Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Reefer Madness? Commerce Secretary's "Smoke" and Mirrors latest in Sanford "High" Unemployment Scandal

:::Update Below:::


First it was the report that Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps had come to Columbia and spent most of his time in a marijuana and drunken stupor.

Then came the report that the Federalis are planning on using the South Carolina National Guard to investigate and dismantle any possible connection between drug smuggling, gangs and terrorism.

Now the Commerce Secretary has come forward and stated that one of the reasons for South Carolina's third in the nation unemployment rate is the number of failures associated with on-the-job drug screening and more pointedly failures of pre-employment drug tests. In fact it's the pursuit of this information that has been cited as a point of contention between the Administration and ESC. The State reports,

Taylor's request for that data was at the center of Sanford's Jan. 22 threat to fire the commission's three members if they don't deliver the information by midnight Monday. Taylor said the information is critical to putting people back to work and putting money back into the jobless claims trust fund. Taylor says he's hearing that part of the challenge in helping people find work can be linked to job-seekers flunking pre-hiring drug tests, but he did not provide data to quantify the problem.

And while Taylor would argue that he couldn't provide the data because the ESC doesn't provide him the information (circular logic?), anecdotaly I have had persons in economic development confirm that drug use is a cited factor in unemployment causation in South Carolina (you don't say?) BUT it's not so great a factor, nor is it the most pressing causal effect for South Carolina's unemployment. For that you'd have to look at worker training, which is - you guessed it - the purview of the Department of Commerce.

What this is ladies and gentlemen is yet another distraction from the abysmal failures of this administration. Now I don't pretend to know the mind of Mr. Taylor, that would make him utter such a supercilious statement. One thing is for certain, such public statements, which are admittedly 'unpopular,' as the Secretary knew they would be, do nothing but further damage South Carolina's efforts to draw business to this state.

Interestingly enough no Republican (i.e. consultant firm mouth piece) has commented on this gaffe, I wonder why that could be.

:::Update:::

The State link above for was the temporary story yesterday evening. The Newspaper ran a more indepth story this morning with contributions from AP writers. Taylor sticks his foot even further down his throat as he exclaims,

People have the perception, Taylor said, that when a worker loses his or her job in South Carolina, it is because a plant closed or the person was laid off. “I don’t think that’s the case,” he said.

Employees sometimes are let go because of absenteeism or for other self-induced reasons, Taylor said, which may include drug use or alcoholism.

And while that may be true in 'ok' economic times - at this point with the economy tanking it's absurd to even suggest that such 'self-induced reasons' explain or even come close to explaining the unprecedented unemployment in this state. And folks who are in touch and experience the loss around this state know that at worst this is yet another wild, subversive, paranoid and not to be sustantiated theory of Secretary Taylor or at best just another distraction by a FAILED Administration.

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1 comment:

Earl Capps said...

I'm not sure if this guy has done hiring in rural areas, but I have. I will honestly say there are a lot of companies in rural areas who will shoot down 10-20% of hires for low-skill jobs due to positive test results for drug use.