Buried in the text of President Obama’s jobs bill is a provision named the “Fair Employment Opportunity Act,” which would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against the unemployed. At a recent town-hall event, the president singled out this provision as a much-needed federal safeguard against businesses’ reluctance to hire, in the words of one softball questioner, “really good candidates that suffered from a downward trend in their credit history due to lack of job opportunities.” Like many of the policies outlined in the president’s plan, the measure sounds like a well-intentioned effort to help the 9 percent of Americans who are currently unemployed. In reality, it is little more than a talking point that, if enacted, could exacerbate the very problem it means to solve.
However, as much as the White House would like to believe that its various “stimulative” policies, proposed tax increases, and regulatory behemoths have nothing to do with it, the unemployment rate remains high, and discrimination is certainly not to blame. Furthermore, it is the means by which the White House seeks to end this “discrimination” that has critics so alarmed.
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