There have been lots of studies showing that there’s no benefit to job training programs. People who sign up with these government schemes are not more likely to either get jobs or to earn more money.
Heck, even the New York Times was forced to acknowledge that these programs are a costly failure.
To really understand how these programs operate, John Stossel put together an investigative mission. The results excerpted below would be funny, other than the fact that taxpayers are getting ripped off and people are getting lured into lives of dependency.
“There are no jobs!” That is what people told me outside a government “jobs center” in New York City. …I sent four researchers around the area. They quickly found 40 job openings. Twenty-four were entry-level positions. One restaurant owner told me he would hire 12 people if workers would just apply. It made me wonder what my government does in buildings called “job centers.”
So Stossel sent one of his interns to investigate.
Here’s what she found: “First I went to the Manhattan Jobs Center and asked, “Can I get help finding a job?” They told me they don’t do that. ‘We sign people up for food stamps.’ I tried another jobs center. They told me to enroll for unemployment benefits.” So the “jobs” centers help people get handouts. Neither center suggested people try the 40 job openings in the neighborhood.
I shudder to think how many people walking in off the streets get hooked on government dependency. It’s disgusting that the government is encouraging people to ride in the wagon instead of getting jobs.
But Stossel’s intern was told not to give up.
My intern persisted: “I explained that I didn’t want handouts; I wanted a job. I was told to go to ‘WorkForce1,’ a New York City program. At WorkForce1, the receptionist told me that she couldn’t help me since I didn’t have a college degree. She directed me to another center in Harlem. In Harlem, I was told that before I could get help, I had to come back for an 8:30 a.m. ‘training session.’” Our government helps you apply for handouts immediately, but forces you through a maze if you want to work.
Amazingly, the intern was told to show up at 8:30 when the building didn’t open ’til 9:15. But, again, she was under orders to keep going.
Workforce1 directed 30 of us into a room where we were told that WorkForce1 directs candidates to jobs and provides a resource room with ‘free’ phone, fax and job listings and helps people apply for unemployment insurance and disability handouts. This seemed like the only part of the presentation when people took notes. “One lady told me that she comes to WorkForce1 because it helps her collect unemployment. One asked another, ‘What do you want to do?’ The second laughed, ‘I want to collect!’ One told me, ‘I’ve been coming here 17 months; this place is a waste of time.’
The intern, following orders, refused to take the dependency option that the bureaucrats kept offering. She finally got results…sort of.
“Finally, I met with an ‘adviser.’ …she scheduled an interview at Pret, a food chain that trains employees. At Pret, I learned that my ‘interview’ was just a weekly open house, publicized on the company’s website. Anyone could walk in and apply. Workforce1 offered no advantage. Despite my ‘scheduled interview,’ I waited 90 minutes before meeting a manager. He told me that WorkForce1 had ‘wasted my time, as they always do.’ He said, ‘They never call, never ask questions.’ He prefers to hire people who seek out jobs on their own, like those who see Pret ads on Craigslist.’”
The last comment in the excerpt makes a lot of sense. If you’re hiring people, it makes a lot of sense to choose those who show the initiative to seek out positions rather than those who come through some sort of government program that teaches them first and foremost to be a moocher.
Here are some concluding thoughts from Stossel’s column.
It’s easier to get welfare than to work. The government would rather sign me up for welfare than help me find work. America has taxpayer-funded bureaucracies that encourage people to be dependent. They incentivize people to take “free stuff,” not to take initiative. It was easier to find job openings on my own. The private market for jobs works better than government “job centers.” …Job training does help — when employers do it. But government does everything badly. …America now has 47 federal jobs programs. They fail. Yet politicians want more. They always want more.
One would think that honest left wingers would look at the research, understand that these programs hurt people, and recognize that the right approach is free markets and limited government.
But they don’t, which suggest that there are no honest leftists. Or maybe there aren’t any smart and honest leftists. Because all they ever do is come up with ideas that make this satirical poster a reality.