrue. Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It is already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you hear given the extravagant claims about antioxidants. The Annals of Internal Medicine: “Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful.” Moreover, “other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Such revisionism is a constant in medicine. There was a time when every kid had their tonsils removed— grossly unnecessary surgery.
— It has been assumed that insuring the uninsured would save huge amounts of money because they wouldn’t keep using the emergency room. When the uninsured were put on Medicaid, they increased their ER use by 40 percent.
—Electronic records will save zillions, they thought. ACA threatens penalties for those who don’t convert by the end of 2014. The earliest effects are to create a whole new category of previously unnecessary health workers, called scribes, who follow doctors around and fill in the records so the doctors don’t have to do it themselves.
— Most of Obama’s rewrites, delays, exemptions and administrative retrofits are far too numerous to count and most of them are quite dubious legally. When a law passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the president, then it is officially THE LAW. If it is desired to change it, it has to go back to Congress and get amendments passed and signed.
— One big thing is that ObamaCare requires insurance policies to cover not just the expense of catastrophic illness, which is the normal use of insurance; but it forces policies to cover all sorts of routine medical expenses that most people will not need. If you are a 63 year-old woman, you will be paying for childbirth and well child visits, as well as Sandra Fluke’s contraceptives. Wanting to give people nice benefits is all very well, but it does not lend itself to less expensive medicine.
— Obama’s architects made the enormously flawed assumption that health insurance makes people healthier, tending to drive health care costs down over time. Very flawed assumption. The architects did not anticipate the behavior of people who do not share their approach to the world. There are lots of us out there.
Filed under: History, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Governor Jay Inslee, Making Up The Law, President Barack Obama
Unintended consequences. Someone speaks, or takes an action, advocates a policy, and aside from the immediate political response, the world shifts a little, and all you can do is hope that if there are unintended consequences, they will not be too bad. President Obama famously said “he has a phone and he has a pen” and even today, announced at Monticello that “He is President of the United States and he can do whatever he wants to.”
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. There is the oath of office, and a long history of presidential terms in office, and the assumption that a president, any president, will struggle mightily to do the right thing for the people of the United States. Why else did he run for office? President Obama had something quite different in mind. He ran a nebulous campaign full of theatrics and empty words like “yes we can” and “we are the ones,” and people fell for it. But finding that now that he no longer has a Democrat-controlled Congress, but has to actually attempt to debate, discuss and compromise with Republicans in the House, like a petulant child, he announces that he will not compromise on anything, but will just act independently— with his pen and his phone.
Well, if the President of the United States can just act on his own, why not governors? Why do we need laws and customs and rules and tradition? Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, noted empty suit, has decided that while he is in office “During my term we will not be executing people.” He has the authority under RCW 10.10.120to commute a death sentence to life in prison at hard labor, and upon a petition from the offender, to pardon the offender, or to offer a reprieve which is to be issued “for good cause shown, and as the Governor thinks proper.”
Washington State does not have a particularly high murder rate with the exception of a couple of really bad serial killers. Ted Bundy’s case was famous. But the one that raised questions about the death penalty was that of the “Green River Killer,” Gary L. Ridgway. King County prosecutors gave up on capitol punishment in exchange for his cooperation with providing details that helped solve dozens of open murder cases. He pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first-degree murder in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison. Forty-eight murders seemed like a good reason for a death penalty, though there were 48 families who deserved some kind of closure.
Governor Inslee’s actions are again reminiscent of President Obama’s efforts to escape blame for anything. Inslee doesn’t want to be blamed for any executions, and will shove them off on his successor.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Freedom, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: Hurts American Incomes, January Jobs Numbers, ObamaCare Kills Jobs
Perhaps the gales of laughter have reached ears in the White House. Can you possibly believe that they didn’t know that people would find their insistence that losing a job was liberating and you would no longer be locked in a job and could write poems or make music. In any case, people do not seem to be feeling “liberated” by the lack of jobs.
The January job numbers were dismal. Spinning 113,000 gains in hiring is not too hard, because anything over 100,000 sounds like a positive, but back to back gains in hiring were the weakest in three years. The 48,000 rebound in construction probably reflects a bounce-back from weather-depressed readings in December. The fall in the unemployment rate reflects, not more people hired, but more people dropping out of the work force.
ObamaCare will reduce the incomes of most Americans. It will redistribute wealth, but the redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. According to a study from the liberal Bookings Institution ObamaCare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale — especially in the lowest 10 percent. But all other income groups, even those who make modest incomes in the $25,000 range will experience a decline in income because of ObamaCare. It will increase income by 9.2 percent for those in the lowest bracket. For everybody else, it will reduce their income by about 0.9 percent.
Republicans have argued all along that the ACA would end up costing the economy jobs, and the cost would be enormous. Previously the CBO’s cost estimate came to $848 billion over its first decade, but that has now grown to more than $2 trillion. The claimed deficit neutrality of ObamaCare was a myth which the GOP said it was all along. The CBO does not predict the number of job switchers or “free agents” It projects the net reduction in hours worked in the American economy — and that projects lower tax revenues— for a system that relies on tax revenues for the subsidies that keep their fantasy going.
A reduction of 2.5 million FTEs from ObamaCare would result in a reduction of $80.5 billion each year in gross compensation, even at the low-income average of $35,000 a year. That means less economic activity and lower tax revenues, thanks to the decrease in income that the loss of 2.5 million FTEs entail— no matter how they disappear. The greatest effect will be on the working middle class — just the folks Obama claims to want to help the most.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Freedom, Law, Liberalism, Regulation, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: electoral fraud, Honest Elections, Truing the Vote
The IRS scandals consist of the agency’s attempts to deny targeted Tea Party groups and other identifiably conservative groups tax exempt 501(c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) status in advance of the 2012 election.
The new rules they are attempting to put in force are designed to redefine that which has been described as “tax exempt” so narrowly that no political speech can be defined as tax exempt.
Why is this a big deal? The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets.org website reports that conservative groups pumped nearly eight times the money through their 501 (c) groups than liberals did. CRP reported that conservatives spent $265.2 million through 501 (c) groups compared to $34.7 spent by liberal groups during the 2012 cycle.
Well, we certainly can’t have that. Something must be done. Are the Democrats unable to win elections honestly? That is entirely possible. Here in Washington State, we have had regular cases of stolen elections.
Did you hear about the “Secretary of State Project”— that was a project to elect Democrats to the office of Secretary of State, because that office is in charge of elections. In 2012, the plane carrying military ballots supposedly crashed, making the ballots unavailable, except there were never any pictures or further information about those lost in the crash. Once the votes are in, they keep finding a bunch of “uncounted” ballots. Our elections have gone to all mail-in ballots, which we are told make electoral fraud much easier.
Early voting is another major problem. The Obama administration and Democratic organizations are pushing it hard— more convenience for voters, but voters fill out their ballots before the campaign is over, with incomplete information. Spreading it out enables a party to get the results they desire.
There are all sorts of ways to fraudulently change the results of an election. I suppose it is inevitable when there is so much power on offer. But I wish it were different and elections were honest, reflecting the true wishes of the public.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Freedom, Heartwarming, Law, The Constitution | Tags: Catherine Engelbrecht, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, The First Amendment
Catherine Engelbrecht has had enough. She started out to be a citizen activist, she had seen vote fraud up front and ugly, so she founded True the Vote, a nonprofit organization for election integrity, and King Street Patriots, a citizen-led liberty group.
She and her husband had a small manufacturing business for twenty years, and had never had any contact with government agencies until she founded these two groups. Suddenly she was the object of agency interest—In 2011, her business and personal tax returns were audited by the IRS, each audit going back for a number of years.
In 2012 her business was subjected to inspection by OSHA when neither she nor her husband were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, they issued fines greater than $20,000.
In 2012 and again in 2013, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at her place of business.
Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted her nonprofit organization on six separate occasions — wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all her files.
Eventually, all those attempts to intimidate have an effect. For Catherine Engelbrecht, it made her more determined. Her testimony included these rousing words:
But know this, my experiences at the hands of this government in these last five years have made me more determined than ever to stand before you and America and say I will not retreat. I will not surrender. I refuse to be intimidated. I will not ask for permission to exercise my Constitutional rights.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism, Statism | Tags: Incentives Matter, The Affordable Care Act, The Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office says that ObamaCare will increase unemployment. There are 7.8 million Americans working part-time who want full-time work. Mr. Obama changed the subject to raising the minimum wage.
On Tuesday no less than the Congressional Budget Office reported that the health law is causing Americans to work less or not at all, in a remarkable intellectual turnabout for the budget shop that Democrats cited repeatedly when selling ObamaCare. Now CBO—full of liberal-leaning economists—says the economy will lose the equivalent of two million full-time workers by 2017 and 2.5 million over the next decade, a threefold increase over its prior estimate.
ObamaCare’s complex design includes new subsidies, new taxes and new mandates. For low wage, lower-skilled or discouraged workers ObamaCare offers incentives that can force them to trade jobs for entitlement benefits. The CBO concludes that ObamaCare will encourage people to supply less labor by working fewer hours to qualify for more benefits. The incentives suggest watching carefully the overtime, a promotion or training in hopes of higher future earnings — it might boost you into another category with less or no subsidy. The question becomes how many people can the nation support on entitlements? I thought the numbers were already too high.
The CBO’s job-loss prediction doe not include the impact of ObamaCare’s employer mandate, which requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer insurance or pay a $2,000 penalty for each worker beyond 30 employees. The mandate has been delayed by executive order for a year. so it won’t take effect till 2015, which probably means the CBO is vastly underestimating job losses.
The White House, of course, denies everything. “Claims that the Affordable Care Act hurts jobs are simply belied by the facts in the CBO report,” the White House, in the person of Jay Carney, declared. The White House seems to mean that the report is positive because”individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods” and “have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.” Didn’t Nancy Pelosi suggest that they would have more time to do art or crafts or maybe music?
Incentives matter. People respond to incentives. And there’s nothing in the act that encourages businesses to hire more workers and be more competitive. Like “if you like your doctor,” it may include “If you like your job…” The law is a job destroyer that is taking away rungs from the ladder of upward economic mobility.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Law, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Increasing Automation, Minimum Wage Employees
At The Federalist, “11 Facts About the Minimum Wage That President Obama Forgot to Mention.” Excellent summary.
Most interesting: A full-time minimum wage worker in 2014 will make 24 percent more than the federal poverty limit. A single individual who earns the current federal minimum wage and works full-time will earn $14,500 in a year (50 weeks per year x 40 hours pe week x $7.25 per hour. The federal poverty limit for 2014 for a one-person household is $11,670.
One third of minimum wage workers either dropped out of or never attended high school. Educational attainment is clearly a significant factor in determining a worker’s hourly wage. According to BLS, over 36 percent of minimum wage earners — 568,000 our of more than 1.5 million — lack a high school diploma. Do read the whole thing.
In The Wall Street Journal: “The Employee of the Month Has a Battery: Minimum wage hikes are accelerating the trend toward automation — and fewer workers — in services.” (pay wall)
Ten years ago it might have seemed far-fetched that a customer could order food in a restaurant without speaking to anyone. But it’s a reality now as service employers across the country—including Chili’s, Chevys Fresh Mex and California Pizza Kitchen—introduce tabletop ordering devices. A few clicks on an iPad-like device and the food is on its way.
Technology has made these changes possible, but that’s not what’s driving their implementation. Steady federal and state increases to the minimum wage have forced employers in retail and service industries to rely on technology as the government makes entry-level labor more expensive. Now Democrats are pushing to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25 at the behest of President Obama, who argued in his State of the Union address that the increase would “help families.” Lawmakers should consider the technology trend a warning.
When you stop and think about it, mechanization has been creeping along without our really noticing. First there were vending machines for candy and pop, eliminating a clerk, and then vending machines started offering all sorts of different things — ice machines, coin exchanges, maps and books. Cash machines, gas stations ( I can remember when gas stations had helpful young men who washed your windshield, checked the oil, filled your gas tank and checked your tires). Now grocery stores and Home Depot stores have automated check out lines.
Tablet-based ordering is coming into vogue at U.S. restaurants: Chefs polled by the National Restaurant Association recently ranked computerized menus as the top tech trend for 2014. Airports in locations like New York City and Minneapolis now feature “restaurants” that are waitstaff-free. In 2011, McDonald’s announced it was replacing human cashiers with touch-screen alternatives at more than 7,000 European locations.
>Customers may find the new technology convenient, but the thousands of young adults who used to earn money filling these roles won’t. The data suggest employers are acting from economic necessity rather than spite. Profit margins in restaurants range from 3%-6%. They are even more modest at grocery stores, at 1%-2%.
Where this is all going, I don’t know. People are increasingly more reluctant to have interaction with other real people. They are absorbed in their smart phones. Now we have Google glass. Surgery is increasingly done by robot. But that is done to increase precision. Jeff Bezos is talking about delivering your packages from Amazon to your doorstep by drones.
Companies must choose between increasing their prices or reducing costs to maintain limited profit margins. It’s a Brave New World. Prepare for the burger-flipping robots from Momentum Machines that replace three full-time kitchen staff, make no wage demands and stage no walkouts.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Immigration, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Regulation | Tags: Hiring Decisions, STEM jobs, White House Decisions
When a business wants to hire someone, they would prefer someone who has done the same job previously and successfully. Someone who wants to step up to your company. They would be charming, have an excellent resume, excellent academic record with good grades in an applicable field, and a stunning list of notable accomplishments. Good luck with that.
There is a cost to a bad hiring decision. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management, it could cost up to five times a bad hire’s annual salary. The higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more it will cost to replace him or her. Recruiters say that if you make a mistake in hiring and recognize the mistake within six months, the cost of replacing that employee is still going to cost two and one-half times the person’s salary.
For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) only one is hired into a STEM job. Half of all graduates are not hired into STEM positions. Thirty-two percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply is larger than the demand for them in industry. The annual inflow of guestworkers amounts to one-third to one-half the number of all new IT job holders, in spite of stagnant or declining wages.
The immigration debate is complicated and polarizing, but the implications of the data for enacting high-skill guestworker policy are clear: Immigration policies that facilitate large flows of guestworkers will supply labor at wages that are too low to induce significant increases in supply from the domestic workforce.
Only about of a third of the IT workforce has an IT-related degree. 36 percent of IT workers do not hold a college degree at all. Only 24 percent of IT workers have a four-year computer science or math degree. But then, Bill Gates was famously a college dropout. I searched for “hiring tests for high tech jobs,” and the variety of tests — aptitude, skill, social, drugs, personality — and some companies have devised their own tests of intelligence and thinking to weed out the unsuitable.
Meantime, the government is stepping in to promote “fairness.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said it will crack down on employers who use the criminal histories of job applicants to discriminate against them illegally. The EEOC’s new guidance requires companies to establish procedures to show they are not using criminal records to discriminate by race or national origin. There’s some leeway for criminal convictions that are “job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”
President Obama on Friday formally announced a deal with some of the nation’s largest companies to institute new hiring practices that do not “disadvantage” those who have been jobless for several months or longer.
Companies such as AT&T, Apple, Wal-Mart, Ford and others have agreed to the president’s initiative which will also extend to the federal government and its interview process.
They just need that chance, somebody who will look past that stretch of unemployment, put in context of the fact that we went through the worst financial and economic crisis in our lifetime which created a group of folks who were unemployed longer than normal,” Mr. Obama. “All they need is a fair shot … giving up on the unemployed will create a drag on our economy we cannot tolerate.
The agreement means that companies will not favor one prospective employee over another based solely on the length of time each has been unemployed. On Tuesday Mr. Obama used executive power to hike the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for all federal contractors.
President Obama’s closest adviser and liaison with corporate America is Valerie Jarrett, although she has no knowledge or experience to help her understand the concerns of those with whom she is dealing. Financial sector insiders and corporate executives reportedly stopped having meetings with the White House because any such meetings were pointless. They found that Ms. Jarrett was interested only in pushing the administration’s agenda, rather than engaging in any kind of dialogue about how to foster better economic growth. But the White House does not want input, nor do they want to work with business. They want obedience.
If you want to know why the recession has dragged on so long, why the economy has not come roaring back, the answers are all to be found here. Everything is best fixed by a government policy emanating from the White House. They know better, and don’t have to listen to the people.