February 23, 2013

Douthat talks about the leisurely poor in new shark-jumping record

Ross Douthat just set new records for himself in shark-jumping. This goes beyond his "Catholic moment" and other nonsense of the last two weeks, and makes me seriously wonder if the National Review, or somebody worse, isn't negotiating with him to jump ship, bribing him, or similar.

Per my header, here's this:
So instead of spreading from the top down, leisure time — wanted or unwanted — is expanding from the bottom up. Long hours are increasingly the province of the rich.  
Yes, that's what he said.

He didn't use the word "lazy," but, he pretty much does in half a dozen ways through the rest of the column.

We have this:
Many of the Americans dropping out of the work force are not destitute: they’re receiving disability payments and food stamps, living with relatives, cobbling together work here and there, and often doing as well as they might with a low-wage job. 
Which seems to imply this "dropping out" is entirely voluntary when, in reality, it's nowhere near that. The long-term underemployed, just like the long-term unemployed, have more and more trouble getting back to full-time work.

But, that is conjoined, in the same paragraph, as this:
Those riches mean that we can probably find ways to subsidize — through public means and private — a continuing decline in blue-collar work.
Those "dropouts" (all voluntary, of course) are being "subsidized." Funny how wingnuts talk about how much more money we could take home if our bosses could just pay us what they instead pay into government unemployment insurance programs. But then, when it comes time to actually use that money, well, that's "subsidization."

Douthat then gives us his Catholic moment version of the Protestant work ethic as another reason to worry about all these dropout goldbrickers who love the easy street of sleeping on a relative's couch.

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