I think this discussion needs some numbers if we're going to talk about this "laziness problem" meaningfully. Do we have quantative data which shows that this problem exists in the form discussed in this thread?
I don't know if this link will work, but if you look for the "Labor Force Participation Rate" on the labor statistics site you'll find it:
http://data.bls.gov/...eyOutputServlet (editathon: now with demographics)
We've been generally rising from WWII until ~2000, but recently we are seeing pretty dramatic drops in people's willingness to be part of the labor force.
More than the current labor force I'm really worried about the standard we're setting for our children/future workforce. Our education system has not been adapting to meet the standards of a rising global economy. It has been relatively stagnant. We have a very short school year, and poor results across the board; the most troublesome problem is we aren't acknowledging the latter with the significance it deserves. It's creating an environment of, "We're still better than everyone, even though we suck" which is going to be toxic over the next 20 years--This is what scares me most of all tbh.
edit: sorry for double post
double edit: Interesting read:
Are American Workers Getting Lazy
Part of this is no doubt due to the overall economic picture; job creation hasn't been high enough to keep pace with population growth for years. America is also aging, but this isn't just older people stepping out. The numbers are particularly painful in the 16- to 24-year-old male demographic, with workforce participation falling from nearly 80% in the late 1970s to around 58% now.