The Spectacle Blog

The Government is Making Men Lazy

By on 2.6.14 | 1:22PM

If you are a man between the ages of 24 to 54, there's a one-in-six chance that you're jobless.

That disheartening figure comes from The Wall Street Journal. After recovering from the initial shock, one has to wonder: What happened?

Obviously, our fragile economy has accounted for hundreds of thousands of lay-offs and cuts. Most of these men had steady work and lost it. Some suffered injuries or disabilities that landed them on the couch. Some men fear uprooting their family in order to get a new job. Yes, there are a plethora of legitimate circumstances producing unemployed husbands and fathers, and this post is not for them.

On the other hand, for some, sheer laziness has taken its toll:

Some rely on government benefits. Others depend on working spouses… Surveys find that most of the jobless spend their days in the same way working men spend weekends—watching TV, working out, sleeping. Economists say part of the problem is that men with few marketable skills and little education can't find work that pays enough to get them off the couch…Simply put, many of the available jobs don't pay enough to get men to take them, particularly if securing a job requires moving, long commutes or surrendering government benefits.

I am no proponent of man-bashing; modern feminists should have more respect for the men in their lives. But dare it be said? Shame on these men.

As Benjamin Brophy mentioned, there are plenty of blue-collar jobs waiting to be filled and hourly wage jobs that need workers. So why are some men staying home and eating potato chips?

Sure, they may be severely overqualified for a job at Walmart. Yes, they need more than the minimum wage to keep their families afloat. But work is work. At some point, taking a temporary position to make ends meet while searching for something better is both absolutely necessary and completely honorable. Nothing is more handsome than a strong work ethic.

Because government benefits often supply more than a minimum-wage paycheck, these men (not surprisingly) would rather watch TV than work a low-paying job. In other words, the government makes laziness profitable.

That’s not America.

In the American “pursuit of happiness," government should encourage pride in diligence and hard work. Instead, in an attempt to make everyone equal, the state pays men to stay put, often at the expense of their families’ well-being. The American dream? Wake up.

This idea that white-collar workers are “too good” to take up blue-collar work sounds more like English aristocracy than American ingenuity. No man should be too ashamed to find part-time work so he can put a few bucks on the table while searching for something better. Yet, when Uncle Sam foots the bill for Netflix and beer, it’s hard to imagine men doing anything differently. 

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