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+ - The Vanishing American Male Worker

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Binyamin Appelbaum writes at the NYT that the share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent as many men have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working. These changes include the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment. Technology has made unemployment less lonely says Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, who argues that the Internet allows men to entertain themselves and find friends and sexual partners at a much lower cost than did previous generations. Perhaps most important, it has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs as foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs open to high school graduates. The trend was pushed to new heights by the last recession, with 20 percent of prime-age men not working in 2009 before partly receding. But the recovery is unlikely to be complete. "Like turtles flipped onto their backs, many people who stop working struggle to get back on their feet," writes Appelbaum. "Some people take years to return to the work force, and others never do "

A study published in October by scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies estimated that 37 percent of the decline in male employment since 1979 can be explained by this retreat from marriage and fatherhood (PDF). “When the legal, entry-level economy isn’t providing a wage that allows someone a convincing and realistic option to become an adult — to go out and get married and form a household — it demoralizes them and shunts them into illegal economies,” says Philippe Bourgois, an anthropologist who has studied the lives of young men in urban areas. “It’s not a choice that has made them happy. They would much rather be adults in a respectful job that pays them and promises them benefits.”"

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.

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