Ben Stein says Majority of Unemployed have Poor Work Habits, Personalities
I’ve been a Ben Stein fan since his role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I’ve followed him through his commercial days for Clear Eyes, his TV days of “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” and even those beyond annoying Free Credit Report advertisements. I’ve never had a quarrel with Ben.
That is, until now.
Ben Stein recently published an article in The American Spectator, in which he touches on the recession, unemployment, productivity, and planning. While listing several lessons he’s learned from the recent economic state, he states:
The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job…
Ben, I’m hurt, and I even have a job. I do, however, know quite a few intelligent, hard working people who don’t. Apparently, so does Aaron Crowe in a WalletPop rebuttle.
Let’s think about this: The 6.8 million people who are classified by the federal government as long-term unemployed, meaning they’ve been jobless for 27 weeks and longer, can’t find work because they have poor work habits and bad attitudes, according to Stein. They make up almost half — 45.5% — of the unemployed people in the country, so half of the people out of work in America are lazy and have bad attitudes? What are the odds of that happening?
Thanks, Ben. Generalizations might help explain economics better, but generalizing about an entire group of people — almost half of the unemployed — looks like a weak attempt at trying to find a scapegoat so that unemployment benefits aren’t extended for the long-term unemployed. In Ben’s world, are the Irish always drunk, and is every Italian in the Mafia? Those are generalizations too, Ben.