Some Republicans in Congress have spuriously said that those receiving unemployment compensation would prefer not to find a job. This kind of accusative mentality is facilitated by the nature of our economy. Most people are employed. Even though unemployment has been the highest in U.S. history in some parts of the country and the highest since the Great Depression overall, there is a majority who are employed. Conservatives act as if the majority is right and the minority is wrong.
William Julius Wilson is a professor of sociology and public policy at Harvard University and is author of the book, The Truly Disadvantaged, which is based on research on areas of Chicago. (Professor Wilson was previoulsy on the faculty of the University of Chicago sociology department). He has suggested that discrimination based on race has decreased over time in America. The election of President Obama is an example of this. But what we have instead is the emergence of an urban underclass.
Right-wingers are aburd and nonsensical in that on the one hand, they criticize President Obama and his administration for not doing enough to address the lack of employment, and on the other accuse the unemployed of not doing enough to try and find a job. Also, we have uneducated people, frustrated in their own life situation without acknowledging it, telling unemployed, educated people that they must accept a lower wage than they previously received, even if it means working at a fast-food joint or big box store or some other form of labor. The idea that talent and training means something is lost on corporate executives who aren't hiring and on conservative pundits and callers to talk shows, who claim to oppose economic equality, and yet, all of a sudden, want the educated elite to lower their station in life and become at one with the blue collar workers of America, and toil along side of them.
I have noticed that conservatives are using this opportunity to further exaggerate and propagandize how great capitalism is and downplay the shortage of jobs by attacking welfare, otherwise known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. One guy calling a progressive show said that he knows the people on welfare. Needless to say, his opinion of them is negative. He suggested talking to people waiting in a welfare office. That is an example of the anecdotal approach used by Reagan and by many conservatives today. Then, there is a letter-writer to the editor of a local newspaper. The writer says that a "scholarly researcher" found that an increase in welfare spending resulted in an increase in divorce. He then goes on to cite the familiar but highly doubtful argument about welfare resulting in an increase in out-of-wedlock births. He then jumps to a claim which he implies is based on empirical evidence that children with single parents have lower scores on "standardized academic measures" than do children living with both parents or at least with access to both a mother and a father. Thus, single-parent children, with lower academic achievement than their counterparts with two parents, will earn less money when they become adults compared to kids with both parents. And this situation supposedly is brought about by welfare.
These conservatives are ignorant of the kinds of physical and social conditions that often exist in low-income households and communities. At the same time, not everyone who lives in inner-city or ghetto neighborhoods is unemployed, and there are educated families who live on the same street and block as lower-income households with the advent of scattered site public housing.
Conservatives are trying to convince people that with positive thinking, anyone can find a job, no matter where you live or what your educational and employment background is. They are also trying to convince people that Obama is not creating enough jobs. If anyone could find a job, why do we need more jobs? After all, we have a 100% employment rate, if only people would send out some resumes or fill out some job applications.