Saturday, September 17, 2011


The Wall Street Journal published a very good article about the billions wasted in federal "job training" programs over the past several decades.  The sub-headline alone is an eye-opener: 

What Job 'Training' Teaches? Bad Work Habits

A 1969 government study warned that teens in federal jobs programs 'regressed in their conception of what should reasonably be required in return for wages paid.'


Talk about #EPIC #FAIL.

Most of us realize that government activity is not efficient, and that government activities do not generate wealth or productivity - it drains them from the economy, using those resources to fuel itself. 

Lest some claim that these redundant, expensive programs "help" a "disadvantaged" "community", the article shows that, in fact, these "job training" programs actually are a disservice to these communities: 

"...most urban teens 'were exposed to a worksite where good work habits were not learned or reinforced.' And in 1985, a National Academy of Science study found that government jobs and training programs isolated disadvantaged youth, thus making it harder for them to fit into the real job market."

Is this a big problem?
With unemployment above 9% on average, and upwards of 50% in these "disadvantaged communities", why make finding meaningful employment any harder? 

Can we really afford such programs, with huge federal deficits and a rising sixteen-trillion dollar debt? 

Okay then, but after all, how much do these "job training" programs really cost taxpayers? 

"Begun in 2003, Georgia Work$ gives people a chance to "train" at an employer for eight weeks. They receive no salary but continue collecting unemployment compensation and as well as a $240 weekly stipend from the state of Georgia. Last year, the stipend was increased to $600 a week and anyone who said they needed a job was allowed to participate. After costs exploded, Georgia Work$ was scaled back early this year."

Wouldn't participants have gotten useful employment, been boosted into a career? Incredibly, the government has not kept statistics on much of the effectiveness of these programs.   
"Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office reported that there were 47 different federal employment and training programs, costing taxpayers $18 billion a year. There is massive overlap and duplication, and few programs seriously evaluate their impact on trainees."

What history there is does not support any conclusion that these programs help the unemployed or underemployed, or are effective expenditures of taxpayer money.  Of Georgia Work$, a program touted as a "model" by the Obama Administration:

"At last report, only 14% of trainees were hired by employers—a success rate akin to other unemployed Georgians who do not participate in the program."
"Georgia Work$ has produced far more headlines than jobs—fewer than 200 this year, according to a recent article in Politico."

Time to stop the useless federal "job training" programs, which do not actually help people get real work, and which serve to demotivate and disincentivize participants, increase poverty, and boost dependence on government

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