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Daniel Boyd

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Educated people should not consider themselves too good for unskilled labour

In Western society we all have the privilege of extensive education in which we have the freedom to choose a direction of our own interest. If work is subsequently available in this area, it is obviously an optimal use of human capital for trained people to do what they are trained for.

On the other hand, maintenance of the comfortable, clean and safe society we live in requires a fair amount of unskilled labour.

The question is what should happen when trained people cannot find a job in their chosen vocation: in other words, society does not need them in this role at this time. Do they have a right to expect unemployment benefits while waiting for a 'suitable' job to arise? Or should they be expected to contribute something to the maintenance of society (in the form of unskilled labour) in return for their own maintenance?

In other words, should unemployment benefits be coupled to community services?


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  • Nov 13 2013: I agree with others that it is a personal preference and an attitude more than a reality.

    The person who wants to find work will, even if it is with a mop and a bucket and maybe working two jobs to make ends meet. The person who thinks menial labor or unskilled labor beneath them will not work, it is that simple unless they find skilled work.

    It is a choice to work. Sadly, to many people think it is beneath them or have never gotten their hands dirty with hard work.
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      Nov 16 2013: True that some have an inherent work ethic while unfortunately many/most don't. But that doesn't mean that society needs to accept and support what can be seen as laziness. Should we accept that someone would prefer not to work rather than getting their hands dirty, as you put it? I think not. If we can think of something useful for them to do, I reckon they haven't reallly got reason to complain.
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        Nov 16 2013: Daniel,
        We can "accept" that someone would prefer not to work rather than getting their hands dirty...", but I don't think we need to support THEIR preference if they are able bodied adults.

        What WE may determine is "useful for them", may not be what THEY determine is useful for them?
        Some folks will complain no matter what.....with good reason.....or not!
      • Nov 16 2013: Daniel you echo my point. However, laziness is very subjective. Who is to determine what laziness is?

        Some people are on public assistance simply because they can't get a job. I have two friends who have been in that position. They applied repeatedly and tried to get work, but were not hired for a variety of reasons. On the surface, they were getting public assistance, not working, so therefore were lazy. But they were two of the hardest working people I know. Just in a bad spot. On the other side, there are those who are absolutely choosing not to work. That is so very different.

        Some people simply do not choose to work. That is an issue that must be addressed. Support those who are trying to get better. Maybe support those who are choosing not to work at a much lower level. I don't know that there is a good answer to that issue.

        In point of fact, the public support of those who are not working and receiving public support is at the minimum an entire different thread if not multiple threads. One could discuss what they add to the culture, what one should be required to add to society as a member of it, and should we support those who choose not to add anything to the society they are a part of.
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          Nov 17 2013: Too true that the fact that someone is not working does not equate directly to laziness, though I think it really must always e possible to do something productive as long as you are able-bodied.

          I guess what it all boils down to is attitude, whether or not someone is at least motivated to contribute rather than parasitically reaping the benefits with the conscious attitude "If I don't have to work, why should I?"
      • Nov 17 2013: I like the words "parasitically reaping" as an attitude. That is such a vivid word picture.

        That is what frustrates me. Having run in to it on numerous occasions in my career. There are those who do try to work and be productive. I respect those hard working individuals. There are also those who say "you owe me and I don't have to work". That attitude frustrates me to no end.

        In the end, it is all about attitude.
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        Nov 17 2013: Daniel and Everett,
        This is what frustrates me about the system as well, and it appears to be a shared sentiment with lots of people. People don't mind helping someone when they/we genuinely need help. It is the feeling of entitlement or "parasitically reaping" that folks who support themselves object to.

        Unfortunately, the public assistance programs have become generational expectations in many cases, and that cycle needs to be broken somehow. In my perception, working and sustaining myself has empowered to me.....it has added to my skills, which gives me more confidence in the life experience. When we (society) contribute to entitlement/parasitic reaping, generation after generation, we are actually depriving people of the opportunity to grow and learn with a different scenario.
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          Nov 17 2013: Absolutely. Though it may seem that you are 'beating the system' by getting something for doing nothing, you are actually empoverishing yourself by doing nothing.

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