I found this while I was at work http://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/dept/economics/faculty/documents/kim_are_wrking_poor_lazy.pdf There is a long tradition in America that the poor are victims of their own laziness, a tradition resurrected in recent years. The author shows how wrong advocates of this point of view are. In conclusion the author wrote some good shit. Charles Murray once asked, "Can any American who is willing to work hard make a decent living?" (Murray, 1987). The answer seems to be no. Although working clearly reduces the probability of being poor, which is consistent with his analysis, it is not a panacea. Most of the working poor would remain poor even if they worked 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. In addition, of those who could climb out of poverty if they worked such hours, two out of five are either disabled or elderly or unable to find full-time or full-year employment. Thus it appears that most of the working poor are doing all they can to support themselves. Only 18 to 28 percent of the working poor could potentially escape poverty by working full-time and year-round, assuming that enough jobs are available. Therefore, working more hours is not a solution to poverty, and the existence of the working poor will not disappear by inducing greater work effort. Instead, because most of the working poor are poor not because they choose to work too few hours but because their wages are too low and their jobs fail to provide full-time and full-year employment, government policies continue to be needed.