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Crime and punishment, Boston-style

With unemployment at quite manageable levels, it seems that most people who want a job can find one. It might not be their dream job or their career choice, but the jobs are out there.

But most isn't everyone, and the Boston City Council has discovered one of those demographics. So they're rushing forward to help them find work. In fact, they're going to make it damned difficult to not hire these people.

I'm talking about, of course, those woefully downtrodden, those unfairly oppressed, those victims of society -- the convicted felons.

Now, I'm a great believer in redemption. I think that most people do deserve second chances. But I don't think that they should expect the government to stand up for them and demand it.

And that's just what the Boston City Council is proposing: as a condition of any company wishing to do business with the city, that company has to grant job interviews to people with criminal records. If they say, across the board, that they don't want any ex-cons working for them, then they can kiss any future city money goodbye.

Whenever government meddles too deeply in business, it creates horrible unintended consequences.

I recall a similar move in the NFL, when teams were required to interview blacks for coaching positions. They didn't have to hire them, just interview them. So when a team wanted a certain guy for a coaching position, they had to truck in several black people just to meet the rules -- "tokenism" at its ugliest.

Likewise, in the auto industry, the government sets fuel mileage standards. But they aren't on specific vehicles; they use the "Corporate Average Fuel Economy," which means that all the cars a company manufactures have to meet, on average, a certain level. So, what happens when -- up until recently -- the public wants big, inefficient, fuel-guzzling SUVs? Instead of giving the consumer what they want, the makers had to offer steep discounts on more economical vehicles (which have a much lower profit margin) to keep the numbers in balance.

And in California, the state mandates that a certain percentage of all the vehicles sold be low-emission or zero-emission vehicles. This one has always bewildered me. Sure, you can mandate what a company makes, but how the hell do you mandate a company to sell? If the people don't want the vehicles, then they simply won't buy them. The state and the manufacturer have to literally throw money at people (in the form of discounts, tax credits, rebates, and the like) to meet those quotas.

So let's come back to the example of requiring companies to interview felons. I see two possible perverse outcomes: those companies willing to take the chance on them will be lost in the shuffle, and felons will waste valuable time going on interviews with companies that have no intention of actually hiring them, but don't want to risk losing their city contracts. And when that becomes apparent, the City Council will move from demanding interviews to actually setting quotas on hiring felons.

And that should be entertaining, indeed.


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Comments (8)

Lunatic racebaiter <a href=... (Below threshold)

Lunatic racebaiter Chuck Turner is just trying to help line up future interviews for himself and Diane wilkerson.

Jay Tea,While I ag... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

While I agree with you that this tactic is deplorable and goes against an independent companies free decision to hire whomever they want. I'm curious what your take is on the Solomon Act and how it relates to this issue?

I agree with the Solomon Act and with the concept that if Law Schools want Federal Money then they should have to follow certain rules set forth by the Federal Government.

Why doesn't this concept apply here? I realize we are talking about convicted felons and not law school students, but the companies would be receiving city money. So, why not have to follow city regulations, no matter how crazy they are? It is then the public's responsiblity to vote out the people responsible for the idiotic rules.

If you can't see the differ... (Below threshold)

If you can't see the difference between college recruiters for the US military and convicted felons, then there isn't much more to talk about.
Just because it is right for the government to decide to fund recipients of largesse or not depending upon certain conduct, one need not conclude that government can require ANY conduct.

I thought SUVs were a CAFE ... (Below threshold)
Just John:

I thought SUVs were a CAFE loophole.

The CAFE standards were for cars.
The demand for large cars was greater than the industry could absorb, so they started producing SUVs and let them be categorized as "trucks" which did not impact passenger CAFE standards.

(Just being picky: your point is still valid.)

This makes plenty of sense.... (Below threshold)

This makes plenty of sense. I'm sure the City of Boston wants the accounting firm that they hire to perform outside audits to employ people convicted of thinks like embezzling and fraud. Boston also wants their vehicle maintenance company to include people convicted of things like grand theft auto and car jacking. Yep, it's a very smart move.

All crinimals should make r... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

All crinimals should make restitution for their victims or the families of their victims no more allowing a crinimal who writes a book and making them turn over 75% of the profit from this to the victims and families of the victims and lets bring back the CHAIN GANGS and nuts with the bleedinghearts

Thanks for bringing up the ... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Thanks for bringing up the topic of madated sales of electric cars in California. It's one of my favorite topics for demonstrating left wing idiocy.

I could never figure out how you could mandate sales of EVs. It means somone has to buy them. Maybe you could mandate every tenth person buy one, but I wouldn't want to be the governor when that happens.

Auto manufactureres are not allowed in California (as in most states) to sell cars directly to the public. Also franchise agreements between the manufacturers and dealerships forbid it. New cars must be sold through franchised dealers. Now comes the rub. Does Ford you just ship 10% of dealers' orders as electric cars and tell them to eat them? Do dealers just let them pile up on the lot? Someone has to pay for them. Even if you gave them away, I doubt you could fulfill the 10% California requirement. How many people want a 90 mile range car, which must be towed if it runs out of fuel and requires 6 to 12 hours to refuel. In a number of metro areas you might run out just picking up your mother-in-law from the airport. Horrors!

Mercifully a federal court put California's ZEV rule out of its misery.

The Feds already have an em... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The Feds already have an employment program that's similar to this one but different in an important respect. They don't mandate that companies hire convicts, but they do encourage it through tax breaks. When you hire someone, you fill out a form to see if they qualify as a "disadvantaged person." That may include race, criminal background, or even the zip code a person lives in. If the hire qualifies, you get a tax break.






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