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jerryking : social_crisis   1

America’s hidden crisis: Men not at work - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016

The United States’ biggest problem ... is more insidious. Millions of able-bodied men have dropped out of society – out of working life, of civic life, of family life. Many of these men belong to the Trumpenproletariat. How to re-engage them may be the biggest domestic challenge the country faces.

Political economist Nicholas Eberstadt calls these men “the unworking,” to distinguish them from people who want work but can’t find it. “America is now home to a vast army of jobless men who are no longer even looking for work,” he writes. “Roughly seven million of them age 25 to 54, the traditional prime of working life.” His new book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis, is essential reading for this election cycle. “For every prime-age man who is unemployed today,” he writes, “another three are neither working nor looking for work.” Most of these men are less educated, and many, particularly blacks, have prison records.... in fact, the work rate has been in decline for two generations. What happened during those decades was a massive shift in cultural values.... “To the extent that non-work is contagious, it is likely to grow exponentially rather than at a linear rate.” If current trends continue, he expects that more than one-third of all men in the 25-54 age group will be out of work by mid-century. That is a truly terrifying prospect – as well as fertile soil for toxic populism.

At its root, the collapse of the working class isn’t so much economic as it is social, moral and spiritual. This means that economic remedies will only take us so far. Marriage rates for less-educated men have plunged – and unmarried men are far more likely to opt for unwork. The percentage of babies born to unmarried parents has soared. Working-class whites have largely abandoned church (while church attendance among higher-income whites has stayed relatively high). Family and community networks have dissolved [JCK: the fraying of what David Brooks would call, the "social_fabric"].
Margaret_Wente  unemployment  men  joblessness  working_class  social_classes  social_fabric  Larry_Summers  job_destruction  participation_rates  addictions  opiates  socioeconomic  habits  values  books  unworking  populism  social_crisis  moral_crisis  spiritual_crisis  cultural_values  whites  contagions  exponential 
october 2016 by jerryking

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