President Obama is currently huddled with his advisors putting the finishing touches on his upcoming major “jobs” speech. Undoubtedly he feels some pressure to come up with a blockbuster program, especially given that this speech could make or break his chances in the 2012 election. But he need not worry, because he already has a perfectly good model for fixing our unemployment problem — his own ObamaCare health plan!
Simply by varying a few features of ObamaCare, the president could guarantee nearly “universal” employment just as ObamaCare has guaranteed nearly “universal” health coverage. He could implement an “ObamaJobs” program as follows:
1) Impose a “job mandate” requiring all companies with greater than 50 employees to add 10% new employees to their payrolls. So if a company currently has 50 employees, they would need to hire 5 new workers. If a company has 100 employees, they must hire 10 new workers, etc.
2) If a company failed to hire enough workers, they would have to pay a penalty to the government. That pool of money would be used to pay for government-subsidized jobs and to fund a government-run jobs “exchange” to match up prospective employers and unemployed workers.
3) Of course, the government would have to closely specify what sorts of salaries, benefits, and job responsibilities must be included in any of these new government-created jobs, both within and outside the exchanges. We can’t have those “millionaire and billionaire” employers exploiting their new employees. If a company needs, say, a Linux programmer, but the new worker has a “pre-existing condition” of not actually knowing Linux, the company should deal with it the best they can — either by training him in Linux or finding him another job that he can do.
4) The president recognizes that some companies have special requirements and shouldn’t be subject to a one-size-fits-all “hiring mandate.” Any employer wishing to be exempted from these new requirements can thus request a “waiver” from the secretary of Labor. Because it will be an impartial government official deciding who gets a waiver and who doesn’t, the process is sure to be fair and objective.