Another reason to doubt the ‘lazy unemployed’ meme
Gallup has a webpage that tracks global unemployment numbers. Felix Salmon looks at the data and provides another argument for why the claim that unemployment benefits keeps people from taking jobs is false.
US unemployment, on this measure, is in the double-digit range — significantly above the global average of 7%. Meanwhile, Germany, with a much stronger social safety net, has unemployment of less than 5%.
He also notes:
David Leonhardt has a smart take on this data: essentially, the US is doing well by its corporates and its full-time employees (Caroline Baum notes that fourth-quarter withheld income tax receipts rose 17 percent from a year earlier), and is letting the unemployed fall through the cracks; Europe and Canada, by contrast, have attempted to spread the pain more widely.
There is no question that the United States has largely let the unemployed fall through the cracks.