The federal government specifies that employers are not allowed to pay less to employees than what the government has determined is a minimum wage.
At present, unemployment among teenagers in the USA is around 25%.
This is a major crisis. So, the government has responded. It has created a program to train teenagers in how to get a minimum wage job.
Such training does not come cheaply. It costs $76,000 per student.
These job training programs have been in operation for 18 months.
Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma thinks this is wasted money. But he wanted to study Oklahoma to see what is going on. Key findings included:
Administrative costs are high. “In one program, just 14 cents of every dollar went to actual job training.”
Here is another: “the Job Corps program spent $36,000 on flowers and billboards.”
Some job training programs appear to segregate participants by race, gender, and background. For example, Oklahoma’s 40 job training programs have eight that target Native Americans and seven for veterans–“some of which require veterans to pursue training for ‘green skills,’ not because of labor market analysis but because politicians in Washington are imposing ideological agendas on states.”
One Oklahoma constituent went through the program had this complaint:
I attended three different federally funded job assistance programs. All three were absolutely unhelpful and contributed to my panic that I may never find a good job again. One Workforce worker advised me to ‘dumb down’ my resume and even made revisions to my Workforce posted resume that included the removal of my educational and professional accomplishments. A job counselor at a different agency advised me that a ‘good job’ was one that paid $10/hour.
The government intervenes to help poor people get minimum wages. This produces unemployment. Then the government intervenes to make jobs available for middle-class government employees. They train poor people to get into the now-clogged job market.
One intervention leads to another. The supply of government jobss never declines.