The problem with people who let drugs seriously affect their life is that...they let drugs seriously affect their lives, and at least from an employment point of view, where what matters is robot-like conformity and compliance, this is just not-to-be tolerated or even risked.
The sad, sad irony of this is that according to very recent studies, the very thing that made us addicts is the very prescription that society has deemed our punishment to be. Talk about cruel and unusual.
I wish I could say I don't struggle with relapse, but one of the few things worse then being an addict is being a lying addict.
Being unemployable by most metrics and having to constantly struggle to survive sure doesn't help with that battle.
The book Iconoclast explains that even moving furniture around can put us into a more creative state, because our creativity is activated by novelty.
That is why research shows over and over that creating new environments and new "friendships" (the cornerstone of AA and NA) is of crucial importance.
It's so hard for "normal" people to see and understand this because (from my personal experiences)...
1. the addict often seems like the life of the party (at least in the beginning of the story) and no one thinks that person is lonely.
2. normal people, for the most part, discover and nurture these connections so automatically that they can't understand how it could feel for it not to work, thus addiction is totally baffling to them.
To me, the crown jewel of Neuroscience would be to come up with a successful treatment to addiction that worked directly on the brain and didn't require the complete overhaul of your life that inpatient and outpatient treatment demand.
I suppose, like so much these days, it all depends on your POV and ingrained confirmation biases whether you believe research about the incorrigibility of addicts or the hope of rescue.
My thoughts on this whole "Shoot the messenger, he's a plagiarist" line of thinking is that we live in a remix society, and certainly in music, producers and artists are given wide leeway to come up with new ways to use old sounds with no repercussions.
I wonder if the ability to take old written content and present it in a fresh, persuasive way shouldn't be given the same respect.
Good thing there will always be a job waiting for him at the bakery.
"Following the release of his book, Chasing the Scream, in 2015, Hari gave a number of interviews where he expressed regret for his actions. In order to quell doubts about his reporting, he also released full audio copies of sources he interviewed for his book. In an interview with the Little Atoms podcast, Hari also stated that he would apologise to Nick Cohen and Francis Wheen."
I think the article is exceptionally well-written, personal, and informative, and gave me, as someone intimately involved with all things addiction for 30 years, fresh perspective.
The fact that he seems to be currently deeply in love with an active addict may be motivation behind the piece, but it takes little away from the insights.
But Hari did dishonest reporting for a long time and, as David Allen Green writes, was "smearing other journalists in an on-going systemic manner for years". I will remain suspicious of whatever he does as a reporter.
In a way: his crime was an abuse of words, and I'll be careful whenever he again works with words. If his crime had been abuse of children, I wouldn't mind him working in construction, or even keeping books, but I'd be careful hiring him as schoolteacher.
If he got a job at a bakery, well, I suppose he wouldn't poison anyone, although his work as a reporter was poison.
> As reported in David Kushner's Masters of Doom, when Carmack was 14, he broke into a school to help a group of kids steal Apple II computers. To gain entry to the building, Carmack concocted a sticky substance of Thermite mixed with Vaseline that melted through the windows. However, an overweight accomplice struggled to get through the hole, and opened the window, setting off a silent alarm and alerting police. John was arrested, and sent for psychiatric evaluation (the report mentions 'no empathy for other human beings' and describes Carmack as 'a brain on legs'). Carmack was then sentenced to a year in a juvenile home.
Carmack's comments (from 1999):
> I knew I wanted to work with computers from a very early age, but there were also a lot of other stereotypical geek aspects to my life growing up - phreaking, hacking (nobody called it "cracking" back then), rockets, bombs, and thermite (sometimes in not-so-smart combinations), sci-fi, comic books, D&D, arcades, etc.
> I was sort of an amoral little jerk when I was young. I was arrogant about being smarter than other people, but unhappy that I wasn't able to spend all my time doing what I wanted. I spent a year in a juvenile home for a first offence after an evaluation by a psychologist went very badly.
> I went to a couple semesters of classes at the University of Missouri (UMKC), taking nothing but CS classes, but it just didn't seem all that worthwhile. In hindsight, I could have gotten more out of it than I did, but I hadn't acquired a really good attitude towards learning from all possible sources yet.
> I dropped-out of college to start programming full time, but trying to do contract programming for the Apple II/IIGS post 1990 was not a good way to make money, and I only wound up with between $1k and $2k a month. Not having enough money is stressful, and I did some things I didn't want to. I wrote a numerology program for a couple hundred bucks one time...
> Softdisk publishing finally convinced me to come down to Shreveport for an interview. I had been doing contract work for Jay Wilbur and Tom Hall, so I knew there were some pretty cool people there, but meeting John Romero and Lane Roath was what convinced me to take the job. Finally meeting a couple sharp programmers that did impressive things and had more experience than I did was great.
> After I took the job at Softdisk, I was happy. I was programming, or reading about programming, or talking about programming, almost every waking hour. It turned out that a $27k salary was enough that I could buy all the books and pizza that I wanted, and I had nice enough computers at work that I didn't feel the need to own more myself (4mb 386-20!).
> I learned a huge amount in a short period of time, and that was probably a turning point for my personality. I could still clearly remember my state of mind when I viewed other people as being ignorant about various things, but after basically doubling my programming skills in the space of six months, I realized how relative it all was. That has been reinforced several additional times over the seven years since then.
But journalism is different: the activity is subjective and we are required to trust that the journalist (and their editor and publisher etc) isn't out to mislead us (or, more realistically, that we understand their biases and can compensate for them). Thus, the output is much closer linked to the work that went into it. The journalist was in the room, we weren't. We have to trust that the journalist not only accurately quotes what's being said, but accurately represents the context of it. That means that the personal integrity of the journalist is much more important.
Plenty of lapses of journalists can be trivially forgiven - youthful theft easily among them. But Hari didn't steal a computer as a kid, he messed with one of the most sacred institutions of journalism: the quote. Even worse, he claimed ignorance: forgiving a journalist who so fundamentally misunderstands his own role as a high-integrity purveyor of truth that he thinks it's cool to mess with quotes is a lot more difficult than forgiving theft (not that it's up to any of us to forgive Carmack, we weren't party to his crime).
Still, I think it would be a mistake to skip the article because of who wrote it. As I said, it was a real eye-opener for me, and I'm glad I read it.
I'm even glad I bought Hari's book Chasing the Scream. (I didn't even do my usual Kindle free sample, just a one-click purchase on the spot after reading the article, quite unusual for me!)
You did have me worried for a moment, though: do I want to support someone like that?
But he seems to recognize how he screwed up and is trying to make things right, apologizing to the people he mistreated, releasing the audio interviews used in the book, etc.
I too have done some things in the past that I'm ashamed of, and I'm grateful that the people involved forgave me.
Perhaps Hari is a bit like the other people in this discussion and deserves a second chance?
The last section, "Update", is of particular interest to you, as it relates directly to the audio transcripts from Chasing the Scream.
I wouldn't mind someone being a teacher if they got caught with pot 20 years ago. I would mind if they raped a few kids.
The point is that if their crime was related to the job, it's fine not to trust someone to do that same job again. That's not the same as never employing them for anything.
That said, I've worked for a factory. Many of the hires on the floor were for people with records of various kinds. It did help the higher-functioning people turn their lives around, which was quite encouraging. But we also had people who did stupid things and got arrested for things like domestic violence charges, which were related to their drug use.
And it sounds like the 'plagiarism' was him using quotes he did not personally acquire, which is pretty minor and wouldn't turn me away from reading anything.
If he's a liar, I might think differently, but the mistakes you mention seem irrelevant to me.
So instead we judge by the author - i.e. is the writer at least trustworthy.
Your advice is good to take in general: don't trust what you read without judging both the credentials of the writer and the content the writer is putting forth. But to dismiss it based only on the author is shortsighted. I see nothing in your reply specifically about the content of the article, does anything else truly matter? Sure, take the author's history and intentions into consideration, but at the end of the day the content is what matters.
Assuming you consider 28 years old to be "adult", I can confirm that there are such adults.
The same is true for the current state of drug laws. We're criminalizing people with anxiety, with existential pain, stress, curiosity, etc.
What's different about stealing cars for money for medications, versus stealing cars for money for bread? Or robbing to afford rent? Are people that steal money for opiates less likely to cause a work incident than people that steal money to fund a kickstarter campaign?
Medical issues should only be taken into account if they're relevant to the job at hand, which, at a tech company, is relatively rare. Otherwise, acceptable job performance should be the only measurement considered as far as medical is concerned.
The nationally protected classes are race, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, age, veterans status / military service, bankruptcy or bad debts, genetic information, and citizenship status (exclusive of work eligibility).
Under various state laws, there may or may not be additional protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, medical condition, political affiliation or activities, military status, different age limits, familial status, public assistance status, and/or use of "lawful products" (e.g., tobacco, alcohol).
Outside of these classes (or within them where the state doesn't recognize the class) it's generally legal to make hire/fire decisions with few limitations.
Given "at will" employment conditions in many states, proving discrimination is generally a case of showing specific evidence that a protected class was material and specifically related to the action. That can be difficult, though not impossible.
Going back a couple decades, being gay or holding the wrong political beliefs was something of a hiring problem.
Given that "we" forget that technology and fads might change, but people never do, you can safely assume that if being "outed" a couple decades ago eliminated about 95% of employment opportunities, then the equivalent today will eliminate a similar percentage.
They are totally different!
Someone stealing for bread, i.e. to survive, will never consider crime if they don't absolutely have to. So they may have committed a crime, but they are not a criminal.
But someone stealing for drugs demonstrate a level of selfishness that does make them a criminal, i.e. someone who does not care about other people. This is something will not change even if they have enough money to buy their drugs. That selfishness does not go away.
Perhaps you'd like to become acquainted with addiction and substance dependence. They are real issues that people (those who you call criminally selfish) have to deal with, (generally) alone.
Due to societal attitudes towards drug use and the overly harsh treatment of users by the criminal justice system, people suffering from addiction often do not receive the medical and psychological attention they need. In a better world we'd be willing/able to provide that, but we aren't there yet.
People start doing drugs for many different reasons, but some people can't handle their crack. An addict can be a threat to themselves and/or others, not because they are "bad" or "selfish", but because they are mentally ill. Addicts need rehab, not punishment.
On top of that addiction is no excuse to harm others by stealing or other activity. It might feel absolutely horrible not to have the drug, but it is not necessary in order to live.
Someone who is so consumed by their addiction that they have no self control left, and they steal, is someone who is not employable.
This doesn't mean they should be ignored - it's two different things. People should certainly help them, but at the same time they do not make good employees.
Drug use includes a risk of addiction, not a guarantee. Just like a lot of activities, there is a choice to be made considering the risks involved. For some people, the level of risk is acceptable. Unfortunately, brain chemistry is very complex and users rarely take the time to understand what they are doing to themselves. The result is often an unexpected rollercoaster of self-destruction.
they do not make good employees.
On that point I agree. I'd be willing to look the other way at drug-related charges for a fully recovered junkie, but someone who is in the middle of the recovery process (or possibly hasn't started) would be a no-go.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we need to stop demonizing drug users. Addiction isn't an excuse for criminal behavior, but it shouldn't be a crime or carry so much social stigma.
I would consider it like bread.
> a physical dependency
Was it their fault in the first place? i.e. did they start using it for a good reason and are now dependent? Or did they start using it because they like how it feels?
> What if it's life critical
You are being a bit too simplistic - the specific details don't matter, what matters is the person's state of mind. Is he stealing because he does not care about the other person, and only about his own enjoyment? Or is he stealing because he has truly no other choice and he feels bad about it?
It's impossible to really know someone else's mind, all you can do is judge based on behavior.
Perhaps if you could insure your company for each employee, it would be clearer whether you should hire someone and employers would take more well-justified risks on people.
I don't think this is the "success" story it's being made to be.
The most obvious metric of its "success" is the simple conditional 35% > 0%.
And while I agree, the motivation behind the CEO's thinking is based on bottom-line thinking, and not do-gooder motivation, its still nice to see SOME outside-the-box thinking on this issue.
So it is true that it's immaterial to his business - whether it's open hire, or day laborer, or something else.
But I'm not sure how exactly this method helps anyone? Because most of the employees are gone after 10 months.
Does this mean they've made enough money to move into a better job?
Or does this just reinforce the stereotypes about convicts, drug addicts, and the mentally ill?
Which is to say "35% > 0%" sounds good, but would wilt in the presence of "35% < 45%". Might I suggest a different set of evaluation criteria?
> the only difference is here the "interview" is a 10-month paid apprenticeship
That's a major difference, which makes the analogy fail - since the two thing being compared are nothing like each other.
Either way you seem to be missing the point-- being able to choose who you retain vs. who you fire is a factor of applicant volume, not some objective measure of the quality of a company/hiring practices. Being able to reject more candidates if anything means you are better, as you have enough applicants who want to work there that you can be selective.
And that what's really happening here with this no-interview no-skills-asked-for open-hire policy (and its high turnover rate), is that they are keeping the cream of the crop and shedding the wheat from the chaff.
It could be.
If you give anyone the chance to show their worth in a 10 month program, that's sure as hell a lot less discriminatory and IMHO equates to a more qualitative hire.
Sure you can only keep the amount of people you have openings for (in this case 35%), but you are very certain you hire the person you want working for you, and not the person with the shiniest resume.
It would be better for all of society if programs like this were more common.
We can debate the kind of punishment sex offenders deserve (and don't judge too quickly - urinating in public, statutory rape of a minor 6 months younger than yourself, visiting a prostitute, and even sexting if you are a minor all qualify as sex offenses. )
But my point is, if we are going to punish someone for life, let's be open and clear about it. Never being able to escape the year you spent in prison 25 years ago is torturous. It's no wonder recidivism is so high in the US.
The truth appears to be that the general public is OK with this kind of discrimination. Commit a crime, go to jail, get marked for life. It sucks. Make a dumb mistake when you're 17, and you're screwed.
We need to start doing a better job separating the people we're mad at vs. the people we're scared of. Scaling back drug arrests (especially marijuana) is a step in the right direction.
To those who make very comfortable livings in the US legal system, that is not a bug, it's a designed feature.
Oh, and oddly enough, they happen to be the same people whom make the sentencing laws.
However, paid defense lawyers sure get a nice dividend from these recidivists.
Cops get the jobs, status, and power they seek from arresting them.
The prison industrial complex owes it's entire business model to them (as first-timers rarely get state prison time), and the last time I checked, DOC was the largest state budget item for CA and FL (I'll admit to maybe being a little off here)
Need I go on?
Still, lawyers aren't getting rich defending the masses of underprivileged felons filling our prisons. Defending these folks is a pretty honorable task.
See also: Judge Alex Kozinski, 9th Circuit Appeals.
They will (mostly) always favor Ivy over state school grads, clean record vs. felon, good credit risk vs. applicant that declared bankruptcy ...and so on.
As low economic growth continues, this is only going to get worse. How many middle-aged people do you see working at Target/Wal-Mart now vs. 15 years ago? If you're not highly skilled with a clean record, things are going to be awfully tough for you.
This isn't 'right' or 'wrong', it's just reality.
Government-supported reality. You can say that this is okay, but please do not make it look like this is just the way it is: The government could disallow access to all felony records (probably with an exemption for police) and even (if it wanted) provide people with a fake background story for the time they were in prison. Discrimination can only be based on things someone else knows, if the government didn't provide the information, how could the employers be "picky"?
So instead of searching government records to find out if you have been convicted of a felony when you apply to work for me, I use Google to find a newspaper report of your conviction. Not as reliable, but will still probably turn up most applicants with serious felony convictions.
If we are in one of the 40 state that does not prohibit employers from running credit checks on applicants (or if we are in one of those states but the job is one for which there is commonly an exception that allows credit checks, such as jobs in banking) , then I can find addresses of banks and loan providers you have used, and possibly more addresses, giving me geographical areas you have probably been in. I can do searches of the local newspapers there, which would be more likely to cover any less serious felony convictions.
Same goes for the locations of any past employers on your resume.
The internet greatly increased the difficulty of leaving your past behind. Even if the primary record (like the government record of your conviction and sentence) is blocked, you leave plenty of breadcrumbs on your way to the present, and the internet preserves them.
Additionally, according to this paper(1) around 8.6% of people have a felony conviction in the US. I have a hard time believing that all - or even most - of this felonies get reported by a newspaper/Google, so even for very noisy employers this seems to be a small risk (yes, if you are the "Slaughterer of <some town>" people will probably find you on Google even without a public felony record).
All else given: Start with removing access to felony convictions, then remove access to credit information and go from there. I didn't say it was easy, but at the moment the government (in the US) seems to do its best to make the life of people who have been convicted of a felony very hard.
For $49.95 we will find any past convictions that any of your new hires might have!
We have this system because that is what people want. Maybe not you, but clearly the majority.
Employers can be legally responsible for crimes their employees commit.
If you employ someone who has been found guilty of a sexual assault crime and hire them to work at a carnival where they assault someone, you will be sued.
You don't have to like it, but the reality is that the US is a country where the majority of the public wants to be able to know when someone committed a serious crime.
Laws and regulations are usually designed to protect the minority. Our country would have made very little social progress if we only enacted reforms that the majority wanted.
The axe against ex-cons is an ingrained bias that hurts competitiveness. It is an unfortunate 'reality' that it is a bias that is tolerated in America today.
2) The workforce participation rate number is meaningless unless you put it into context. How many people would be in the labor force that aren't currently? Is the drop because there was a lot of people retired early after losing their jobs or is it because a lot of young people gave up looking for work?
The economic improvement is undeniable. I would find better reading material then right-wing and conspiracy theorist "news" outlets.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the modern definition of underemployment as education majors working as waitresses or CS majors working helpdesks or similar examples of "I was trained for a totally different field paying four times as much, or I was trained to be my bosses bosses boss, but here I am instead with a paycheck lower than some current high school students"
"The economic improvement is undeniable."
Where? Everyone seems agreed its the case for propaganda reasons, although its invariably described as "far away from here" for all personal values of "here". With the usual meaningless weird exceptions for ivy league grads of CS programs in Manhattan and SV that we all know about etc etc.
For #2, you forgot the ones that just ran out of unemployment benefits.
It's the numbers, not the spin.
I agree. I think it is the misperception that these people are risky hires. I believe employers are very nervous about liability and simply disregard anyone that may pose a potential risk (bad credit, arrest record).
Greyston works because they make no assumptions about the type of person they receive. Because of that, they need systems surrounding each individual to ensure they're successful at all costs. And they have them.
The latter can be far more effective, but requires a broad humanistic approach that very few people, businesses, or cultures in the world have. The chance of transformation is extremely low, and the costs extremely high, so the resistance is nearly insurmountable, companies take the traditional (chaotic) approach, and we suffer for it.
Look at the sociopaths and murderers who sometimes have millions or billions, and are in control of thousands of jobs. They're just smarter about getting away with things.
Furthermore, you suggest that if only we didn't have those strangling minimum wage laws, businesses would hire convicts for less than minimum wage. But sticking ex-cons into wage slavery is exactly the opposite of what the business described wants! They want to maximize their positive impact on their community, not just get out the most from their employees for the least investment.
Even at the lowest level, not all employees are equally productive. And even at the lowest level, there's something to be said for "loyalty" - for the employee genuinely trying to act in the best interest of the company.
Money is just one way these sorts of behaviors can be incented.
I like to give the example of the choice of hiring a citizen vs. hiring a H1B worker.
Even if the company does pay them the same as a citizen, the employer has rather more leverage over the H1B, as if the H1B gets fired, they've got two weeks to find another employer that can sponsor their visa, or to get their shit together and get out of the country.
There's the positive side of that, too; If you take a person that has never been given a chance and give them a chance, well, there's a chance they will feel grateful, and attempt to return the favor... whereas if you hire someone who gets five or six phone calls from recruiters every day? You probably aren't going to get as much gratitude from that person.
Do you have some statistics you'd like to share? Otherwise this seems like the exact bias that silently justifies relegating felons to sub-citizenship.
I do note that this business in the article is not really subject to costly losses from theft. There are likely others of similar nature where this can work.
Lastly, back on the government angle. There isn't any reason to not develop programs that start in prison to guide people into jobs with private employers who do not high skilled workers. From wage and transportation assistance there is opportunity there. It won't come free, but is has to be many times cheaper.
I wonder how many felons would vanish off the rolls if all marijuana convictions were pardoned?
The system is blatantly racist. It's kind of weird that Americans tolerate the waste of money and the obvious racism.
> Only about 6 percent of marijuana cases lead to a felony conviction;
Yep, this wonderfully human organization came from a Zen master, and its foundations lie in practical Zen and all of the wonderful philosophies behind it.
Isn't it inspiring to think that the success of a business could have as much to do with the human ties and emotional connections, as it does individuals, skills, and resources? It is inspiring because it's true, and there's some core of each of us that knows that even in a corporate world.
The quality philosophies of W. Edwards Deming were equally appealing to Japanese companies, for many of the same reasons. Deming realized that the success of a company and especially the production of quality products was systemic, controllable, and inseparably human. If you enjoy this idea, read more about Deming as well.
Some would generalize, and say that people who look like them, or who have criminal history, don't really want to work. But they do want to work, are employed, and their sense of dignity is palpable.
This is a really uplifting story. Nice to read some good news for a change.
I didn't run a malicious drug enterprise, have a wicked meth addiction, kill anyone, or sell my Adderall. Instead, I found my way into a bank's computer system and some financial card records. Some people are cautious with this, personally and professionally, so I explain to them what <really> happened and how it happened and why it happened. If they choose to not accept me for the mistake I _made_, then I remind myself that they're probably not worth my time anyway. If they choose to work with me... I do all I can to change their mind about people in a situation similar to mine.
If there was a silver lining, most would say that my criminal history got me a few gigs relating to fraud prevention and loss. But in my eyes, I think it's that I was able to change the minds of a few people who would have otherwise passed me off for no good - or so I would like to believe.
That only 40% of business owners would consider hiring a ex-criminal also makes one wonder how many employers in general tend to lump all ex-cons in the same basket when assessing potential business risk (e.g. serial murderer vs thief/drug dealer, 1x vs multiple offender, etc).
Look at the news out of Ferguson, MO, and particularly Tanesi Coates story on systematic corruption and focused arrests and prosecution of minorities / poor:
"The Gangsters of Ferguson"
The "focus on revenue" was almost wholly a focus on black people as revenue. Black people in Ferguson were twice as likely to be searched during a stop, twice as likely to receive a citation when stopped, and twice as likely to be arrested during the stop, and yet were 26 percent less likely to be found with contraband. Black people were more likely to see a single incident turn into multiple citations. The disparity in outcomes remained "even after regression analysis is used to control for non-race-based variables."
If you want to play the game of capitalism well, ie win more of the profit, then you can't let humanity encroach on that. For better or worse.
According to IPCH's Spring 2014 Uncensored Magazine, 35% of open hires make it through Greyston Bakery's apprenticeship program.
But I do have a story to relate. I was a construction project manager in my early 30's. We did land reclamation in disturbed areas like mines. We had a large project reclaiming a mine in Arizona. The company I worked for hired lots of former convicts without discrimination, and fired them just about as quickly and also without discrimination. One of the water truck drivers had a cousin who had killed some people in his teens and had just gotten out of prison. The guy was I think late 20's. He was living with his aunt and uncle. We had him out on the job staying at a motel with the rest of the crew for a few months. He was a bit odd, but he did OK work. When the job was over, we didn't need the big crew anymore and he was laid off. About a month later he killed the aunt and uncle he was staying with and went right back to prison.
So even though this is a good program and I fully approve and think we need more programs like this.... there are qualifiers. Recently violent people may need more help or supervision after release, before they are ready to enter a workforce.
The risk factor is that they won't, that they're not really reformed, that if they robbed in the past then ripping off your office will seem a good option (or letting a friend know how to do it without getting caught, etc.).
Any evidence to back up your claim? It would be lovely to think that this is true.
FWIW I'm for applying grace, but not necessarily being naive as to the idea that it will always be repaid with loyalty rather than strife.
Poor? Fuck you, your fault. Addict? Fuck you, your fault. No, it does not matter that you have cleaned your act.
This country is psychopathic. Unfortunately, that also makes it a great place to earn money, and so here I am.
I understand some more click-bait titles getting changed (though I don't usually agree), but some edits, like this one, are seemingly without reason.
How much of a person's effectiveness in a workforce is due to environmental factors, and how much is individual?
Now, for every factor you believe is individual, is there proof, or is it an assumption?
Now even further, for every factor you still believe is individual, can you imagine a system which would solve the problem in a generic way?
Given that, would an organization that assumed systemic solutions be more successful than one that assumes individual solutions?
The answer is yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming
It's perhaps counterintuitive that making firing cheap, easy, and without large liabilities could reduce our unemployment rate substantially. We should reduce the risk of employers taking a chance on people.
Managers are people. I'd imagine there's a fair amount of guilt and shame around firing someone. I also think managers underestimate the damage done by crappy employees, and overestimate the difficulty in replacing people.
Less charitably, people given the power to hire and fire are likely selected for doing what they're told rather than doing what's best for business, so they're probably kinda spineless.
Of course, sometimes employers should be sued! So it's a hard nut to crack.
First, it's possible to time limit an employment contract, e.g. to one year. After that one year the employment is automatically terminated. It is not possible to string time limited contract after time limited contract (if there isn't a reason for the time limit, e.g. another employee has to take care of his kids so there is an urgent need for someone to fill in, it's limited to two years, after which your contract is unlimited), but for new employees it's a tool that can be – and in practice is – used.
Furthermore the (up to) first six months can be a testing period (the law allows it) with severely shortened requirements to giving notice (minimum two weeks from both sides). During this time people can be fired pretty much at will.
An employee does not have a "right" to a job. You do work you get paid, it's transactional. It's not "your" job - it belongs to your employer.
... says you.
Someone else might say that a human being has the right to realize his potential in an activity and be allowed to sustain himself and his family out of such activity -- which in practice means there is such a thing as "the right to have a job". There is a lot of philosophic and economic literature on the subject; several nation states even wrote it in their Constitution.
I know we tend to forget, but the XXI century came after the XX and the XIX; those were times when the best minds would think and write about the world around them, rather than looking for ways to trick people into clicking ads.
You do realize that you saying "we should force this other person to hire someone so that he can realize his potential"?
Why is that other person (the employer) the sacrifice here?
You should check out a few XVII/XIX-century European philosophers like Rousseau, Proudhon etc.
You still need capital. Maybe not upfront, but you will need it to survive and scale up. VCs currently act as a "poor man's wealth redistribution" mechanism, funneling capital to bright young things that might not otherwise get access to it.
So... I have a right to sustain myself and my family by picking my nose?
For me employers clearly have a responsibility to take care of their employees. They are not robots, they are people and they have to be treated as such. It‘s an ethical question.
Second: the "right" to a job (or not) exists (or doesn't) because that's how the relationship's been defined in law. Law to which, again, employers have an unequal access vis a vis employees. And such relationships aren't recognized in other contexts. If you bring a child into the world, you cannot shirk your obligations to that child (unless you ensure, through adoption, etc., that they're otherwise met). It's quite possible to envision a regime in which employers do assume a responsibility for their employees.
"What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little, as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower, the wages of labour.
"It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily: and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit, their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes, the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, or merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks, which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year, without employment. In the long run, the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate.
"We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals."
Book I, Chapter IV, "Of the Wages of Labour"
You are essentially advocating for a form of serf-hood where the person will always be taken care of, but they can never advance.
You also seem to have this idea in mind that business owners are rich landowners. The reality is far from that. Most business constantly run right on the edge of failure. The reason for that is competition - anyone who tries to earn more is squeezed out by others.
No one wants to go back to the old days where you have the worker and the master and a worker can never become a master. Which is essentially the world you are describing.
But the flip side of this ability to advance is that each person has to be responsible for themself - their employer is no longer their patron.
We have made progress in the last 200 years since Adam Smith. Workers can advance now - all they need is a good idea. You don't need tons of capital like before.
No. I am not.
The rest of your comments are similarly utterly groundless.
> "Article 18 of the Labor Code, passed in 1970, mandates that after a short probationary period, an employee fired from a company with 15 or more employees can bring a lawsuit challenging the dismissal. If the suit is successful, as is often the case, the employer is forced to rehire the worker and pay back wages and social insurance contributions, as well as a large fine." http://goo.gl/EE9P5e
> As I never tire of pointing out, environmental progress depends on social progress. When people are desperately poor they have no choice but to pillage the commons — to cut down forests, or turn to crime. When those people find the means to support themselves with dignity, forests are protected and high-crime areas turn into healthy, walkable neighborhoods.
They cut down forests? Is that really a thing people do when they can't support themselves?
In that context yes, poor farmers deforest an area; they sell the timber and try to use the land for farming.
In region like Brazil and Indonesia I guess.
This is an experiment that really needs to be done. Google and the rest of the gang are beating the living hell out of "tell me everybody else you know that's cool" -- there's got to be some opportunities at the other end of the spectrum.
I'm guessing that you can find better people this way, felony or not by providing an on boarding process with the open expectation that not succeeding there means you're not going to continue with the company.
That argument is like a religious apologetic. Lack of evidence doesn't produce a positive argument for anything. On the other hand past criminal behavior is one of the best predictors of future criminal behavior. I completely agree with your own statement though.
I've met plenty of people with criminal records who are in fact extremely capable employees, and many criminals who have just not yet been caught.
... not to mention that drug addiction is an excellent motivator for making money. :P
> “Low-wage workers tend to have a fair amount of turnover — if you make investments in a workforce it’s very difficult to judge if they are going to stay,” Brady said. “So companies try to make as low an investment as possible — and that means they are doing very little to break the chain of poverty.”
Greyston takes the opposite approach.
“Rather than spending money on interviews and background checks, we are spending it on training and development,” he said.
New workers go through an intensive training period and a 10-month apprenticeship. People who aren’t pulling their weight get fired. But there are plenty of workers who do just fine, Brady said.
EDIT: If you downvote, at least write down why.
Anyway, I couldn't believe the amount of crap I had to go through to get a minimum wage job for some extra money.
Country wise, multiple interviews for no-skill jobs seem an economy sinkhole.
That's less about social duty, and more about spending money efficiently.
Oh, you mean current policy.
edit: given the ambiguous nature of the headline, maybe you were referring to immigrants as a whole and not simply people who migrated here illegally. In that case I agree with you, but given the context of the article I think they meant to refer to illegal immigrants. This, of course, doesn't make much sense because there are penalties for hiring illegal immigrants. The article hardly mentions immigrants, and it isn't clear which category they refer to. I don't think there is a broad assumption that immigrants on the whole are unemployable, as the article claims.
I'd like to see some clarification from Grist.
I think you have your ranking backwards. Having committed a crime means you screwed up. Being an addict means a life-destroying drive that never truly goes away.
It doesn't mean never hire them, but it does mean don't put them in a position where they have a larger ability to hurt others.
Obviously some crimes are of the "stupid teen" variety, and other motivations - those should be categorized differently.