Are most unemployed people lazy?

A. Nonymous writes:

Reading this article and its comments gave me mixed feelings. I know there are people out there who really need the aid and are really trying to find a job, but contrary to popular belief that this is the majority, I believe that this a small handful of people. The majority of the people collecting unemployment are not disabled nor incapable, simply lazy people so accustomed to their wonderful country who will support them.

I used to work at a retail store while in college and can remember a conversation of a group of women so happy about receiving their unemployment check to go shopping. I was bold enough to ask them why they wouldn’t rather work for bigger pay and they replied why would they work when they can get paid and sit home. This is the reality of the situation. It is laziness.

We would be stupid to accept the extension proposals. People on unemployment should be looked at closely to make sure they are going through actual circumstances and not just taking advantage of what should have been a wonderful system of government.


About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.


  1. I don't necessarily disagree, but right now it is incredibly difficult to end the extension. With signs of a very fragile recovery happening, the last thing we would want to do is throw another road block from that recovery happening. The housing market appears to have bottomed out and adding more foreclosures to the already ridiculously high inventory could be detrimental. I don't know the percentage of legitimate claims to illegitimate claims but I would hope that there are more than a "handful" of legitimate ones. I have never received unemployment, so I don't know the process of how easy or difficult it is to obtain. I think instead of ending the extension, we should require some type of basic training requirement or even assign some kind of work for the unemployed for 10 hours per week over two days. Their main focus should be finding a job which the 10 hour requirement would not really hurt. It may remove some of the people "double dipping" and working somewhere for cash, and it may remove some of the people who are the "lazy ones."I think once real recovery is evident, we can remove the extension but it doesn't have to be stopped completely to be fixed.

  2. I think it is unwise to suggest that generally people prefer to be taken care of by the US government than to work. I say this because the job market of the country dramatically changed not from the recent economic downturn, but rather when this nation shifted from being a manufacturing nation to consumerism. Persons are unemployed because jobs are not available and if you manage to find a job opening, there is often a foreigner who is willing to work longer hours for a fraction of what a US citizen would expect as compensation.So, laziness and unemployment can't be treated as synonyms. Jobs are not out there. Big companies are outsourcing due to the lure of cheaper labor and small businesses are not hiring because of the economic uncertainties. Moreover, unemployment is not a government favor, you pay taxes for this benefit when you are working. It is called Unemployment taxes.

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