Eliminating prejudices: a lot of work to be done

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The elimination of prejudices is an essential step in creating a new world order in which all humans have the potential to reach their high destiny, working together to fulfilling a dual moral purpose of advancing themselves as well as advancing humanity. Prejudices are of many kinds, and they all work to create disunity. Shoghi Effendi talked about the corrosive effect of racial prejudice in America, how it had bitten into its fibre and attacked its whole social structure. How many advances have we not made because we chose to ignore those we believed to be of lesser value than ourselves?

Racial prejudice has been one of the many issues I have been reading into throughout the last couple of years. In the course of this research, I come across many articles about other types of prejudices that are biting into the fibre of the global social structure and causing it to disintegrate.

The following piece was particularly well-written, and so I am moved to share it with you.

Why the ‘Lazy Jobless’ Myth Persists, by David Sirota

During the recent fight over extending unemployment benefits, conservatives trotted out the shibboleth that says the program fosters sloth. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., for instance, said added unemployment benefits mean people are “encouraged not to go look for work.” Columnist Pat Buchanan said expanding these benefits means “more people will hold off going back looking for a job.” And Fox News’ Charles Payne applauded the effort to deny future unemployment checks because he said it would compel layabouts “to get off the sofa.”

The thesis undergirding all the rhetoric was summed up by conservative commentator Ben Stein, who insisted that “the people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities.”

The idea is that unemployment has nothing to do with structural economic forces or rigged public policies and everything to do with individual motivation. Yes, we’re asked to believe that the 15 million jobless Americans are all George Costanzas—parasitic loafers occasionally pretending to seek work as latex salesmen, but really just aiming to decompress on a refrigerator-equipped recliner during a lifelong Summer of George.

Of course, this story line makes no sense. From liberal Paul Krugman to archconservative Alan Greenspan, economists agree that joblessness is not caused by unemployment benefits. With five applicants for every job opening, the overarching problem is a lack of available positions—not a dearth of personal initiative.

Why, then, is the myth so resonant that polls now show more than a third of America opposes extending unemployment benefits? Part of it is the sheer ignorance that naturally festers in a country of cable-TV junkies. But three more subtle forces are also at work.

Read the rest of this great piece here.


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