Brief update today, but this is worth the read: The Idleness Trap. Excerpt:
If you know someone among the long-term unemployed — a category that includes workers who have been jobless at least six months, but in many cases much longer — you understand what a frustrating and demoralizing experience it is, especially for midcareer professionals and managers in their 40s and beyond. There’s a drill. You polish your resume; you work your network; you apply for openings; you wait.
All the while, you try to maintain your enthusiasm and self-esteem. In a society that worships the work ethic and treats jobs as an indicator of social status, being without one is crushing for people who view themselves as responsible and productive workers.
It must be said that, from the perspective of potential employers, not hiring these workers can make sense.
Here’s the problem with unemployment/underemployement, which combined paint a dismal picture (labor force participation is at a Carter-era low) but the key problem isn’t necessarily tied to the employers themselves. The root cause is government which, at almost every level, is hostile to growth. Small business in particular is under the gun; overtaxed and over-regulated small business owners are increasingly going Galt.
And small business is the engine of economic growth and job growth. Small business is the goose that lays the golden eggs, and that goose is slowly being strangled.
It’s not about lazy workers, or stingy employers. It’s about overbearing government.