Fox Thinks Earned Unemployment Benefits Create “Laziness” Among Jobseekers
Fox News accused jobseekers of “laziness,” hyping a survey showing more unemployed American workers becoming detached from the labor force while complaining that unemployment insurance has removed the motivation to take low-paying jobs.
On the May 22 edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered, co-host Sandra Smith claimed that “part of the problem” with lingering unemployment in the United States is “laziness” on the part of unemployed workers. Smith claimed that choosing to collect unemployment insurance was evidence that potential jobseekers are “not incentivized” to accept positions that might they might refuse otherwise:
Smith used a survey from Express Employment Professionals as evidence of her claim that unemployment benefits breed “laziness,” but her statements distort the actual survey findings. While 47 percent of respondents did agree with the statement “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job,” they often cited the lack of available work as the reason for giving up hope. According to the survey results, “46 percent say there are no available jobs,” and one respondent even stated, “After searching for four years and being unsuccessful, I am tired of trying.”
Smith’s implicit argument, that cutting unemployment benefits would urge workers to find new jobs, has already been disproven at the national level. In December 2013, the House of Representatives refused to pass a Senate extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) for millions of Americans. More than 1.3 million Americans lost EUC benefits in the past several months. Of those, only 24 percent were currently employed as of March — 49 percent remained engaged in unsuccessful job searches, and 26 percent had dropped entirely from the labor market.
I can’t even begin to describe how this meme fills me with rage. By keeping unemployed people destitute and desperate, the JRRB CREEYATERZ hope that more of them will take minimum wage shit jrrbz at Walmart or McDonald’s instead of continuing to search for better, high-paying positions for which they are qualified. Then they can point to the minimum wage workers as “unskilled” “minimum motivation” “lazy” “moochers” and other denigrating stereotypes as shown in this sickening right-wing meme: