Politicians, from Barack Obama on down, are spending a lot of time talking about “job creation.” Businesses, labor groups, and “experts” of various kinds are getting into the fun, each emphasizing that their proposed project W will create X jobs within Y time frame at a cost to the government of only Z.
I know a way to create at least a million jobs, almost immediately, at no government expense whatsoever.
Ban the automatic operation of elevators.
The Elevator Safety and Economic Opportunity Act of 2009 will preempt state regulation of elevators and will require that after March 1, 2009, no elevator shall carry passengers without being under the exclusive control of a qualified and certified elevator operator. How many jobs will this create? Well, in the early 1950s, prior to the widespread use of automatic-elevator technology, there were something like 500,000 people employed as elevator operators. There are a lot more buildings and a lot more elevators now than there were then–surely, we can count on a million jobs for the operators.
But, you argue, these will mostly be minimum-wage jobs, or nearly so. How about the creation of really good jobs?
My plan addresses this issue also. First, remember that the ESEOA requires not just human operators, but certified operators. Many good jobs will be created for those providing the required training and those administering the certification process. Second, there is a technology component to the plan. While the first phase provides that the operators will use the existing pushbutton controls on the elevators, this is only a temporary expedient due to the exigencies of the economic crisis. The plan further requires that by December 31, 2010, all elevators must be fitted with purely manual controls. These will allow the operator to directly control the acceleration and deacceleration of the elevator, hence providing job enrichment for the operator and removing any temptation for building owners to revert to the old (and now illegal) automatic method of operation. These retroadvanced control systems will of course have to be designed and manufactured, providing many excellent jobs for mechanical and electrical engineers as well as skilled factory workers. And they will have to be installed, offering employment to thousands of electricians and elevator maintenance personnel all over the country.
The Elevator Safety and Economic Opportunity Act of 2009. Retrovertical transportation, to get our economy moving up again.
I’m pretty sure that some Congresspeople could be found who would think the above proposal is a really excellent idea.