Read it. Do so thoroughly, because I feel a rant coming on.
This article illustrates the sort of crap that passes for thinking among Voices of the Crust these days.
There are two labor markets nowadays. There’s the market for people who have been out of work for less than six months, and the market for people who have been out of work longer. The former is working pretty normally, and the latter is horribly dysfunctional.
‘Horrbly dysfunctional’ is a pretty strong term. This guy must be a trained economist, right, to justify using so strong a term about a natural pattern of human activity that, after all, works whether you want it to or not? Well, as it turns out, no:
Matthew O’Brien is an associate editor at The Atlantic covering business and economics. He has previously written for The New Republic.
As it turns out, he’s Just Another Left Journalist. My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.
Okay, let’s look at his journalism.
Long-term unemployment is a terrifying trap. Once you’ve been out of work for six months, there’s little you can do to find work. Employers put you at the back of the jobs line, regardless of how strong the rest of your resume is. After all, they usually don’t even look at it.
The first thing that popped into my mind is a question: Why? I find this situation as counter-intuitive as the writer does, but when I come across such a thing, I want to dig into it. Why are employers — apparently, almost universally — doing this unexpected thing? There’s something going on here that we don’t see. Very puzzling. Ah! But we have an experienced, highly-paid journalist on the case. Let’s see what he finds out.
Except that he doesn’t. Nowhere in this article is any indication that he found out why, or that he even looked. Employers are being shits, and that’s all there is to it. They must be Really Evil People, just picking on a bunch of victims Because They Can.
Let’s be clear. Ghayad’s field study shows employers discriminate against the long-term unemployed.
Ooooh, discrimination. That’s pretty scary. Call in the torturers. But people discriminate all the time, and Voices of the Crust raise no objection. Planned Parenthood discriminates against unborn children, pretty severely at times, and that’s okay. The Obama administration discriminates against white people, and that’s just fine. Federal give-away programs discriminate against anybody who isn’t of the correct Victim Class, and everybody’s good with it. The tax code discriminates against rich people, and that’s not a problem. I discriminate against Mexican food, primarily because I don’t like Mexican food, and I’m not thrown in jail. (Yet, anyway.)
Still, you’d think that any rational adult, much less an experienced journalist, would be interested in the question Why? But this guy is not. (Speculation as to whether journalists qualify as rational adults is an exercise left to the reader.)
Well, okay, we don’t know why. And if we don’t know why, we can’t really start trying to ‘fix’ it, can we? Ah, my friend, you underestimate the Left Journalist mind — there is an answer, the same answer they have to every problem they sort-of-look-into: More Government.
It’s time for the government to start hiring the long-term unemployed. Or, at the least, start giving employers tax incentives to hire the long-term unemployed.
For a guy who didn’t bother to look into why a situation is happening, he seems awfully quick with a solution, doesn’t he? Let’s just have government pick up the slack, with all of that extra money they have, no doubt distilled out of unicorn farts.
The worst possible outcome for all of us is if the long-term unemployed become unemployable. That would permanently reduce our productive capacity.
The worst possible outcome? For all of us? I suggest that the worst possible outcome is for the government to become the default employer for those who can’t get a job, using all the money that they don’t have any more; by that reasoning, the government would be buying all those buggy whips that nobody needs anymore.
And it’s not a problem for those of us who have a job, or can get a job in less than six months — obviously this guy doesn’t read his own writing. Lefty Journalists just like to take molehills and make them into Mount Rushmore (awaiting the addition of Barack Obama’s smiling visage).
And I’ve got news for you, neighbor: THEY’RE ALREADY UNEMPLOYABLE. YOU JUST BITCHED ABOUT IT. The question is WHY and you went right by it as if it were invisible (which, I suppose, to a Left Journalist it is). DO YOUR JOB. FIGURE OUT WHY. Then maybe we’ll listen to your proposal on how to fix it.
We can do better, and we need to start doing so now. We can’t afford long-term thinking in either the short or the long-term.
Let that one sink in for a bit. We can’t afford long-term thinking, as if short-term thinking ever solved a problem for longer than the short term. No, Mr Lefty Journalist, long-term thinking is precisely what we need, and badly; and precisely what we AREN’T GETTING: Not from you, not from your fellow ‘journalists’, and not from the people who hold the Reins Of Power.
And THAT’S the real problem here. One in which you appear not interested.
And they pay people good money to write this swill. I’m in the wrong line of work, obviously.