As far as the uk goes, I think there aren't many people on jobseekers' allowance, these days, who don't have a genuine need. It's simply too degrading and too much hassle for too little money. These people are demonised as workshy scroungers who must be pushed into jobs - when the jobs simply don't exist.
I've met quite a few people on benefits who WERE playing the system and who don't want to work, but they are generally on incapacity benefits (& housing benefit, etc), rather than jsa. (Are they counted in unemployment figures if on incapacity? I don't know.) Certainly round here, there seem to be many people playing the system in this way, who claim to have some medical condition, but are perfectly capable of working, and I can't help feeling angry about this when I'm going off to work in the rain, and my taxes are buying their drugs. Partly due to the media and partly due to the growing obviousness & numbers of this underclass, resentment is also growing, which is unfair on those who have genuine disability and illness.
The fact remains though, that even if these people did all suddenly decide to work and pay their own way, they wouldn't be able to, 'cos the jobs just don't exist.
We live in a fairly wealthy society, and I'm not sure that we shouldn't provide the bare minimum as an entitlement to everybody who doesn't want to work. Why not allow people a sabbatical? But the system at the moment is too easy to exploit and rewards the wrong things. It shouldn't pay to sit around
drinking, complaining, and having lotsa children. People should be entitled to all the education and healthcare they need, and to basic food and accommodation. Then, if they want treats, drugs, or kids, they should be prepared to work.
But again, it's not gonna happen when there're no jobs out there. And there are lotsa people on benefits who do have a genuine need, who want to work but are inhibited by illness, lack of training, or lack of work being available. The government has found it easier to blame the poor for being poor. . .
And I think the culture of entitlement is at least as much of a problem amongst the rich as the poor. It's unfair to expect people not to feel entitled to their free flat and frees drinking money when they see MPs robbing us blind, and the affluent getting away with not paying taxes. . . It's hard not to feel like a mug sometimes for working in a low-wage, exhausting & filthy job. . .
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