Friday, September 9, 2011

SC guv wants jobless to take drug test

We can't decide if South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is nuts or if this is part of some new anti-worker conspiracy to demonize jobless people. Then, you know, we wouldn't have to worry about putting Americans back to work and we can just keep offshoring jobs!

Bloomberg reported that Haley wants to require people who've lost their jobs to take drug tests before they can get unemployment benefits:
Haley also is working out details on how the state can require drug testing for people getting unemployment benefits. Haley said half the applicants for hundreds of jobs at the Savannah River Site failed drug tests.
The company did not immediately respond to questions about the failures.
"I so want drug testing," Haley said. "It's something I've been wanting since the first day I walked into office."
South Carolina's unemployment agency has said that drugs are a minuscule factor in jobless claims. A 2009 estimate put the rate at 0.3 percent.
Turns out it isn't true that half the job applicants at Savannah River failed drug tests -- not by a long, long shot.

Reports the Huffington Post,
Jim Giusti, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, which owns the River Site, told HuffPost he had no idea what Haley was talking about with regard to applicants flunking a drug test.
"Half the people who applied for a job last year or year 2009 did not fail the drug test," Giusti said. "At the peak of hiring under the Recovery Act we had less than 1 percent of those hired test positive."

The River Site doesn't even test applicants. "We only test them when they have been accepted," Giusti said. 
Gov. Pink Slip Rick Scott tried to drug test welfare recipients in Florida. That didn't work out so well. Only 2 percent failed the test and the state saved hardly any money. It will need those savings to pay for the court case defending the testing, which it will probably lose.

Oh, and contrary to Pink Slip Rick's claims, drug use among welfare recipients is lower than that for the general population.