If you would've said 100 years ago that the country responsible for most of the modern world's ideas on everything from democracy to military tradition to the world's international language would be some second-tier socialist backwater, it would've been bullocks. But it seems the once great nation is having some very serious problems apart from their Prime Minister getting caught up in a "Blood for Oil" scandal. Newsweek pinned the decline of Great Britain on the economic crisis, but the Sunday Times notes a dangerous entitlement mentality that is dragging down the country from within:
Those cautionary words haunt us now as we discover that 5m adults have not worked since Labour came to power 12 years ago. Even excluding those who are in education or have only recently completed it, and discounting those who have left the labour market through age or ill health, 2.5m have been jobless since 1997 at least. There are now 3.3m households — one in six — with no one over the age of 16 in employment and 1.9m children living in families without a parent in work.Why would you work if you could sit around playing Xbox all day and collecting paychecks from the government? Sure, society should do something to help the poor, but at what point does it become a dangerous cycle of dependence? These are questions I don't think politicians think about as they buy votes by sending their respective country's deeper into debt.
While the recession is increasing the numbers, it clearly did not cause the problem. Those millions remained idle during 10 years of boom when the economy created many jobs that immigrants happily filled. The workless have been immune to programmes of training and mentoring. No reform in our education system has dented their numbers and repeated efforts to tighten the criteria for invalidity benefits or “sharpen” claimants’ contact with the labour market have failed.