President Obama’s Jobs Bill Would Make It Illegal To Refuse To Hire The Unemployed

One provision of the President's jobs bill would give an ill-advised right to the unemployed.

Tucked away in the President’s jobs bill is a provision that would make it illegal to discriminate against the unemployed in hiring decisions:

President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which he presented to Congress on Monday, would make it illegal for employers to run advertisements saying that they will not consider unemployed workers, or to refuse to consider or hire people because they are unemployed.

The proposed language is found in a section of the bill titled “Prohibition of Discrimination in Employment on the Basis of an Individual’s Status as Unemployed.” That section would also make it illegal for employers to request that employment agencies take into account a person’s unemployed status.

It would also allow aggrieved job-seekers to seek damages if they have been discriminated against. This provision in particular prompted Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) to argue that Obama’s proposal is aimed at creating a new, special class of people who can sue companies.

“So if you’re unemployed, and you go to apply for a job and you’re not hired for that job, see a lawyer,” Gohmert said on the House floor. “You might be able to file a claim because you got discriminated against because you’re unemployed.”

He said this provision would only discourage companies from interviewing unemployed candidates, and would “help trial lawyers who are not having enough work,” since there are about 14 million unemployed Americans.

“That’s 14 million potential new clients that could go hire a lawyer and file a claim because they didn’t get hired even though they were unemployed,” he said.

Under the bill, companies saying they will not consider unemployed candidates could face a court order enjoining them from this practice, a fine of up to $1,000 per day or “reasonable attorney’s fees.” Other violations could lead to damages as high as $5,000.

Specifically, the operative language of the bill (PDF) says the following:

(a) Employers- It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to–

(1) publish in print, on the Internet, or in any other medium, an advertisement or announcement for an employee for any job that includes-

(A) any provision stating or indicating that an individual’s status as unemployed disqualifies the individual for any employment opportunity; or
(B) any provision stating or indicating that an employer will not consider or hire an individual for any employment opportunity based on that individual’s status as unemployed; or

(2) fail or refuse to consider for employment, or fail or refuse to hire, an individual as an employee because of the individual’s status as unemployed;
(3) direct or request that an employment agency take an individual’s status as unemployed into account to disqualify an applicant for consideration, screening, or referral for employment as an employee.

There are identical provisions that apply to Employment Agencies.

On it’s face, this is something that appeals to people simply because of the fact that the economy is in such bad shape right now, and the number of long-term unemployed people is so high, that a story about employers stating that they do not wish to receive resumes or job applications from unemployed people seems unfair on some level. Creating a new employment right, though, isn’t the answer to this perceived unfairness, and the problems that the law creates far outweigh its psychic benefits. In fact, a law like this could arguable cause employers to be more cautious about hiring any new employees at all, for fear of encountering legal claims, attorney’s letters, and lawsuits.

The first part of the law, subsection(1), is easy enough for employers to comply with simply by making sure that their job advertisements don’t include language that says anything like “no applications from unemployed people.” The same goes for subsection (3) regarding the instructions that the employer gives to an employment agency soliciting applications on its behalf. The problems with the bill, though, come in subsection (2). In essence, it tells any person who is unemployed, applies for a job, and is denied, that they have a potential legal claim because the prospective employer didn’t consider them for employment, or hire them, because they were unemployed. Establishing that this isn’t the case would be incredibly difficult for employers, and would essentially require them to keep records about people they didn’t hire on the off chance that they might be sued at some point down the road. Moreover, there are likely to be a host of legitimate business reasons why an employer chooses one prospective employee over another that have nothing to do with whether or not a person was unemployed at the time. How is the employer supposed to establish what that reason is without engaging in an expensive, time consuming, and costly legal battle?

It’s not hard to see how employers might respond to something like this. They’ll be more selective in setting forth job critera in an effort to discourage people from applying. They’ll be rethink how much they’re willing to pay employees given the possibility of increased legal expenses down the road. And, in some cases, they’ll be less willing to hire new employees if it isn’t worth the risk of exposing themselves to harassment by attorneys with dollars signs in their eyes. The only profession that this part of the bill is a “jobs bill” for, then, is the legal profession, which also happens to be one of the Obama campaigns biggest supporters.

Aside from the consequences that would result from enacting this type of law, I really have to question whether this can even be considered good policy. Because of a history of legally enforced discrimination and much worse, we’ve decided that certain factors — race, ethnicity, etc — cannot be considered by employers in making hiring decisions. Beyond these exclusions, though, employers are generally free to consider whatever factors they wish to in making a hiring decision. Sometimes, the decision to hire one person over another ends up coming down to the question of which person was more likeable in face-to-face interview, or which person is deemed to be better able to “fit in” with the culture of the company.

Decisions based on these factors aren’t always “fair” according to some abstract sense of justice, but we don’t get the law involved because we recognize both the cost of such detailed regulation of hiring, and the fact that, in the end, employers should have the right to hire or fire whoever they want.  Employers who aren’t hiring the long-term unemployed right now are doing so because they can afford to by choosy in a glutted labor market, and because there are often legitimate concerns about whether someone’s skill set has deteriorated over the course of their unemployment. Who are we to say that employers are wrong to think this way and that they should be forbidden from making this decision? It may not seem “fair,” but, then life isn’t always fair and the government doesn’t exist to guarantee absolutely fairness.

H/T: Hot Air

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FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Polaris says:

    Pfeh, let’s call it “1984” and be done with it. Telling employers how to hire is a good way (as Doug notes) to discourage them from hiring at all.

    -Polaris

  2. Sam says:

    This is GREAT for all you bottom feeding attorneys looking for a quick buck at the expense of employers and your unemployed clients!

    Not only does Obama and his gang of thieves want to take over your health care decisions, he now wants to control the minute decisions of business owners.

    Thank God he will not get the chance in his last 430 or so days.

  3. Sam says:

    If you are an unemployed minority, with a speech impediment, one arm and are on powerful drugs for being bi-polar and an illegal alien YOUR GOLD!

  4. Brian Garst says:

    “Decisions based on these factors aren’t always “fair” according to some abstract sense of justice, but we don’t get the law involved because we recognize both the cost of such detailed regulation of hiring, and the fact that, in the end, employers should have the right to hire or fire whoever they want.”

    Exactly. Glad to see you include this point, on top of the many practical consequences that you rightly identified.

  5. Sam says:

    So whats to keep an unemployed person from going to an interview and just being a bad candidate in more than one or two ways? Then all they have to do is call a bottom feeder and file a claim with the same people who have kept a thousand people from working in a new plant in NC for Boeing because of political and ideological reasons.

    What a plan!

  6. Sam says:

    @Sam:
    Sorry, SOUTH Carolina.

  7. Brett says:

    It’s a bad rule, but I sympathize with the idea of trying to do something about the long-term unemployed. It might be better simply to temporarily subsidize some of the fixed costs of their unemployment (such as the employer side of payroll expenses).

  8. WR says:

    If only the internet and Doug had been around a few decades earlier. I can see him writing exactly the same post when the government outlawed employment discrimination on the basis of race and gender. Because that’s the way libertarians roll — it’s all about the freedom.

  9. ponce says:

    A nice way to prevent certain companies from drifting back towards telling people of certain races not to apply.

  10. Rick Almeida says:

    @Sam:

    the same people who have kept a thousand people from working in a new plant in NC for Boeing because of political and ideological reasons.

    You mean the plant down the highway from me that’s open and producing 787s?

  11. john personna says:

    Most dishonest headline evar.

    You can refuse to hire the unemployed all you want. You just have to “consider them on their merits” (add “winks” and “nudges” as required).

  12. John,

    Yes and how do you prove you “considered” them? These are the kinds of questions that already consume plenty of time in legitimate civil rights cases. I see no reason to add “being unemployed” to the list of status’s given special legal protection.

  13. Sam says:

    @Rick Almeida:
    Don’t know the exact location but the new almost billion dollar plant is sitting idle now and about a thousand workers are as well.

  14. Rob in CT says:

    My gut reaction is: nice sentiment, but how do you enforce it/prove you’ve complied? Meh.

  15. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Yes and how do you prove you “considered” them?

    Easy, don’t instruct the screener to sh*t-can those resumes.

    (I actually worked in a large corp where I later heard, a secretary had taken it on herself to sh*t-can Asian resumes, because “we had too many.” In that case it was just one nutty secretary … but this is saying don’t put a policy in place.)

  16. Rick Almeida says:

    @Sam:

    Don’t know the exact location but the new almost billion dollar plant is sitting idle now and about a thousand workers are as well.

    It’s in North Charleston and it opened on June 10 or thereabouts.

  17. NBH says:

    How about we alter this a bit:

    “The problems with the bill, though, come in subsection (2). In essence, it tells any person who is unemployed black or female or old, applies for a job, and is denied, that they have a potential legal claim because the prospective employer didn’t consider them for employment, or hire them, because they were unemployed”

    *Yawn*. Anti-discrimination laws are hardly a new issue for companies. I think the phrase “Tempest in a teacup” applies here.

  18. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    My gut reaction is: nice sentiment, but how do you enforce it/prove you’ve complied? Meh.

    As I say, this will just stop people from putting fixed, written, procedures in place. And perhaps morally susceptible people will find themselves looking more carefully at out-of-work applicants.

    (Speaking of stories, I knew one CTO who would discard any applicant with too low an existing wage. He used that as his pre-screening. Made it kind of hard for the good folks with a bad start.)

  19. WR says:

    @Rick Almeida: Don’t confuse Sam with facts. He’s a Republican.

  20. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Wouldn’t a law like this work basically teh same way all of the other anti-discrimination laws work; and unless I’m mistaken it’s primarily up to the person who was allegedly discriminated against to prove that he was discriminated against which would be rather difficult unless there was a pattern of discrimination.

  21. legion says:

    This proposal doesn’t force anyone to hire someone _just_ because he’s unemployed, it means you can’t just refuse to consider someone _solely_ because they’re unemployed – if a person is unqualified, you don’t have to hire them. That isn’t changed. The fact that every single one of you is refusing to notice that fact is childish.

    I’d say none of the people commenting on this thread are currently unemployed. Bear in mind that about 3 years ago over 8 million jobs flat-out vanished from the US economy. Being good and/or qualified isn’t enough to get hired right now. Really, that’s true in most any economy, but to when companies stop even considering the millions of people not currently working, it pretty much guarantees that those people will never have a productive career again as long as they live. It becomes an impossibility. That’s not just morally reprehensible, it’s also economically suicidal – it means that any idiot currently in a job has a chance at another job that a qualified worker who got laid off won’t even be considered for… That’s interfering with the market’s ability to get the best people in the right jobs, and is far more anti-capitalist than your ridiculous objections to “hiring freedom”.

  22. James in LA says:

    I get the sentiment, but it’s a bad rule. Far worse is allowing employers to go snooping around your credit record.

    What is missing from this whole “companies won’t hire because…” argument is how businesses actually work. I have consulted for dozens and none have based any hiring moves on what the fed does or does not do. None complain about the EPA or any other govt. institution “strangling” them. Most have benefited from SBA loans. They mostly base these decisions on money coming in the door. I do get the ubiquitous complaints about worker’s compensation, the insurance everyone loves to hate until you need it.

    Now, on to taxes on “small” business. All of my clients work to reduce the amount of tax paid by doing everything legally possible to reduce the amount of profit shown on a tax return. They usually do it through bonuses and year-end spending sprees. If, after all THAT nonsense, you are STILL reporting over $250,000 in PROFIT, which is what gets taxed, it means sales in the oodles of millions — $25M at LEAST. This is on the frontier of a small business. Most are smaller. MUCH smaller.

    And these actual small businesses would not see any ding whatsoever in tax cuts as they apply to this magic $250,000 line. So the tax issue is pretty much a red herring as it applies to actual small business.

    We are trying to sustain a country built on a tax rate three times higher than what we have now. A major bridge linking KY and OH is closed indefinitely, adding hours to commutes. They found the cracks on a lark, and they are non-trivial. How many more need to fall into water before we wake up? Shall we wait until planes fall out of the sky?

    You have to spend money to make money, and hire people. Like it or not, we are all in this together.

  23. James in LA says:

    @legion: Exactly right. It is a vicious cycle that has been deliberately created. Ask Mitch McConnell when he intends to remove his boot from the neck of the country, just so he “defeat Obama.” Ask Grover Norquist what comes after “drowning the gub’ment in the bathtub.” It rhymes with “theocratic oligarchy.”

    This, above all else, is why the GOP must be defeated. Subversion of government is not a policy position. It’s secession by another name, and it has turned into an ugly temper tantrum that is ripping us all to pieces.

    Polaris, when “fecal matter occurs,” the measure of your character — and the country to which you owe your freedom — is how you respond.

  24. Gulliver says:

    Just what the Democrats need in their desperate attempt to stay relevant – yet another protected class to “defend.” The sentiment may be admirable, but the heavy-handed implementation accomplished by putting businesses through more regulatory purgatory is pure progressive, big government – big brother horse manure.

  25. Gulliver says:

    Corrections -in-place: what a novel concept…

  26. john personna says:

    @Gulliver:

    What costs?

    All this takes is word-of-mouth transmission that you don’t put a “no unemployed” screening strategy in place. Period.

  27. Gulliver says:

    @ john What costs?

    To even ask this question – in my view – shows a fairly substantial naivete about the costs of litigation for almost any matter in today’s environment. Just the discovery costs of retrieving emails and other documentation can easily – repeat EASILY – run into the millions of dollars for a medium sized company. This is fact…

  28. Gulliver says:

    @ James
    Subversion of government by civic activity and protest seems to only be a concern when Dems are in power. Hmmm… wonder why that would be the case. Of course, when the shoe is on the other foot so to speak, Bill Ayers was just a concerned citizen who kicked up his heels a little in the 60s, right? The left is myopic on their version of “supporting” the governement. Protest is the duty of a citizen unless it’s their guy (their government) that is being protested. Then it’s not civic duty, its those rabid TEA party folks that want to hang the colored and should go straight to hell…

    How, literally, are libs able to look themselves in the mirror sometimes?

  29. legion says:

    @Gulliver:

    Just the discovery costs of retrieving emails and other documentation can easily – repeat EASILY – run into the millions of dollars for a medium sized company.

    Only if a lawyer takes the case. An unemployed person won’t be able to front any sort of retainer, so the only way F Lee Bailey is getting paid is if he wins. Any company that adds two sentences to its HR Hiring Practices will be able to get fishing expeditions thrown out – the companies that will be hurt by this law will be the ones who refuse to lift a finger to actually follow the law in the first place.

  30. James in LA says:

    @Gulliver: Did you really drag out “Bill Ayers?” 1960s? You reveal your thinking by remaining mired in a distant past that has no relevance to this discussion. You forgot to mention “ACORN” and “Rezko” and “Kenyan.” Each would lend as much credibility to your argument.

    Protest is not illegal. If it turns violent, those who are violent are to be arrested. No one has suggested otherwise, and you just made it up as far as I can tell.

    Protest is not subversion. Speaking truth to power is not subversion. Demanding those who have committed high crimes be tried for such is not subversion.

    Giving the order to torture, and admitting it on national TV is subversion.

    Calling for pledges before the Oath of Office is subversion.

    Calling for pledges which result in the deliberate disassembly of our democratic institutions to the point bridges fall into water and economies collapse is subversion.

    The phone call between Walker and the Angel Koch was subversion.

    The admission that many in your crowd would rather let a citizen die than contribute in a very tiny actual way to their medical care is subversion, and on multiple fronts.

    Your party, your rules. And it is why you will be defeated.

  31. JKB says:

    First off, the Federal government discriminates against the unemployed all the time by having job openings open only to status employees, i.e., people already GS employees of the federal government.

    Second, the lawsuits would be crippling and in states with loser pays, if the judge gave the unemployed person a dollar (and judges are loath not to give the poor downtrodden employee anything), then the attorney’s fees and court costs fall upon the employer. in any case, the time spent documenting and responding in the suit is time not spent on productive work. Big business can afford to have this cost center, small business cannot.

    The inclusion of this probably due to one of the children in the White House reading it on a blog shows this administration has absolutely no idea how to create jobs, run a business or help the country out of this depression. Obama needs to dump the academics, the over credentialed and the activists and hire some people who’ve met a parole during hard business times from money earned in sales rather than some cronyism government grant.

  32. Sam says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    How many are employed there and is it the same factory that the NLRB has kept form producing airliners?

  33. James in LA says:

    @JKB: I think those same people you do not think are already advising the President would tell him that you have to spend money to make money, and hire people.

  34. Sam says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    I just read this and took most of it at face value.

    “The firm held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday outside the plant next to Charleston International Airport, even though it won’t open until next month and won’t produce any Dreamliners until the fall.” Monday, Sep. 12, 2011 Updated: Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011

    Read more: http://www.heraldonline.com/2011/06/12/3362389/fight-over-boeings-sc-factory.html#ixzz1Y3uuvxJx

    Excuse me if you thought this was old news. You said “It’s in North Charleston and it opened on June 10 or thereabouts.”

    Was that Friday June 10th?

  35. Sam says:

    @legion:
    “it pretty much guarantees that those people will never have a productive career again as long as they live. It becomes an impossibility. That’s not just morally reprehensible, it’s also economically suicidal – ”

    Wow dude. Do you know how many people through the past 200+ years here that have adapted to a radically changing environment? That have acquired or learned multiple skill sets? That have changed careers? Once? Twice? Three times?

    I see entitlement mentality in your post. No on eon the planet is afforded a reward for bad decisions or self failure.

  36. Sam says:

    @WR:

    Thanks.

  37. Sam says:

    @James in LA:
    “Ask Mitch McConnell when he intends to remove his boot from the neck of the country, just so he “defeat Obama.””

    I thought it was this guy who had boots on necks!

    “Salazar’s boots kept walking on CNN, where he said, “Our job is keep our boot on the neck of British Petroleum and make sure they live up to their responsibilities.”

  38. Pete says:

    @James in LA: James , what do you do to earn a living?

  39. Sam says:

    @James in LA:

    “You forgot to mention “ACORN” and “Rezko” ”

    Good for you to know about those. You must watch Faux News.

  40. Ben Wolf says:

    The best way to deal with the long-term unemployed is to bring back the WPA as a transitional employer and let them earn a living until their skills are sufficient to make them marketable in the private sector.

    Unfortunately the radical right is opposed to that as well.

  41. john personna says:

    @Gulliver:

    To even ask this question – in my view – shows a fairly substantial naivete about the costs of litigation for almost any matter in today’s environment.

    As I say, it seems easy to avoid litigation. You publish an internal memo which says no one in the organization should discriminate on this basis, that resumes should be considered on merit and suitability to job requirements. Done and done.

    Think about where these suits would have to come from. Someone would need a proof of policy contra the guidelines.

  42. Sam says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    Do you believe that those like legion would be able or more importantly, willing, to help build a bridge in July and August in any hot climate in America for the entire summer?

  43. Sam says:

    @john personna:

    “Think about where these suits would have to come from. Someone would need a proof of policy contra the guidelines.”

    Bottom feeders.

  44. john personna says:

    @Sam:

    Tempest in the day’s teapot.

  45. Ben Wolf says:

    @Sam: I don’t pretend to know Legion’s mind. Is he even unemployed?

    Besides, if no one wants to work for the WPA then it won’t really require any spending will it? So there’s no reason no to give it a try.

  46. legion says:

    @Sam:

    I see entitlement mentality in your post. No on eon the planet is afforded a reward for bad decisions or self failure.

    When 8+million jobs vanish, it’s not due to the workers’ bad decisions or self failure – it’s the bad decisions & failures of companies & policy makers. Yes, in a normal economy, people _can_ learn new trades & adapt to changing markets, but if you’ll stop to read _anything_ in this thread, including the original article, you’d realize that that’s not what we’re talking about here. If companies refuse to consider hiring someone because they don’t currently have a job – regardless of their skills or experience – it’s bad for the entire economy. In that situation, adaptability doesn’t matter.

  47. Gustopher says:

    I really don’t see how this increases the costs to an employer — it is the same requirement as they have already for racial minorities, women and old people.

    For a small company, it is nearly impossible to prove discrimination, because there are too many variables in the individual case, and not enough data to demonstrate patterns.

    For a large company, they’re already tracking race, gender and age of hires, and the paper trail of interview feedback, to protect themselves against claims of discrimination on those grounds. This is just a matter of keeping the resume that either says “company: such-and-such to present” or “company: such-and-such to such-and-such”.

    With high unemployment, a lot of which is through layoffs that the unemployed did nothing to deserve, having companies use employment status as a signal for general employability would just create a permanently unemployed underclass. Why is that a good thing?

  48. An Interested Party says:

    I see entitlement mentality in your post.

    And I’m sure many see douchebag mentality (assuming that people are unemployed solely because they made bad decisions or are failures) in your post…

  49. James in LA says:

    @Pete: Self-employed software developer, database administrator, network design engineer, accountant, and business consultant on matters of IT and business process analysis. I have two clients at the moment, a movie review aggregation site, and a Hollywood dog kennel. Both require all my skills. I am also in school to learn 3d modeling.

    With the notable exception of 2007-2009, been working since 1983, and been a contractor since 1995. The recession almost wiped me off the map. But not any more.

  50. James in LA says:

    @Sam: ““Salazar’s boots kept walking…”

    What, you had time for this pedantic gem, but not a word on your party’s deliberate subversion of our democratic institutions, by word and deed?

  51. anjin-san says:

    President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which he presented to Congress on Monday, would make it illegal for employers to run advertisements saying that they will not consider unemployed workers, or to refuse to consider or hire people because they are unemployed.

    In other words, your headline is 100%, unadulterated BS.

    Tell me Doug, are you ever embarrassed that you serve up this crap? Or are Jay Tea & bithead your peers?

  52. anjin-san says:

    “Our job is keep our boot on the neck of British Petroleum and make sure they live up to their responsibilities.”

    A foreign company is negligent & incompetent, and the result is substantial damage to our economy and environment. The Obama administration did not give them a pass.

    How exactly is this a problem?

  53. legion says:

    @Sam:

    Do you believe that those like legion would be able or more importantly, willing, to help build a bridge in July and August in any hot climate in America for the entire summer?

    Wow, Sam, I completely missed this earlier. Do you mean how good, hard-working Americans might not be willing to pick fruit in the hot summer for slave wages like immigrants do? People like you disgust me. You spend most of the time trumpeting how wonderful & perfect Americans (like you) are, until you think you can score some cheap points by insulting the rest of us. In fact, it looks like pretty much every post you make is just a snide insult with nothing but hot air to back it up.

    Me, I’m a multi-tasker. I can insult you _and_ defend my positions. After getting out of the Air Force, I spent almost 3 years unemployed, working temp jobs and any crap I could get a paycheck for, despite a masters degree and over 10 years’ experience. I finally got a real job back in my field this past spring. Know why? The guy in it before me unexpectedly dropped dead of a heart attack at a tragically young age. _That’s_ one of the few ways good jobs appear these days, because nobody’s voluntarily leaving anything with a steady paycheck, no matter how much they hate it. Now go crawl back in your hole, you spineless, entitled prick.

  54. anjin-san says:

    I have consulted for dozens and none have based any hiring moves on what the fed does or does not do. None complain about the EPA or any other govt. institution “strangling” them

    And there you have it. I talk to businesspeople all day, every day. I NEVER hear them saying “We have been dead in the water since Obamacare passed.” Or “All this new red tape is just killing us.”

    What they do say is “It’s been a bitch since Sept. 08.”

  55. anjin-san says:

    @ legion

    Pretty good insults 🙂 Of course “Sem” is a big target. Hope the new gig works out – what kind of work do you do?

  56. James in LA says:

    @anjin-san: What my clients tell me is they WANT to hire, but banks will not lend, and unemployment makes for few customers. They do feel swindled out of all the contributions they made to their employee’s retirement funds, I’lltellyawhat.

    Until there are perp walks for criminals, nothing will change. No jobs, no future make Homer something, something.

    America must have its Nuremberg. Look to Vermont. This is not a blog, or some “ferrin cuntry.” It’s a United State that the former President and Vice President thereof cannot visit for fear of arrest on suspicion of war crimes. An U.S. attorney with guts needs to start there, and seat grand juries NOW. We must show what we do with torturers and bank robbers, or we’re SUNK, all of us, even Sam and Polaris.

  57. jan says:

    @Polaris:

    let’s call it “1984″

    It’s interesting you started the discussion off with this notation, as that is the first thought I had when reading the heading for this thread.

    Extreme liberal dogma = limitations on choices, plain and simple.

    It’s as if social progressives just know that no one wants to follow their lead on how they think the country should run. So, the next best thing is to lay down rigid rules and regulations ‘forcing’ people into politically correct behavior patterns. Of course such authoritarian methods are rationalized as being compassionate for the poor and underprivileged. However, rather than protecting the under class, they are making sure that this segment of society never rises above their station to become self reliant and self sufficient.

  58. WR says:

    @James in LA: Yeah, but Sam and Polaris and Jay Tea and Jan and the rest are convinced that if they just suck up hard enough to their elites, they’ll be accepted into their ranks. It’s a fool’s dream, but then consider the source.

  59. anjin-san says:

    It’s as if social progressives just know that no one wants to follow their lead on how they think the country should run

    Yea, that pretty much explains Obama’s crushing win over McCain in ’08. “No one” was buying what he was selling.

    You are probably kinda cute sitting in the corner with the dunce cap.

  60. ddennis says:

    @JKB:

    “The inclusion of this probably due to one of the children in the White House reading it on a blog . . .”

    You should dispense with the hyperbole. I can see both sides’ perspective on this, as, I’m sure, many people do. If you’re trying to convince someone of something, stick with the facts, not your prejudices. Also, just because we’re employed at the moment doesn’t mean our turn in the penalty box isn’t coming. We’ve all got it coming, sooner or later. You’d better hope someone out there will be willing to give you a chance . . .

  61. legion says:

    @anjin-san: I was a computer geek in the AF; now I’m an apps engineer for a company that makes smart-grid control equipment. Hopefully (touch wood) that’s a pretty safe industry…

  62. legion says:

    @jan:

    Extreme liberal dogma = limitations on choices, plain and simple.

    NO.
    It is a forced _expansion_ of job candidates – it doesn’t limit jack squat.
    Secondly, even if you were correct, it would only be a minimal limitation on the choices of companies – it would be an enormous _expansion_ of choices available to individual workers. Why should companies have more rights than human beings? Why does it bother you to even attempt to level the playing field between employers and employees? Because it’s damn sure tilted right now…

  63. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    Yea, that pretty much explains Obama’s crushing win over McCain in ’08. “No one” was buying what he was selling.

    That was then, coming off of an ABB era, and this is now, when more and more voters are saying ABO.

    Also, no one really knew what Obama was selling except a vague “Hope and Change” theme. Now people have a better idea, after living with his policies for almost three years. Once a politician establishes a record, his slate becomes an active agenda which people either buy or reject.

    As an example, I was talking to my employee today. He goes to the gym after work, and says everyone talks politics there. When Obama was first elected he remembered how delighted they were with the hope and change meme. Now, the tone has changed, and he is surprised to hear how angry and disappointed they are in him.

    Times change, and hopefully so will our President.

  64. jan says:

    @legion:

    Why should companies have more rights than human beings? Why does it bother you to even attempt to level the playing field between employers and employees? Because it’s damn sure tilted right now…

    Companies, though, should not have less rights than their employees. Employees have the right to choose a job. If they go for an interview, don’t like the job or the boss, they are not forced to accept the job.

    The same should be true for an employer hiring someone. If the applicant doesn’t seem ‘right’ to them, or they plain don’t like them, they should not be forced to hire them anyway. There is such a thing as chemistry in the work place. You even see that in the entertainment field, where a cast just seems to ‘click,’ producing a wonderful long-running series. The same congeniality and mix is important in the work place too, in order for it to be, not only comfortable to work in, but also successful.

  65. Gustopher says:

    Companies, though, should not have less rights than their employees. Employees have the right to choose a job. If they go for an interview, don’t like the job or the boss, they are not forced to accept the job.

    Actually, in most states, if the prospective employee is collecting unemployment, they are required to take the job if offered, with narrow exceptions, or risk losing their unemployment benefits.

    Also, why shouldn’t corporations have less rights? They’re not people, they don’t have inalienable rights, they have a corporate charter granted by a state.

  66. anjin-san says:

    Also, no one really knew what Obama was selling except a vague “Hope and Change” theme

    Jan, why don’t you go down to the local middle school and see if you can sell this crap to some 13 year olds? Obama was pretty damn specific about a lot of things. Health care reform (you know, the thing he passed) was the cornerstone of the campaign.

    Winding down the Iraq war, which he has done. Amping up in Afghanistan, which he has done. Going after and getting bin laden, which he did. (go back and watch the video of McCain wringing his hands and saying “we can’t offend Pakistan,we can’t offend Pakistan” after Obama outlined his thoughts on bringing justice to this country’s greatest enemy) He was specific about a lot of things, and in many cases what he has done has been pretty darned close to what he said he would do ahead of time. Your argument does not rise to joke level.

    Unpredictability and improvisation came into play as the result of the massive economic disaster the Obama found on his desk the first day on the job.

    Times change, and hopefully so will our President.

    RIght. Let’s make of the wack job GOP candidates the most powerful person in the world. Lets start a war with Iran, and see how the economy does when the flow of oil from the middle east is disrupted. Hell, if Perry becomes President, we can cut funding for firefighters nationwide, instead of screwing around with a single state. The last Republican President did not quite finish the job of flushing the greatest country in the world down the toilet, there is still work to be done!

  67. anjin-san says:

    If the applicant doesn’t seem ‘right’ to them, or they plain don’t like them, they should not be forced to hire them anyway.

    So you have either fallen for Doug’s red herring, or you are perpetuating it. Which is it?

  68. anjin-san says:

    @legion

    Sounds like interesting work.

  69. Jay Tea says:

    @anjin-san: Thanks for the affirmation that I live, rent-free, in your head. It’s a great boost to my ego.

    J.

  70. john personna says:

    “let’s call it ‘1984’”

    “It’s interesting you started the discussion off with this notation, as that is the first thought I had when reading the heading for this thread.”

    Shorter wingnuts: I can hang paranoia off anything.

  71. Ben Wolf says:

    @ddennis: JKB has only prejudices. Trust me, we’ve been trying to have reasonable discussion with him for a long time and received nothing but invective in return.

  72. john says:

    Welcome to Obama’s “hope and change”. Marxism. Socialism. Communism. Hate-Americaism. Destroy-Americaism. Way to go, uninformed, gullible American voters! You chose… Poorly.

  73. samwide says:

    @john:

    Welcome to Obama’s “hope and change”. Marxism. Socialism. Communism. Hate-Americaism. Destroy-Americaism. Way to go, uninformed, gullible American voters! You chose… Poorly.

    Who let the dogs out?

  74. samwide says:

    @NBH:

    *Yawn*. Anti-discrimination laws are hardly a new issue for companies. I think the phrase “Tempest in a teacup” applies here.

    My thought, too.

  75. Ben Wolf says:

    @john: Do you have anything reasonable to say, or are you just going to post campaign talking points?

  76. legion says:

    @jan:

    Companies, though, should not have less rights than their employees.

    Why? Employees are human beings, while companies are paper constructs created for one purpose only: to make money for their investors. What conceivable reason is there that such entities should have the “right” to refuse to even consider over 12 million potential job applicants, when that has such an obviously damaging effect on society as a whole?

    Why should “money” have the same rights as “people”?

  77. anjin-san says:

    It’s a great boost to my ego.

    Well, reality is probably pretty hard on your ego, so grab that straw and add it to the bundle…

  78. Gulliver says:

    @ Jan Congrats.

    You know you’re scoring points when anjin resorts to juvenile insults. This happens frequently when he has nothing substantive to respond with in the face of reality. A good liberal creates their own reality, based not upon facts, but upon sweet, sweet dreams of “what-should-have-been.”

  79. john personna says:

    @Gulliver:

    I suggest a little self-awareness. That was just a petty, content free, snipe. That you’d call anyone “juvenile” in it … do you ever stop and think?

  80. Cowboy says:

    @Rick Almeida: The one the government wants to disallow?

  81. Patty says:

    If companies refuse to hire the unemployed, then they will ALWAYS be unemployed, causing even a BIGGER problem in the future. These people will never have jobs, and will just be pushed away. These people deserve the same chance as everyone else gets. No one knows what the reason may have been as to why these people are not working. This is the same thing as judging a book by its cover. Sometimes it is a very good reason, and sometimes it may have been for other reasons that we do not know about. What about the employee who may have had an illness for a long time? Or what about the person who was working for a company, and the company relocated over seas, and the employee was unable to go because of family? No one knows until the full story is heard. This IS discrimination. Companies that practice this form of discrimination, should be ashamed of themselves.