Today I’m going to propose a jobs program for teenagers and lesser skilled adult workers. This job program will not involve any government spending. It will reduce paperwork for businesses and create millions of jobs for younger and less skilled workers. The program is simple and is written in just two paragraphs (below in bold print). I’m going to call it the “Skill-Building Act of 2012.” It will apply to all workers making $15.00 an hour or less. Workers making more than $15 per hour will be subject to normal hiring regulations, taxes, etc. currently necessary for hiring employees.
The Skill Building Act of 2012
“As of January 1, 2012 businesses and individuals may hire an unlimited number of workers, provided that these workers make $15.00 per hour or less. There will be absolutely no taxes or regulations that apply to these “Skill-Building” employees. Businesses may pay these employees in cash, by check, or direct payroll deposit. There will be no withholding of any deductions from SB employees’ pay (no deductions for social security, workers compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, state income taxes, or Federal income taxes). Businesses need only file a report to the IRS at the end of the year showing the names, social security numbers, and gross wages paid for each employee.
SB employees may be paid any wage that is mutually agreed upon between employee and employer; hence there is no minimum wage. Not being covered by workers compensation insurance, employees work at their own risk, but are free to sue employers for negligence resulting in injury or death. SB employees receive no social security or unemployment benefits, as neither they nor their employers have paid into these programs on their behalf. SB employees need not file state or federal income tax returns, as their wages are tax free.”
The American economy is busting from the seams with small business owners who would love to hire teenagers and lesser skilled people if they could just pay them a cash wage without all of the burdensome taxes and labor reporting requirements. If the Skill Building Act of 2012 were passed we would immediately see businesses hire unemployed lesser-skilled workers to complete tasks that they cannot afford under our current high tax/high regulation schemes. There would be an explosion of economic activity as formerly “underground economy” jobs would now be legal. Tremendous social benefits would also be reaped, as young kids would earn and learn instead of getting into trouble.
Young kids (9-15 years old) who live in tough urban neighborhoods could now be offered menial jobs (sweeping floors, wiping down shelves) by local merchants who could finally afford such help. This would foster a sense of self-worth among these children, who would finally have someone other than the local drug dealer to look up to. As their on-the job skill-building naturally increases, their pay and responsibilities would expand over time. The United States would cease being a country that sacrifices millions of precious young lives with the excuse of protecting them with minimum wage and child labor laws. If you were a single mom in a tough urban setting, would you have your sixteen-year-old son working after school at the neighborhood meat market for $6 per hour with no labor law legislation, no worker’s compensation insurance, and no health insurance, or would it be better if he was unemployable due to child labor laws and minimum wage laws and was a member of a street gang?
The Skill-Building Act of 2012 would also make it affordable for businesses to hire older unskilled workers who would obtain skills that would eventually make them worth more than $15 per hour. If a manufacturer hires a willing, yet unskilled 22 year old to sweep floors and clean machinery, he may learn CNC programming skills over a few years and be worth $20 – $30 per hour. The employer would be happy to pay this worker the higher wage. If the he refused to pay the $20-$30 per hour “market” wage, the employee would simply move on to another company.
As I’ve said before, business owners create jobs, not government. Government has, however, made jobs too costly to create. The Skill-Building Act of 2012 would free up thousands of entrepreneurs to create millions of jobs for those who need them the most; all without spending a nickel of government money.