Banning discrimination against the unemployed?

by Walter Olson on September 30, 2011

I joined the host on Connecticut’s WTIC Thursday morning to discuss President Obama’s proposed ban on employer discrimination against unemployed job applicants:

For more on this bad proposal, check out Charles Lane, Washington Post (“really bad idea that will probably destroy jobs in a misguided effort to save them”); Richard Epstein/Hoover (“most ghastly” element of jobs plan), Mickey Kaus (“Worst idea in the speech? …a museum-quality case of liberal legalism ignoring the economic cost of the mechanisms of liberal legalism”), Steve Chapman (“may very well have a positive impact on hiring. Just not in America”), Neil Munro, Adler/Volokh, Business Insider, Ted Frank/PoL, NYT “Room for Debate”, Dan Indiviglio/The Atlantic (“While this is a lovely political talking point, it won’t cut unemployment and could even make matters worse for jobless Americans”), Atlantic Wire, Tim Cavanaugh/Reason, Jay Goltz/NYT “You’re the Boss” (“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”), National Review, Kerry Picket/Washington Times (Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill.: “If it takes lawsuits to get work opportunities, then so be it”), earlier (& welcome Tim Cavanaugh/Reason “Hit and Run” readers).

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Supposed hiring bias against unemployed applicants
10.24.11 at 7:44 am

{ 3 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 10.01.11 at 1:39 pm

At the risk of stating the obvious (to everyone but Democrats in Congress), if companies only hired people who currently have jobs then the cost of labor would spiral upwards since the same people would be hired over an over again for more money than they were currently making. Also, if only employed people were hired, an industry would not be able to respond to increase demand since no additional people could be hired. Yes companies could hire new graduates, but new graduates would not be able to meet the need for experienced people. In other words in good economic times it would be impossible for a company that wanted to increase its profits to not hire the currently unemployed.

2 Bill Alexander 10.01.11 at 6:20 pm

“In other words in good economic times it would be impossible for a company that wanted to increase its profits to not hire the currently unemployed.”

No, in good economic times it would be impossible for ALL companies to hire only the currently employed.

3 GregS 10.04.11 at 10:37 am

Banning discrimination against the unemployed is a terrible idea. The United States has very high unemployment, and Washington’s answer to this is to increase the legal risks of hiring new employees? Insanity.

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