Hey, it worked once, right?
On Monday, economist Arthur Laffer laid out his vision of a new America in the Wall Street Journal. An America where everyone
who wants a job can get one. Where businesses thrive in previously under-served areas. Where business aren’t bogged down by pesky things like “payrolls” or “building codes.”
It goes a little like this:
First, he presents us with real an sobering facts.
While overall U.S. unemployment stands at 9.1%, black unemployment has jumped to 16.7%. Black teenage unemployment is bordering on 50%, and that figure doesn’t even take into account “discouraged” workers, “involuntary” part-time workers and “underemployed” workers. But even these numbers don’t tell the real story. They represent real people who are suffering deeply and have been suffering for a long, long time.
Awww, he cares. He said “suffering.” Which means he connects to the humanity of this situation. Look how much he grieves:
Behind these numbers are millions of lives discouraged and despondent. People who’ve lost their self-esteem and pride.
Wow, the horrors of self-esteem and pride loss. I’m so with you!! It’s horrible. I was unemployed for 2 years and it was the lowest my life had ever been. I remember waking up, crying all day, falling asleep with tear-stained cheeks, then waking up just to do it again. He must have a really good idea for stopping that cycle.
He calls them “Enterprise Zones.” The EZs will be concentrated areas of business placed in poor urban areas.
So far so good! Poor urban areas need businesses. With all granted wishes however, there are a few niggly details to consent to.
Rule #1: For all employment within the enterprise zone of people whose principal residence is also the enterprise zone, there should be no payroll tax whatsoever, neither employer nor employee portions. The employer need not be headquartered in the enterprise zone to take advantage of the elimination of the employer’s portion of the payroll tax. The locus of employment does have to be in the enterprise zone.
Okay, so the owners don’t have to pay additional taxes. Not such a big deal, right, because they are paying their employees after all, which is the whole point of getting a job, right?
Rule #2: Federal and state minimum wages must be suspended in the enterprise zone. If not for all employees, then at least for employees under 30. These young people need on-the-job training, and at the present minimum wage many of them aren’t worth hiring. That is why they are unemployed.
Ohhhhh, the workers WON’T get paid. This makes perfect, reasonable sense for two reasons. 1. What better way to stem the soul crushing depression that comes from not having an income by just getting in there and exhausting yourself with work. That way, you’ll be too tired to cry yourself to sleep at night, you’ll just pass out from the combined exhaustion of working for free and not being able to buy an energizing dinner.
Also, the only reason for unemployment is not having a skill set. I think if The Great Recession made anything clear, it was that. No one has been laid off because of decisions made at a corporate level. It was just because people are too dang
hungry lazy to educate themselves.
Rule #3: In the enterprise zones the government should do an expedited review of all building codes, regulations, restrictions and requirements to make sure that they don’t unjustifiably impede economic growth. For example, mandated union membership rules should be voided in enterprise zones as should all prevailing wage provisions and the like.
You know what’s annoying? Rules. And safety. And protection for people who are already super vulnerable. Ugh! Instead of making sure that people have enough light to see by, aren’t breathing toxic chemicals and can escape during an emergency, let’s just put them to work. For free. I mean, you’ve already spent all that money not paying your employees. You can’t just not hemorrhage cash forever. Eventually, you’re going to have to dig your heels in and just rake in the cash.
Rule #4: Profits generated by companies operating and employing people within the enterprise zone should only be taxed at one-third the regular tax rate. No matter how many fewer regulations a company faces, those companies still quite rightly respond to profits for their shareholders.
These EZs will be doing people a favor! They will allow people to work without the burden of having to set up a direct deposit account. Plus, because they won’t be earning any money, workers won’t be able to afford gas, bus fare or Internet access, so they won’t be distracted by looking for other jobs. They’ll be able to focus. Rich kids pay tons of money for pills that make them focus. EZs are giving the community a great big shot of Ritalin for free!
If you think this sounds like slavery, you’re totally right! But let’s just call it an internship. (albeit, where all the “students” are poor people of color who work in unventilated boxes without the ability to talk to an academic adviser.)
What do you think? Have we found our way out of economic crisis? Let us know in the comments!
I’m assuming this guy is the one who gave Bachmann and Santorm the tip about how baller antebellum America was?
Pundits often say super racist stuff without thinking. But it’s not their fault! Click here to find out why.