Why Work When You Can Live Off Your Parents?

A Freakonomics reader needs to find an incentive to work.


A reader's plea to the folks over at the Freakonomics blog:

"I am living with my stepfather and don’t pay rent or food expenses. I am not pressured to find work from my stepdad or my mother, who lives in another city for work. I fear I have no incentive to work."

This reader has discovered what many of us already know well: "If I move out, my comfortability will plummet. I will have to get a low-paying job just to pay the bills." Nonetheless, a concession: "The problem is I am self-loathing because I depend on other people. I want to be working and paying for myself, but I haven’t the motivation."

Many of the Freakonomics commenters noted that the desire to stop the self-loathing ought to be decent motivation to get a job. Others pointed out the disadvantages of maintaining his current lifestyle: It'll be tough to explain such a significant gap in work history when he is finally forced to get a job, and the chances of finding a mate who finds such a lifestyle attractive are rather small.

I'm curious to know: Does anyone else know someone who seems to struggle with this dilemma? Is this guy's issue pretty unusual?


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