A man who has no office to go to—I don’t care who he is—is a trial of which you can have no conception.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
Mind unemployed is mind unenjoyed.
—Christian Nestell Bovee (1820–1904) American Writer, Aphorist
When we’re unemployed, we’re called lazy; when the whites are unemployed it’s called a depression.
—Jesse Jackson (b.1941) American Baptist Civil Rights Activist, Minister
Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden.
—Orson Scott Card (b.1951) American Author
We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Of all the aspects of social misery nothing is so heartbreaking as unemployment.
—Jane Addams (1860–1935) American Social Reformer, Feminist
I do not believe we can repair the basic fabric of society until people who are willing to work have work. Work organizes life. It gives structure and discipline to life.
—Bill Clinton (b.1946) American Head of State, Lawyer, Public Speaker
Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
An “unemployed” existence is a worse negation of life than death itself.
—Jose Ortega y. Gasset (1883–1955) Spanish Critic, Journalist, Philosopher
Unemployment diminishes people. Leisure enlarges them.
—Mason Cooley (1927–2002) American Aphorist
To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches; and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.
—Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) American Head of State
Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.
—Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) American Head of State
The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.
—Karl Marx (1818–1883) German Philosopher, Economist