In all the discussions which I am proposing my voucher plan, the issue of unscrupulous business owners gaming the system by replacing current full time employees with short term, part time voucher employees is the most prevalent concern. In any government program, there is always waste, fraud, and abuse, and you are right to be skeptical.
Safeguards must be put in place to guard against the few unscrupulous employers that would game the system. A simple fix is to allow only businesses that are growing to employ voucher employees, and to dictate that any company that lays off a full time employee must first let go all voucher employees. Certainly, the voucher plan introduces opportunity for waste, but what could be more wasteful to the economy than paying valuable workers to sit on the sidelines of the economy.
As a small business owner that has hired and fired hundreds of employees, I can speak with authority on the issue of replacing full time employees with part time voucher employees. Anyone who has managed a small business knows how hard it is to find, train, and keep an employee that fits the business. Full time employees are the backbone of a small business, and no prudent employer would let go such a valuable employee that has taken years to develop and replace them with short term, part time employees.
Some mention that there are better ways to stimulate the economy than my voucher plan. I am hopeful that they are correct. I am concerned that the government has very few economic bullets left to try. Interest rates are effectively negative. Quantitative easing may help temporarily but in the process may destabilize financial markets and corrupt our position as the reserve currency of the world. Bank infusions haven’t eased credit or access to capital. Consumer spending won’t be coaxed given excessive consumer debt. Stimulus has some merit when focused on future competitive infrastructure like energy independence but is limited.
My voucher plan has a specific three part focus that is paid for without increasing the federal budget. It uses dollars already allocated for the unemployed to employ all through the free market. It circumvents bank illiquidity giving “capital” to small businesses that have been cut off from capital and credit in this recession but have traditionally provided the hiring out of recessions. It provides intellectual capital to small, non-multinational companies that historically have been the breeding grounds for innovation; that critical factor that must be spurred to counteract the transfer of jobs overseas. It is an idea that merits a serious review.