Monday, October 31, 2016

The Zombie Epidemic of Idle Men

The Zombie Epidemic of Idle Men | Foundation for Economic Education
"The US stock market continues to set new records. 
Unemployment continues to go down. The United States is now at or near “full employment”. 
According to a Bloomberg headline last year, “The Jobless Numbers Aren’t Just Good, They’re Great”.
But a closer look at economic data by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt reveals something else entirely.
Image result for obamaboyWhile “unemployment” has gone down, the work participation rate, and especially the male work rate, has been relentlessly declining for most of the post-War era and is now reaching a crisis with Depression-era levels.
In his new book, Men Without Work, Eberstadt describes this as a deep moral and social crisis which is passing almost unnoticed by politicians, pundits, business leaders and economists.
What are men doing with their time if not working?
One-sixth of all men of prime working age in America – men aged between 25 and 54 – are not just unemployed, but have stopped looking for jobs altogether. 
This is a time bomb with far-reaching economic, social, and political consequences.
Millions of men are becoming dependent, infantilized and sick.
“Unlike the dead soldiers in Roman antiquity,” he writes, “our decimated men still live and walk among us, though in an existence without productive economic purpose. We might say those many millions of men without work constitute a sort of invisible army, ghost soldiers lost in an overlooked, modern-day depression.”
In many ways, this is a disturbing book. 
Never before in American history have so many men done absolutely nothing. 
Millions are becoming dependent, infantilized and sick. 
According to a recent paper by Princeton economist Alan Krueger nearly half of the men who are not looking for work are on painkillers and many are disabled. 
They "experience notably low levels of emotional well-being throughout their days and ... they derive relatively little meaning from their daily activities," Krueger found. 
And there are 7 million of them. .."

No comments: