102. The fallacy of the willing poor

An insidious, dangerous narrative has developed in what is euphemistically called conservative political movements, also known as the right. This is the fallacy of the willing poor. According to it, those who are poor are choosing to be, they don’t want to work, they rather live off benefits, subsidies and other social help. This argument is used to outcast solidarity from national and international systems. The middle classes withdraw support from the unemployed and those genuinely on benefits. Richer countries refuse to help poorer countries during recessions, etc. The ultimate effect is a breakdown of our society, which becomes more individualistic, more materialistic and abandons community. This fallacy is particularly grievous in countries without full employment. It is obvious that, when structurally full employment is not available, some will have no work, however willing. When you look at the evidence, which authors like Rutger Bregman do, there is none to support this narrative

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