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Thread: Book: Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Book: Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis

    Nicholas Eberstadt’s very important book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.

    John Mauldin has a good newsletter on this problem which is uniquely the US. Unmarried, without a high school diploma, etc has resulted in:
    "10 million American men of prime working age (25 to 54) who have simply dropped out of the workforce, and the great majority of them have not only dropped out of the workforce, they have also dropped out from any commitments or responsibilities to society. It is not just the labor force they are not participating in; they are not participating in the normal ebb and flow of community life..."

    "Male participation in the civilian labor force has been steadily dropping for 60 years, through boom and bust years, periods of inflation and deflation, Republican and Democratic administrations and congressional control; the trend seems to be relentless – except that it has been accelerating since 2009."

    "in the 20 years to 1998, the mortality rate of middle-aged white Americans fell by about 2% a year. But between 1999 and 2013, deaths rose. The reversal was all the more striking because, in Europe, overall middle-age mortality continued to fall at the same 2% pace. By 2013 middle-aged white Americans were dying at twice the rate of similarly aged Swedes of all races (see chart). Suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol abuse were to blame."

    "Between 1948 and 2015, the work rate for U.S. men twenty and older fell from 85.8 percent to 68.2 percent. Thus the proportion of American men twenty andy older without paid work more than doubled, from 14 percent to almost 32 percent."

    plus almost the highest incarceration rate in the world and a criminal record makes so many unemployable and increases the number even higher.

    As a change from the usual partisan threads of Simple Public Policy, do you see any changes that can occur locally and up to turn this situation around? Non-skilled jobs are going to decrease as more automation comes into play.
    Limits on how long a criminal record exists? Changes in charging for drug use? Ideas?

    This is a heart-breaking issue to me so that is why I am posting this. If it is forecast that up to a third of men 25-54 will be unemployed in the next decade and dropping out of the community, it should be triggering more interest, don't you think?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    "The future is female."
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltraliteAngler View Post
    "The future is female."
    UL, from your classes, you will be hearing about the impact of the family members who are dropping out of the workforce and the struggle for families to cope. No ideas to share?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    This troubles me a lot too. There was a recent article in The Atlantic on this topic which I can't locate now but may have been about the same research. IMO, there are so many contributors - broken families, bad public schools, no higher education, no role models, drugs and a general sense that some males might have that they are no longer necessary as providers to family and/or community...so why even bother? And now with the pot laws in some states, add another thing to handicap any motivation to change.

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    Massachusetts passed CORI reform under Governor Patrick limiting how long certain minor offenses could show on a person's criminal background check.

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    Very specifically - my daughter's best friend is going to have a baby in August. The father of the baby is living with her with her family and he doesn't have a job and he doesn't help out with anything. He dropped out of school because "it wasn't for him."

    meanwhile, the mother of his child is working two jobs and going to college. She is smarter, more attractive, and more competent in every way than he is (she literally found him on the side of the road - she stopped and changed his tire for him.)

    i personally do not understand how he ever ended up in her bed. But more than that, I fail to understand why her parents are feeding him. They seem to think it is best that he stick around. They let him sit around playing video games. At my house, he would work or he would not eat. And he would do as he was told or leave, at gunpoint if necessary.

    perhaps this is partly why my daughters never brought home any bums for us to feed.

    my son in law works only part time. But dd loves her job, they are not in financial difficulty, and he does the housework. Which is good, because she's terrible at it. They are happy and I don't see his employment status as an issue.

    my son used to work for a local construction company my dad called "second chance construction." They would literally hire anybody - as long as anybody was male and willing to work. It was astonishing the number of guys they had to fire.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I don't think cannabis is an issue. Alcohol has been legal for years; some people will abuse it, most people won't. Now it's the same with weed. Probably half the people using cannabis are doing so for pain relief, often using strains with no psychoactive effects whatsoever. Opioids, now--that may well be a factor, especially in some areas.

    Exorbitant college costs, lack of jobs, general widespread malaise, all may be part of the problem. With for-profit prisons on the rise, you can be sure more and more people will have permanent blots on their records.

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Very specifically - my daughter's best friend is going to have a baby in August. The father of the baby is living with her with her family and he doesn't have a job and he doesn't help out with anything. He dropped out of school because "it wasn't for him."

    meanwhile, the mother of his child is working two jobs and going to college. She is smarter, more attractive, and more competent in every way than he is (she literally found him on the side of the road - she stopped and changed his tire for him.)

    i personally do not understand how he ever ended up in her bed. But more than that, I fail to understand why her parents are feeding him. They seem to think it is best that he stick around. They let him sit around playing video games. At my house, he would work or he would not eat. And he would do as he was told or leave, at gunpoint if necessary.
    These guys are called "busters." And it is "good work" if you can get it! Schlubs like me put on our brown shoes and shuffle into work every day. Why? Why bother?
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    UL, from your classes, you will be hearing about the impact of the family members who are dropping out of the workforce and the struggle for families to cope. No ideas to share?
    Men dropping out of the workforce and women are filling the open slots. Why complain? Jobs get done, the world turns.
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Well it would not necessarily be any better if women couldn't find jobs. They are not all partnered much less with someone who could support them (though if I couldn't find work and ran out of money I might rely on a man while trying desperately to train for some kind of work (either that or go live with my elderly poor mom), I think such would just about kill my partner - he's doesn't have some plum white collar job, he's not that job secure, and his job is nearly killing him as is). And for a single woman joblessness = no income and desperation and as much so as it does for any man. Oh women are less likely to kill themselves, but much more likely to suffer depression. Of course there is no real evidence companies are falling all over themselves to hire women either, women's participation has increased probably entirely because less woman are housewives and stay at home mothers (more women graduating from college does have something to do with it probably though). And after a certain age both genders get age discriminated against in hiring though even then I've heard women more so. Single women have always historically hit retirement much poorer than married women or men or single men.

    There should definitely be a limit on how much criminal background checking can be done except for crimes of significant badness (no drug use should not be there and no misdemeanors should).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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