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Welfare states cultivate the sin of sloth

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“As thousands of African migrants land on the golden beaches of Spain, old Europe shows the signs of fatigue,” says Mihail Neamtu in this week’s Acton Commentary. “In August, most of its politicians are on holiday. Every summer, for nearly six weeks, Brussels officials cannot be bothered to ponder the future of the European Union.”

In the meantime, in Mediterranean countries, the youth seem to be haunted by the same pressing question: “Will I get a proper job?” In Greece, unemployment stands at 42.9 percent; in Spain, unemployment is 35 percent; in Italy, it is more than 30 percent. Compared to the recent performance of the U.S. economy, such figures are perplexing. They indicate the existence of a severe threat to political stability and social cohesion. In both economic and existential terms, joblessness is a serious matter. Why? Because a job provides, not just an income, but also a sense of purpose. It is not government handouts or parental support that make young people happy, but personal responsibility and a deep-seated conviction that the fruits of one’s labor make the world a better place.

The full text of the essay can be found here.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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