Unemployment, Work Ethic and Government Policy

Cal Thomas | Syndicated Columnist | Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unemployment, Work Ethic and Government Policy


The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to 7.7 percent. Even the Washington Post had to admit it was due to more people dropping out of the workforce, frustrated they can't find a job. So the latest figure is nothing to brag about.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, where I am visiting, unemployment declined last month from 2 percent to 1.7 percent. There are at least two reasons. One is the Asian work ethic. The second is government policy.

As The Economist has written: "The state's attitude can be simply put: Being poor here is your own fault. Citizens are obliged to save for the future, rely on their families and not expect handouts from the government unless they hit rock bottom. The emphasis on family extends to old age: Retired persons can sue children who fail to support them. In government circles 'welfare' is a dirty word, cousin to sloth and waste."

This country is on to something. But U.S. liberals are fine with the dole because it produces votes for them. We could learn a lot from this city-state of slightly more than 5 million people.

In Singapore, I'm Cal Thomas.

Publication date: December 11, 2012

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