Government funnels billions of dollars into welfare programs that it calls "Job Centers" and "Career Services." Politicians say these programs are good - that they help people. But government programs are never good. What do these centers really do?
I sent my intern, a college student, to a Jobs Center to find out.
Here are her notes on what happened:
First I went to a Jobs Center on 16th Street. I asked, "where can I get help finding a job." They told me they didn't do that, "we sign people up for food stamps."
I went to another Jobs Center on 14th Street. I asked how they could help me find a job, and they told me to go to another floor of the building, enroll for unemployment benefits, and then come back.
Now we know that some centers do help people... help people get on welfare, that is. But what about helping people get jobs?
I explained that I didn't want handouts, I wanted a job. She told me to go to ‘WorkForce1,' a New York City job services program.
I walked to the WorkForce1 office on Madison Ave, the office she told me to visit. The receptionist there told me that she couldn't help me since I didn't have a college degree. She directed me to a Workforce1 Center in Harlem.
At the center in Harlem, I learned I'd have to attend a "Training Session" at 8:30am before I could get help finding a job.
Only in a Welfare State like this one will the government help me apply for food-stamps on the spot, but force me through a maze of offices and training programs all over the city to help me find a job...
The WorkForce1 website says to arrive 30 minutes early for the session, so I did. When I arrived, security told me the building was closed, and to wait outside for 30 minutes. One woman told me, ‘I've been coming here 17 months, it's useless, this place is a waste of time.'
By 9:15, Workforce1 directed a group of 30-or-so into a room. A presenter told us that WorkForce1 directs candidates to jobs and provides a resource room with ‘free' phone, fax, job listings.
I know that whenever government says anything is free, it means you and I really pay for it. Just what kind of free "services" are we paying for this time?
The presenter explained, WorkForce1 helps enroll people in unemployment insurance and apply for disability handouts. This seemed like the only part of the presentation during which people took notes. People at WorkForce1 wanted handouts. One lady told me that she comes to WorkForce1 because it helps her collect unemployment. As two women filled out ‘job services' forms, one asked the other, ‘what do you want to do?' The second laughed, ‘I want to collect! Can I just write ‘waiting to be called back' under the employment history section?
Next, I met with an advisor. She glanced at my resume and told me I lacked experience. I asked for any job she thought I was qualified for, and she scheduled an interview at Pret, a food chain that trains employees, for 10 a.m. the next Saturday.
It turned out that this "interview" was just a weekly open house, publicized on the company's website. Anyone could walk in for a shot at a job. In fact, the guy behind me in line did just that. Despite my ‘scheduled interview' I waited in line for over 90 minutes before meeting with a manager.
Surprise! WorkForce1 is just another bureaucracy that uses tax-payer money to spoon-feed handouts and re-packaged information to lazy people. In fact, you'd be better off if you sought out this info on your own:
After my interview, I identified myself to the store manager as an intern with Fox, and told him about my experience with WorkForce1. He told me he doesn't communicate with WorkForce1 at all, ‘they never call, never ask questions.'
He explained, he doesn't hire people sent by WorkForce1 - those people are ‘too lazy to look for a job.' He hires people who seek out jobs on their own, like those who see Pret ads on craigslist.
I thanked the manager for his time, and left.
Based on her experience, here is what my intern concluded:
•The government would rather sign me up for welfare than help me get a job.
•The government makes it easier to sign up for welfare than to find work.
•The NYC government creates a tax-payer funded bureaucracy to send people to the same websites people could find on their own.
•The private market for jobs works better.
I agree. The private market always works better, and these "jobs" programs do not work. Yet, the government funds them and wants to expand them. Politicians want to continue institutionalizing welfare offices, and incentivizing people to take ‘free stuff' instead of to take initiative. They want to perpetuate the Welfare State.
This is bad for jobs, bad for business, and bad for America.
The costs of a Welfare State are high, and it's clear who bears them: you.