MEN NOT WORKING
Karl Arnold Belser
28 November 2016
| This is an update on my AUgust 2013 post End Of Men.
I started wondering why Donald Trump won the US presidency. The best answer I have encountered is from Joan William's article What So Many People Don't Get About the US Working Class. In short the White Working Class (WWC) is suffering economically while the government is giving preferential treatment to inmigrants, non-whites and women at the expense of the WWC. The Trump win is a backlash.
So how are men doing in the economy today?
There are many articles on the subject including a book by Nicholas Eberstadt titled Men Without Work which gives some insight. In short the 25 to 55 year-old male employment participation rate has fallen from 98% in 1954 to 88 percent in 2015. There are about three million able bodied men not working today. They are living on public assistance or on family charity. They apparently play video games, watch TV, and play sports to occupy their time. However, they usually do not date. One might conjecture that they have lost the appearance of manliness because they can no longer be bread winners. These working age men often do drugs and might die at a young age as a result. The article by Matt Phillips titled American Men Need Something To Do gives a good over view the situation .
The loss of working class (blue collar) jobs started with off-shoring (wage arbitrage). Today the jobs that used to be there for blue collar workers are being don by automation and artificial intelligence. Hence, they are never coming back. The jobs that are left are jobs that have in the past been left to women. These are pink collar jobs like teaching, health care, assistants to professionals or even home-making. One might think that men would feel uncomfortable in these roles. Even these jobs require some education and many of the unemployed men have only high school degrees.
I know of many younger men that are in a situation like this, including some of my own children. I am quite concerned, but I can not imagine any public policy that will make the situation better. Robots, automation and artificial intelligence are going to take over many more jobs in the future. At some point there will have to be a public policy change, maybe reducing benefits to those not working or conscripted labor. The society simply cannot afford too many "free riders".
Last updated November 28, 2016
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