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Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
  Henry Platt


Actually, this commentary is entirely truthful; it's just that I'm writing it on April first Anno Domini 2011 (which means that Jesus of Nazareth was born almost exactly 2019 years ago). [ This is to remind the reader that things are not what they seem. ]

Today a portion of a speech by President Obama was played on the radio. The portion played was this: "I will not be satisfied until every man who wants a job has one." This sounds noble, but we already did this.

Jimmy Carter was President, and he signed the Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Bill with great fanfare and many pens in the company of Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and crowd of reporters, newscasters, and party regulars. This bill was supposed to do exactly what Mr. O. said in the previous paragraph.

The Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Bill was only 33 pages long, and it addressed only employment issues. It had three sections. The first said that jobs are wonderful and that everyone should have one. The second section said (in 11 pages) that the unemployment office would now be called the Full Employment Office and it would be headed by a Full Employment Officer. The final section provided that any job seeker who was not satisfied with the job or pay scale offered could sue the Full Employment Officer in court for monetary damages.

The good news is that when President Carter signed the Full Employment Bill, all that remained was, "Jobs are wonderful; everyone should have one."

Probably, a simple summary of this commentary might be a short whisper of one personnel department staffer to another, "If I could buy this applicant for what he's really worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth, I could make a fortune."

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© L. Henry Platt, Jr.