Say you have an unemployment problem. Too large a portion of the productive sector of society is unable to find jobs. What do you do?
If your solution is to make it a whole lot worse, then you might be California.
First faux pas: the looming minimum wage hike. The increase to $10 per hour over the next couple of years will effectively remove from the workforce all workers who aren’t worth the extra dough. A lucky few might get a raise, but most will get dropped like an expensive latte habit in a poor economy.
But that’s too subtle a job-killer. How about just arresting people for working? That will sure encourage the jobless to seek gainful employment! The pretext in this case is landscaping without a license, which is clearly, clearly such a dangerous practice that the unlicensed workers must be jailed before single-handedly destroying society. God help us.
I would say that I have a solution for the People’s Republic of California’s employment conundrum, but the answer is so stupidly simple and obvious that I can’t take credit for it: let people work. Human beings are infinitely resourceful when it comes to providing for themselves and their families. Don’t criminalize honest work.
But who are we kidding? This is California we’re talking about. Expectations of sane public policy must be adjusted accordingly.