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    Whoa, whoa, whoa there phawkins! I'm not claiming anything about any form of magnitude, merely that this effect is real, exists and is by definition an incentive.

    Anyway, I'd agree that there are unlikely to be many individuals that have actively decided to become unemployed as some form of rationalisation of alternatives. Rather, I would argue, the current system expands the ranks of the indifferent. Combine natural job market turnover with a newfound indifference to one's employment status and there is inevitably going to be an element of unemployment and the unemployed that becomes self-enforcing. It's effect need not be active but could instead be passive.
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    And I am still sure that some people in this thread do indeed believe that. Otherwise why did the issue of whether or not somebody could live on £360 a month, or whatever it was, come up in the first place? But I'm not going to keep arguing this point, it's entirely irrelevant.
    Well, that's unfounded then. That issue was brought up by someone on "your side" so to speak, based on the same mistaken assumption you've made, I guess.

    LOL sorry who's using ad homs?! I know it's fun to inflate people's opinions but you'll notice that I never said anything about all working class people. I was talking about myself. I am very family orientated and am really keen on the idea of having loads of kids, and even though it's going to take me five years at uni just to qualify as a vet, I still have every intention of starting a family at a relatively young age. So it is perfectly reasonable to say that had I not come from a family that encouraged me to get involved in education and carve out a career for myself, I would almost certainly have just done it without bothering with the whole university thing. Now, that aside let's clear a few things up shall we.
    When someone uses ad homs, I feel they're fair game for that sort of thing
    Sorry, it just sounded like you were implying that being working class necessarily means you have to get married and have kids early.


    Firstly, are you denying that as a general trend, middle class people are far more encouraged to attend university, whereas working class people are more likely to go straight into a job and/or start a family?

    Secondly, I have been involved with two or three different jobs that involved manual labour. The first was dairy work - I helped with the milking at a local farm for a couple of weeks. That involved being down at the dairy for 5am to do the morning milking, spending the day feeding, mucking out, haying and calving, then doing the evening milking at 5pm. The second was lambing, in my Easter holiday earlier this year. We started at 8am and spent the day helping the sheep to lamb down, putting the babies into pens, then docking their tails, castrating the male lambs and worming the adults. The sheep live in pens made out of crates and they don't have gates so every time you wanted to visit a certain sheep you had to climb over the fence. We didn't finish til 8 or 9 in the evening and I can assure you that 12 hours of climbing over fences, pulling lambs out of sheep and then carrying the lambs around is pretty exhausting. Shepherds work harder than anybody I can think of. They often work 18 hour days and while we were there the attending shepherd told us he hadn't had a single day off in three months. Currently I'm working at a stables. This morning, I arrived at 7.30am, got the ponies in, fed, hayed, watered and mucked out. Between 10 and 1 I led three beginner rides over the forest on foot. Then I had ten minutes for my lunch, before we took out a novice ride for a couple of hours, on horseback. Directly we got in we took another beginner ride out on foot, then we turned the horses out, did the yard chores and finished at 6.30 and here I am now writing this. If you don't find manual labour more tiring than uni, you're just not doing it right



    That is total rubbish. Scientists use anecdotal evidence all the time, what do you think sociology bases itself on? Studies involving opinion polls and asking people for their take on a matter. You don't have to collect data from every single unemployed person in the country to make the study useful, who knows nothing about science now eh? You take the most representative sample you can manage and you try and factor in any variables by such methods as keeping it entirely anonymous. What we need is a really good study of this nature where a large number of unemployed people from really varied backgrounds say exactly why they haven't got a job. Until then neither one of us can say conclusively who's more likely to be right.
    1. No
    2. I can assure you I am doing manual labour right :p: I haven't worked on a farm since about 14, my more recent experience has been 40 hour weeks in a warehouse - I was far more tired in revision term at uni.
    I have a friend who lives and works on a farm when not at uni. During the holidays it's just he and his mother working the 32 acres including hens (fed at dawn), sheep and horses, yet he complains of being more tired at uni than at home. (It comes up when people accuse us students of being dossers)
    I'm also confused as to why we're comparing manual labour with university, what was the initial reason?

    3. Sociology isn't a very well respected science
    Subjective evidence can't be trusted, one of the requirements of statistical sampling is that the sample be without bias - hard to claim in a purely subjective collection of data. As such you can't draw reliable results.
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    (Original post by phawkins1988)
    I haven't claimed that behaviour isn't affected by financial considerations - I claimed that the affect wasn't as great as some (ie. you and CB) were claiming.

    I want to know what will happen if I have a kid in your system. Suppose my utility calculation doesn't take into account the fact that I can't afford kids? Or, more realistically, suppose that the pregnancy is an accident and I don't want an abortion (for whatever reason). Are you going to condemn that child to poverty?
    I'm not sure I ever claimed a magnitude or asserted that people make a utility judgement. Generally, I expect people to do a quick budget or something - doing x will make me worse off, therefore I'd better not do x.
    Perhaps people will have fewer 'accidents'. Besides, I'm not advocating casting the child onto the streets, just not forking out cash for luxuries when we could instead give people necessities.

    I would question the extent of their existence, but yes - I agree that there are theoretical situations in which welfare systems and taxation could work together to make someone better off financially by being unemployed. I'd have to be an idiot not to accept that.

    I don't see what that contributes to the debate though. I have no idea whether the conditions for a poverty/unemployment trap exist in the UK (I'd have to see the data - care to provide some, or a link to a journal article?). But, even if the tax/welfare system is set up that way, it does not follow from that that people's behaviour will be determined solely by the financial considerations. As I said before - people don't WANT to be unemployed (in the vast majority of circumstances). It isn't a straight utility trade-off between £X employed or £Y unemployed - it's far more complicated.
    Not solely, no. But when you consider that a large reason for seeking employment is to gain income, it seems plausible that if working reduces your income, you're less likely to do it. Perhaps for the less skilled it is the case that not working is more pleasant than working, because the jobs available are generally...not so great. I can sympathise with that, I currently work in retail and if I could get a similar income to that I receive from work by just staying home, I would be tempted. However, I don't think the state should have to pay to keep everyone 'happy'.
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    (Original post by 1.9.8.4.)
    I see.

    I really don't think someone should be allowed to have 15 children. The state must intervene after a point.
    Well not financing them would do that quite happily, how else can they intervene?
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    I liked Ann Widdecombe’s TV programme about the Benefits Culture. I enjoyed Ann’s approach to the issue. I have been part of that Culture though, and I agree that with her privileged life and opportunities might make her naïve & unrealistic about the real issues facing those without work.

    I was envious of the 2 young Merseyside girls who got jobs with Ann’s help paying £360 per week, amazing what you can get with no qualifications and backing from a celebrity politician! As with many other things in life, when are those of us who DO work for a living going to get the kind of help that these 2 girls got? Will Ann come to my town and help people like myself? I’m employed in a low-paid job and a helping hand from a celebrity might turn my fortunes in life!
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    I have 4 children, now all grown up. My oldest 2 are working, the 3rd is at University and the 4th expects to start University next year. I live in the North East. My own neighbourhood has drug dealers (& users), thieves and a great many benefit families. A lot of people who live comfortably on benefit have “fiddly” jobs and other ways to supplement their incomes. Trips to the Continent to buy cheap cigarettes for re-sale in the UK is quite commonplace. We are living in a culture where people in low-income groups do NOT want to live within their means, nor do they feel they should try to. Generally, many of them crave as much as possible, the luxurious, materialistic lifestyle that is on show all around us, in the media and in the community. “Doing without” or “cutting one’s coat according to the cloth available” isn’t an option for many families. There is an ethos of proving one’s worthiness by flaunting one’s possessions. People spend large sums of money and much effort decorating and improving their homes – usually rented homes that will never be theirs!
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    I went to University aged 39. I opted to do my degree part-time over 6 years instead of full time over 3 years. Up until that time, I had been claiming as a single parent on benefit except for odd periods of employment temporary, part-time and special employment programmes where your pay is just your benefit plus about £10 extra per week. Why did I do my degree part-time? Because that way of getting through my undergraduate studies meant I could still claim benefit. Being a full time student meant applying for a student loan, I was frightened of going into debt. Social Security benefits, paltry as they are. were an income that I could live on, not in comfort but just about adequately given my own budgeting skills and “an eye for a bargain”.

    I am now aged nearly 50 and for the last 3 years since graduating have worked in a Call Centre. I collect about £750 net salary per calendar month. I am unable to find any other work, or any employer to hire me – despite my best efforts. I would still rather be in the Call Centre than back on benefit. I have academic & vocational qualifications in about 3 different, respectable trades in addition to my degree. So I am qualified for a few different types of work.
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    (Original post by Jennybean)

    Secondly, I have been involved with two or three different jobs that involved manual labour. The first was dairy work - I helped with the milking at a local farm for a couple of weeks. That involved being down at the dairy for 5am to do the morning milking, spending the day feeding, mucking out, haying and calving, then doing the evening milking at 5pm. The second was lambing, in my Easter holiday earlier this year. We started at 8am and spent the day helping the sheep to lamb down, putting the babies into pens, then docking their tails, castrating the male lambs and worming the adults. The sheep live in pens made out of crates and they don't have gates so every time you wanted to visit a certain sheep you had to climb over the fence. We didn't finish til 8 or 9 in the evening and I can assure you that 12 hours of climbing over fences, pulling lambs out of sheep and then carrying the lambs around is pretty exhausting. Shepherds work harder than anybody I can think of. They often work 18 hour days and while we were there the attending shepherd told us he hadn't had a single day off in three months. Currently I'm working at a stables. This morning, I arrived at 7.30am, got the ponies in, fed, hayed, watered and mucked out. Between 10 and 1 I led three beginner rides over the forest on foot. Then I had ten minutes for my lunch, before we took out a novice ride for a couple of hours, on horseback. Directly we got in we took another beginner ride out on foot, then we turned the horses out, did the yard chores and finished at 6.30 and here I am now writing this. If you don't find manual labour more tiring than uni, you're just not doing it right
    Thats hardly representative of the average manual labour job. Personally I also work in a farm for a couple of weeks and enjoyed it (a lot more than studying). I have done other jobs that involve manual labour as well and the job you described is in no way typical.
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    (Original post by Tim has a big chin)
    Thats hardly representative of the average manual labour job. Personally I also work in a farm for a couple of weeks and enjoyed it (a lot more than studying). I have done other jobs that involve manual labour as well and the job you described is in no way typical.
    Is seems like you're suggesting 'typical' manual labour is the kind you've done, but how do you know your experience is representative? I'd also be sceptical that a 'couple of weeks' on a farm is enough for the drudgery/exhaustion and long hours to 'kick in'. Almost any kind of physical work can be rewarding if it's for a short period, not least because you know it's for a short period.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Is seems like you're suggesting 'typical' manual labour is the kind you've done, but how do you know your experience is representative? I'd also be sceptical that a 'couple of weeks' on a farm is enough for the drudgery/exhaustion and long hours to 'kick in'. Almost any kind of physical work can be rewarding if it's for a short period, not least because you know it's for a short period.
    Well, exactly.

    I'm not saying I don't enjoy my manual labour, for a few weeks over the summer it's certainly a really nice change from studying. But if you think about doing it day in, day out, week after week, year after year I think it stops being quite as appealing. There's no change, it's so monotonous and there's absolutely no way to better yourself. Even working in a factory would have the same effects, despite perhaps the lack of physical exhaustion. It's the knowledge that you're never going to get anywhere higher.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Is seems like you're suggesting 'typical' manual labour is the kind you've done
    .Well ive only had a few jobs in the summer but between me and my friends and peopkle i know i can get a pretty good picture of wot a typical manual labour job is like.

    (Original post by Jennybean)
    But if you think about doing it day in, day out, week after week, year after year I think it stops being quite as appealing
    Yes true but i think that is the case with any job. Im guessing sitting all day at a desk is no better (plus with a desk job you have office poltics which must be an extra drag). Im guessing most jobs are Monotonous.

    And from people I know I can say that most people who have high level jobs work 12-14 hours a day, weekends, even in holidays they get calls from work. And a lot die in their 50s from heart attacks due to stress. I know they get paid a lot more but that gets old (they start caring about more than money).
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    Well, exactly.

    I'm not saying I don't enjoy my manual labour, for a few weeks over the summer it's certainly a really nice change from studying. But if you think about doing it day in, day out, week after week, year after year I think it stops being quite as appealing. There's no change, it's so monotonous and there's absolutely no way to better yourself. Even working in a factory would have the same effects, despite perhaps the lack of physical exhaustion. It's the knowledge that you're never going to get anywhere higher.
    So work isn't fun, what's your point? I never said I couldn't empathise with people avoiding it.
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    (Original post by MiddleAgedMum)
    I went to University aged 39. I opted to do my degree part-time over 6 years instead of full time over 3 years. Up until that time, I had been claiming as a single parent on benefit except for odd periods of employment temporary, part-time and special employment programmes where your pay is just your benefit plus about £10 extra per week. Why did I do my degree part-time? Because that way of getting through my undergraduate studies meant I could still claim benefit. Being a full time student meant applying for a student loan, I was frightened of going into debt. Social Security benefits, paltry as they are. were an income that I could live on, not in comfort but just about adequately given my own budgeting skills and “an eye for a bargain”.

    I am now aged nearly 50 and for the last 3 years since graduating have worked in a Call Centre. I collect about £750 net salary per calendar month. I am unable to find any other work, or any employer to hire me – despite my best efforts. I would still rather be in the Call Centre than back on benefit. I have academic & vocational qualifications in about 3 different, respectable trades in addition to my degree. So I am qualified for a few different types of work.
    It sounds like you've had some pretty rotten luck. You seem to have worked hard and have decent qualifications yet still you can't get out of a low-paid job. Why is that? It doesn't seem to bode well for the rest of us.
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    (Original post by Will)
    It sounds like you've had some pretty rotten luck. You seem to have worked hard and have decent qualifications yet still you can't get out of a low-paid job. Why is that? It doesn't seem to bode well for the rest of us.
    Bear in mind that she didn't apply for a job whilst holding a degree until the age of 47 - it's harder when you're older and still inexperienced.
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    Ah, I see. I thought it could be a barrier to employment, but I thought ageism was supposed to be frowned-upon.
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    It is, but it still exists. Not to mention of course that in hiring an older person you're hiring someone who can't be with the company for as long, may be 'set in their ways', etc
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    (Original post by Will)
    It sounds like you've had some pretty rotten luck. You seem to have worked hard and have decent qualifications yet still you can't get out of a low-paid job. Why is that? It doesn't seem to bode well for the rest of us.
    To some extent this is about age. Young graduates are considered more worthy of investment because there is a high potential for long-term reward to the company. Those of us who have graduated later in life are not generally considered capable of the same potential (even if in actuality we could still prove a very viable investment).
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    (Original post by Tim has a big chin)
    .Yes true but i think that is the case with any job. Im guessing sitting all day at a desk is no better (plus with a desk job you have office poltics which must be an extra drag). Im guessing most jobs are Monotonous.

    And from people I know I can say that most people who have high level jobs work 12-14 hours a day, weekends, even in holidays they get calls from work. And a lot die in their 50s from heart attacks due to stress. I know they get paid a lot more but that gets old (they start caring about more than money).
    Not really...that's why I've gone to university, because being a vet is exactly the antithesis of everything I want to avoid in my working life. In fact I'd say there's an awful lot of choice amongst graduates and a lot of opportunities to get into fields where you can avoid monotony and petty office politics. With unskilled labour you don't have the same options. My dad is a lawyer and works exactly as you describe for those with high-powered jobs, although you can make the 12-14 hour day more like 18-20. He says sometimes he's been in meetings with people who haven't slept in close to three days and they're falling asleep at the table. He still maintains he'd rather do that than work in a factory, which was the first job he ever had. It is totally subjective and although Apagg is now lecturing me as though that was his original point and I'm an idiot for not getting it, I think that's something most authoritarian, "no-nonsense" Tories totally fail to grasp. Just because they think it should be easy to get a job, buckle down and do it, doesn't mean everybody feels that way.
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    I guess it's easier to make snide third person remarks using assumptions than actually address points directly using reason.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    I guess it's easier to make snide third person remarks using assumptions than actually address points directly using reason.
    I guess it's easier to dismiss a post in the third person as "snide remarks" than actually see them as "address[ing] points directly using reason".
 
 
 
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