Woe betide us if we follow in England’s footsteps

England is a benefits culture.  The government, although strapped for cash, hands out benefits like candy, and each Briton feels entitled to his or her share.  It’s no wonder, of course.  Not only is there no stigma attached to benefits, there’s no upside to avoiding them.  Already back in the early 1980s, I had a friend who spent the entire summer before college cleaning up after elephants at the local zoo.  During the same summer, his sister lay on the couch, watched the Soaps on the telly, and collected her dole check.  At summer’s end, after he’d been taxed on his elephant poop pittance, she had more money than he did.  For him, it was a valuable lesson learned about British economics.

The inevitable has happened, with British citizens having become dysfunctionally inert:

The stigma that once went with claiming benefits rather than working for a living has been lost, a study has claimed.

The work ethic that inspired successive generations has ebbed away in the face of the welfare state.

Over the past decades each generation has seen more and more people milking the benefit system, which has sapped their will to work, the research from the Centre for Economic Performance said.

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The report said: ‘It has long been recognised that generous unemployment benefits create moral hazard – workers are partly protected against the consequences of being unemployed, so they are less likely to search for jobs with the same intensity.’

[snip]

The report in the journal CentrePiece said: ‘A decline in the work ethic, induced by the expansion of the welfare state, is key to understanding European unemployment.’

Researchers looked at answers from countries across Europe to the World Values Survey, a regular poll carried out in more than 90 countries since 1980.

They examined numbers of people in different age groups who said they thought it was never justifiable to cheat to get benefits.

They found that people in their 40s – born in the 1960s – are 12 per cent more likely than those in their 70s – who were born in the 1930s, before the days of all-encompassing welfare states – to say benefit cheating is justifiable.

For those born in the 1970s, those who would never falsely claim benefits were 19 per cent fewer than those born in the 1930s.

For people born in the 1980s, the gap rose to 24 per cent. The report said the rise in numbers prepared to cheat the benefits system held good regardless of the political views or educational level of the individual.

‘This decline in the work ethic could be one of the major factors explaining the evolution of unemployment since 1945,’ Mr Michau said.

Read more here.

This study is important, not only because it explains England’s decline into a nation characterized by sloth and debauchery, but because it presages the future Obama and the Democrats plan for us here in America.  Nancy wants to tax the functional middle class out of existence, and Obama is determined to channel those same tax moneys into a permanent pot for everyone who doesn’t want to work.  Their efforts will not create a new paradise in which everyone is loved and cared for.  It will create a hellish society of dependency and demoralization.  People whose lives lack meaning and purpose seem to slide inevitably into violent anarchy.

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