Whenever Any Form of Government Becomes Destructive To These Ends,
It Is The Right of the People to Alter Or To Abolish It,
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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Men NOT At Work


From Investor's Business Daily:

While the Fed and government policymakers fret over "full employment," a new study by one of America's leading demographers and economists argues that in fact we are in the midst of a full-blown unemployment crisis — one that remains, in his words, "hidden."
This Friday, a new jobs report will come out. If the Wall Street consensus is correct, it will show the unemployment rate continuing to hover around 5% while nonfarm payrolls will grow about 180,000 for the month. But that won't tell the whole story.
Nicholas Eberstadt, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, argues in a new book called "Men Without Work," due out next week, that we're suffering not from full employment, but massive underemployment — in particular, nearly one out of six working-age men have no job and are no longer looking for one. A release for his book calls this "a hidden time bomb with far-reaching economic, social and political consequences." With 10 million fewer male workers in the labor force than we should have, it's hard to disagree.
Eberstadt, who is highly respected on both sides of the political spectrum for his rigorous use of data, notes a number of shocking statistics that belie the current wisdom of a booming jobs market. To wit:
  • Men age 25 to 54 now have a lower labor participation rate than they did in 1940, as the Great Depression was winding down. It's also far lower than in 1948, the year millions of men from World War II were flooding the labor market.
  • As noted earlier, one in six men today have no job and most have given up looking. At current trends, one in five will be out of the labor force in a generation.
  • African-American men are twice as likely to be in this condition as either whites or Latinos.
  • Many of these nonworking men support themselves by government disability benefits.
  • Surveys show an alarming increase among men age 25 to 54, the prime working years, engaged in doing such things as "socializing, relaxing and leisure," "attending gambling establishments," "tobacco and drug use," "listening to the radio" and "arts and crafts as a hobby." Many men, it seems, have virtually no work skills at all — and no way to get them.
  • Many of these trends in the collapse of male work may be a result of our soaring prison population and the "prevalence of non-institutionalized felons and ex-prisoners," Eberstadt argues.
This portends an entire generation of men with only a tenuous connection to the discipline and rewards of work, and will have an enormous impact on future generations of young men. This is not exclusively a problem of the lower income classes. Today, women make up 57% of all college graduates, meaning that men in the current generation will be enormously underrepresented in the well-paying professions that require a college degree.
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