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The biggest, most magical makework program ever!

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 8, 2009 12:58 PM

Will Americans ever learn?

We’ve endured five months of bogus Obama math — most recently on display with Dear Leader’s reclassification of the United States as one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. The MSM was finally getting wise to the phony baloney stimulus numbers — and here comes the White House to dump a new load of numerical B.S. into the mix.

600,000 new jobs!

125,000 summer jobs for the yoots!

Presto-change-o!

I called it the David Copperfield School of Economic Recovery back in March. But I realize now what an insult that is to David Copperfield, whose illusions are still convincing.

Want to know where your federal stimulus bucks are going? Check it:

Twenty-year-olds looking for summer work commonly wind up stocking shelves at the local supermarket, or taking orders at the fast-food place down the street. But for 600 Camden County youths, and others like them all over the country, this summer will be anything but typical.

These economically disadvantaged young people will participate in summer-employment programs funded under the federal stimulus plan. The programs aim to get them ready for employment through training and job experience.

After work-readiness training, each participant will be placed in a summer job with a governmental or nonprofit agency…

…Weir said the 60 participants in the program, 52 of whom have dropped out of school, were simply not “work ready.”

Many of them don’t know, for example, that when they’re sick and can’t go to work, they need to notify a supervisor, Weir said. They don’t know how to dress for work, or that they shouldn’t have an iPod in their ears when answering phones…

“They will know the ins and the outs of the workforce,” Weir said. “By the end of the 10 weeks, these kids will be work ready.”

Howie Carr offers a reality check on make-work and hack work:

Remember the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of the 1970s – CETA? As someone pointed out Friday, this new “stimulus” summer-job boondoggle is CETA on steroids.

In Boston back then, Mayor Kevin White used CETA as his rookie-league hack farm team. The main city program was named the Youth Activities Commission. We called ’em YAC hacks. Thirty years later, I still occasionally spot an aging YAC hack on a public payroll. A lot of them ended up on the T – they really loved those 23-and-out pensions.

The federal JTPA, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, was another federal job training boondoggle exposed in the 1990s by James Bovard:

JTPA is part of a morass of federal training and employment programs. The federal government has 45 different training programs (state governments have legions more). It has run over 100 training and employment programs since 1961, most of which were abolished after they became widely recognized as failures.

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to the failure of federal job training. Training programs that are poor waste taxpayers’ money and the trainees’ time. Training programs that are relatively effective serve mainly to redistribute unemployment. Dan Fleming, executive director of the Los Angeles County PIC, concluded, “Training meant that one person got a job instead of another, not that jobs or wages increased.”(94) The Job Council of the Ozarks in Springfield, Missouri, sent employers a notice that read, “Cut your labor costs. Before you hire another employee, talk to Job Council of the Ozarks and save thousands of dollars.”

There is no shortage of job training in the private sector. The American Society for Training and Development estimated that the private sector spends over $200 billion a year on training. The U.S. economy is creating millions of new jobs each year, and employers have a natural interest in training people to fill those jobs. As Charles Murray, the author of Losing Ground, observed, “The best job training program is run by an employer who needs to get a job done. That’s the one situation where everyone has the maximum incentive to push in the right direction.”

In survey after survey, private employers have said that as long as new employees are literate, know how to learn, and have a good work attitude, it is relatively easy to train them. It does not make sense to attempt to remedy the failings of government education programs by means of a government job training program.

And then there’s the Americorps boondoggle, also kept afloat by both Dems and Republicans, that put people to work pushing paper in federal bureaucracies and lobbying for ACORN against California initiatives.

The more things change…

***

Patterico reads the fine print:

“As a result of this accelerated pace of activity, over 600,000 jobs are expected to be created or saved by the Recovery Act in the second 100 days – four times the number created or saved in the first 100 days,” the White House will say in a statement being released this morning..

By the way, for amusement purposes, compare the implicit boast here of 150,000 jobs “created or saved” with the actual numbers set forth in the article:

The promised boost in employment will not offset the job losses of recent months — with more than 1.6 million jobs shaved from the economy since Congress approved the stimulus plan in February. Unemployment last month reached 9.4 percent, the highest since 1983.

And we’re going to do four times that well?

Somebody pinch me.

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