Ben Stein, writing at American Spectator, claims to know why many of the unemployed are without work, stating they did not realistically look at the job market and economy and “lived in a dream world.”
In the piece titled 'The End of Wishful Thinking,' Stein declares:
The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say 'generally' because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day's work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along -- not always easy.
But he then notes that people close to him, whom he presumably does not believe have poor personalities or work habits, have also been struck by the recent unemployment wave:
... it has hit the people closest to me the hardest. Until now, I never had a friend who was truly in financial extremis from a recession. When recessions happened, they happened to people in Ohio or Illinois or Michigan. Now, they have hit hard in California and in the law field where so many of my friends work and in Washington, D.C. (yes, even in D.C.) where I am from. I never had a friend lose his house until this recession and now I am sad to say I have many pals who have either lost their homes or are in process of losing their homes.
Doesn't that sort of negate his other claim? Unless he is close to people who don't want to work or have poor personalities.