Ben Stein Offers Up Some Economic Advice for the Unemployed

Cite this Article
Joshua D. Wright, Ben Stein Offers Up Some Economic Advice for the Unemployed, Truth on the Market (July 20, 2010),

Ben (“as the economist I am”) Stein has some thoughts on this great recession and the lessons that one must learn from it.  He cannot help but share them with you. With his so-called “economist” hat on, Mr. Stein reveals tells us something about the casualties of the economic crisis: Lazy people.  And bad people too.  At least “generally.”  Here’s Stein:

The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along — not always easy.

Larry has pointed out over and over and again one should not expect coherent analysis from Ben Stein — even and perhaps especially when he is wearing his economist hat.   This example even lacks the signature grandiose claim about finance and market manipulation coupled with reference to undergraduate economics credentials and argument from authority — but it still struck me as especially silly.