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Poor of wallet, not of spirit

The Rational Component

Gillian Seaman

Issue date: 9/10/10 Section: Opinion
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I will freely admit that, given the obscene amount of homework I am regularly assigned, I don't have a lot of time to peruse the news. I am much more likely to be found indulging in brain candy by watching "Jersey Shore" anything on Bravo than by reading the New York Times. But even with my limited exposure to any kind of decent media, I have noticed something rather odd. People who are suffering due to this economy seem to be subject to an astounding amount of unwarranted derision.

As of July 2010, the unemployment rate for Ohio stood at 10.3 percent. There is no way to justify or mitigate the significance of that number. Considering the unemployment rate in Ohio for September 2009 was 7.3 percent, it seems that utter ineptitude of the work force is not the only factor in unemployment.

But various talking heads on TV (or on the radio) seem to suggest that the reason unemployment is so high is that people are lazy incompetents. The majority of the unemployed are simply not looking for jobs hard enough. And not only are the majority of the unemployed lazy, they are also abusing their unemployment benefits, the lethargic bums. Indeed, the unemployment benefits are so enticing that they no longer bother even looking for jobs. They are thriving on these benefits while good hard-working Americans have to go to work every morning. Cue indignation and contempt from the right.

Perpetuators of this alternate reality like Glenn Beck and Ben Stein seem to truly believe that the unemployed are despicable, pathetic people. When Beck addressed the issue of individuals who exhausted their unemployment in late August, Beck commented, "Some of these people, I bet you'd be ashamed to call them Americans." In a piece for The American Spectator, Ben Stein writes that "people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities." He goes on to snarkily comment that high schools should offer courses on "how to get along," so students can graduate with the knowledge that work involves real work and not play.
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Issue Summary


  • A conversation with Mark Chavis
  • Administration commits to increase traffic safety
  • CWRU promises diversity, lacks equality
  • Eliminating your Credit Card Debt
  • Filer system to undergo changes in near future
  • Uptown project breaks ground in University Circle
  • USG Brief


  • Crew Team steers closer to boathouse
  • CWRU looks to dominate at JCU
  • Spartan football kicks off season with big win
  • Spartan Spotlight: Niro Wimalasena
  • Spartan XC dominates 10th annual Bill Sudeck Classic
  • Volleyball starts hot, cools down

Fun Page

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  • 29th Annual Studio-A-Rama festival to host Black Angels, nine regional acts
  • A trip to Ohio City
  • Cleveland Air Show dazzles, deafens city despite inclement weather
  • Cuzin' Dave Wilson of WRUW passes away, leaves behind legacy
  • Facebook nightmares redux
  • Hitting the Spot: Colour Revolt
  • Rock Hall receives $5 million endowment for upcoming reconstruction
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