Posted 2 years ago on April 23, 2012, 8:08 p.m. EST by Misaki
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
This is a work in progress, based on my current understanding.
See for example, only 35% of the unemployed voted in 2010 compared to 46% of working Americans.
Some people think that it's their fault for being poor because they don't have a college degree. So they either continue to suffer or try to get some degree and end up either in debt, with a job, or no debt but still unemployed. This is partly because everyone 'agrees' that the US needs MORE EDUCATION to win at the GDP game.
- counterargument: compare Korea, the US, and Germany in this chart on college education by age group, as well as other data about unemployment and not finding the right jobs for college graduates.
Other people have the crazy idea that "the economy is bad so everyone must work hard and suffer together".
- counterargument: corporate profits.
Other people think that "both parties are corrupt, so voting is useless".
- this is correct to some degree because neither party has a solution the whole population can agree with.
Other people think that more government spending just leads to welfare, abuse of the system, waste of taxpayer dollars, and so on.
- this is correct, see food stamps abuse/fraud and continued support of capitalism despite Wall Street profits.
Other people think that if the economy is strong (as measured by GDP and/or corporate profits), this will somehow translate into jobs. People who think this often already have a job so they aren't affected by the lack of logic and just listen to whatever some authoritative-sounding expert tells them.
- counterargument: the years of the great depression, the reality of high unemployment years after the financial crisis... really not sure how people can be so wrong but they are.
In summary: people will not get motivated if they aren't convinced that you have a solution that other people will agree with.
The biggest flaw in the assumptions people make is that we cannot encourage anyone to relax and enjoy themselves while there are people who are suffering due to joblessness or having a terrible, minimum-wage job. In other words people think we should fix economic problems, then reduce the working week.
The reality is that the correct order (when we have enough education and infrastructure/capital) is the opposite: we work less and economic distribution problems naturally fix themselves. But this requires addressing all the individual misunderstandings that people have which prevent them from voting or acting, which may include issues not listed above.