09.28.2011 0

Obama’s latest jaw dropper

By Rick Manning — The Obama Administration has one shining quality — an ability to dumbfound and amaze through some of the most ill-conceived proposals in human history.

I’m talking bad like, “Abe, let’s go see the new play that is at Ford’s Theatre,” bad.

The latest gem out of the White House comes via Robert Pear of the New York Times, who reports that Obama wants to provide civil rights protection for people who are unemployed.

Apparently, Obama believes that the reason that there are 14 million unemployed Americans is because employers are discriminating against them.

His remedy?

Allow an unemployed person to drag an employer who doesn’t hire him or her into federal court to prove that the reason they weren’t hired, and presumably, someone else was, is because they were unemployed.

I’m pretty confident that threatening job creators with lawsuits by 14 million people who were not hired is not going to encourage opportunity.

In fact, I’m pretty confident that threatening legal action against job creators for failing to hire someone who is currently unemployed is going to significantly reduce the willingness of that business to put out a help wanted sign at all.

While stunned by the approach, in retrospect, no one should be surprised.

Remember, this is the Administration who made certain that lawyers were among the first Obama Administration officials on the scene during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Somehow, in the warped world of the White House, threatening lawsuits equates to helping solve the problem.

It almost seems that in Obama’s hope-y, change-y world, the ambulances chase the attorneys, and patients are healed by a lawsuit.

In Obama’s world, it seems that America is nothing more complicated than a John Grisham novel where everything can be made right through the actions of just one public interest attorney — preferably played by Matt Damon or Julia Roberts.

In order to understand how badly this new Obama idea will hurt actual unemployed people, one only needs to put themselves in the shoes of an employment headhunter.

If a headhunter includes someone who is unemployed as one of the finalists for their client to consider, and that person is not chosen, the head hunter could be dragged into court to testify against their client. When a headhunter is forced to certify in court that the unemployed person was equally qualified as the other applicants and serve as an expert witness against the people who pay their fees, it will be very bad for repeat business.

So what would an executive search agency do that had a strong survival instinct? They would find a reason to disqualify unemployed applicants and only forward applicants who are currently employed shielding their clients from discrimination claims, and due to the Obama proposal, shutting currently unemployed individuals out of competing for high end jobs.

No one is saying that civil rights protections are not valid for people of color or those with disabilities, however, to equate a temporary state of employment with a permanent state of being discriminated under the law is nonsensical.

Perhaps the saddest part of this whole Obama proposal is that it shows just how out of ideas they really are.

The very fact that the idea wasn’t laughed out of the room indicates that it either came up after midnight when they were all sitting around college dorm style, eating pizzas and drinking beer, or that a number of people in this Administration actually think that if only we could get trial lawyers involved, more people would be employed.

Personally, for the sake of the nation, I’m hoping for the college dorm scenario, because if they came up with this proposal without being under the influence, we are in even bigger trouble than I thought.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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