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Posted by on Mar 4, 2010 in Economy | 20 comments

Do the Crime, Do the Time. Forever.

We’re in a buyer’s market across the board.

If you’re ready to spend money on a home, you’re a hot commodity. And if you’re ready to spend money to expand your business, you’re even hotter. When roughly one out of every ten Americans is looking for work, competition for jobs is fierce.

So in this economic climate, these folks are pretty much out of luck:

With the economy struggling, times are tough for Houstonians looking for work. But for about 2,500 ex-convicts at the Road to Re-Entry job fair just west of downtown Wednesday, the search for work has long seemed even bleaker.

Submitting a job application is fruitless, they say, because in a competitive marketplace few will hire someone with a rap sheet.

But these folks’ employment problems won’t go away when the economy picks up, either. There’s no such thing as doing one’s time and moving on. Not in this day and age. Not when something as ordinary as bad credit can move an applicant to the round file.

I don’t know what the answer to this is — and I absolutely understand why an employer would choose a “clean” applicant over a convict — but given that the US has the highest incarceration rates in the world, this problem is going to bite us all on the backside in the not-too-distant future.

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