The People's (Tech) Bailout

If you’re anything like me, you’re getting tired of politics.  This has been a disturbing year, especially given all the stalemates and political immaturity that’s running rampant in Washington.  Additionally, if you’re anything like me, you’re getting tired of protests without a point.  It’s time that our government focus on the important things, like creating jobs for Americans. So as we embark upon a new year, I thought I’d lay out an idea for you.  I call my proposal the People’s (Tech) Bailout.

The tech industry has jobs, which is confounding because reports estimate there are as many as 10 million people in the U.S. without jobs.  In the tech industry, as many people have called it, it’s 1999 all over again.   I’ve seen estimates ranging from 150,000 tech jobs added per year, to some people stating there are as many as 3 million open jobs in the U.S., many of which are in tech.  The simple explanation is that most of the people who are out of work are not qualified with the necessary skills to be applied to the open jobs, but that’s a problem we can solve if we put our minds to it!



My solution is a simple one: training and placement.  I’m typically not a fan of government stepping in and spending money, but in this situation I have an idea that would require them to step in, and they would actually make money while creating jobs and revenue, all at the same time.

Step 1: For the millions of people who are unemployed and actively looking for work, the government will establish a payment of $1,000 per prospective employee for training. 

Step 2: An independent start-up company would be established to train and place these people. The $1,000 should be enough to take an educated person and train him or her in specific jobs that are available, especially if the companies who have these open jobs are incentivized to provide information and training materials in order to get these people up and running.

Step 3: The independent start-up would use those payments as revenue to pay for staff and resources to get these people trained over a three-month period to be capable of entering into these companies and filling open jobs.  The requirements would be that the jobs be U.S. based, and that the prospective employees be U.S. citizens in order to take advantage of the program.

Step 4: When the trained employees fill the available jobs, they will have a portion of their wages garnished over a three-month period to repay the training fee, plus a 100% mark-up (an additional $1,000, for a total of $2,000).  This money would be used to repay the government loan, and the government and the independent start-up would split the additional fees.  In this way, the government would be repaid its outlay of funds, the start-up would create training jobs and put some percentage of people to work, and we would have successfully retrained millions of people who want to work, and placed them in positions where they can work.

I know this sounds too easy, which is why the government will probably never pursue it, so I’m putting it out here for all of you to read and respond to.  The government would have the cash to kick-start this kind of a program, but anyone with enough funds could honestly make it happen.  It’s a revenue driver, and a guaranteed one at that.  

What do you think?  Is 2012 the year that someone makes this kind of thing work?  If you’re an Occupy person or any other protester, and you see an idea like this, then you should be incentivized to at least react.  Otherwise, you have no right to gather and protest for the sake of protesting.

Consider this idea my entrepreneurial Christmas gift.  Happy holidays, everyone!





4 comments about "The People's (Tech) Bailout".
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  1. Rick Monihan from None, December 21, 2011 at 11:16 a.m.

    It's a good idea, but all good ideas must be subject to absurdity in the political realm, so let's take a look.
    Step 1 - $1,000 is not enough, and if prospective employees 'have to pay to take part and have a skin in the game', then this is "discriminatory".
    Step 2 - Who will certify the independent start up? What are the ground rules for making this start up independent? What kind of people or who should take part, and who should run the program? Will the people who take part have to be recommended by someone or something? Who will vet those recommendations?
    Step 3 - This is discriminatory since people come to the US to work. We should help them in any way we can by not limiting it to only US citizens.
    Step 4 - It's unfair that people should have to pay back that which they are already paying back with taxes.

    I'm not saying this is MY position, just the absurd positions others will take to defeat it, or change it so that it eventually resembles nothing like what you or anyone with a modicum of intelligence would hope for. The Occupy idiots (yep, that's my POV and I'll back it up) want their tuitions for vanity degrees paid off, even though they knew what they were doing when they took the loans - why would they support something that requires 200% repayment? In addition, they are an inclusive bunch, so limiting it to US citizens would be problematic for them.

    From the standpoint of running the program, the issues of overall management and approval would be fraught with political tradeoffs and payoffs. The questions of who would get to take part in this program would eventually become part of a Congressman's goodwill package to his constituents, further engraining the political machine which has created the mess we're already in.

    Like I said, it's a good idea, which is why in politics it deserves to die.

  2. Mitch Speers from Integrated Media Solutions LLC, December 21, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.

    Cory, love the idea, especially the self-funding aspect of it. The devil is in the details.

    I'm guessing that most of those open positions are for web & mobile application developers, designers and related salespeople. Beyond the need for technical competence, most of these positions also require some kind of business insight or experience that's relevant to the markets they serve. I explored some of these topics in a blog post:

    Generic coding is easily offshored; creative problem solving grounded in specific business knowledge is not. So, if this startup could figure out how to spark curiosity and fearlessness while teaching a programming language or web design for $1,000, the world will undoubtedly beat a path to their door.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 21, 2011 at 2 p.m.

    $1000? Cory, are you living 1811 ? Private industry will not step up to the plate because they do not have to until they do with minimum investment in not only education, but moving, housing, etc., support for workers. Let's not hold our breath on that one. The government can be effective in helping (lowering interest rates for educational loans, monitoring private tech schools for scams and last decade classes - a huge task unto itself), but this particular method would be a disaster. Even tax credits for hiring is a sham that creates revolving employment doors and you should know how well that works.

  4. Greg Russak from Just Between Friends, Inc., December 21, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.

    I applaud your desire to find solutions, Cory, but my initial reaction was the same as Paula's: how far is $1000 able to go? Even $2000? With all due respect, have you priced training lately? I don't think you mean a crash course in Excel, do you? Mitch's point, which I also agree with, seems to be that if what you proposed were possible it would probably already be being done. Rick's observations regarding discrimination and the vetting process are also good.

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