The Democrats' tax-credits for job training idea has been discredited for decades

Chuck Schumer is trying to reconcile the neoliberal and left wing factions in the Democratic party by offering a slate of policies that are supposed to appeal to both sides: some ($15 minimum wage) are solid, but one recommendation is so face-palmingly dumb that it's almost impossible to believe they made the cut.

Exhibit A: Tax credits to employers to train unskilled workers.

This idea has been popular with Democratic and Republican politicians since the Reagan years, despite a wealth of evidence that this doesn't work. It was comprehensively demolished in a 2004 study that traced the project's continuous, repeated, undeniable failures since 1982.

There's one difference. Where the 1982 bill focused on government programs and partnerships, Schumer's bill seems to focus exclusively on tax giveaways to employers, already awash in cash.

Why did Lafer feature that bill on his cover? Because despite decades of data and research showing how bad these programs were, they held an unusual attraction to Republican and Democratic legislators alike. Co-sponsors of that 1982 bill ranged from right-wingers like Paula Hawkins and Thad Cochran (remember them?) and Orrin Hatch to liberals like Teddy Kennedy. Job training, Lafer showed in exhaustive detail, has come to be the neoliberal salve for our free-market age. When you can't do anything else for workers, train them. For jobs that aren't there or wages that suck.

The Democrats: A party that wants to die but can't pull the plug
[Corey Robin]

(via Naked Capitalism)

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