American Elephants

Good Intentions Usually Aren’t Enough, A Little Common Sense Helps. by The Elephant's Child

One of the great paradoxes of the Obama Presidency is how it has continued to have  the support of young people and minorities in spite of the damage its policies have done to their economic prospects.

The left firmly believes in big government, and in government’s ability to improve the lot of the poor by providing them with benefits.  It doesn’t always work that way. When government pushes banks into giving loans to those who, under prudent rules of banking, could not afford to repay the loans; they are creating a situation where many, unable to repay the loans, lose the houses.

Now Obama is pushing for a higher minimum wage, in the belief that if businesses are just forced to pay a higher wage to low-income workers, they will be better off. Instead what happens when the minimum wage is raised is that the least competent are shut out of the market.The push for a higher minimum wage has often been called “the Minority Youth Unemployment Act.” It will instead just hurt Obama’s most loyal supporters.

UC Irvine economist David Neumark has reviewed more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. about 85% of the studies find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently released 20,000 words of regulation to direct businesses to hire more felons and other ex-offenders. The EEOC began stretching Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to sue businesses for practically any hiring practice that adversely affected minorities. In 1989, the agency sued Carolina Freight Carrier Corp. of Hollywood Fla, for refusing to hire as a truck driver an Hispanic man who had multiple arrests and had served 18 months for larceny. The EEOC argued that the only legitimate qualification for the job was the ability to operate a tractor-trailer.

U.S. District Judge Jose Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. ruled against the agency, saying EEOC’s position that minorities should be held to lower standards is an insult to millions of honest Hispanics. Obviously a rule refusing honest employment to convicted applicants is going to have a disparate impact on thieves.” The Agency was not going to give up that easily. Last April the agency unveiled its “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions” declaring that such exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin.

The agency is demanding that a convention and corporate events planner — pay compensation to rejected job applicants who lied about their criminal records. Businesses complying with state or local laws that require employee background checks can still be targeted by EEOC lawsuits, as was G4S Secure Solutions  after the company refused to hire a twice-convicted Pennsylvania thief as a security guard. The EEOC is sure that this will boost minority hiring, but businessmen are much less likely to hire minority applicants when background checks are banned. Since the majority of black and Hispanic job applicants have clean legal records, the EEOC’s regime will probably decrease opportunities for minority applicants.

Two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights have warned President Obama that granting illegal immigrants effective amnesty will “harm lower-skilled African-Americans by making it more difficult for them to obtain employment.” Research from U.C. San Diego economics professor Gordon Hanson, has found that from 1960 to 2000, immigration was responsible for 40% of the 18% plunge in black employment rates.

New regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed to prevent housing discrimination, would effectively increase discrimination and require that mortgage lenders, insurers, and landlords abandon economically sound business practices. HUD’s regulation also violates the principle of equal protection under the law, enshrined in our Constitution by the Fourteenth Amendment. Lenders could relax their loan approval standards to ensure there’s no disparate impact violation. This would revive the economic insanity of providing loans to those who can’t pay, and encourage landlords to lease based on race,ethnicity, sex or some characteristic other than credit worthiness.

It takes more than good intentions. You have to take a careful look at what works and what simply makes things worse. After four years America remains in a jobs depression as great as the Great Depression. False hope and wrongheaded programs just make things worse, and the hardest hit are the least skilled. Making it harder for businesses to hire has been a consistent effect of administration policies.

The Road to Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions! by The Elephant's Child

Andrew Klavan tackles the verity of an old proverb — the triumph of belief over truth, the ferocious commitment that decent, intelligent, educated people make to virtuous-sounding ideals and well-intended programs that are, in fact, the sure road to atrocity. The utopian hope of Communism, which has caused its adherents to turn a blind eye to mass murder and oppression…  the high-minded lie of multiculturalism, which, in the name of tolerance, has given aid and comfort to the enemies of civilization… Intellectuals and sophisticates not only cling to such fancies but demonize the prophets who try to reveal their real nature.

These creeds don’t deliver what they promise, but they do provide their followers with a sense of their own virtue — a sense that comes to trump the millions of lives shattered or lost in the course of the creed’s actualization. For all their good intentions, the true believers somehow seem to forget that each human “sacrifice” to the greater good had a life as urgent as their own; had dreams, loves, thoughts, experiences each more worthy of reaching fruition than even the finest of cloud-based utopias.

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences! by The Elephant's Child
December 9, 2010, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Energy, Health Care, Politics | Tags: , ,

And as I was just saying…

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