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Hiring Disabled Workers

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There are new regulations coming out that say 7% of your workforce must be disabled if you want to do business with the government. Many will call me heartless, but I think that any regulation or rule the government makes on who you can/should hire, quota for hiring, is totally out of line. Instead, we should follow the Risky Hire concept.

I empathize with disabled people as much as anyone else. However, requirements are always subject to nefarious activity. If the government requires that you are a minority owned contractor, what happens? Where I am in Chicago, the contractors create sham companies and put a minority face on them.

When it comes to veterans, I have a lot of empathy for them too. Employers need to realize the non-traditional training that they received in the military makes them uniquely qualified to do things and think differently than non-military people. The military creates some unbelievable leaders. But, I think the responsibility lies with both the veteran to make that point clear, and the company to understand and incorporate it. Not with the government.

I have seen angel groups that will only finance minorities, or finance women. Why? Why limit yourself and create an artificial constraint? Personally, I don’t care who or what you are. If you have a great business that solves a pain point, I am interested. My investments have gone to minorities, women, minority women, whites, and every color and sex on the spectrum. No one has the market cornered on a great idea.

Bottom line, create a good business and you will get funded. It’s not skin color holding you back in the entrepreneurial meritocracy. There are plenty of resources. By the way, angels and venture capitalists are pretty competitive. If you have a great business, we want to fund you. It helps us make money.

This whole disability movement has created more problems than it solves. It has filtered down to grade schools, where parents will get their kids diagnosed with things like “test anxiety” in order to get them extra time on tests. Teachers are forced to make special provisions for sham diagnosis that you can pay a willing psychologist to agree to. When those kids take standardized tests for college admission, they get extra time. It’s total bullshit and makes a mockery of the supposed “meritocracy” when it comes to college admission.

Quotas at colleges make everyone wonder. Did they earn their way in? Or did they get accepted because of some special provision. The government has actively tried to make quotas extend after college.

When it comes to the private workforce, hiring, training and firing employees is the most critical and expensive thing a company can do. Employment is not only a huge market data stat, it’s a huge pain point. Forcing companies to hire disabled people when they can’t do the work is stupid. It layers on costs to industry that shouldn’t be there. That slows growth.

The best thing to do is eliminate all restrictions and quotas. More people will get hired because the cost to hire them will go down. For example, eliminate minimum wage laws. Teen unemployment rates will plunge. Minimum wage laws hurt the very people they are designed to help, minority teens and single women with kids.

My question is this. If unemployment among the disabled is 12.7%, that is a large untapped labor pool sitting that can be put to good use. The beauty of many internet businesses is to take large, sort of free, commoditized resources and turn them into something productive. Andy Kessler eloquently elucidated this concept in his book, Eat People. Shouldn’t some creative entrepreneur be able to turn that unused asset into a productive resource that creates value somewhere in the marketplace? What’s holding it back? My guess is the quotas and government regulation.

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An aside, ATT ($ATT) forced me to “upgrade” my internet. Of course, it doesn’t work. So I am typing this from a coffee shop. I am seriously thinking of dumping my land line now, getting rid of ATT altogether and just going with Comcast. My building has a deal with Comcast, so no getting around that.

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