Mr. President, your desire to solve long term unemployment is noble but naïve.

Time is not on anybody’s side:

Although a business may have a cause they support, hiring the long-term unemployed is not one of them.  Sure the benefits could be enormous, but the pressures that drive every business will not allow the time for the benefits of this altruism to develop.

Companies do not have time to research why a person has been out of work.  They have enough trouble hiring effectively with people who are employed.  Invest time hiring long-term unemployed? “Aint nobody got time for that.”

We are becoming a disposable society:


Almost everything in a business centers on efficiency and utility.  It is coloring our view of each other.   If people are objects whose only value is utility, it can be difficult to see them as anything more than a means to our ends; things to be used and discarded (like the e-mail they send us).  Dealing with the long-term unemployed could be complicated (like all real human interactions can be).  It is hard for people to see how any of this will help them efficiently or profitably achieve their individual work goals.

Solving the challenge of the long-term unemployed is laudable and necessary. My fear is that it’s an audacity that no one can spare the time to work on, let alone hope for.

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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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