Different Kinds of Lazy

I don’t understand why people who often complain of others being physically lazy, choose to be so morally and intellectually lazy themselves.

One example most of us have likely heard:

I work really hard to support my family. Why should I pay for someone’s food stamps or health care if they’re too lazy to work or get a better job?

. . . . .

This is intellectually lazy.

Working 60 hours or more a week, as many people need to do, merely to afford a one-bedroom apartment is not lazy.

Getting laid off, by a company that shifted its plant overseas in search of cheaper labor, is not being lazy.

Having a family member in a car accident or with a serious disease, and watching the medical bills pile up, is not being lazy.

Social welfare programs are needed due to much larger, complex problems of our society.

Globalization. The rising costs of a university education. The rising costs of health care. The destruction of labor rights for workers. Systemic discrimination.

Not to mention: privilege (yes, it is a real thing) and blind luck.

Is it possible that some people using social welfare programs are just plain lazy? Of course. But the reality is that the majority are not, and there are plenty of studies and statistics to prove it.

. . . . .

It is also morally lazy.

A person’s worth or value to society is not determined by their income level.

Maybe one person has an interest and ability as a doctor. They can make plenty of money and take care of themselves and their family. Good for them. The world needs doctors.

Maybe another person has an interest in serving people, and is damn good at it. They could be a burger flipper, barista, or cashier. And good for them, the world needs them too. Bad part is, they can work their asses off and barely break poverty level.

The only difference between them is that our market society has determined that we should pay doctors far more than we pay people who work at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We can easily make an argument that a person saving lives should be paid more than a person serving iced lattes . But consider other examples.

Should an actor be paid more than a teacher? Is a startup CEO worth more than a firefighter?

And if the executives or shareholders of those large companies can be paid millions, their workers should not be at poverty level.

Not everyone can have a job that ‘the market’ decides to pay more. And not everyone should.

The world needs all of us, and therefore we all need to help each other.

The problem is not that we help people that need it with our taxes.

The problem is that our society, through our market and our votes, favors corporate welfare over societal welfare. We favor celebrity over service. We favor things over people.

. . . . .

Criticizing people in need of assistance as being ‘lazy’ is equally lazy, just a different, ignorant, cold-hearted kind.

But here’s the good news. If you’re willing to put in even the tiniest amount of intellectual or moral effort, you can overcome this.

It shouldn’t be so difficult for you. After all, you’re such a hard worker.