Don’t know whether you’ll be able to actually read this Greenville News editorial online (they make it hard), but here are excerpts:
Stop bashing state’s unemployed
The state’s more than 236,000 unemployed workers deserve better treatment than they have gotten in recent days from Gov. Nikki Haley. In her rush to score points with voters who mistakenly believe the unemployed have done something to earn their unkind fate, Haley used careless language to push a fundamentally flawed idea.
“I so want drug testing,” Haley was quoted as saying last week when discussing South Carolina’s stubbornly high unemployment rate that has gotten worse on her watch. “It’s something I’ve been wanting since the first day I walked into office.”…
Haley’s campaign mirrors those being run in a couple dozen states where some politicians are trying to convince people that drug-testing of the unemployed is needed to improve the nation’s wretched unemployment numbers. It’s an approach that simply defies the reality of what has happened over the past few years as the worst economy since the Great Depression has resulted in unemployment stuck near double digits.
This politically driven campaign ignores an important fact. Until the day they were handed their pink slip by companies looking to shore up their bottom lines, unemployed people actually had a job. And in much of America, those jobs came with a mandatory drug test before the job was filled and with other opportunities for random or for-cause drug tests during employment….… Drugs were a factor in only about 1,000 of more than 400,000 unemployment claims, according to an Associated Press story from earlier this year.Gov. Haley and other state leaders should focus on bringing more jobs to South Carolina and nurturing a system that better matches employers with workers. And they should stop this unseemly crusade of beating up on unemployed people just to score political points.