21
Jul
08

Should the unemployed be made to work?

Here in the UK, the government has announced plans to force the long-term unemployed to work full-time or face losing their benefits. Does it sound like something you’d want in your country?

Around 4.5 million people in UK are on out-of-work benefits, and the idea behind the government’s plans is to find out how many of those claimants are capable of working. Is this unfair on those who have genuine trouble finding work, or do you think it is necessary to stop work-shy layabouts from sponging off the state? How does it work in your country?

If the global economy is slowing down, how much money do you think the unemployed should be able to claim?


65 Responses to “Should the unemployed be made to work?”


  1. 1 Dennis
    July 21, 2008 at 14:09

    The unemployed should be Required to get job training and other services to make them employable…

    Dennis
    Syracuse, New York [USA]

  2. 2 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 14:11

    Does it sound like something you’d want in your country?

    YES YES YES!

    Take away their benefits if they refuse to get a job. There are so many people who exploit the welfare system and unemployment system in the US, it makes me sick. It isn’t that they have trouble finding work, its that they have trouble finding work that is ideal… Beggars can’t be choosers.

  3. 3 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 14:15

    Very good idea. Even in some of the cases wher ethe person is say a lawyer, but refuses to do anything but that, a grownup, self sufficient person, with any semblance of self esteem will do whatever it takes to earn a living, and not live on handouts. So you’ll have to take a job at starbucks, no matter what you feel like you are entitled to. That’s what grownups do. These people on welfare benefits that refues to work are like infants and the body of an adult.

  4. 4 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 14:21

    Some people really have trouble finding jobs but most people just don’t want to work, unless they have the job they want. I think it is disgusting that some people are on welfare because they just don’t want to work. I don’t know anyone personally but I have seen young girls from my hometown that just have kids so they can get money from the government. They don’t even take care of the kids. Plus, I don’t understand how these people don’t work but they are out at the bars or clubs every weekend. I work and can’t go out as much as some of these people. I think the people on welfare that can work should go out and get jobs. I can understand if they obtain welfare becasue they do not make enough to support their kids, but they at least need to work.

  5. 5 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 14:28

    @ Angela

    The problem is that people like to take advantage of people/things, and others get their feel good sensation from having people be dependent upon them (ie, the lefties that encourage laziness by free handouts with expecting nothing in return). As the saying goes, give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime. So we have a problem in society of laziness and those that enable laziness.

  6. 6 Robert
    July 21, 2008 at 14:30

    Yes, being out of work you start to loose the ability to work. You forgot many of the skills needed to deal with workplace situations and even elimentary things like timekeeping.

    However there must be at least the following provisions

    1) The hours to benifits ratio must not drop below minimum wage. Councils and companies should not be allowed cheap labour from this.

    2) The companies taking these workers must treat them as normal empolyees with the same rights as all others.

    3) The workers are treated with respect. The uniforms they wear should be the same as other employees of the organisation so they can’t be identified by the public as being on this scheme.

    4) If the person is doing some form volunteery work for charity then this should be counted as part of the time.

  7. 7 Justin from Iowa
    July 21, 2008 at 14:35

    Its human nature to seek the easiest path. Why would you work, if the government will send you a check to sit on your butt all day long and do nothing? I heartily support this move on the part of the UK. I wish there weren’t so many freeloaders and slackers in the US, I don’t think it would ever pass, even though it is needed here.

  8. 8 Justin from Iowa
    July 21, 2008 at 14:37

    Welfare shouldn’t be a monetary hand out. Welfare should be government supplied temporary work while you are supplied new training with the help of an advisor so the training isn’t wasted.

  9. 9 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 14:44

    @ Justin

    Dream on. You can have a codependent relationship that way. The lefties love having the lazy segment of society dependent upon them, enabling the laziness, and making the government feel “loved” by being needed.

  10. 10 Shaun in Halifax
    July 21, 2008 at 14:49

    I don’t think you can make somebody work; whether by force or coersion. There is a large and visible panhandler and ‘street youth’ population in my city, and I regularly rail against them to ‘get a job, you lazy bum!’

    On the one hand, there will always be people who leach off others’ hard work. It is a fact of life. On the other hand, there are people who legitimately cannot work. Whether it is a mental disorder, drug problem (usually the cheap and really-bad-for-you drugs like crack and meth), or some horrible event or abuse from their childhood (it sounds like a cop-out, but I guess there are people who’s past continues to haunt them).

    I propose the following solution:

    1) Devise a better method of determining who legitimately needs welfare/social security and who is coasting because they’re lazy.
    2) Reallocate tax dollars (and eventual savings) to establish centres in high unemployment areas like one-industry towns, and blue-collar cities to help the residents get retrained to make them more employable.
    3) Establish better drug and rehab centres. Screw Paris Hilton and Ms. Lohan. There are other people who actually need these services and cannot afford to go to a summer-camp rehab resort. You can combine this with safe injection sites. Note I say safe injection sites and not drug dealing sites. Giving addicts a safe place and clean needles to use can stop the spread of transmittable viruses as well as expose addicts to chances to clean up and get off the junk.
    4) Teach people that a university degree is not the end-all and be-all. Any of the posters who have been to university can probably agree that there are some people who simply have no business being there. They are wasting their time and mommy and daddy’s money taking a 4-year paid vacation. Instead, try to encourage college and tech school degrees. Tradesmen can make big money, you don’t need a university degree to be one, and there will always be demand for them.

    It’s not a comprehensive solution, but I think it bears discussion.

  11. July 21, 2008 at 14:49

    First off, in the US an employer pays an “unemployment insurance”. It is quite a healthy chunk relative to the pay. Many employers of large companies say they would gladly pay their employees more if they didn’t have to pay the unemployment insurance. So, the opportunity cost is one that comes out of the employee’s actual salary. “unemployment in the US” is financed by the employee. (This is similar to people saying that the seller pays the realtor. Yet we all know that the buyers could talk the seller down the realtors fee if it didn’t exist.)

    That is why there is a 26, and in economies where the leadership are real idiots, sometimes gets extended to 52 weeks.

    The danger is that the statistics are generated from those getting unemployment. the feeling is that, “if they are not collecting unemployment they must be making money somehow.” A narrow, “blissful” approach. However leadership can say, “look I have reduced unemployment” for the people who don’t choose to operate in the constraints of the system. Some people go back to school. Some work under the table because they find a boss who can pay them a miniscule amount, 40 hours a week, but doesn’t want to pay payroll taxes and benefits. It takes the combined income of unemployment and low paying job to make it through the month.

    Unemployment is not like welfare. The money has been earned. When it runs out, then one might find themselves in the welfare system. Then some bigger demands can be made.

  12. 12 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 14:54

    @Steve

    I would consider myself a liberal, to an extent. However, I do not get a good sensation knowing that programs are helping out lazy people that can help themself. For example, my brother is in college and he so so lazy. All of his friends parents have alot of money, so most of his friends don’t work. My brother, like most of his friends are kind of “hippe like” and have been in trouble with the law. Thankfully, the boy has gotten out of trouble each time; although, my mother has had to pay alot of money. So this boy has gotten in trouble with the law, doesn’t have a job because he wants to make more than minimum wage, but still feels he is entitled to something. He feels he is entitled to stuff because I was able to do alot but I never got in trouble. My brother is not as bad as some people but I just can’t understand how someone can be that lazy.

    I just can’t stand lazy people who try to live off of someone else.

  13. 13 Shaun in Halifax
    July 21, 2008 at 14:54

    Here’s a link to an editorial about street youth in Halifax.

    http://www.thecoast.ca/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2007-05-24&-token.story=150561.113118&-token.subpub=

    P.S. Thanks to Shirley and Brett for the html help.

    P.P.S To Bryan re: Hezbullah and Israel and Middle East silliness. Thank YOU for the well-reasoned response. You made some good points, and while I dispute some of them, I think we may have to agree to differ on this one until a later date. The history and everybody’s interpretation of it is a little too fuzzy to make definite causal links.

  14. 14 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 14:54

    The counterargument the left will make is that people will commit crimes if they stop getting handouts. Though it does take effort to break into someone’s home, I’m sure it doesn’t take as long as a 40 hour work week.

  15. 15 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 15:00

    Plus, I don’t understand how these people don’t work but they are out at the bars or clubs every weekend.

    The best are those who live in subsidized housing, on welfare, with kids, and with brand new 20-$50,000 cars and 24” chrome rims claiming its too hard to support themselves. Some people have their priorities completely mixed up. Take care of yourself, take care of your children, get a job, get off welfare, then worry about your bling and shine and social life later.

  16. 16 Drake Weideman
    July 21, 2008 at 15:30

    It strikes me that many unemployed may want to work…in my area (Michigan) there is no work. Skilled or unskilled…there are almost no jobs out there. I think that we’re seeing much the same sort of conditions as arose during the Depression, and we will need some kind of effort on the part of government to provide jobs, like the Public Works Administration, where the unemployed can be used for semi-massive public work projects

  17. 17 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 15:35

    @ Drake

    See, if I were in that situation, I would move to a place that had jobs, even if that meant leaving the state. It’s kind of like if I were a beer brewer, but lived in Saudi Arabia, it’s probably not the best place to make a legal living, so I would move somewhere else. Again, you’re looking for the government to provide jobs, rather than to look for work where the work is.

  18. 18 Count Iblis
    July 21, 2008 at 15:38

    I’m surprised to learn that Britain hasn’t got any mechanisms to force unemployed people to find work. In most Western countries, unemployed people will get their unemployement benefits reduced after a period. Also they must prove that they are searching for work using copies of job application letters.

    If you don’t find a job after some period, then you must apply for jobs at any level, the job application letters you are required to hand in will prove if you are indeed complying with this rule.

    The requirement to find work at any level may not work for people who have had a very poor eduction or people who have a very high education (employers are often not keen on hiring such people). These people will be required to follow special courses, or perhaps go back to school.

    Unemployed people also get advice on how to write application letters, how to compose their c.v. and they can get job interview training. E.g. long time unemployed people with a problematic c.v. (e.g. a criminal record) will be given advice on how to lie about their history.

  19. 19 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 15:40

    @ Brett and others

    Yeah, there, at least in DC, is a “socialite” problem, if women, some even into their mid thirties, refusing to work, but still partying all the time (guess who rent gets paid, but at least the taxpayer isn’t funding it).. But the lazy, I want to do whatever I want mentality is really messing up society. I guess to them, dressing up and getting drunk is a “job” though sometimes they call it “promoting”…

    I live near a lower income housing area, I don’t think it’s subsidized, but it’s certainly a lot cheaper, and I think there is a maximum income allowed, meaning if you make above a certain amount, you cannot live there, so maybe it is subsidized after all, but I am shocked by how many luxury cars are parked at it…

    But that’s a systemic problem of society here, people here are so insecure they have to show off, constantly.

  20. July 21, 2008 at 15:49

    Lots of meaningful things to do with people who have got time, but no interest in actually investing that time to make legal tendor.

    Some ideas for work, real work that will pay real living wage jobs.

    1. tree planting in rural areas, a 1,000 seedlings a day.

    2. timber stand improvement, weeding tree stands, stacking sticks and doing real life forestry work.

    3. digging hand line on fire crews.

    4. doing CCC construction work on federal and state lands, trail work

    5. sorting through dumps and doing recycling work.

    6. doing piece work making solar pannels, and installing such.

    7.general clean up in city parks, and maintenance projects, trail work.

    8. tending to older people in rest homes.

    9. mowing lawns for elderly with push mowers

    10. work in a slaughtering house for rabbits, chickens, sheep, pigs, cattle.

    11.cleaning graffeedie off buildings in a city.

    12. cleaning out the sewers.

    troop

  21. 21 Anthony
    July 21, 2008 at 16:00

    Brovo U.K., bravo!!! I wish we did that here in the states. And they should give them really raunchy jobs like, like cleaning up sewer waste. I can imagine how fast those lazy leeches would get jobs 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  22. 22 John in Germany
    July 21, 2008 at 16:02

    The whole social field would have to be looked into, and the reason for the unemployment thoroughly investigated.

    The able and lazy should be made to work, for the country or state or town. if they receive support then they must earn it, and not live of the backs of those that work.
    Sufficient insurance should be arranged to cover those that work and through no fault of their own loose their employment. Here in Germany thousands find themselves without work due to subvention tourism, or due to managers trying to present the share owners with better dividends.There is unemployment benifit but it is not sufficient for a young family. You only hear the work force is to expensive, never, we have mis- managed, or we have incompetent managers, and we still need to pay them bonuses. A firm goes in the red=get rid of employees.

    So it is not always the fault of the workers……..But the bosses need an escape goat for their mishaps. Mergers are taking place under the global cancer, that is killing every thing that was decent in the Employer-Employee relationship. To date i have never heard of a merger that did not result in loss of jobs, if not straight away, within 2-5 years after a cooling period. More people on the street, through no fault of their own, these people will work if there is work for them.

    We pensioners moan, because a rise this year does not even cover the cost of living index increase. And we had to pay more health and care insurance, which meant nothing more in the purse. But we manage, and live in hope that the young have a chance to make something of their lives, i mean all, not only those that were born with a golden rattle in their hands.

    To conclude; No until the reason for unemployment is thoroughly investigated

    John in Germany

  23. 23 Mohammed Ali
    July 21, 2008 at 16:08

    If that question were to be asked in Liberia, people will literally lift you up in exhaltation. About 85% of the pop[ulation here is unemployed. It will be a miracle to see how we will be able to make the unemployed work

    You know one problem I have with WHYS is that most of the topic posted here can be narrowly restricted to the west. If you sincerely knew the umemployment rate in African countries, that question would have been framed as what can be done to help the unemployed get employ?

  24. 24 Justin from Iowa
    July 21, 2008 at 16:21

    That is another aspect of this problem that I would love to see a BBC/WHYS program on. Corporate waste. How much $$ goes down the tubes in corporate waste, corporate red tape, and fat corporate bonuses?

  25. July 21, 2008 at 16:42

    @ moving to where the jobs are.

    Again, unemployment is NOT welfare in the US. The worker pays for it. Sometimes moving cost more then staying put. One needs to sell the home, abandon the lease, or fold up the tent where they are living and with out a job try and find one in the place where work is plentiful. If they lost it unexpectedly they may have to leave family members behind who offered babysitting services, moral, or financial support. Often it is at least the more comfortable choice to ride it out in a failure environment and search for work. At least with support around you can ensure the basics. A move to an unknown place is not a reasonable offer for most.

    Our system is based on the fact that less then 1/2 of a percent of the “unemployed” actually don’t want to work, or are laid off for seasonal reasons.

    @ Troops list.

    Many of the things you listed I have done before for a decent wage. If the government jumps in and starts forcing people to do it for low wages, then the labor vale for those jobs will be driven down. Same thing happens when illegal immigrants work for low wages. A legislator’s job is not to rule over the individual, but rather to take care of the system. your proposals could do more damage to the economy then any benifit that might come of it.

  26. 26 Shirley
    July 21, 2008 at 17:26

    One of the biggest insults that I know of to the male ego is not to be able to provide for his family. Wouldn’t it make sense that if jobs were available by which a man could probvide for his family, he would be working them? Perhaps there is a problem with job availability, or, more specifically, the availability of jobs whose pay can actually sustain the needs of one family.

  27. 27 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 17:37

    @ Shirley

    Don’t open the can of worms, you could say that if there had been no feminism, and that only men worked, there would be no unemployment problem, these men would be able to work. Back in those days, it was possible for most to support a family off of one income, which really cannot be done anymore.

  28. 28 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 17:45

    Wouldn’t it make sense that if jobs were available by which a man could probvide for his family, he would be working them?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense that the impoverished or underprivelged individual just sit back and do nothing and get paid for it? Think about it. Someone who lacks motivation often due to their social position or financial position in life [so they claim] can either get paid to do nothing, or work a job they don’t actually want (oh shucks, a job they don’t want?! Poor them) to get the money they need. Now given those choices and standing, I think it would make more sense that they [the lazy ones] chose handouts.

  29. 29 nelsoni
    July 21, 2008 at 17:56

    Give a man a fish and you will feed him forever, teach a man how to fish and show him a river where to fish and he will feed himself forever.

  30. 30 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 18:07

    @Justin

    A lot of people dislike the fact that some CEOs are getting huge bonuses, but that was usually agreed upon when they got their job. A lot of people have big bonuses at the end of the year, but that comes with the job. If someone wanted to get to a point where they could get those bonuses they would have to enter those fields. I can’t compare myself to someone who has been working longer than I have been alive and who recieves huge bonuses because sometimes they are worth it. I think it is stupid when a someone recieves a huge bonus but their company is going down the drain.

  31. July 21, 2008 at 18:08

    @ Steve and Shirley,

    Agreed, it would be nice if one income could do it. There is the real source of a much larger problem. Legislators should set a goal of, “one person should be able to work to support a household.” Many of the “lazy and unemployed” today are women, a demographic that was not considered part of the statistics in the 40’s and 50’s. Should a woman with a child be forced to work? Should a man with a child be forced to work if his wife is gainfully employed?

    I know a guy who lives next to my in-laws in a McMansion neighborhood. He is a stay at home dad. His wife makes really good money. The men all criticize him for being lazy and unwilling to work. His kids are excelling at a faster pace then most in the neighborhood. Should he be forced to work? He did collect unemployment when she first went back to work. Then his 26 weeks ended.

    All this conservative talk of a “traditional family”. Yet we haven’t had that scenario as a norm here in the US since we come back from WWII.

  32. July 21, 2008 at 18:15

    Can some one please tell me which jobs they are going to be forced to do again? How are the people who currently do those jobs going to feel about the competition? How about we make them go work at gas stations and grocery stores so the stores can offer these products at a cheaper rate?

  33. 33 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2008 at 18:20

    “Should the unemployed be made to work?”

    Of course you mean the people who inherited wealth, and/or live off of interest, dividends, and capital gains from Stocks and Bonds and in that case, yes, I believe they ought to be made to do productive work, to actually earn their way in the world instead of being parasites on the working classes!

  34. 34 Julie P
    July 21, 2008 at 19:03

    @Dwight,

    The article posted on the Beeb does not specify what, or which jobs they will or would be doing.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7516551.stm

  35. 35 Nick in USA
    July 21, 2008 at 19:10

    Sounds nice, but I would like to hear the answer to Dwight’s question. What jobs will we force them to do? Does someone know of a job market that really needs to be filled? If so, point me in that direction because my job is too dangerous.

  36. July 21, 2008 at 19:18

    @ nick,

    How about an honest politician that understands the entire depth of the chess game in Washington. I can’t promise you that the job will be any less dangerous then yours, but there is certainly a niche in that market that needs filled. lol.

  37. 37 Shirley
    July 21, 2008 at 20:12

    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/should-the-unemployed-be-made-to-work/#comment-50308
    Hi, Steve
    My use of gender-specific language was unintentional. It is, though, a result of my experience and background as a Muslim. Sorry if it offended. You said,
    Back in those days, it was possible for most to support a family off of one income, which really cannot be done anymore.
    This is one of those things about the world today that I find unacceptable and with which I do not think we should have to live. There are people fighting for a living wage; and I commend their struggle. Dwight, the example that you raised stands out to me as another example of the need for our economy to be structured such that one income should support one family. Whether it is Mom or Dad who is home for the kids, the kids need a parent to be home for them. It can indeed be the difference between successful child rearing and total disaster.

  38. 38 Jens
    July 21, 2008 at 20:38

    the problem will be that jobs for people in paid work will shrink. it’s like having prisoners clean the highway, instead of a commercial entity

  39. 39 Jens
    July 21, 2008 at 20:42

    troop,

    the problem is that these are all jobs that need to be done and paid for.

    How do you think the solarpanel industry will feel if they have to compete against “free” labour from the public sector?

  40. 40 Pangolin- California
    July 21, 2008 at 20:58

    As usual all of the worlds emotional zombies will chime in on this issue and announce that the unemployed should be forced to work or starve. I don’t suppose you’ve ever been sick have you? Never had a flu so bad that getting in the car would be the same as drunk driving? That’s my normal day.

    All of those funny ingredients in dish soap, laundry soap, bug spray and coal dust interact in odd ways in some peoples physiology. Some people throw up when they run into the ‘new car smell.’ Some people can’t tolerate any kinds of molds. Some folks are just plain too crazy to work.

    What you really don’t want to do is actually pay to have all of those unemployed people who don’t jump at the first chance of job training, community college or fill-in work evaluated by physicians for medical disability. I mean real evaluations that might involve MRIs for people with mental health issues. Then you don’t really want to evaluate people on actual job skills as vs credentials because lots of jobs are held by credentialed morons.

    When John McCain starts refusing his disability check you can start complaining about the slackers at the bottom. Not until then. A boot to the head for all of you.

  41. 41 Justin from Iowa
    July 21, 2008 at 21:46

    Jens, you equate government jobs and pay with prisoner fed labor gangs and slave workforces. Obviously that would never work, especially in the US. And obviously that is not being suggested. So why do you even bring it up?

    Sorry for the tangent, but I find this style of argument EXTREMELY annoying, and I see it more and more nowadays whenever someone tries to carry on a rational discussion. Two people have differing views, and to “score points” and try to one-up the other person, one party brings in a completely drastic and unrealistic point of comparison, which even a baboon could see as not being a consequence of what is being disucssed.

    Do people who do this honestly think it enriches the discussion? I can tell you I personally feel dumber as a human being every time I see this tactic, and at this point let me tell you I’ve lost a lot of brain cells if it does.

    Come on people, the WHYS represents a forum of intelligent, good discussion… maybe it doesn’t always get where it needs to go, but throwing in rhetoric and tactics to muddy the waters doesn’t in any way advance the cause of rational, intelligent discourse. You (We!) are better than this!

  42. 42 Justin from Iowa
    July 21, 2008 at 21:49

    Pangolin, I don’t think people are advocating throwing people on the labor workgangs wholesale. But if you have trouble doing a “normal” job, then hell, there are plenty of jobs not classed as “normal” out there you can work in. If you are having trouble finding one, that is something the government, or heck a private organization, should be doing!

    Also though, having a disability or condition should not equal giving up. You see that a lot too. Giving up and taking advantage of the system are probably the two things we want to avoid most!

  43. 43 Emile Barre
    July 21, 2008 at 22:58

    If the work fits the skills and education etc of the individual and is paid the same rate as those in full time work and is in reasonable travelling distance then that should be offered for consideration to the individual. The rest of the matter should be negotiated.

  44. 44 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 00:03

    What I am in favor of is labor on offer for anyone who is fit and able to do it. My sister and her husband started life working for the California Conservation Corps which right now has over 800 members cutting fire line in California’s Northern forests including my sister’s stream rehab crew. If it wasn’t for the CCC’s wild salmon could be extinct in much of California.

    In urban areas conservation programs can clean up brownfields, plant and prune shade trees, assist in parks and urban garden establishment and restore, rehabilitate and remodel buildings into urban housing. Tiny houses need to be built and placed in neighborhoods of all classes for tiny budgets.

    Finally social workers need to be hired and paid to assist those who are truly chronically ill to navigate medical systems and integrate as much as possible socially. It is very difficult to leave the house when you are ill and paying somebody to haul them out for an hour a day is cheaper than paying for nursing home fees later.

    I have seen all sides of this from being the worker who cleaned up after the decomposed corpse of a man who had family living two miles away to being very ill myself and wondering where my grocery money is coming from. There are no simple or easy answers.

  45. 45 Pangolin- California
    July 22, 2008 at 00:16

    @ Justin- There are days where it takes me three tries and several hours to make a cup of tea. Meals and clean up are not always managed in the same day due to exhaustion. Exactly what work do you think I am fit for? Most intellectual jobs are highly competitive.

    There is always some jerk that looks at Stephen Hawking and thinks that everybody disabled can do quantum physics and all blind people play piano. Get a clue people.

  46. 46 Tom
    July 22, 2008 at 04:09

    Benefits should be judged on a per household basis. If both parents (that is, parents with children) are not working, then benefit should be extended if at least 1 is either:

    – actively looking for work.
    – actively pursuing training to improve employability.

    With training, there must also be time limit in place to prevent the unemployed from choosing to become career students. If they have genuine academic talents scholarships could be offered to them, otherwise once the training is complete it’s time to look for a job.

    If one of the parents is working and the other isn’t, benefit could still be provided to the household but only up to a certain level of household income.

    Perhaps another option would be voluntary/social work. This would enable able-bodied soon-to-be retirees to receive benefits for undertaking meaningful social work – such as youth mentoring and tree planting (as one already said).

    As a last resort, fixed term national service may be a suitable solution especially for the long term young unemployed.

    Any methods to prevent people from bumming around and taking free rides off honest tax payers would be a solution.

  47. July 22, 2008 at 09:00

    There is no food for the lazy man thus it’s by default that people should work. There is no gainsaying that the idle man breeds evil.

  48. July 22, 2008 at 09:44

    Indeed, mind is not big its so small that, i can’t talk so much because i know that each every has her Unemployed. Your quistion is that, “Should the Unemployed be made to work?”,Yes of couse,if they are Unemployed and they are citizens where could they, so in fack, you the Go’nt of that country, better for you to giving them a slight job in order wait their the smaller one.Therefore, most of the Unemployed people, many of them have Familiey where can they take them to!.moerover, benefits should be judged on a per household basis. If both parents (that is, parents with children) are not working, then benefit should be extended if at least 1 is either one have a no job or all of them,so the country will get a loss for her people.

  49. 49 Bryan
    July 22, 2008 at 10:13

    Shaun in Halifax July 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    OK, maybe we can carry on this debate sometime in the future.

    On unemployment, anyone who can work should be obliged to produce evidence that they are looking for work and if they can’t find anything they should be obliged to do menial work or anything else that is available. If they refuse, they should be taken off unemployment benefits – which in any event should only be for a limited amount of time. There are also many who con the system by working at the same time as receiving benefits. These people should be rooted out.

  50. 50 Katharina in Ghent
    July 22, 2008 at 11:53

    Many “older” people (= 40+) often have serious problems finding a new job if they lose the old one. There used to be a saying in Austria that the perfect employee is a 25-year old male, did his military service, has three different university degrees, speaks four major languages fluently, has 10 years of work experience and is willing to work for a slice of stale bread. Sometimes I think that times haven’t changed very much since.

    Here in Ghent the city came up with the scheme of “city guards”, employing long-term unemployed people, dressing them in ugly purple jackets and sending them for walks in the city. They have zero authority, can’t even write a parking ticket, but they’re off the unemployment list… What’s the point in that??? I fully support programs where unemployed people get training, I’ve worked for a while in a training center (reception desk, but still) and I could see that the adult students were very willing to get back on track, but still, even after two years of training, they would go from one job interview to the next and not find a job.

    Nothing is as simple as it looks.

  51. 51 Brett
    July 22, 2008 at 12:18

    @ Pangolin:
    When John McCain starts refusing his disability check you can start complaining about the slackers at the bottom. Not until then. A boot to the head for all of you.

    What does McCain have to do with my complains about unemployment and welfare exploitation? Absolutely nothing. I don’t support him, I don’t particularly care for him, his actions certainly don’t affect the relavence of my opinion.

    I think that your case (as there will always be certain cases) is an exceptional one. There are those without problem who are just too lazy to work. I know, I have met plenty who brag about getting paid money to do nothing.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  52. 52 Justin from Iowa
    July 22, 2008 at 13:30

    @Pangolin. I have no wish to offend, mate. Some jobs that come to mind… Sales over the phone, writing/journalism, crafts, depending where you are/live, running an antique or other form of small shop.

  53. 53 Justin from Iowa
    July 22, 2008 at 15:31

    …Accounting and book keeping. Research, nutrition consultant?

    Basically, any job you can think of that you can perform mostly from the home or mostly on your own schedule? What jobs could you adapt to fit your needs?

    ..Web design and management? Grrr, I forget what the task is called, but analyzing areial photos and using software to… aha! Digitizing aerial photos and other images.

    This is why we need a professional job-finder-type-person.

  54. 54 Sergey
    July 22, 2008 at 17:21

    I see 65-75 yrs old working in chain stores like K-Mart after their lost most of their pensions due financial bobbles and 25 yrs old complain that world has no opportunity for them. The problem that in US that education fill people with overconfidence while give them little knowledge.
    I work in finance… Outside of managers and traders 95% are immigrants. We make between $120K-$250K. Even today A lot of opening. I lost job in one bank in 1 month found another. NO AMERICANS!!! It is a shame for that country! US schools fail own kids!!!

  55. 55 Robin Burke
    July 22, 2008 at 19:17

    Most of U have obviously never been unemployed for any period let alone an extended one.
    As for a look at the over all picture, the Workforce & the employment envoirment acts and reacts like any other item/comodity that exists. They are pushed & pulled by the forces of Supply & Demand. Goverment, Academia & Business language use the term “Virtual Unemployment”, realising from the study of history, that 0% unemployment is impossible, even in a time of war.
    People on this debate are complaining about the tax money wasted on the Lazy, yet no one has talked about the rich who don’t pay taxes at all because of off-shore bank accounts in tax havens & hire lawyers & accountants to make sure they do this legally thus keeping them on the right side of the law although its obviously a very fine line they can’t help but walk like a tight rope out of plain and simple greed.
    Minimum wage is a bad Joke as its not the minimum amount needed to live on, I’m from Ireland, our Minimum wage will feed and cloth you & even entertain you but good luck if you think it will gaurentee you a secure future, buy you your own shelter house or castle, be it in a city or the country side and it will not help you climb the ladders that the better off always talk of being available to anyone, what a myth.
    I’m finished ranting, Open your eyes to the reality around you, money & greed are what dictate the current work envoirment, its much closer to the slave surfdom history of europe, asia & africa. It is a very long way off from an ideal envoirment where people are realisticly rewarded for their time, efforts & skills.
    Enough said, Get Real!!!

  56. 56 selena
    July 22, 2008 at 19:26

    Excellent post, Robin!

    Just one more thing to add… by taking sides with the rich against the poor we allow the craziness to continue.

    One man produces the food we eat, sanitizes the water we drink and cleans up our garbage and gets next to nothing in return. Another man reaps millions for pushing money around so that the rich get even richer.

    Where is the justice?

  57. 57 peter mose
    July 24, 2008 at 09:36

    UK GOV =GET THE CRIMPS TO WORK
    allo peter here, the uk gov have come up with what they think is a great idear they get the figures for how many people are diabled ,then refine the figures as to how many l
    can either hobble along or use a wheel chair,then calculate the cost to the gov,never mind pceople paid into the gov insurance scam ,= the truth is gov pays a muti national insurance comp to do medicals and declare disabled people fit for work or
    to downgrade their percentage of disability so the gov dont have to pay out to much benifit,

    now they are in ression some idiot comes up with the idear that they can save a fortune if they just ban the use of the word INCAPACITY then they dont have to benifit
    to them= save more money,

    these are the same people that vote themselfs £54000 pa sallery plus twice that in expences,now some of them have been found out they dont have to worry because
    they never get prosecuted.

    right now thy have to get them to work =recassified as unenployed they have to sign on to get JOBSEEKERS ALLOWANCE=THE DWPsend people not fit for work to a job interview=the result =he is not wanted because he not fit to employ
    IF THE EMPLOYER SENT THE INCAPACITATED MAN FOR A MEDCAL HE WOULD NOT BE EMPLOYABLE,

    THE SAD FACT IS THE GOV USES THE SAME INSURANCE COMPANY TO DO
    THEIR MEDICALS .

    HOW DO I KNOW [I AM THAT CRIMP=2 SPINE OPERATIONS AND A LOT OF APPEALS WON EVERY ONE OF THEM ,DID MY RESEARCH ON THE COMPANY
    AND TOOK IT TO THE MEDICAL AND GAVE IT TO THEM SAYING THIS IS WHAT I WIIL USE AT THE APPEAL,

    NOW OF COURSE I WONT BE ALLOWED TO APPEAL BECAUES I WONT BE INCAPACITATED I WILL JUST BE UNEMPLOYED.

    PETER MOSE
    FULLY TRACKABLE

  58. 58 d matthews
    July 24, 2008 at 17:27

    IM MULTI DISaBLED and so long term HOMeLESS.over 7 years
    and i still dont fit into the drug rehabs.
    the system does work for drunks and unempolyed in USA
    fails most of us.
    AND FIGHTING THE CA AND VET FAILURES OF SoCiaL SERVICES.
    NO GOOD ADVOCAcY.
    no voice.
    ADN TEH agencies HOUSIGN AUTHORITIES HAVE NO REAL PATH TO HOUSInG
    IF YOUR MULIT DISaBLED HOMeLESS.
    ThE ADVOCATES will not advocate or help mitgate so afte a year agin anohter peice of paper wont get me the housing. no REAL fix no supports.
    and they SAID
    WHAT DO YOU NEED SHELTER FOR.?
    yes they did.

    lots of people could ,would and should.
    but
    ill need med care and more education so i’LL be in positIon i dont get more harrass and harm fro disAblities and can earn enough to pay many medical bills to keep able to be working.

    i only succeeded in life when i could do 120% alone.
    NO MATTER HOW I TRY THE SYSTEM has the power to fail me.
    and does.

  59. 59 Rachel Miles
    July 25, 2008 at 08:32

    People are unemployed for many reasons – it is wrong to tar everyone with the same brush of being lazy wasters and a drain on resources. Yes of course there are those that cheat the system – there are also single parents who are better off not working until their children are fully grown.
    Some people lack the confidence and motivation to return to work after being unemployed for so long. The government via the jobcentres have got many different programmes TRYING to reach these people, but as with many large, government funded programmes, they are target driven and don’t have the time and necessary resources to have an effective impact.
    In an ideal world we should have some other viable alternatives and give these people an element of choice. I’d like to see:
    a) long term volunteering projects
    b) community service
    c) Specialised workshops (similar to those in Germany for disabled people)
    d) one-to-one advisors for the unemployed

    These would be supportive environments in which to get back on track again and are all good ways of giving something back to the community in the process. We should not forget to take into account peoples life circumstances and work with that person as an individual to tackle the real issues underlying long term unemployment.

  60. 60 Brett
    July 25, 2008 at 12:32

    If the unemployed want to live off of the government and the taxpayers and claim that they can’t find work. The government needs to provide them with a ‘job’ in order to pay that debt and burdon that they are placing on society (given they are not unable to physically or mentally work). They can clean up trash in public areas, maintain public areas, remove graffiti, help the homeless, or provide other public services. The government gives them their money as always, but they actually provide services for the government and the society which is supporting them.

  61. 61 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 25, 2008 at 13:25

    @Brett

    I think that is an excellant plan.

  62. July 30, 2008 at 03:09

    Yes, the system is sadly abused here in the U.S. by layabouts who
    scheme endlessly to get free food, medical benefits, taxi, heating, housing, etc.
    Also, if some people have to take weekly drug tests to keep their job, why don’t all the people getting free everything have to take drug tests regularly ?
    Most would flunk. That is very unfair to the working public who keep things
    going and pay the taxes.

  63. 63 Bill
    August 6, 2008 at 00:31

    Ok, after reading all this blather about making the unemployed work, I need to write this. And this is because I WAS unemployed for awhile and know the system in the US.

    1. it is required that you look for work while on unemployment and/or welfare (you need five applications a month if I remember right)

    2. I was in food management for years, hired and fired and paperwork and all. I had to take a once a week, nine week class on how to find a job. What did they teach me? How to fill out a job application, how to make a resume, and what not to do in an interview! How does that help?

    3. I was also forced into a “work experience” program where you picked up trash off the highways once a week. How is this helpful in gaining employment?

    To the people who think most of the unemployed are lazy – I really want to see you go to a town with a closed GM plant and call the unemployed there lazy. I dare you.

    To the people who think any job is a good job. I can tell you don’t make minimum wage or you wouldn’t be saying this. Welfare and Unemployment come with more benefits such as help with food, healthcare, and other aid which can’t be afforded by a full time minimum wage check ($900 per month by the way)

    And to my guy who says you should just move to where the jobs are. Give me the $1,000 it would take for rent, security and moving expenses. I was told this at the welfare office.

    I was unemployed like I said. I went for months putting in about 50 resumes a week. I walked through four towns twice, stopping at each store, stand, and business. No one was hiring. Does this make me lazy because I couldn’t find work? I finally found a job paying $850 per month. And would you believe that the welfare office tells me I now make $40 per month too much for ANY assistance at all.

    So, now before everyone goes jumping off about how lazy unemployed people are, remember that the guy who once built your SUV is now trying to get the same job as the neighbor kid at the burger stand down the street.

    Good Night.

  64. September 10, 2008 at 15:27

    I have been claiming benefits JSA for most of the last 8 years. I joined Work Directions March 2007 who after a couple of months kept implying that I was lazy. A year on, still claiming JSA I tend to agree with them. Oh I’m 46 and of Afro carrib origin, in Birmingham, single no kids. I think JSA needs to be overhauled, I sign on for benefits every two weeks, I think I should actually have to sign on every working day, that should be an hour long session. During the session I should apply for work. Ok I have done admin and I apply to an agency say , Midas recruitment, I get to an interview, with Midas, “.. what have you been doing the last 8 years……. er we’ll get back to you Mr Barnett ….”. Only they don’t. So where do we go, we avoid Agency’s, ? I’ll go along with that. Ok next day I sign on for my 1 hour session, and apply for a job, mm the NHS I have to apply online, I start typing, within 15 mins I get a message “your not suitable”. Ok, still another 3 days to go I sign on again its Wednesday and the sun is shining, surely someone will employ me, only they don’t. My employer is the JSA. I have a feeling the JSA needs to buy these employers work from them, and give it to me to do. Say about an hours work, the rate, same rate that the employer was offering. Maybe I will need training, then train me, on the job. Great, I’m working 1 hour a day for the NHS, where? in there offices? for an hour? mmmm I see problems. In JSA’s offices could work. A week into work, guess what, I start getting bullied, or maybe I think I’m being bullied, my confidence deteriourates to not wanting communicate with colleagues, or do any work, that proves it your lazy. So whats my next move. Lets try homelessness, and no food, a black guy hasn’t washed for months stinking on the streets of birmingham, but wait no food, I should be dead in a week, hold on won’t he be carted off to hospital. Maybe, lets pass a law, you have to pay up front for treatment. There, problem solved, dead in a couple weeks. Charities, lets ban the ones that want to help people on JSA.


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