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Why the ‘Lazy Jobless’ Myth Persists

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Posted on Dec 17, 2010

By David Sirota

During the recent fight over extending unemployment benefits, conservatives trotted out the shibboleth that says the program fosters sloth. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., for instance, said added unemployment benefits mean people are “encouraged not to go look for work.” Columnist Pat Buchanan said expanding these benefits means “more people will hold off going back looking for a job.” And Fox News’ Charles Payne applauded the effort to deny future unemployment checks because he said it would compel layabouts “to get off the sofa.”

The thesis undergirding all the rhetoric was summed up by conservative commentator Ben Stein, who insisted that “the people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities.”

The idea is that unemployment has nothing to do with structural economic forces or rigged public policies and everything to do with individual motivation. Yes, we’re asked to believe that the 15 million jobless Americans are all George Costanzas—parasitic loafers occasionally pretending to seek work as latex salesmen, but really just aiming to decompress on a refrigerator-equipped recliner during a lifelong Summer of George.

Of course, this story line makes no sense. From liberal Paul Krugman to archconservative Alan Greenspan, economists agree that joblessness is not caused by unemployment benefits. With five applicants for every job opening, the overarching problem is a lack of available positions—not a dearth of personal initiative.

Why, then, is the myth so resonant that polls now show more than a third of America opposes extending unemployment benefits? Part of it is the sheer ignorance that naturally festers in a country of cable-TV junkies. But three more subtle forces are also at work.

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First, there’s what psychologists call the Just-World Fallacy—the tendency to believe the world is inherently fair. This delusion is embedded in our pervasive up-by-the-bootstraps, everyone-can-be-a-millionaire catechism. The myth of the lazy unemployed can seem to make sense because it connects those ancient fables to current news, effectively alleging that today’s jobless deserve their plight.

Narcissism is also a factor. In a nation that typically dehumanizes the destitute Other with epithets like “welfare queen” and “white trash,” our self-centered culture leads the slightly less destitute to ascribe their own relative success exclusively to superhuman greatness. The myth of the lazy unemployed plays to that conceit, helping the still-employed experience potentially scary unemployment news as a booster shot of self-aggrandizement. You remain in a job, says the myth, because you are better than the jobless.

Finally, there’s raw fear—arguably more powerful than even arrogance. With the labor-market news downright frightening, the still-employed are understandably pining for a defense mechanism to cope with persistent layoff anxieties. The myth of the lazy unemployed provides exactly that—a calming sensation of control. If, as the myth suggests, the jobless are really out of work because they “are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities,” then it stands to reason that the employed can avoid catastrophe by simply choosing better behavior.

The trouble, though, is that the whole narrative averts our focus from the job-killing trade, tax-cut and budget policies that are really responsible for destroying the economy. And this narrative, mind you, is not some run-of-the-mill distraction. The myth of the lazy unemployed is what duck-and-cover exercises and backyard nuclear shelters were to a past era—an alluring palliative that manufactures false comfort in the face of unthinkable disaster. Only now, our fate isn’t being dictated to us by faraway Soviets—we could actually prevent a future apocalypse if more of us just accepted reality and demanded the right kind of change here at home.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com or follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

© 2010 Creators.com


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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Garth, were you abused as a child?

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By MarthaA, December 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

Merry Christmas garth.

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By garth, December 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Behold!  On the Winter solstice, the second coming has arrived, as promised. 

Fat Freddy is He.

Let’s take a look at the First Coming:  Jesus the Christ.

He failed as a carpenter.  He ignored the dictim measure twice, cut once.  He’d cut first and then measured to see how close he came.

His old man, Joseph, kicked him upstairs to the front office.  There, he started bringing bad press to the his old man’s company by hanging around with the likes of Mary Magdelen, who by the way, along with Pontius Pilate, were the only ones in the Old and New Testaments who had first and last names.  Kinda makes one wonder about the verisimiltude of the story.

Big Joe said, we gotta let you go.

So off he went to med school.  When he saw things like the cripples begging for help to get to the restorative fountain and others pissin’ and moanin’ about this illness or that sickness, he thought to himself, “Where the hell do these beggars get off?”
I must show them the Way—Free Market Capitalism

And Lo and Behold!  We have modern day Christianity and Capitalism.

Now Fat Freddy asks, pretty much just as Jesus did, “Why can’t everyone be just like me?”

Business, business, business.  Fer Chrissakes!

Dick Cheney was your John.  He told us from the wilderness, the key is in eBay.  Sell off whatever you’ve got.  Shoes, gold, especially gold, trinkets, children.  Oh!  Did I sy children? 

Well, let’s talk about it later.  Everything’s on the table.

You huddled masses want help to pay your bills with unemployment and health coverage?

That’s mighty big order.

Let’s all go into Fat Freddy’s line of business and exercise his Free Market solutions.  Why not?  What do we have to lose?

If God made him then He or She can certainly make others.  Permanently healthy.  Permanently wealthy.  Self righteous and indignant. 

What a great state of mind to be in for the Christmas Season.

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By MarthaA, December 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Forget “middle class”,  people must quit using that term “middle class” as it has been used in the United States as a long term evil trick on the 70% Majority Common Population Class and Culture to separate them into passivity, so that the 70% Majority Common Population would be no problem for the greater and lesser aristocracies, because they are all the “middle class” and do not know their Majority Common Population Class and Culture is their power.  The 70% Majority Common Population must realize their Class and Culture if there is ever to be democracy in the United States and claim an agenda for political representation.

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By samosamo, December 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

****************


IF it wasn’t so obvious that all the empty factories
and business are just laying idle because the
‘best and brightest’ bankers and property owners
are just holding on to them for their greedy
needs, and the suppression of a class wanting
and needing a place to create jobs and
participate in a functioning economy, then it
could be possible to crank up manufacturing that
wouldn’t have anything to do with the weapons
and munitions industry. After all getting people
back to work shouldn’t depend on the military’s
wishes and whims. That is what is killing this
country’s economy right now, along with the
‘vitally illegal’ monopoly systems of ‘vertical
integration and horizontal integration’.

I truly believe the conservatives hate the middle
class so much that they would like to ship us off
to some island and NUKE IT. Been like that since
day one when columbus came over here, though
they didn’t have nukes then.

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By Anarcissie, December 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

who’syourdebs—I don’t think anything I said should have given you the impression that I don’t see capitalism as a finite stage of human development, consumer capitalism being the most recent substage, one might say.  Perhaps you might want to read my words more carefully (assuming you are interested in their subject.)

True, a better world is possible, materially speaking, and has been possible for a long time.  The question is when more than a few people will be willing to do anything concrete to bring it about.

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By garth, December 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Why the ‘Lazy Jobless’ Myth Persists?

I’ll tell you why. 

I am the perrsonna of the Lazy Jobless myth.

I was born of a Man and woman who started a life together in the 1920s.  All was not well then, but we didn’t now then what we know now.

With elementary school educations and the sturm und drang of the everyday life, their dreams hitched on to the Republican economics model.  And it was distant to them, a sort of mental game, a sort of psychological approach-avoidance. This one was an approach-anger chinese finger puzzle.

Then came FDR.

He was a leader.  He talked to everyone diectly about their plight. 

Now, with the rising numbers in unemployment, it might do President Bumptious well to come clean.  Admit he’s a fraud and apologize.  Say, “I quit.  It’s too much me. Let someone else take it from here.  The rich have won too much.  I’d rather play B-ball.”

It ain’t gonna get any better from here. And it’s gonna get a lot worse.  That’s how they wrote the script. 

And it ain’t gonna get any easier to explain to the American people how you have simply covered for the Robbery of the Milleninium, the thievery to end all thieveries in this country.

The echo of my parents in their hopes that this country was indeed the one that cared for its people resounds in my bones.  That is all I know.  I am from them,  You bastards are not.

You say wait awhile.  You might have to wait another generation.  The 90s, the 80s, the 70s, the 60s and I am not sure about the 50s yet.  But we’ll be there.  And you won’t.

I think of Slim Pickens riding an Atomic bomb in “Dr. Strangelove”.  And that is where I’ll get you ignoramuses.

What’re you going to tell your boss then.
 

Enjoy the typos.

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By MarthaA, December 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

REDHORSE, December 20 at 7:10 pm,

What you have said here is important and deserves repeating:


“The Assange/Manning leaks reveal the petty machinations of small time hustlers and crooks openly looting the American taxpayer. They are criminals not gods. Sadly, intellectual puffery and endless discussion of the symptomology of political decline and corruption is the best most citizens have to offer. For whatever reason, the simple political organization and action that would remove, prosecute and replace the criminals is beyond the ability of most citizens. It’s just “to hard” for a nation of half-adults.” —REDHORSE, December 20 at 7:10 pm Truthdig.com Forum

It is not Assange and Manning that are the criminals.

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By REDHORSE, December 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

WHO’SYOURDEBS: Your “tip of the iceberg” look into the future is spot on. The majority dimiss/ignore the consequential reality of exponential population, GCC and the coming failure of natural resources worldwide. It’s a freight train of a an issue nobody wants to face. It trumps all others. Realignment of social systems and technology to support natural ecosystems and sane reduction in world population is still possible. But, though the “isms” are dead and the situation dire, apocalyptic “death wish” seems to be the popular choice.

    The American people have been lied to, betrayed and abandoned by a corrupt Washington. The country is in the midst of social/financial disintegration and the American psyche is so fractured many believe in either a nut case “end time” second coming or a paranoid 9/11 conspiracy that will reveal an imagined “Truth” which will suddenly free them to act. It’s all somehow supernatural.

    The transparent thuggery in Washington is not supernatural. The Assange/Manning leaks reveal the petty machinations of small time hustlers and crooks openly looting the American taxpayer. They are criminals not gods. Sadly, intellectual puffery and endless discussion of the symptomology of political decline and corruption is the best most citizens have to offer. For whatever reason, the simple political organization and action that would remove, prosecute and replace the criminals is beyond the ability of most citizens. It’s just “to hard” for a nation of half-adults.

      The legacy of individuals like Debs, Heywood, Jones, King, Seals, Hoffman and many others now falls to individuals deaf of Soul and Heart. Washington criminals laugh in their faces and openly betray them without a second thought. The criminal conspiracy continues and the American people remain asleep at the wheel of a runaway train.

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By who'syourdebs, December 20, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie—sorry, I just don’t buy it. Those seem to me only stop-gap measures. And I think it is somewhat silly and short-sighted to consider capitalism as anything more than a stage of societal development. Further, I don’t believe in “human nature”, when it comes to war, famine, etc.—I believe making a better world is a distinct possibility. When people say: “that’s just the way things are”, they fail to grasp how horrible it must have been to be a serf or peasant in earlier societies and time periods. Evolution is slow, but it undeniable, it seems to me, even when viewing the history of mankind. You appear to be an intellectual and clearly more able than I to accept cruelty. No offense intended.

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By Anarcissie, December 20, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

who’syourdebs—You’re referring to the creation of scarcity, an aspect of capitalism which became important early in the 20th century after industrial capitalism had more or less solved the problem of subsistence production.  The need to create scarcity led to various sinks for excess production, including war, imperialism, waste, and of course advertising and consumerism.  If the working class can be gotten to labor at consuming and destroying the stuff they make, capitalism can go on seemingly forever.  Environmental destruction and other global problems just lead to more jobs, more need for Capital.

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By who'syourdebs, December 20, 2010 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

I often complain that there seem to be no “philosophers” left, in that no media voices seem capable of stepping back and looking at the big picture, or taking a long-range view of where US and world societies are headed. Many years ago, when I was in college, there was much talk about the “population explosion”—strange this subject is so little talked about today, while world population exponentially grows year by year. There was much talk then about automation as well and how more and more work necessary to provide goods and services to the population would increasingly be done by machines. It amazes me that no one seems to take these trends to their logical conclusion: at some point, there won’t be jobs for people. Duh. Capitalism must expand to survive, but there are limits to this expansion, among them natural resources and the need and willingness to purchase useless and unneeded consumables. My question is this: what happens when there are permanently less jobs than they are workers and no prospect or need for a greater workforce? At some point society will be confronted with this fact: we will have to find some way to pay and feed people who are not performing what we now call “jobs”. I don’t see where anyone, save the most utopian of socialists, is facing this reality. Maybe what we’re just beginning to see is the tip of this iceberg.

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By Anarcissie, December 20, 2010 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

garth, December 20 at 12:07 am:

“A proper old-school conservative would believe in a place for everyone, and everyone in his place.”

This sounds a little like Mussolini’s Italy. ...

More than a little.  Fascist organization, at least of Mussolini’s kind, is ideally a sort of stripped-down, modernized, mechanized version of feudalism.  The poor get taken care of, not left out to dry in the wind as with liberal capitalism in its pure form.  The fascist states of Europe in the 1920s and ‘30s had big social welfare programs, which was part of their appeal.  They thought of themselves as big-government progressives, taking over where liberalism and capitalism had failed.

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By ardee, December 20, 2010 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, December 18 at 7:13 pm

This effort, like most of yours, is off the topic you yourself opened. A load of gibberish fromn the usual source.

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By Sodium-Na, December 20, 2010 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

Quote
======

Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid.

Unquote
=======

That is what I call THE DESTRUCTIVE REALITY in some people’s empty lives.

An excellent comment,GE=MCHammered. Thank you.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 20, 2010 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

About 10 or 15 years ago, some taped company meetings made the news.  The topic was how these companies could find ways of screwing the retirees out of their pensions.  One HR person said clearly, “Well, they should just be happy that they worked.”

*****************************

I know at least two companies where that happened—I worked for one, briefly.  The other screwed a family member out of most of his retirement.

We already know that Bush’s best bud, Ken Lay and his cohorts, screwed their employees out of about a billion and a half of pension monies, which curiously, went into Lay and his buds’ bank accounts.

The colder and crueler of the medieval Japanese daimyos, the ones who didn’t want to pay to keep older servants taken care of when they were beyond working, would simply take the practical action of killing them or ordering them to kill themselves.  I’m sure many HR personnel and Re-thugs appreciate the elegance of the old daimyos’ solution.

However, I do not.

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By MarthaA, December 20, 2010 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

““Well, they should just be happy that they worked.””

This is the “us” and “them” philosophy that is prevalent today in the aristocratic United States.  The “us” of the 2 aristocracies are ascertaining that they will leave nothing for “them”, as the “us” takes another trillion dollars from the “them”; then begins the aristocratic double talking talk shows for lack of representation of the “them” to keep the “them” from revolting and it is all ludicrous, as the “us” continues to destroy the “them”.

A “non-contentious” revolution for political representation in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order is necessary if the American Populace, “them”, is ever to be heard on any issue.

Government working with the common populace is necessary and has been proven by the German economy.  Germany’s economy shows government interference works for the people, not against the people, like what is happening in the United States today:

http://www.truth-out.org/germanys-economy-shows-government-interference-works66090


*

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By garth, December 19, 2010 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

“A proper old-school conservative would believe in a place for everyone, and everyone in his place.”

This sounds a little like Mussolini’s Italy.  There was a certain number of catgories for jobs.  During WWII a Fascist group arose from the Peers of England with the same general approach.  They had similar breakdowns for jobs.  No upward mobility, just a place of everyone and everyone in his place.

The problem here is ‘they ain’t no more places.’ 

(Either that or the remark was meant as a put down.)

About 10 or 15 years ago, some taped company meetings made the news.  The topic was how these companies could find ways of screwing the retirees out of their pensions.  One HR person said clearly, “Well, they should just be happy that they worked.”


The other part:

“I doubt if those who are putting about the idea that the unemployed are just lazy actually believe it, or have some philosophical basis for their belief if they do believe it….  There is no more to it than that.”

I’m sure the members of these interlocking directorates would like everyone to think that ‘there’s no one in here but us chickens.’

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By GoyToy, December 19, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Those who are against unemployment benefits obviously don’t know the country is an a recession. Either that or they are idiots.

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By igloo, December 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The culture blames the unemployed for their own fate because it was designed so that those with capital and the power to hire/fire never have to answer for their actions. So, when you lose a job in America you are treated like a pariah. You may say what you like but in the end it’s your own damn fault…Social Darwinism reigns supreme in the America.

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By Anarcissie, December 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

I doubt if those who are putting about the idea that the unemployed are just lazy actually believe it, or have some philosophical basis for their belief if they do believe it.  It is most likely fresh meat for their so-aptly named base.  These people, who presumably still have jobs, like to hear that unemployment comes about not because of bad times or other global forces, but simply because others are not as good as they.  There is no more to it than that.  It is not conservatism or reaction, which are actual ideologies.  A proper old-school conservative would believe in a place for everyone, and everyone in his place.

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By garth, December 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

The new Feudalism will be Micromanaged

Jack Kemp tried to get started Free Market Zones or some such name.  In MA last Spring, the Business Council tried to get the legislature to set up a tax free, regulation free, business zone where each manager was a god answerable only to the business council.  The employees woud have no say.  They’d be considered lucky just to have a job.

Looking back on the places where I have worked this counter-culture has been working itself to the mainstream for as long as I can remember.  It now seems pervasive.

At each place where I worked there was a top boss who was referred to as ‘god’, I thought jokingly.

And each place had its own gurus.  The gurus were the ones who knew the esoteric language of the businees and knew how to get things done.  The employees were mainly kept in the dark, and treated poorly unless they were willing to bend at the command of the gurus or the boss.

To give you a sense of where these people are coming from, Jerry Bremer of the Iraq War fame preferred to be called the Proconsul of Bagdhad.

I remember in the 60s after Goldwater ran for President as a legitimate Conservative.  All the talk on the radio shows was, “What does it mean to be a Conservative?”

Paul Benzaquin, a liberal radio talk show host, fell for it and begain to join in on the argument. 

Well, there’s a lot that has been written by Conservatives about who they are, but we have better than that. 

We have empirical knowledge of who they are.  They are ones who fuck up everything they touch.  For the working American, they are like the inverse of the King Midas Myth.  They turn everything to crap.

Their dream Feudal Kingdom is not that far away from going full steam ahead.  I’m sure Jack Kemp’s ideas will come up again, and this time more state legislatures will allow them to start.

And the High Technology of Slavery will have its day.

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By GW=MCHammered, December 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The rich pay little in taxes.
They do not provide jobs.
They do not send their kids to war.
So what are the rich good for?

Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid

http://www.alternet.org/media/149193/study_confirms_that_fox_news_makes_you_stupid

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By elisalouisa, December 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

The word oligarchy would be more correct as to who rules America. Quotes from

The Idiots Who Rule America Posted on Oct 20, 2008
By Chris Hedges

Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs,
providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights.
That it is still in power, and will remain in power after this election, is a testament to our inability to separate illusion from reality. We still believe in
“the experts.” . . .
We may elect representatives to Congress to end the war in Iraq, but the war goes on. We may plead with these representatives to halt Bush’s illegal wiretapping but the telecommunications lobbyists make sure it remains in place. We may beg them not to pass the bailout but 850 billion taxpayer dollars are funneled upward to the elites on Wall Street. We may want single-payer, not-for-profit health care but it is not even discussed as a possibility in presidential debates. We, as individuals in this system, are irrelevant.. . . .

The working class, which has desperately borrowed money to stay afloat as real wages have dropped, now face years, maybe decades, of stagnant or declining incomes without access to new credit. The national treasury meanwhile is being drained on behalf of speculative commercial interests. The government—the only institution citizens have that is big enough and powerful enough to protect their rights—is becoming weaker, more anemic and less able to help the mass of Americans who are embarking on a period of deprivation and suffering unseen in this country since the 1930s. Consumption, the profligate engine of the U.S. economy, is withering. September retail sales across the U.S. fell 1.2 percent. The decline was almost double the 0.7 percent drop analysts expected from consumers, whose spending represents two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. There were 160,000 jobs lost last month and three-quarters of a million jobs lost this year. The reverberations of the economic meltdown are only beginning.

Link to this column:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081020_the_idiots_who_rule_america

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By FiftyGigs, December 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

berniem, I loved your comment.

“Why does the media continue to apply the euphemism “conservative” to a segment of our society that is to one degree or another identified by it’s ignorance, greed, bigotry, intolerance, and reactionary response to anything that may threaten what they conceitedly believe is their birthright.”

Because the term is appropriate.

Conservatism, as an idea for organizing society, believes society rests on certain institutions—religious, business, and government. In a nutshell, they believe only certain people are accomplished enough to lead those institutions, and the vast majority of us “unaccomplished ones” need to listen to what they say and do what they say without question. It’s their birthright, after all.

The King is King because God settled the matter of who would rule a long time ago. Be quiet and work the assembly line like a good citizen. Conservatives are the rich guy on the Titanic, certain the “better half” would make it to the lifeboats, while we huddle with our children and assure them that we’re next.

Liberals, on the other hand, believe that all people are equal. The leader of an institution is the leader because the majority choose him or her to be, not because he or she is predisposed for the position. More importantly, liberals argue that institutions are more than the sum of their parts, that it is the consensus of the majority which will guide our institutions to stay on the right course, not some innate quality solely possessed by whoever happens to be there.

Under forty years of world-wide conservative re-emergence, we are seeing liberalism adopted globally as the only viable social solution, however the institutions (including the media, like the press and this blog) are run by those who believe they are protecting their birthright, and hence the institutions and even society itself. They are using the full power of their advantage to centralize their power further.

We see that vividly. It’s hard to tell whether Mitch McConnell is a politician or the pope. He certainly passes himself off as the holiest, goodliest human on the planet, while being an accomplished liar.

The fear is that there’s a tipping point beyond which liberalism can’t exist. History suggests that the tipping point is there (USSR, China, Nazi Germany, Serbia). On the other hand, history would also seem to suggest that liberalism can’t be suppressed.

Our forefathers would believe that.

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By DHFabian, December 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

These are the people we once called “welfare bums,”  before we got rid of the entitlement to poverty relief. The rhetoric used against America’s poor today—the unemployed, the jobless—is the same rhetoric that was used against former welfare recipients.  We fell for it.  When welfare was ripped out by Bill Clinton, the otherwise-Progressive community yawned with indifference, failing not only to care about the suffering caused by these policies, or the human rights abuses embedded within these policies, but giving nodding approval to “getting tough” on those who aren’t employed. We didn’t grasp that not everyone can work, and that we are not, and never were, a full-employment economy. It states right in our welfare reform policies that NO reason is considered legitimate for long-term unemployment. So, everything said against those in the past who fell back on welfare during economic downturns is now said against the newest unemployed—same catch phrases, same reasoning, just as accurate as when it was applied to former welfare recipients. It would have been useful to counter the strategy of depicting welfare recipients as a static subset of society (some 80% of AFDC recipients successfully, voluntarily quit welfare for work before “reform,” with remaining recipients tending to have multiple barriers such as illness or illiteracy).

Here’s reality: For every job opening, there are roughly six people desperate for a job.  A job is not a choice—it is a matter of survival.  We embraced social policies based on the idea that there are simply winners and losers, and the losers are dispensable.

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By RayLan, December 19, 2010 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

To call them conservatives is to credit them with enough intelligence to form a coherent political thought. They self-identify as Republicans but true conservatism is as dead as true liberalism both which require a mind pulse above visceral self-centeredness.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 19, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I disagree.  They are NOT Conservatives.  Conservatives distrust change.  These people are actively pursuing change, but reactionary change.

They are more appropriately described as Radical Reactionaries as their goal is a return, as MarthaA describes, to the days of the feudal barons and lords, when everyone was a priest, nobility or a peasant bound to his/her lord and considered property.

Ultimately, the Mafia’s method of rule and control in neighborhoods (particularly immigrant neighborhoods) using terror, extortion and no limits or controls on them is the paradigm for where these radical reactionaries are taking us.

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By MarthaA, December 19, 2010 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Sasquatch, December 19 at 4:58 am,

The Conservatives on both sides of the aisle want to take the United States back to 12th Century England, with two conservative aristocracies, the lesser democratic conservative aristocracy and the greater republican conservative aristocracy and the 70% majority common population of the United States their subjects without representation, as they are today, but will have to learn to subside off the land by their own devices, as there will be no jobs provided by capitalism, only service jobs and slaves to the aristocracies.

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By MarthaA, December 19, 2010 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

berniem, December 19 at 1:23 am,

They ARE conservative.  They are conserving all monies and properties for the Democratic and Republican aristocracies and taking the majority population back to 12th Century economics where the populace lived by their own devices off the land, became slaves to either one or the other of the aristocracies, either the greater aristocracy or the lesser acting aristocracy, or died.  Obama and Bill Clinton are leaders in the lesser aristocracy and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are leaders in the greater aristocracy.  The majority common population need to learn who they are and not be continually deceived into thinking they have some kind of rights as the middle class.  The Middle Class is the lesser aristocracy.  If the majority common population do not like this arrangement, then they had better develop a political agenda and agitate for political representation, because the majority common population have no representation in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order.

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By Sasquatch, December 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment

I would like to see how any of the legislators who are
badmouthing the unemployed would react to the reality
that they will have to learn to live on less than half
of what they were earning because that is the reality
that many of us are staring at. It is no fun to be 54
years old and trying to get a job barely over minimum
wage so you can put food on the table and pay the rent.
The conservatives will probably be really happy though
because our desperation will probably take away jobs
from illegal immigrants. I guess this is the America
they wanted all along.

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By gjgatos, December 18, 2010 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sloth and greed are two of the seven deadly sins, and all of your comments have been very interesting to read.  Having read them all now (I’ve been away a good part of the day), and having thought a good while about greed and its causes, just what makes people do really hideous things to other people (like taking away all their money and making them starve just so you can put even more money in the bank for yourself, and even having the gall to brag about it), I think I lay the cause of greed, unbridled greed of today’s incredible proportions at the foot of the new Christian religion of a militaristic Jesus with very well-heeled followers.  Of course, as religion always is, this new slant gives everyone who “believes” in it permission NOT to treat your neighbor as you do yourself, but instead, even to kill that neighbor if his views don’t happen to agree with your views.  So, prosperity and militance are the new idolatry, the poor are despised (nothing much has changed there)and used as fodder for wars that make money for war-mongers while mercilessly slaughtering the poor who fight the wars for the neoChristian filthy rich owners of the wars.  Meanwhile, terrible and damaging laws are made by ogres posing as congressmen and congresswomen that make it impossible for the poor (and now the middle class as well) to escape their obvious fate unless they rise up in great unruly mobs and start taking the law into their own hands, which hasn’t happened yet, but I can hear it coming on.

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By berniem, December 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

Why does the media continue to apply the euphemism “conservative” to a segment of our society that is to one degree or another identified by it’s ignorance, greed, bigotry, intolerance, and reactionary response to anything that may threaten what they conceitedly believe is their birthright. The gall of this bunch to think that only they are responsible for any and all progress and success of this nation is overwhelming in it’s arrogance and stupidity! In their warped and convoluted thinking to “have not” is equivalent to “worth not”. Its also laughable that the worst offenders of this ilk are the loudest bible thumpers and the “humblest” of christians! Its no wonder that most of them don’t believe in evolution; otherwise they would be shamed by how little it is that they come in their social development!

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By garth, December 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Here’s an intesting item:

In 2009, the income for the top 100 wage earners (That’s pay, not wealth nor capital gains.) was $91 Million dollars.

In 2010, the income for the top 100 rose to $519 Million.

That’s quite a raise.

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By MarthaA, December 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

It is a myth.  There are lazy, free loaders, but they are only about 1/2 to 1% of the population, which the Republicans blow clear out of proportion, as if all the unemployed are lazy freeloaders.  Most of the unemployed will be glad to work if they can find a job that will pay them to work, but the free loading neocons and their free loading Free Trade Agreements have made it impossible.

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By oddsox, December 18, 2010 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

A typical Sirota piece.
Takes 9 paragraphs to explain how the unemployed aren’t lazy and would rather be working. Got it.

Then, in the last sentence, a call for the “right kind of change…”
Ok, then David, so what’s that—what’s the solution?
Sorry, folks, out of space—that’s all for now, ‘bye…

Long on complaint, short on solution.
Zzzzzzz

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By Inherit The Wind, December 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA:  Remember: he then got a job he worked at for 37 years…more than paid back the UI he got then, all $50 a week, if that.  Trust, me, I’ve seen people who had government “jobs” who were paid far more and did nothing, too.

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By MarthaA, December 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare, December 18 at 10:42 pm,

Maybe someone named Martha of the public is getting back a little of the money you stole from the public’s unemployment because you didn’t need it; what goes around will eventually come around.

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By Blackspeare, December 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

To MarthaA…

“You may be a churl, but most people want to work and take care of their families, if they can.”

First of all I wasn’t married and lived at home.  The unemployment was all spending money.  I hope you weren’t the Martha I met at Maxwell’s Plum cuz she still has my wallet!!!

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By MarthaA, December 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare, December 18 at 9:02 pm,

“As for me I remember fondly my time on unemployment insurance. I had been released from the US Army June 1967 and immediately applied for unemployment.  Back in those days you got 6 months of payments——I don’t even remember how much.  But I was receiving free money and spent the whole summer and fall on the government’s penny doing the singles’ bars in town and in the 60’s that was quite an adventure.  When the money stopped and winter approached I found a job ..” Blackspeare, December 18 at 9:02 pm

You may be a churl, but most people want to work and take care of their families, if they can.

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By REDHORSE, December 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Serial abusers always blame the victim. In this case MILLIONS of victims. Hustlers take all they can get. Professional victims snivel and whine. Washington D.C. is transparently and openly corrupt. The majority of Americans are obviously comfortable with the reality. What’s the problem?

    I enjoy Mr. Sirota but this is just “red meat”. We know what the “shibboleths” are. I don’t need to be sensationalized and stroked. So, the thugs have a spin machine. They lie through their teeth and destroy lives without consequence. We don’t know that?  Journalists are just as guilty as Obama and the American people in their failure to confront the criminals. Enough $$$$$ obviously trickles down to buy the comfortable silence needed to let the racket continue. Otherwise it wouldn’t.

      The fact is, for most Americans it is easier to pretend the petty criminals in D.C. are part of a supernatural above-the-law conspiracy beyond their control than to act in their own defense. They are half-adults lost in a meaningless dead zone materialist culture who pretend powerlessness in order to deny the reality of their own personal responsibility as free citizens.

      The distortionists at Fox are old news as are the brazen criminals in Washington. Assange and Manning pulled the mask off the war machine and the small minded profiteers running it. Their lives are on the line. Chris Hedges has stepped up.

      It’s time.

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By Blackspeare, December 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps 10% of people receiving unemployment benefits are loafers so the remaining 90% should suffer?!——please give me a break.  Unemployment insurance does much good.

As for me I remember fondly my time on unemployment insurance. I had been released from the US Army June 1967 and immediately applied for unemployment.  Back in those days you got 6 months of payments——I don’t even remember how much.  But I was receiving free money and spent the whole summer and fall on the government’s penny doing the singles’ bars in town and in the 60’s that was quite an adventure.  When the money stopped and winter approached I found a job which I stayed with for the next 37 years, but I will never forget the blast I had on unemployment——for me it was a good experience.  Of course the girls I met never knew I was getting unemployment——it just wouldn’t be good conversation.

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By MarthaA, December 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, December 18 at 7:22 pm,

Like the United States infrastructure, many small business people fail to provide for their equipment maintenance and drive their equipment into the ground, as small businesses do not receive corporate government welfare and get squeezed out of any turns at the trough, especially since small business now has to compete with different lower economies because of the sanctioned neo-con trade agreements for short term profit for big corporate business.

Private land and property ownership definitely is the way to go, if one can, as long as the banker isn’t the real 25 year owner via illusive credit, waiting and seeking a way to reclaim his property from churlish genteel peasants of the 70% Majority Common Population living beyond their means, as is usually the case, which makes it more difficult for non-credit peasants of the 70% Majority Common Population to obtain private land and property ownership—not impossible, but more difficult. 

There should be laws to protect land and property ownership so that when one owns land it will stay in ones family until the last member of that family dies, without having to pay taxes on the land.  There should be no land and property taxes on privately owned land and property, because if one loses their job, one can shortly lose their privately owned property at an auction just for taxes, even if their land and property is debt free.

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By Steve Dalls, December 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is the bottom line on Unemployment Claims & the high numbers of unemployed:

The U.S. has shipped any/every job it can overseas & brings in slave labor form Mexico & everywhere else to do menial, high tech, & resort jobs here in America.

Small Business Owners applaud themselves for creating their own way/jobs. Kudos too you, but who do you think is going to buy your goods/services if the American Public continues to lose it earning power?

What America needs is to penalize corporations who off shore their jobs overseas to 3rd World Countries in order to exploit Slave Labor, enforce & rid our country of illegals, & invest mightily into our infrastructure using FDR’s WPA & CCC to get the unemployed employed & replacing our rotting infrastructure which in turn facilitates private business. Tax cuts & trickle down fro the private sector is a hoax.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

FF:

I damn well know what “entrepreneur” means, and EVERY SINGLE ONE I’ve ever known ALWAYS thinks they are going to make more money that way than as an employee.

Every one. 

And I have no problem with it.  He who takes the risk deserves the reward.

But you are trying to tell me that your FOR PROFIT business is a public service and you whine that you have to do more bookkeeping and pay extra insurance all because you have a noble obligation to deliver “a quality product”.  I call bullshit on that, FF.  I don’t doubt the product has quality,  but I also don’t doubt YOU PERSONALLY think you can do better doing this than you can on someone else’s 9-5.  So, no, I’m not real sympathetic to you wanting a break from paying your taxes and doing your bookkeeping.

Hell, even in MY business, lots of people incorporate and become contractors because, doing the same damn job THEY MAKE MORE MONEY!  They deduct the cost of their car and driving, their lunches, their business attire.  They get a higher pay rate and seek to take every deduction and write-off they can.  Still doing the same job. Still sitting at the same desk.  The price? Loss of security that doesn’t exist anyhow and…..loss of unemployment benefits.

FF, it’s the bargain you struck. Accept the responsibility for it.

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By Myronh, December 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, I commend you for adding value to your community. However, what are you going to do if everyone in your community loses their jobs and have no or very little money to purchase your service?

On the other hand, if your customers are the wealthy members of your community, you might be allright for a while. Unfortunately, you may be forced to become the low bidder on future services once the unemployed run out of coverage and are starving. What will you do then?

Think about it?

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By Fat Freddy, December 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Napolean DoneHisPart

Yes, the indoctrination runs deep here. I had the benefit of being from a town that was built on entrepreneurship, where all of my grandfathers and great uncles owned their own businesses. The town, and surrounding area was very successful for over 100 years. It wasn’t until the 70s that things began to go downhill, and have been going, ever since. Eventually, we will all be slave laborers to the government and the wealthy. Some people just don’t understand that the way to independence and freedom is private property ownership. Sad, very sad.

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By Fat Freddy, December 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

ardee

Unique situation? Do you know how many small businesses there are in this country?

What other insurance services would you like Socialized? Life insurance? Home owners insurance? Car insurance? How about the insurance you buy for your cell phone? Should that be Socialized like unemployment?

I’m not the one crying here. I’m not asking the government for anything, except to get out of the way. You are the one asking the government to force the socialization of people’s misfortunes on the rest of the population, not me. Get a job pumping gas. Get a job stocking shelves. Stop demanding from the government, and everyone else.

If I can do it, anybody can do it, even you. Stop being a victim, and then demanding that government save you.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy,

It is futile unless the other side in the discussion understands what you do.

MANY are simply job seekers, workers, career position people… not risk takers, thinkers of how commerce is and what is going on…. how to handle the money, etc…

The system of ‘production’ to keep people preoccupied mulling around the fiat… to the enrichment of the already wealthy.

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By Fat Freddy, December 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

No. You are wrong. I didn’t choose to become an entrepreneur to become rich. Most entrepreneurs don’t. You have better chance at hitting the lottery. I chose to start a business to provide my community with a quality product for a reasonable cost. You do not understand what entrepreneurship means. You automatically think of “Robber Barons”. You choose to be a slave laborer. You are a victim of your own design.

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By Fat Freddy, December 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller

Individuals that incorporate their business are double taxed. Incorporation doesn’t work for small contractors. But I guess you wouldn’t know that because you are not an accountant.

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By oddsox, December 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A typical Sirota piece.

Takes 9 paragraphs to explain how the unemployed aren’t lazy and would rather be working. Got it.

Then, in the last sentence, a call for the “right kind of change…”
Ok, then David, so what’s that—what’s the solution?
Sorry, folks, out of space—that’s all for now, ‘bye…

Long on complaint, short on solution.
Zzzzzzz

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By ardee, December 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, December 18 at 6:15 pm

If you are finished with your crocodile tears you might understand that your choice to be an entrepreneur came with benefits and drawbacks.

I do not know if there are private insurances available that a self employed person can purchase but I suspect that there are. I would also imagine that, as anything given over to the private sector seems to become, the cost of such insurance might be rather high.

To call for the privatization of unemployment insurance because of the unique situation of your own and a minority like you is a stretch, even for you.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, FF, yet again you miss the point.

You are self-employed.  If your company takes off and is the next Crocs or iPhone, you’ll get a zillion dollars for being the one taking the risk.

But your employees will maybe get a nice 10% bonus at the end of the year that you take off in.

You’re taking the risk in expectation of getting rewards, maybe even getting rich.  You’re saying YOUR downside risk is worse than an employed person’s but conveniently leave out that your UPSIDE potential is far more than that employed person.

You also don’t pay unemployment insurance from your pay.

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By Leefeller, December 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Fat Fred,

Unemployment for contractors, now that is a new one. It seems to me one could incorporate and hire themselves to pay unemployment like the wealthy if they want, but me suspects this is just crocodile tears.

Yeah! Lets privatize medical insurance so everyone can pay for it…..  Up next Social Security!

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

oops, typo:

“... such as working for himself and [ declaring himself free, coming now from ] the paradigm of self-made,”

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Heard news about a guy this morning who now living in the southeast, paid the state of California $10k for $1100 of unemployment he received decades ago during a time of unemployment he experienced living in said state.

This ‘dole’ or ‘benevolence,’ according to his words which you can hear for yourself somewhere if you searched for it, allowed him to finish a technical degree which positioned him at the crest of the tech-boom wave. 

He prospered, whereas otherwise, he may had possibly floundered about, or entered into the physical labor force or ?. 

Considering one’s fragile state of mind when ‘unemployed’ and not thinking or knowing the first thing about the merchant / commercial world governing people and governments, but only seeing oneself at the behest of this entity, rare would be the instance this man would forge ahead into uncharted waters, such as working for himself and declaring himself free from the paradigm of self-made, self-employed, free and independent.. and these men leading things, not faceless entities subject to obscure and secretive individuals.

With the State granting benevolence instead of private organizations or individuals unorganized, the responsibility for another citizen to react to a person in destitute is passed on to someone else.

In this case, an entity which takes no true ‘personal’ responsibility as a whole, nor do any of its cogs and sprockets working in its many facilities.

This entire entity is made up of many who pass responsibility to someone else when their particular bureaucratic ‘job’ / task isn’t required.

Yet, without the existence a State, the community of people either organized or unorganized, would now have the choice / individual responsibility to assist, help, lead, direct, or perhaps even enslave the unemployed person, much like the countless positions government has ‘doled’ the unwitting masses into serving, without having the slightest clue otherwise.

Yet this responsibility is sensed, yet has been relegated and ushered through the careless.

I believe this man to be an example of the decency this country has bred. 

( consider my words distinctly )

He believes to be grateful to the State and pays his hard earned fiat, with interest of over several decades, and pays a faceless institution which will use that money at the whim of who’s desk it lands on first!

This person may also represent the ineptitude of the knowledge of money, government and how these two have woven history unto themselves, to the detriment of those outside this created sphere of influence.

Money, and how the system of finance, court proceedings and policy to prosper the perverters of the populous, is the taboo unknown subject of the ages.

The empirical agenda has engaged the populous since infancy and is still today attempting to and sometimes usurps the very foundations of the human spirit, not to mention Mass Consciousness. 

If this gentlemen had known how this system works today, he would instead be petitioning for the removal of the MANY facets of government / financial circles… and asking for ‘his’ money back, for he actually had borrowed ALL the money which ever passed through his hands, without being the wiser of it.

The State had arrived ‘a long time ago’ and historically, the Christ was the first and only to stand up to it in all innocence… and triumph! 

For only a few centuries later His memory had devoured and transformed that empire and shaped everyday life, a change in paradigm if you will, to the Father’s Glory.

His Consciousness permeates the ethereal places, and valuing people according to something immaterial like money, gold and ‘things’ is purely evil and is at direct opposition to what Life is really about… which is not the buying and selling of things and people, but the progression of the human experience with Love being the basis of existence, not fear, greed and indifference; the seeds of turmoil.

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By Fat Freddy, December 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Ahh yes, unemployment. What a privilege…for those who can get it. I’m self-employed, and not eligible. So, I must do whatever I can to survive. If that means doing a $1,000 job for $500, then I do it, and like it. So, spare me the crying and whining, you have no fucking idea. Perhaps, if government didn’t have a monopoly on unemployment compensation, and it was available in the open market, maybe, just maybe, there would be a private company that would offer it to people who are self-employed, like myself.

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By Leefeller, December 18, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

SoTexGuy,

Me apologies, I see Texas and me bigot antennae starts whipping in the wind and I should know better. 

Texas is or was a right to work state, which ratifies not having a living wage.

The new world order with good graces of our politicians seems to have caused the demise of the middle class.

Thanks for the clarification, I appreciate the reply.

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By SoTexGuy, December 18, 2010 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Leefeller..

I’m unsure exactly how my post earned your ire.. Let me try again.. Public
assistance programs for the needy are good and needed.. Many people attack
these programs as gifts to the indolent or undeserving.. I do not. My assertion
is that the programs prop-up low wage jobs and temporary hiring practices..
since without things like food stamps many people in reality could not afford to
work!

What is needed is near full employment in jobs that pay a living wage and
reasonable benefits. Paid by employers, not by the government (IE the
taxpayers).

Do I think government is too big? Yes.. Do I think all government is bad? No.. Is our current system failing all but a very small percentage of people? In my opinion, yes.

I hope that is more clear.. if I still offend you then that’s just the way it will have
to be.

Have a super day.

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By garth, December 18, 2010 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Intelligence is a Bell-Shaped-Curve, i.e. 50% are smarter than average and 50% are of below-average-intelligence.

That’s the definition of the Average.

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By garth, December 18, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

The worst part about being unemployed is: no days off.

Ta dum.

As usual, this Jersey crowd is the toughest.  As Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “One joint in Jersey was so tough, the hat check girl’s name was Dominic.

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By Leefeller, December 18, 2010 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

So Texas Guy,

So you have it all figured out, ssi is a giveaway, yeh give me the right to work any day. 

How much are they paying that So Texas Guy, maybe we can find someone in India to do it for ten tenths the cost?

SSI must be bad, because it has social in its name?

Maybe you have a plan, not sure what your comment was saying, except I am under the impression you do not like government, did Thomas Jefferson exist?

Lets see SSI and welfare cause people to lower wages, do they have SSI in India?

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By SoTexGuy, December 18, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Here’s another dangerous myth; that government spending grows the
economy.

Think about it.. take $ from lots of people and businesses then give it to other
people and businesses.. Voila! we’ve bumped up the GDP!

Another myth .. the (apparent) belief that government is a perpetual motion
machine (of money).. it just keeps going and going and going.. Never mind the
printing press back there pumping more money and inflation into the process..

And a still more dearly held myth .. that payments to the very poor, food
programs and even unemployment payments are to help the down and out.. No
sir! Those programs allow business and industry of all types in every corner of
America to employ people at less than a liveable wage!

Two wage earners in a single family can work full-time and still be eligible for
food stamps or SSI or earned income credits or medicaid? How can this be?! It’s
a danged giveaway alright.. a give away to employers who otherwise would find
no one willing or able to afford to stay with that company and do the work.

And here’s the best part.. the money for these ‘giveaways’ are collected mostly
from fellow workers! Then redistributed to keep those wages low..

Welfare through the looking glass!

Adios!

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By godistwaddle, December 18, 2010 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

If life were fair, John McCain’s cancer would have finished eating his head by now, eh?

Aside from that, Mrkns, unwilling to be citizens, deserve to be treated exactly the way they are.  I haven’t seen any really rigged elections in the U.S. (Florida, 2000 maybe), so Mrkns, unwilling to be citizens, are getting exactly what they WANT, as well.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, December 18, 2010 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Ardee:

Need I remind you that the majority of Americans voted for these fools ... if you add together those who voted for the Dems and the Repugs.  A third party cannot get traction in America because very few vote for them.  The vast majority simply walk into the polls and pull the appropriate lever before leaving.  Very few even bother to cross party lines.  So the dim bulbs are definitely in the majority.  Maybe you are one of the exceptions.

From where I view the world (outside the US and the constant blare of the MSM and the corrupt political parties) I see a country intent on destroying itself.  How many attended the anti-war march earlier this week?  Maybe a thousand?  How many attended Glen Beck’s march earlier this year?  A few hundred thousand?  On interesting contrast, don’t you agree?  Look at the stats from any angle and they say the same thing.  America is destroying itself from within while pointing the finger at anyone other than themselves.  So I stand by my comment ... Americans are not the brightest bulbs on the tree.  Most of you have no knowledge of anything beyond your little world.  Most of you have no idea what’s happening outside your own borders.  And, sadly, most of you have no interest in finding out.  American exceptionalism ... what a joke!

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By rtb61, December 18, 2010 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Than lazy jobless myth is far more pernicious than most people realise, underlying it’s attack upon the
unemployed is a venal desire to exploit them in themost primitive ways imaginable.

If you have no work, why shouldn’t you be forced to dig my garden, cook my dinner, make my bed and clean my toilet for a dollar an hour.
If you have no work why shouldn’t you rent your children to me for my use.
If you have no work why shouldn’t I be allowed to publicly demonstrate my superiority over you by having grovel for my scraps while I abuse you.

It really is so selfish and pathetic and downright evil. We have worked to create a system the denies people an opportunity to support themselves and then the minority most responsible for the nature of human society, seek the opportunity to revel it opportunities for exploitation that denial of the right of survival creates.

The mistakes of centuries past repeated over and over again, to feed the lusts and egos of a minority who feed upon chaos, with the inevitable end result of growing violence and conflict as the abused seek to survive by any means possible.

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By CaptRon, December 18, 2010 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

Other possibilities:
1) Maybe, Mr. Ben Stein, your job is secure because there aren’t as many qualified people for your job which requires being and idiot and displaying this as you do on many different TV commercials and game shows. Most people I know seeking employment today are qualified to give 8+ hours/day of roll-up your sleeves toil for a significantly minor salary in comparison. They are not begging for a hand-out, they are trying to span a period in their lives totally out of their control created by people like you who really might be served better if you did an “Undercover Boss” TV segment. You might at least experience the true meaning of work and realize they have contributed to the very fund they want to retrieve from and would contribute more if there were enough jobs around for real workers unlike yourself.
2) You are totally prejudiced to anyone who doesn’t look or talk or walk like you, unless they are a 7+ foot tall black basketball player/law enforcement officer who also has money and many like friends as tall and rich as he.
3)You want to deter attention to possible illegal/immoral activities which got you where you are today and which may cause you embarrassment.
4) You are seeking the Presidency of the United States or public office as a Republican.
5) All of the above and many more.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 18, 2010 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

Here’s the thing about unemployment:  Unless you’ve been stuck in it, everything you think it is, is wrong.  Everything you know about the unemployed is wrong.  Not “quit”, not because you are a student, but only because you were laid off (or fired).

Only then do you know what it means, what the desperation feels like, how much you NEED a job, not just to survive, but to feel like a man, or a woman adding value on your own merit.

And when it happens as part of a major economic mess, as it happened to me, you realize how fragile it all is.  I was lucky. Very, very lucky. I was able to find a good job after 5 months.  My wife was working.  We landed on our feet, but we felt the cold wind of what so many other suffer.

Losing your job by someone else’s choice to sack you sucks, big-time.  Especially when it was their choices that f***ed up the company in the first place.  2 years ago, 2 companies I worked for then and since then have gone from a combined 105 employees full-time to 12 (10 in one, 2 in the other).  Over 90+ people out of 105 lost their jobs.  Some have found work (they were good people), some have not (mainly good people), a few had other resources and made other choices.  But I don’t know ANYONE out of that group turning down work for the joys of unemployment insurance.

It’s a huge, evil lie.

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By fdb, December 18, 2010 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - J. K. Galbreath

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By c.d.embrey, December 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Why, then, is the myth so resonant that polls now show more than a
third of America opposes extending unemployment benefits? Part of it
is the sheer ignorance that naturally festers in a country of cable-TV
junkies.”

Intelligence is a Bell-Shaped-Curve, i.e. 50% are smarter than average
and 50% are of below-average-intelligence. Does this help explain the
above? And why people who live in trailers are against the “death tax?”

And if you are in the lower 50% and out of work, it is that much harder
to find work because these jobs have migrated to other countries. So
that the rich can get richer.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, December 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

More canards from the right - they need these kinds of irrational beliefs to stay disconnected from reality - It isn’t just lazy folks who lost their job - but hard-working blue collar workers - whose jobs none of these lazy thinkers would be able to handle for an hour. 
Mental laziness is the worst form of sloth and it is rampant among the Reps who have made a platform of being callous and profundly wrong on almost every topic.

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By TAO Walker, December 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

The article and ensuing comments do point-up some of the psycho-emotional symptoms of the “global” disease ravaging not only the “self”-obsessed americanpeople.  The vast majority, by far, of the members of the subspecies homo domesticus have been beset throughout “history” with the effects of poverty and the immuno-suppressant CONfinement regime, ever since the “civilization” malady, with its false-eCONomy operating system, started-up here thousands of years ago.

Here’s the rock-and-a-hard-place reality that mere armchair symptomology never gets to.  There is no end of things that really need doing….and that there’s never any “money” in.  Meantime, all of the things there’s “money” in doing would be so much better left undone.  That this is so is in the essential nature of Nature.

It is the toxic, corrosive, and habit-forming essential nature of “money” itself that renders everything it touches sooner-or-later destructive of those organic living arrangements apart from which none of these “self”-absorbed “individuals” is viable.  Air, soil, water are polluted….for “money.”  The living sinews of Community, Family, Personal integrity are eaten away….by “money.”  A world-destroying institutional/electro-mechanical apparatus is CONstructed and set loose….to feed the insatiable appetites of “money” junkies.

The CONsequent sickness is now so epidemic none of its sufferers is even aware they have it.  So the printing presses run CONstantly.  The financial mill creates “money” out of thin air non-stop.  Governmental operations at every level in all places are now become all about “the money.”  Yet there’s never enough….and never can or will be.

Futile attempts to resurrect the myth of allamericanexceptionalism, which is after-all just the local manifestation of homo-centrism, are all the rage these days.  The “jobs-jobs-jobs” mantra takes no account whatsoever, though, of the near-terminal alienation of our tame Sisters and Brothers from the Living Arrangement they tried arrogantly (and are now failing miserably) to escape. 

Being a vital component in our Mother Earth’s immune system is not a “job.”  It is the given organic function of Humanity.  Those neglecting it are now experiencing the effects of being cut-off from all they’ve so disdainfully maltreated for so long.  Oblivion awaits them who persist to the bitter end of their “self”-delusion.

So what’s it to be….your “money” or your Life”?

HokaHey!

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By MeHere, December 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

The myth of the work ethic is meant to turn workers into slaves in order to
increase the wealth of those at the top. It is coated with morality and virtue to the
point of social blindness. Please, we work to make a living and/or because we like what we do -but not in order to get to heaven. But the myth is very pervasive in our culture, regardless of obvious economic disasters. Many still want to believe that it is a better alternative to let people starve, and be deprived of housing, health and education rather than come to their aid, especially in bad times. The politicians in government simply reflect that way of thinking.  All this coming from a wealthy country that seems to be appalled at news about human right abuses, cheap labor, and corruption…..... when it comes to foreign countries.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

It sounds to me congress judges everything and everyone compared to themselves.  Devious minds so simple make stupidity look like the bright star in the sky. Well, after all Christmas is in the air.

So being unemployed means a person is lazy according to the great thinkers running the country.  This coming from future lobbyists with full medical benefits.

Screw the poor, the middle class and the unemployed seems to be the mantra of concern from crocodile tears DC. 

Oh yeah! What war!

Next up is fucking with Social Security, there is money in them there coffers. Talking about layabouts
does the party of NO receive a check for saying NO?

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By gjgatos, December 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

If sloth is caused by unemployment checks, I wonder what it is that causes unmitigated greed.

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By garth, December 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

The news media is getting on the side of the Right-Wing blowholes by trying to paint those on unemployment as just a gang of scammers.

Out of about 300,000 unemployed in MA, they just uncovered a man who allegedly collected $40,000 workman’s comp while holding down a job that pays him $120,000. 

Well, that is enough for them. That was all they needed.  One out of 300,000.

I wonder if we went through the taxes of top 0.1%, the ones who got the biggest tax break, how many would face time behind bars from the IRS?  Enough is never enough for these bastards.

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By Noodly James, December 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The claim of the jobless being lazy is ridiculous. For me it is actually sickening.

I am an M.D. however in 1994 I was homeless. And I don’t mean on the way to college. I mean I was a homeless college dropout. The pervasive depression accompanying the homeless and jobless state is literally sickening. Added to that is the hopelessness for the future and the stultifying reality of dirty clothes with no way to wash them.

We have all walked by some homeless person and thought “They are younger than me. Why don’t they have a job?” Beyond the fact that there are no jobs, they don’t have a job because they cannot afford a razor and a bar of soap. They cannot afford to wash their clothes, they have no access to a way to wash them, and nowhere to store their clean clothes when they do wash them. They have no food. They are desperate. Which deepens the depression.

Precious few employers will hire someone who looks like a desperately suicidal “Pig-pen”. What got me out of the cycle was the US Army however they have several exclusionary standards, age being one of them. I also joined in 1995 (between imperialist convulsions….I mean…“conflicts”). If I hadn’t been 20 I have to wonder if I would have even survived let alone succeeded.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Blaming the unemployed for being too lazy to find work is like blaming the starving for being too lazy to grow food.  It’s pathetically ignorant.

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By FRTothus, December 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm gets to the heart of the flip-side of this poisonous theory, namely, that if those who are unemployed are personally responsible, then the uber-wealthy are wealthy because of their own efforts.  We all know this is not at all true. Show me a person making minimum wage, and I will show you what someone who actually works for a living.  Show me someone with a fortune, and I will show you inherited wealth, corporate welfare, or a thief.

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By Artie Underwood, December 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is another explanation. The Congressmen who make this argument are projecting their own personal behaviors onto others.  That is, if they were unemployed they know that they’d cheat, lie, and try to game the system.  How do they know that?  Because that is what they do every day in Congress.

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By ray, December 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is their anyone out there that thinks the outsourced jobs are ever going to return back home on american soil?
O could give a poop- his inaction on this issue & it’s devastating effect on the job market make that clear!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, December 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

The Just World myth is central to the narrative of meritocracy. The purveyors of
Our Way of Life promulgate this odious lie, because if Debbie Middle Class truly
understood that failure isn’t always earned, then then she just might figure out
that success isn’t always earned either.  And if success isn’t always earned, well…
heavens to Mergatroid, Snagglepuss, maybe those richer-than-thous aren’t
holier-than-thous after all.

Herecy! “Send ‘em off to that Gulag they call Europe”, I can hear them shouting.
And unfortunately, most of that heckling won’t come from the orchestra seats,
but from the peanut gallery. Because it is the working/middle classes, the ones
who have toiled in the trenches of status anxiety and felt the fear of failure sting
like a jockey’s whip, it is they who are most invested in this poisonous meme.

Yes the middle class, narcissistically believing itself poised for imminent
promotion to upper crustdom, could never countenance the possibility that all
their “hard work” might be for naught. Nor could they suffer lightly the indignity
of accepting that their economic inferiors might be their moral equals. No, no,
no. Too many dangerous questions would follow. The hierarchy must be
maintained at all costs, otherwise, they might have to reconsider WTF they’ve
been doing with their precious time on this planet. Remember, this is their
America, and in their America the one with the most toys at the end wins. So
suck it up, walk it off, be a man, do your job, and take it to your grave.

This is what Matt Taibbi calls the “peasant mentality”. And once you tag-team it
with America’s bootstrapper/maverick founding myth (yawn), you get the
emotional wrecking ball that has been used over and over to crush all sense of
community and social responsibility. Just recently the blustering nabobs of this
nonsense pumped up the volume, publicly denouncing community as “evil”.
That’s alright. You’d do it too if somebody dangled that much bank in front of
you. In the never ending episode of Survivor that is America, a man’s gotta do
what a man’s gotta do.

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By bogi666, December 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s is the work ethic propaganda trumpeted by the pretend christians[biblical harlots] in conjunction with business and government to create guilt in those out of work through no doing of their own. This provides a vehicle for these institutions to deflect guilt to the victims for being lazy from the fact that businesses in conjunction with the USG created the unemployment by using Wall St. as a casino, using other peoples money[OPM] and the government bailing out the crooks which cook their books and bribe the politicians to enable their crimes. Curious that these 3 shills for crime don’t take the facts into account.

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By bogi666, December 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As for Pat Buchanan and Ben Stein calling the unemployed lazy neither one of these despicable, disgusting ingrate cretins would both starve to death as neither has ever been engaged in meaningful employment. If they had to work for water they would die of thirst in 10 days. As for the Senator, he’s a politician living on bribes, pretending that’s an honest living. As usual they can offer no names of the unemployed that they rail against, sitting in their offices living off the government by being paid or using the public airways without paying for that privilege.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

We are in a class war.

It has been going on for ages.

It is rearing its ugly head today.

And what else?

Your bank account signifies your level of tribute obligation to Caesar… or his favor to your obedience…

Either way it is Slavery by the funny fiat.

Folks may have seen this coming if they would have read further into the propaganda fed to the populous as U.S. and World History.

It’s based more on lies than facts.

Greedy men cannot hide on this planet! 

The Light will shine on your dirty filthy sinful hearts.


LOOK!

Hedges, McGovern, Ellsberg arrested today:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6017

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By garth, December 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., for instance, said added unemployment benefits mean people are “encouraged not to go look for work.” Columnist Pat Buchanan said expanding these benefits means “more people will hold off going back looking for a job.” And Fox News’ Charles Payne applauded the effort to deny future unemployment checks because he said it would compel layabouts “to get off the sofa.”
———————————————————————

To those three shiftless bums named above, I can’t help but tell them what a thrill it is to work on a resume, write cover letters, attend job search workshops and help groups, wear out the welcome of past co-workers, go on interviews and never receive a call-back, search the Internet, etc.

Even your hero, the Right-wing Charles Krauthammer, conceded that those over 50 should still receive unemployment.

What’s so hard to understand?  The jobs are gone!  We are not just in a business downcycle.  Companies are still moving jobs to Mexico and overseas. 

Some ex-co-workers are now trying to do volunteer work for companies in the hope that they don’t lose their skills.  Only one I know of found such a position. He’s busting his hump, trying to build a career again from nothing.

The unemployment check actually helps one survive while looking.

The shit jobs at Wal-Mart, CostCo, Home Depot—retail jobs at minimum wage—are not that plentiful and most likely have already been filled.

Lazy?  F—k You!  A little worse for the wear and depressed at times? Yes. 

I’d like to ask Judd Gregg what he did with the $million or so he won in the NH Lottery in 2008.  I’d like to know if Pat Buchanan ever had a real job, and if Charles Payne of Fox news ever slipped and told the truth.

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By Jim Yell, December 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How at a time when people with a life time of work history, How could anyone claim that workers without jobs are without jobs because they are lazy?

People who have even been in lower levels of management, some would say even middle and some upper levels have after decades of work found themselves jobless and unable to even get interviews. If they try for lower level jobs they are told—oh you would leave the minute you find a better job, or you wouldn’t function because you are accustomed to better compensation. And, the labor that have made marginal incomes all their lives, but seek to work—well over the decades the same corporations and rich bastards that are primarily benifited by the Obama/Republican Tax package, well they shipped those kind of jobs over seas years ago.

All of the tax money given to investment banking should be reclaimed right now and a huge penality raised upon these nasty traitors who sit at the apex of our society. If there is a class warfare going on and there is, it is coming from the wealthy for whom no amount of riches is ever enough, even if they have to take the food out of poor peoples mouths. What a bunch of creeps.

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By gerard, December 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

You know,I think the majority of U.S. citizenry understand the psychological mechanics of degrading poor people, old people, sick people, people of color, people who are in trouble.  They do it without thinking, out of habit and following leaders. They think it’s okay—just a process of separating the sheep from the goats. It makes them feel good. There is not much else that “feels good” in their lives other than putting others down, seriously or with jokes.
  The whole process is evidence of a serious national inferiority complex disguising itself as superiority. Our national super-problem is that we don’t know how to relate to others on the basis of our avowed intentions—“liberty, equality and justice.”  In spite of bragging about being a democracy, a majority of us, without admitting it, subversively hate real democracy. The last thing we want is for everybody to actually have equal rights.  If everybody is equal, nobody is superior.  Imagine that!

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Any myth is propagated when a mission is involved.

In the case of a ‘lazy labour force’ can be easily summarized.

If indeed they are considered lazy, would you blame them?

Wouldn’t you be if you somehow knew you were a slave with no way out of bondage?

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6002

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By Myronh, December 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Comments like those from Senator Gregg, Buchanon and Stein about the unemployed explains exactly what is wrong with this country. I was a Manager in a relatively large steel fabrication company for more than 30-years before I retired. I now consult for that same industry. The idea that the unemployed are lazy and would rather stay on the couch is so wrong that the unemployed should be able to start a class-action lawsuit against everyone that makes such a statement.

I have known and seen hundreds of good workers, both crafts-people and office workers/staff get laid off due to lack of business, or in most cases a slow down of orders. The smart thing to do would have been to put those same people to work doing needed maintenance and system improvement of both the fabrication shop and the office.
Companies are no longer run by people with common-sense; they are now run by Accountants who think the best way to improve the bottom line is to reduce the payroll. Most of those people that were laid-off had no intention of ever collecting unemployment insurance. They want a job and especially one where their services are appreciated and they can return home at the end of the work day feeling that they had done a good job. Once they have used all their meager savings just to pay the bills and now face the specter of losing their car, home, and worst of all their respectability once they have been told they are losers.

I know I am one of the lucky ones who could always speak for myself and could adapt to most changes. I condem those who treat our fellow humans with such disdain. We don’t have the right to pass judgement on them based on the fact they are now unemployed. What are they to do when a business they have worked for shuts the doors? Their home is now too far away from another job. Moving will disrupt the entire family - change schools, lose old friends, unfamiliar shopping places, etc. Some of us may be able to handle such a change; many of them cannot. Help them, don’t call them lazy.

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By elisalouisa, December 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

The tendency on these threads as of late has been to assign responsibility for the
state of America on to the American people. Not true. The American people did
not voluntarily give up their jobs those in other countries. There were not the
ones who threw money at Wall Street with no transparency. They did not reduce
the inheritance tax. They did not call for our country being in a state of continual
war. The American people were not the ones who gifted the corporations with
the power to rule. No, the American people were sold out by their government,
working hand-in-hand with the corporate-power-elite as to the decision making
that affects the working and middle class of this country. MSM which in essence is
the corporate-power-elite, puts a spin on news stories and joe six pack has
another beer, being convinced things shall soon turn around, placing him in the driver’s seat. The elected powers that be, who knowingly say one thing during a campaign only to follow the wishes of corporate powers when in office,  are responsible for deception of joe six pack.

There are no bright lights this year; the circuit board is over extended.

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bogglesthemind's avatar

By bogglesthemind, December 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

“... conservatives trotted out the shibboleth that says the program fosters
sloth.”

Yes, that’s right, just like politics and being a republican encourages greed
and corruption.

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By Bergschrund, December 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for this post!

I’ve grown so tired of refuting this meme, this thought-virus among my social circle.

When the issue is raised, I’ve found it truly challenging to first refute the myth and then try to segue to a more generalized discussion of how, as Mr. Sirota suggests, this baseless conjecture distracts from a more purposeful discussion about what ails our economy.

It’s really lamentable that critical thinking skills aren’t a compulsory part of our education system.

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By Devon J. Noll, MPA, December 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My husband was talking to me last night about the programming on the History Channel recently.  He has noticed that every program he sees in their line-up has something to do with Nazi Germany, and since he is a history buff he has been watching it.  And he is really shook up (and it takes a lot to rattle my husband.)  He said it was like watching our history playing itself out.  The laws passed and signed by Bush, the cowardice of the Democrats in Congress, an ineffectual leader in a time of crisis, and the rise of group that is so poorly informed on facts that they believe every lie they are fed by a powerful political force.  He talked about how certain groups were demonized by a propaganda machine - Poles, Jews, Black, mentally ill, unemployed - until people turned on them.  He said the shows discussed how the SS, only 1300 strong, turned people against each other and how they exterminated not just Jews, but millions upon millions of the other groups they targeted, including Russians, clerics, academics, POWs.  He said as he watched the rise of this group and its leadership, he was amazed how many of the factors that led to their rise were the result of high unemployment, homelessness, and hunger, and how the German people were fed a steady news stream that blamed the victims for their circumstances along with an inept government, in which the accusers were a small minority.  My husband said he felt like he was watching our history unfold.

My reason for telling this story is this:  we are faced with all the factors that led to the rise of Nazism in Germany in 1932, and we are being led down this path by the politicians we elect and the media that is not functioning as anything other than a propaganda machine for the GOP lies.  The unemployed are massive - their ranks swollen by the underemployed and those who have give up - totaling over 1/4th of our workforce.  For every person who does not work, there are 14 other people that are affected on average.  Depending on which U6 number you use, that means that between 238,000,000 and 300,000,000 plus people are affected when you have these kinds of massive unemployment figures.  What do you think is going to happen when the unemployed who were hard workers, long-time employees, small business owners, and public servants who put in long hours and their own money to help us finally get fed up?  My guess is that it will not be pretty - and world will sit by and watch us destroy ourselves from within, or worse yet, if we do not act, they will destroy us from without.  Empire building and high unemployment are dangerous forces to mix, and the GOP has added in religious fanaticism and lies to the pot. 

The unemployed are a dangerous group of Americans who have been maligned, called un-American when they are patriotic in the truest sense of the word, called un-Christian when they ask for help, lazy when they were working two and three jobs until they were laid off - not fired - laid off. 

So what is the solution?  Do we rise up and attack our own government and its corporate shareholders, or do we go off in a corner and die?  We do neither - we abdicate our government to the fools, and establish strongholds within our communities that withstand what the future holds.  We create self-reliance and self-sufficiency.  We create new businesses from within the ranks of the unemployed, supported by the community as a whole.  We feed ourselves with what we grow and share with our neighbors.  We stand united against incursions into our community by the likes of Wal-Mart, supporting instead local businesses.  We boycott the mega-stores already in our communities by buying or trading and bartering with our neighbors.  We find local banks and work with them to establish new business guidelines that will benefit community members first, and all outsiders last.  We vote out politicians that do not put the citizens first in our communities, and put in city councils that do.

We fight back!

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By Inherit The Wind, December 17, 2010 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Cordy,

Yeah, that happens, too, unless there are massive layoffs and whole departments are killed.

It’s all part of the scheme to put more of the nation’s wealth in even fewer hands.  They just put Social Security in play.  Obama and the Dems just let the GOP turn off the electricity to “the Third Rail of Politics”. Because, like George W. Bush, they want to take that GIANT bolus of money and…put it in the stock market.  Think how many more brokers will be able to golden parachute set for life!  Then when it fails “Oh, too bad! But we all know the Stock Market is risky.  Guess those old folks will have to live with their kids.”

We’ve been sold out. Lock, stock and barrel.

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By J, December 17, 2010 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This scapegoating of those who need the most help is classic republican/libertarian propaganda.  Remember ‘welfare mothers driving Cadillacs’?  It is my experience recently living a rural and republican area that this mis-conception is from their own experience of watching Uncle Gomer work all summer as a landscaper then spend all winter on unemployment and sitting in the icefishing house.  Those days are long gone my friends.  Just see how many of you ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ people fare when Wal-Mart stops hiring.

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By Gordy, December 17, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Seems to me that people are laid off or kept on largely on the basis of professional and personal rivalries/alliances.  The official reasons are just tacked on.  I’m not saying this is human nature; I’m saying it’s the standard work culture at present - an atmosphere of individualistic careerism.

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By Gigi, December 17, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Utter nonsense.  This attitude, that the jobless are “lazy,” has become a rarity for one simple reason—everyone has seen cases of many outstanding employees being fired while the incompetent but well-connected insider gets to keep his job, or better yet, is the one doing the firing.  This goes right up the pyramid to the very top, where ordinary citizens all over the capitalist world had to bail out the investment bankers.  As Lanchester put it, the profits were privatized and the losses were socialized.  To paraphrase him, “no system is supposed to work that way.”

So this transcends politics.  It doesn’t matter if you are a Sarah-loving Tea Partier or an unrepentent Maoist—these are facts, and they are in everyone’s face.  You can’t hide it with the same stale rhetoric.  No one believes these idiots.  They just wonder who is paying them to lie, how much, and whether the rest of us will have to pick up the tab one way or another once again.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 17, 2010 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Yeah, it’s easy to believe that the unemployed do it because they are lazy…until it’s YOU!

A factory in a town closes.  Say the town has 20,000 500 people are laid off.  At 2.3 children that’s now 1650 more depending on unemployment.  They cut back heavily on everything from DVDs to foods they buy.  Clothes now have to come from WalMart or even the consignment shops. Some cannot make their mortgages, some cannot make their rent. Smaller businesses in the town fail, throwing more people out of work.  The only one hiring is WalMart, at 1/3 the hourly rate, for less than 30 hours per week (so Wally doesn’t have to provide benefits), and there are 5 applicants for every job there.

Then engine of economics in this town has been killed.  Who’s lazy?

Then the idiots who lost their jobs vote for Republicans because they want change, the same Republicans who call them lazy and won’t extend unemployment benefits. (small towns are notoriously conservative).

Stockholm syndrome, I guess.  Worshiping the ones who abuse them.

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