Category Archives: Government–Texas

More on hiring abuses

I have recently encountered actual job-application documents and websites that illustrate some of the hiring abuses that I denounced in this recent post.

After submitting an online application for a job at Texas A&M Univ. Agrilife Research, I was warned that

an “investigative consumer report” concerning my “character, . . ., general reputation, personal characteristics, police record, . . ., mode of living, and/or credit and indebtedness may be obtained in connection with your application for and/or continued employment . . .”

This threat to my privacy seeks information that is irrelevant to my ability to do the job and produce results for the employer.

Midland College of Midland, Texas, criminalizes job applicants and forces them to pay for the experience out of their own pockets! The last page of their application form (PDF) states that applicants . . .

. . . “will be required to submit a full and complete set of [their] fingerprints for analysis through the Texas Department of Public Safety AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System)” . . . and to “make an appointment with L1 Enrollment Services, submit a full and complete set of [their] fingerprints, request a copy be sent to the agency listed below, and pay a fee of $24.95 to the fingerprinting services company, L1 Enrollment Services.”

Essentially, anyone who wants to work at Midland College must pay a fee in order for their application to be considered.

The job application website of another public institution in Texas requires applicants to enter their Social Security and driver’s license numbers, potentially exposing confidential data for hackers and data thieves to steal. A recent cyber-attack on the University of Maryland, which exposed over 309,000 records of personal information, illustrates the vulnerability of campus information systems. Social Security numbers should be requested only for completing an IRS W-4 from, and driver’s licenses only for positions that require driving.

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Free Regulation and Less Enterprise

The State of Texas, whose Republican governor and legislature pride themselves as advocates of free enterprise and less regulation, has enacted regulations that effectively prohibit Tesla Motors, the manufacturer of highly-rated electric cars, from selling directly to customers at their company-owned showrooms, according to a report by Lawrence O’Donnell and Evan Puschak on “The Last Word” on MSNBC TV. The company’s website provides information about how the regulations interfere with sales and service and what’s being done to have them repealed.

This ban on direct sales is designed to give established automobile dealers in Texas an advantage, but it puts consumers and the state at a disadvantage. Consumers have fewer choices when shopping for an automobile, and the state loses sales-tax revenue that it desperately needs. A Tesla Model S, which is priced near $70,000, would bring $4,375 in sales taxes at the current rate of 6.25% for automobiles. According to Tesla Motors, over 400 Tesla Roadster and Model S owners currently reside in the state. If 400 of them had bought their cars in Texas, the sales tax revenue generated would add up to 1.75 million dollars. That’s a drop in the bucket compared the total state budget but a significant amount for local governments.