May 12, 2011

The problem of seeing a problem: "One-fifth of all men in their prime working ages are not getting up and going to work."

David Brooks called this statistic to our attention, and people are talking about it, but mainly in the context of objecting to Brooks's call for "a broad menu of" government programs.  I want to question the blind leap from statistic to assumption that there is a problem.

The "prime working age" is defined as 25 to 54. If you heard that one fifth of women in that age group didn't work, would you assume that's a problem? Maybe you'd think it would be great if even more women choose to spend their time and effort on unpaid activities in the home and the community.

Tell me what these men are doing! Are they caring for children or aging parents, doing volunteer work, furthering their education, working on projects that may produce generate wealth next year? Brooks guesses that they are "idle." Are they? Can we get some fine-grained information about the individuals in that "missing fifth"? And how are they missing? The people who know them know where they are.

Let's not insult men just because they don't show up in the labor statistics. The government doesn't have them officially linked up with a tax-withheld-from-wages-paid job, but that doesn't mean they aren't functioning members of the community.

132 comments:

Superdad said...

I would guess a sizable portion of them work in the grey or black markets selling their labor for cash. Drug trade, construction, home repair, landscaping, etc.

A. Shmendrik said...

They're blogging on Althouse!

EDH said...

Tell me what these men are doing!

They are tapping the existing menu of government programs and working under the table.

To wit, the surest way Democrats think they can get a large block of men to vote for them in the next election.

A. Shmendrik said...

They're blogging on Althouse!

Scott M said...

It's not an insult, AA. We've raised, apparently, 1/5th of a generation of completely shiftless, honorless, lazy, boys who just happen to chronologically be adults. This is exactly what happens when you don't challenge people to extend themselves and their skills.

I'd go further to say that I'd like to see the demographic breakdown. If it's 1/5th of ALL men, I'd draw an analogy to the constant, decades-long victimhoodification of the black man, if only in the sense that constantly telling someone something will inevitably make it true for a healthy chunk of the listeners. You tell men throughout their upbringing that it's always other people's fault, that there will always be "programs" to fall back on, or that you're going to let them mooch off of you into their 30's, what do you expect?

Feminism chickens coming home to roost (sans roosters, of course)? Possibly...probably...that has something to do with it, but I lean more toward the fact that we're simply not challenging men anymore.

Pastafarian said...

They're not unemployed, they're funemployed.

One more reason that Althouse is glad she voted for Obama. If not for Obama's brilliant, subtle economic policies, a large percentage of these men would have to get up and go to a "job" every day.

Joe said...

According to recent statistics, two-fifths of all women in their prime working age are not getting up and going to work.

gerry said...

Feminism chickens

Mmmmm. Basted breasts.

Lunch time.

Scott M said...

Let me add that I don't think an entire 1/5 of the men are just sitting a home playing Xbox. But, purely anecdotally, way, way too many of them are.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastafarian said...

Althouse seems to think that they're house-husbands, purely by choice. Their wives have such high-paying jobs that these men choose to stay home all day and change diapers.

Yeah, that's it. I'm sure that's the case for a big, big part of that 20%. Like at least 0.1% of it.

I'd imagine 9% official unemployment, that doesn't include people who have been unemployed for longer than 99 weeks, and is higher among men than among women, accounts for a bigger chunk; say, about 15% of that 20%.

edutcher said...

We've done "government programs" - Stimulus I and II worked so well we have a fifth of the men in this country in trouble. Little Zero is doing for white men what LBJ did for black men.

To address Ann's question, those that are old enough have retired, many taking a beating on the money they're getting, as some expected to work another 5 to 10 years.

Some probably have something going in the underground (cash only) economy.

Some have part time jobs that bring in a little money, but they're no better off than if they were on unemployment.

Some are trying to build small businesses since they don't have a job.

This is the significance of the U-6 Gallup has at 19.3 and why the U-3 seems to be getting better when so many are out of work. They don't count the 6 million or so that are out of the system, so the workforce appears to be shrinking. It isn't that they don't want a job, there aren't any available - except McJobs, which make up about a fourth of the "jobs created" Little Zero likes to tout.

Scott M said...

It's not an insult, AA. We've raised, apparently, 1/5th of a generation of completely shiftless, honorless, lazy, boys who just happen to chronologically be adults. This is exactly what happens when you don't challenge people to extend themselves and their skills.

What a crock!!

There's a program called WIA, passed by the Pelosi Congress, which provides training to people out of work on the government dime. It is apparently a spectacular failure in getting people back to work.

The new meme, out of the the Haavahd School of Business, is how swell it is that you can cut your work force, work the survivors like slaves (they're hardly going to complain) and fill the gaps with six month contractors.

A lot of job notices have the stipulation that, if you don't have a job already, don't bother applying.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The "prime working age" is defined as 25 to 54. If you heard that one fifth of women in that age group didn't work, would you assume that's a problem? Maybe you'd think it would be great if even more women choose to spend their time and effort on unpaid activities in the home and the community.

I would suppose it to be "great" if more women OR men spent their time and effort on unpaid activities in the home and community.

However, UNPAID is the key since probably that one fifth of men and more likely one quarter or more of women are being PAID. Paid by you and me in the form of welfare subsidies. Paid MORE in the net (after expenses) than if they were actually working.

Why work at a real job that requires skills and effort, when it is so easy to let Uncle Sugar just give you money for nothing (and the chicks are free)?

Pogo said...

Brooks' liberal tell:
Problem defined = Government program required

He states 'It can’t be solved by simply reducing the size of government, as some on the right imagine."

Utter bullshit.
I am lesser for having even skimmed his moron bait.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The "prime working age" is defined as 25 to 54. If you heard that one fifth of women in that age group didn't work, would you assume that's a problem? Maybe you'd think it would be great if even more women choose to spend their time and effort on unpaid activities in the home and the community.

I would suppose it to be "great" if more women OR men spent their time and effort on unpaid activities in the home and community.

However, UNPAID is the key since probably that one fifth of men and more likely one quarter or more of women are being PAID. Paid by you and me in the form of welfare subsidies. Paid MORE in the net (after expenses) than if they were actually working.

Why work at a real job that requires skills and effort, when it is so easy to let Uncle Sugar just give you money for nothing (and the chicks are free)?

edutcher said...

We've done "government programs" - Stimulus I and II worked so well we have a fifth of the men in this country in trouble. Little Zero is doing for white men what LBJ did for black men.

To address Ann's question, those that are old enough have retired, many taking a beating on the money they're getting, as some expected to work another 5 to 10 years.

Some probably have something going in the underground (cash only) economy.

Some have part time jobs that bring in a little money, but they're no better off than if they were on unemployment.

Some are trying to build small businesses since they don't have a job.

This is the significance of the U-6 Gallup has at 19.3 and why the U-3 seems to be getting better when so many are out of work. They don't count the 6 million or so that are out of the system, so the workforce appears to be shrinking. It isn't that they don't want a job, there aren't any available - except McJobs, which make up about a fourth of the "jobs created" Little Zero likes to tout.

Scott M said...

It's not an insult, AA. We've raised, apparently, 1/5th of a generation of completely shiftless, honorless, lazy, boys who just happen to chronologically be adults. This is exactly what happens when you don't challenge people to extend themselves and their skills.

What a crock!!

There's a program called WIA, passed by the Pelosi Congress, which provides training to people out of work on the government dime. It is apparently a spectacular failure in getting people back to work.

The new meme, out of the the Haavahd School of Business, is how swell it is that you can cut your work force, work the survivors like slaves (they're hardly going to complain) and fill the gaps with six month contractors.

A lot of job notices have the stipulation that, if you don't have a job already, don't bother applying.

Scott M said...

What a crock!!

What's a crock about it?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Men are SUPPOSED to be in the salt mines for life and if they're not productive members of society they are scorned, especially by women.

Women, on the other hand, can still find it admirable to drop out of the rat race for "personal growth" and to "find themselves", a la Eat, Pray, Love.

Try making the same movie with a middle-aged guy and see how he's regarded- as a Peter Pan who won't grow up or a pathetic mid-life crisis type who wants to re-live his adolescence.

John said...

Ehh... I'm not really bothered by this. There are lots of ways of making a living other than "getting up and going to work." As long as they're not on the dole, I couldn't care less what they do.

Scott M said...

What a crock!!

What's a crock about it?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Men are SUPPOSED to be in the salt mines for life and if they're not productive members of society they are scorned, especially by women.

Women, on the other hand, can still find it admirable to drop out of the rat race for "personal growth" and to "find themselves", a la Eat, Pray, Love.

Try making the same movie with a middle-aged guy and see how he's regarded- as a Peter Pan who won't grow up or a pathetic mid-life crisis type who wants to re-live his adolescence.

Palladian said...

As a nation, we've ordered so much off of the "broad menu of government programs" that we're now morbidly, budgetarily obese.

But leave it to the NYT house "conservative" to suggest adding another page of options to the all-you-can-eat federal buffet.

Ann Althouse said...

I wonder how many of these men are criminals.

Palladian said...

As a nation, we've ordered so much off of the "broad menu of government programs" that we're now morbidly, budgetarily obese.

But leave it to the NYT house "conservative" to suggest adding another page of options to the all-you-can-eat federal buffet.

AJ Lynch said...

What percentage are on some type of long term disability? Maybe 10%.

If so, that leaves 10% not working.

rcocean said...

Obviously, the way the to solve the high unemployement rate and high underemployment rate of men 18-54 is more immigration.

Whenever there aren't enough jobs, simply expand the labor pool, problem solved.

AJ Lynch said...

What percentage are on some type of long term disability? Maybe 10%.

If so, that leaves 10% not working.

traditionalguy said...

Work is a habit. Staying home is a habit. Attending a government work place to see how little you can do for how much you can get is a third way skill. It does require work at lying and pretending....like Obama learned so well. But mental depression as a result of seeing yourself as a useless person is not a laughing matter. That SOB Obama is no friend of the unemployed men that he lies to and pretends that Green Jobs will replace jobs from real oil and coal energy based American industries.

Palladian said...

Oh, and work is for the little people.

Phil 3:14 said...

Hard to believe you took an opinion piece about the reduction in the workforce and a possibly related shift in governmental funds benefiting those who don't work, and turn it into a feminist piece.

Come on. Agree with him or not, but don't turn the Brooks piece into a male/female issue.

(PS and yes if the stat had 1/5 of women of that age not working I'd assume many were at home being moms BY CHOICE)

Chip S. said...

Problem defined = Government program required

Spot on, Pogo, as usual. When the new program ultimately fails to solve the original "problem," the Dems will call for a tripling of the size of the failed program. The ever-cautious Repubs will counter with a very restrained doubling of the program instead.

Phil 3:14 said...

Hard to believe you took an opinion piece about the reduction in the workforce and a possibly related shift in governmental funds benefiting those who don't work, and turn it into a feminist piece.

Come on. Agree with him or not, but don't turn the Brooks piece into a male/female issue.

(PS and yes if the stat had 1/5 of women of that age not working I'd assume many were at home being moms BY CHOICE)

Palladian said...

Oh, and work is for the little people.

MarkG said...

I work for myself. Sweet!

And who are all you guys reading Althouse on the job complaining about other people being lazy? Get back to work!

Robert Cook said...

I'm sure many of those "idle, lazy, shiftless" men are looking for work and can't find the jobs...because they're looking here at home! Those jobs are long gone gone gone overseas!

Maguro said...

Obviously, the way the to solve the high unemployement rate and high underemployment rate of men 18-54 is more immigration.

Whenever there aren't enough jobs, simply expand the labor pool, problem solved
.

That's right, don't be bothered by the fact that you lost your job to an immigrant, just be pleased that you now have more time to be functioning members of the community in an Althouse-approved manner.

Chip S. said...

Those jobs are long gone gone gone overseas!

Could be. They're apparently not going to South Carolina.

Pastafarian said...

You wonder how many are criminals? I thought that you were questioning the assumption that there's a problem.

If a substantial number of these men are criminals, wouldn't that be a problem?

I thought that you were suggesting that many of these men were house-husbands. Maybe I misread your post.

Re. how many are criminals: Again, not a significant percentage; probably similar to the number that are willing house-husbands (not house-husbands out of necessity, because they can't find work.) Crime isn't rampant; I'd have to go looking for stats, but I'd be willing to bet that there's less crime now than there was in the 1970s and 1980s.

The vast majority of these men are simply unemployed; thanks to various policies that have been disastrous for the economy.

Policies for which you've voted. A vote about which you've recently crowed. But let's not rehash that.

Maguro said...

Obviously, the way the to solve the high unemployement rate and high underemployment rate of men 18-54 is more immigration.

Whenever there aren't enough jobs, simply expand the labor pool, problem solved
.

That's right, don't be bothered by the fact that you lost your job to an immigrant, just be pleased that you now have more time to be functioning members of the community in an Althouse-approved manner.

Chip S. said...

Those jobs are long gone gone gone overseas!

Could be. They're apparently not going to South Carolina.

edutcher said...

Scott M said...

What a crock!!

What's a crock about it?


"1/5th of a generation of completely shiftless, honorless, lazy, boys".

If you honestly believe that, you must also believe unemployment is really at 9%.

We are at Depression levels in this country and have been for some time. While I'll grant you Victor Davis Hanson's point that poverty isn't as bad as it used to be, thanks to welfare, you can't keep a family or have much of a life on unemployment.

The other problem is that many people out of work always leads to trouble. It has historically and I don't think we're exempt.

Pogo said...

"I wonder how many of these men are criminals."

The BLS stats are of the "Civilian noninstitutional population".

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

I'm sure many of those "idle, lazy, shiftless" men are looking for work and can't find the jobs...because they're looking here at home! Those jobs are long gone gone gone overseas!

Thanks to the taxes and regulations imposed by the Democrats.

Pogo said...

"I wonder how many of these men are criminals."

The BLS stats are of the "Civilian noninstitutional population".

Robert Cook said...

I see Brooks, while scornful of "politicians demagoguing Medicare," dismisses Medicare as providing "mostly" nothing more than "comfort to those beyond their working years."

What a fucking putz.

Chip S. said...

Pasta, The prof's initial instinct is good here, whether or not her subsequent speculation is right. Just accepting at face value some MSM discovery of a new social problem is a guaranteed way to get a new federal agency set up.

To ask, "What, exactly, is the problem?" is an excellent initial response to all such assertions.

wv: griots Sheesh, has wv used up all the fake words?

Comrade X said...

there are welfare programs for men?

pbAndj said...

"The BLS stats are of the "Civilian noninstitutional population"."


That means it includes the criminals that we're worried about. The non-institutional ones.

Robert Cook said...

"Thanks to the taxes and regulations imposed by the Democrats."

Wrong. (No surprise there.)

It's due to the corporations' desire to increase their already swollen profit margins by paying slavery wages.

pbAndj said...

"The BLS stats are of the "Civilian noninstitutional population"."


That means it includes the criminals that we're worried about. The non-institutional ones.

TosaGuy said...

There have been plenty of news stories stating that this recession has hit men harder than women with regard to unemployment. Employment in many male-dominated industries like construction have been hard hit with layoffs.

Chip S. said...

The BLS stats are of the "Civilian noninstitutional population".

I thought that "criminals" meant prospective members of the institutional population.

TosaGuy said...

There have been plenty of news stories stating that this recession has hit men harder than women with regard to unemployment. Employment in many male-dominated industries like construction have been hard hit with layoffs.

Scott M said...

If you honestly believe that, you must also believe unemployment is really at 9%.

I qualified it by saying I didn't think the entire 1/5 was lazy. My main point, though, is that we're doing a very, very poor job of raising men.

I have two sons and two daughters. I'm doing everything I can to buck that trend.

Comrade X said...

I wonder how many of these men are criminals.

all of them. so is everyone else in our hyperlegalized society, including you, with the possible exception of Robert Cook.

Pastafarian said...

Chip, she's not asking "what is the problem", she's questioning the "assumption that there is a problem."

And in the next paragraph she draws a parallel between housewives and mothers, and these non-working men, as if to suggest that a substantial number of these men have chosen to remain home, without a paying job.

Which is laughable.

Comrade X said...

I wonder how many of these men are criminals.

all of them. so is everyone else in our hyperlegalized society, including you, with the possible exception of Robert Cook.

Pogo said...

The great recession increased the number of unemployed, but then caused people to leave the labor force altogether.

Over the last 60+ years, this pattern has repeated.

The number of unemployed shrinks and grows with each business cycle, but the not-in-labor-force category continued to grow.

[http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/08/male-labor-force-composition.html]

Thomas Sowell's rule that such anomalies almost always rest on an unintended consequence of government policy applies.

Here, the subsidization of unemployment, business regulations and taxation of employers are the likely culprits.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

"Thanks to the taxes and regulations imposed by the Democrats."

Wrong. (No surprise there.)

It's due to the corporations' desire to increase their already swollen profit margins by paying slavery wages.


And on what page of the Daily Worker does that one appear?

Sure. Like that obscene 7 cent margin the oil companies have.

Does a corporation that moves from IL to WI pay those poor badgers "slavery" wages?

It costs money to move and do business overseas. Right now, the only profits many companies are making come from overseas operations.

Why?

Because The Democrats have made it as difficult as possible to make a profit in this country.

Cook, of course, would have the government run everything, just like GM.

Oh, yeah, the Feds have done such a swell job, they want to divest themselves of GM stock.

traditionalguy said...

Obama only loves crony capitalism for his friends. GE will do fine. While Boeing is on the wrong end of the Obama stick from his union friends. The best hope for jobs in America comes from foreign companies from China, Korea and Germany that want a piece of the local action, but are not unionized. Yesterday Porsche picked the old Hapeville, Ga Ford plant site at the east end of the ATL runways to be their American test track and sale center. Hapeville is also the home of Chik-fil-A restaurant that once fed the Ford workers. We just got used to the Ford plant being leveled and the planes landing glide path being 300 feet lower. But for 400 jobs it is worth it.

Chip S. said...

It's due to the corporations' desire to increase their already swollen profit margins by paying slavery wages.

You're referring, of course, to the companies that pay the highest corporate income tax rate in the world. But I'm sure that has nothing at all to do with employment and wages.

Henry said...

Apparently we've become a hunter-gatherer culture. Hooray!

Chip S. said...

she's not asking "what is the problem", she's questioning the "assumption that there is a problem."

Well, that's a good start, no?

edutcher said...

Scott M said...

If you honestly believe that, you must also believe unemployment is really at 9%.

I qualified it by saying I didn't think the entire 1/5 was lazy. My main point, though, is that we're doing a very, very poor job of raising men.


The demographic Ann uses goes from the tail end of the Baby Boomers through the X-ers. They weren't raised by the "We hate men" feminists.

Lance said...

Yeah, 20% of working-age adults (not just men!) as artists, volunteers, etc. What could go wrong?

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
It's due to the corporations' desire to increase their already swollen profit margins by paying slavery wages.


Do you wake up each morning, look in the mirror and say "I can't wait to go to the Althouse blog and beclown myself"?

Because there really is no real sane explanation for your drivel.

Scott M said...

They weren't raised by the "We hate men" feminists.

They didn't need to be raised directly by a womyn. Society at large and what the rapid feminists have wrought therein have, I believe, a definitely effect. Just the tip of the iceberg, but look at advertising and entertainment in general.

edutcher said...

Sorry, I think you're just generalizing. Under Dubya, unemployment was around 5%. Clearly, these people were working before.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the subsidization of unemployment, business regulations and taxation of employers are the likely culprits.

This.

In addition, the underground economy is doing very well. Many of those who are recorded as not working are actually working for cash. Many are also double dipping, working for cash while collecting unemployment or on welfare subsidies.

Statistics, especially statistics presented by the government, are just numbers that can be manipulated to create whatever scenarios and whatever lies and whatever outcomes the presenter desires.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Pastafarian said...

Chip S: "Well, that's a good start, no?"

It's a good start, alright. In this post, Althouse suggests that unemployment really isn't a bad thing. It allows men to "eat sleep fuck" like Julia Roberts, stop and smell the roses, blah blah blah. But she's just getting warmed up.

Next, she'll tell us that $4 per gallon gas will just bring us all closer together. Then, that the GM bailout was a great idea because she really likes the lines on the new Corvette. And the spendulus (spenduli?) was money well-spent, because an endless mountain of national debt will give future generations of Americans something to work toward -- like Kennedy's challenge to reach the moon.

I would have guessed that this post was meant as satire, but I'm not sure who she's satirizing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the subsidization of unemployment, business regulations and taxation of employers are the likely culprits.

This.

In addition, the underground economy is doing very well. Many of those who are recorded as not working are actually working for cash. Many are also double dipping, working for cash while collecting unemployment or on welfare subsidies.

Statistics, especially statistics presented by the government, are just numbers that can be manipulated to create whatever scenarios and whatever lies and whatever outcomes the presenter desires.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

George said...

Nancy Pelosi: "Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance."

Think it? We're living it. Ain't it f*cking grand!

traditionalguy said...

The jobs have been shipped to China, that has blatantly used currency manipulated predatory pricing to de-industrialize the USA ever since 1990. The real estate bubble was carefully constructed to hide that fact while the Capitalists paid their dues to own some of the Chinese opportunity. Trump is the only candidate to speak out loud about that.

SteveR said...

What Brooks and many Americans don't see (or ignore) is that many people have "broken the code". They exist in categories such as "unemployed", "disabled", "divorced", "poor", "bankrupt" without the disadvantages (or shame) one would traditionally expect.

This doesn't apply to all, or even a majority of people in those groups, but its a lot and people playing by the old rules are paying to support them.

Blue@9 said...

It's an important problem, because high unemployment among women doesn't have the same social implications as high unemployment among men.

Every society's biggest fear is upheaval caused by large numbers of unemployed, undersexed, unhappy young men. Pretty much every revolution gets underway when men in the age group 16-35 get really upset and start tearing down the existing social order.

David said...

They are trying to find an answer to the ultimate Freudian question: "What do women want?"

Hint--It involves a man with a job.

Robert Cook said...

"Nancy Pelosi: 'Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.'

"Think it? We're living it. Ain't it f*cking grand!"


Where do you live? I'd like to emigrate to your country!

LarsPorsena said...

It's no secret that the Obama recession has hit the construction, financial, and manufacturing sectors especially hard. These sectors are male dominated. As long as these sectors are in 'recovery' the 1/5 will be idle .

Lem said...

The government doesn't have them officially linked up with a tax-withheld-from-wages-paid job, but that doesn't mean they aren't functioning members of the community.

Thank you professor.. thats exactly right.

Chip S. said...

Pasta, Let's talk about $4/gal. gas. Is that price a "problem," or is it a reflection of a big drop in Libyan oil production? We'd rather that supply was plentiful and gas was a buck a gallon, but that isn't the reality of the situation. The reality is that gas is sufficiently scarce right now as to make $4 the "right" price for it. Just pointing to it and yelling "problem!" is a good way to get an idiot majority of the Congress to put price controls on gas. Goodbye high prices, hello long lines at the pump.

One of the cornerstones of modern liberalism is the denial of true costs and the embrace of the Cookian belief system in which corporations just wake up from a daze every now and then and decide to start gouging their customers and oppressing their workers. I applaud any rhetorical device that nudges people toward the realization that every action has a cost. Even if it was intended to be ironic.

Brennan said...

Under Dubya, unemployment was around 5%. Clearly, these people were working before.

Yes. Yes they were. But it was yet another labor bubble. This time the trades relative to home building and improvement.

The bubble burst and along with it the employment prospects for the laborer. I'd wager that is most of the 1 in 5 Brooks quotes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Not sure why liberals bemoan jobs going to foreigners overseas yet celebrate foreigners coming here illegally to take them.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

"Nancy Pelosi: 'Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.'

"Think it? We're living it. Ain't it f*cking grand!"


Where do you live? I'd like to emigrate to your country!

A lot of European countries have such arrangements. Not the same, perhaps, but similar.

Of course, it was also Pelosi Galore that said, "Elections shouldn't matter as much as they do".

Brennan said...

I don't know the exact dates for each region of the US, but May 1 is generally the day that Summer fuel blends start showing up in the supply chain. It forces prices up because refiners have to guess the demand rate.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

"Nancy Pelosi: 'Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.'

"Think it? We're living it. Ain't it f*cking grand!"


Where do you live? I'd like to emigrate to your country!

A lot of European countries have such arrangements. Not the same, perhaps, but similar.

Of course, it was also Pelosi Galore that said, "Elections shouldn't matter as much as they do".

Chip S. said...

Not sure why liberals bemoan jobs going to foreigners overseas yet celebrate foreigners coming here illegally to take them.

Because they need people to show up and vote on behalf of the dead?

Scott M said...

Of course, it was also Pelosi Galore that said, "Elections shouldn't matter as much as they do".

Quite possibly one of the, if not THE, worst statements by an American politician in living memory. Poison.

Alex said...

I wonder how many of these men are criminals.

Probably a lot. Something Democrats don't want to talk about for obvious reasons.

4-letter word. Starts with R, ends with e.

zbogwan99 said...

I'll bet Obama has no concern over this stat. He probably thinks that it's normal...considering what the Afro American Workers have done during his lifetime?
Maybe the One will continue talking about crocodiles/alligators in moats at the border, instead of addressing this stat????

Alex said...

What a fucking putz.

So Medicare isn't enough Cookie? What more do you want? Guaranteed job for life?

zbogwan99 said...

I'll bet Obama has no concern over this stat. He probably thinks that it's normal...considering what the Afro American Workers have done during his lifetime?
Maybe the One will continue talking about crocodiles/alligators in moats at the border, instead of addressing this stat????

Chip S. said...

Guaranteed job for life?

That's so 20th-century-sweatshop-wage-slave. Guaranteed income is much more humane.

Fred4Pres said...

Our society does better if everyone is productive. Government really needs to get out of the way and let that happen.

Chip S. said...

Guaranteed job for life?

That's so 20th-century-sweatshop-wage-slave. Guaranteed income is much more humane.

David said...

Only 56% of black men over the age of 20 have jobs, according to a report published this week. Lowest percentage ever recorded (reports since 1972).

This can not help the overall statistic.

You can blame this on Obama, and he is responsible for some of it. But overall it's the result of five decades plus of declining educational performance, terrible social policies, subversive messages from popular "culture" and failed leadership by prominent black Americans.

Not gonna get fixed quickly or easily, and surely not by continuation of the same old victim oriented messages and policies.

andinista said...

I question your question of whether there is a problem. If it becomes recognized as a Problem, then Federal and State revenues will be diverted from women-oriented subsidies, to men-oriented. Address the unstated conflict of interest first. There are very few people in this world who won't scream bloody murder when they are pulled off Uncle Sugar's hind tit and replaced with another. But be weaned you must.

bagoh20 said...

How many of these men are not working due to the fine efforts of graduates of law school - disability, divorce, liability, or other lawyer; politician, President, lobbyist, educator, legislative staffer, judge, etc.

It's a very big problem with a simple solution: Kill all the lawyers.

Luke Lea said...

Ann's her own troll!

jimbino said...

Ha! I'm a man, proud to have figured out at age 25 that the USSA is no meritocracy, meaning that if I were to work I would be working to support the white, hetero, suburban, married and breeding classes through my taxes, whether on income or property, SS and Medicare.

As a result, I have deliberately worked an average of 18 weeks per year for the past 42 years, taking time out in the middle to get a law degree here in Texas, back when they were virtually "free" -- meaning subsidized by single and childfree taxpaying young men. Now retired, I am entitled to (barely!) a couple of decades of SS and Medicare benefits worth some $1M that they will also have to pay for.

If young men had any sense, they'd emigrate or tune in, drop out, return to live with their mothers and shun marriage and breeding and the inevitable divorce and years of child support payments.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skyler said...

I think a huge chunk of that 20% is in prison.

edutcher said...

jimbino said...

Ha! I'm a man, proud to have figured out at age 25 that the USSA is no meritocracy, meaning that if I were to work I would be working to support the white, hetero, suburban, married and breeding classes through my taxes, whether on income or property, SS and Medicare.

As a result, I have deliberately worked an average of 18 weeks per year for the past 42 years, taking time out in the middle to get a law degree here in Texas, back when they were virtually "free" -- meaning subsidized by single and childfree taxpaying young men. Now retired, I am entitled to (barely!) a couple of decades of SS and Medicare benefits worth some $1M that they will also have to pay for.

If young men had any sense, they'd emigrate or tune in, drop out, return to live with their mothers and shun marriage and breeding and the inevitable divorce and years of child support payments.


So spaketh the Lefty troll.

And he's no man.

David said...

Only 56% of black men over the age of 20 have jobs, according to a report published this week. Lowest percentage ever recorded (reports since 1972).

This can not help the overall statistic.

You can blame this on Obama, and he is responsible for some of it. But overall it's the result of five decades plus of declining educational performance, terrible social policies, subversive messages from popular "culture" and failed leadership by prominent black Americans.


Perhaps why support for Little Zero is dropping even in the African Community.

Michael K said...

Based on personal experience and observation, I would agree with Superdad that a large share of them are in the cash economy which will only increase as Obama screws up the economy more and more.

I had a tree fall over a month ago, in less than an hour, the guy next door was over offering to cut it up and haul away the branches. Since then, he's done several other jobs for me. I'm sure he is paying his taxes on the money I've paid him :) but some people might not.

pbAndj said...

The real problem is the free-loding oldies.

They expect young folks to keep paying for them because......ahhhh....well, I'm not sure why they're such slackers. But, presumably (according to folks around here) it's BHO's fault, or maybe black folks are to blame (according to many commenting on this thread).

Revenant said...

because they're looking here at home! Those jobs are long gone gone gone overseas!

People never get tired of repeating that myth.

d said...

What do you mean, Rev? I've been wondering if this is basically the new normal. What does the future look like to you?

Robert Cook said...

"So Medicare isn't enough Cookie?"

Strictly speaking, it's not, but that wasn't my point, of course.

Brooks' use of language is intended to subtly sneer at the idea of Medicare as an extravgant entitlement and its recipients as spoiled and lazy, looking only to enhance their "comfort."

Rather, Medicare is a necessity that helps many or a majority of older retired and nonworking Americans to receive medical care without swiftly bankrupting themselves or suffering lives of preventable illness or early death because they could not otherwise afford care.

d said...

What do you mean, Rev? I've been wondering if this is basically the new normal. What does the future look like to you?

deborah said...

Ooops, that's me 'd' above. Hadn't logged out of my alternate email.

pbAndj said...

Ooops, that's me 'edutcher' above. Hadn't logged out of my alternate email.

Sockpuppetry is complicated!

garage mahal said...

Brooks' use of language is intended to subtly sneer at the idea of Medicare as an extravgant entitlement and its recipients as spoiled and lazy, looking only to enhance their "comfort."?

Always nice to hear from the pampered elite socialites like Brooks and Andrea Greenspan telling us the poor and elderly must sacrifice to keep up their lifestyle. What's Brooks biggest daily complication? Which D.C. cocktail party to attend?

pct said...

Well, what the BLS calls the Labor Force Participation Rate is down significantly since mid-2008, so for some odd reason more of them have decided to do volunteer work or whatever recently. Having said that, in this particular case I would have to agree with Mickey Kaus that Brooks is working backwards from a desired goal to reasons why it is necessary.

garage mahal said...

Brooks' use of language is intended to subtly sneer at the idea of Medicare as an extravgant entitlement and its recipients as spoiled and lazy, looking only to enhance their "comfort."?

Always nice to hear from the pampered elite socialites like Brooks and Andrea Greenspan telling us the poor and elderly must sacrifice to keep up their lifestyle. What's Brooks biggest daily complication? Which D.C. cocktail party to attend?

windbag said...

@Revenant

because they're looking here at home! Those jobs are long gone gone gone overseas!

People never get tired of repeating that myth.


File it next to: "jobs that Americans won't do."

In our disposable society, we're buying cheap, crappy products. Anyone can make cheap, crappy products, hence all the manufacturing jobs that have been exported to countries where the workers receive just compensation for their contribution to the manufacture of cheap, crappy products.

Our nation's labor force is capable of producing vastly superior goods and services. Unfortunately, the market isn't demanding what we have to offer.

Robert Cook said...

"Our nation's labor force is capable of producing vastly superior goods and services. Unfortunately, the market isn't demanding what we have to offer."

And the manufacturers won't pay living wages as long as computerized mechanization and cheap overseas labor is available.

deborah said...

No one would confuse you with dutcher, brainiac.

Nora said...

Pastafarian said...
Althouse seems to think that they're house-husbands, purely by choice. ...

Really? And I thought that she bring to attention that Brooks implies that all the staying at home women are housewives. That's why he does not include them into statistics to support his reasoning for government intervention.

Revenant said...

What do you mean, Rev? I've been wondering if this is basically the new normal. What does the future look like to you?

I mean that people have been whining about foreigners stealing our jobs for decades. They whined all through the 70s, on into the 80s, then whined like CRAZY during the 90s (despite record-low unemployment), and then on into the 21st century.

Jobs are created by market efficiency. The easier it is for people who need work done to freely find and hire folks to do it, and the easier it is for folks to freely contract to sell their labor -- the easier it is to find work. The notion that you can achieve a prosperous society by refusing to hire anybody who lives in another country is moronic. Without exception, every nation that has tried that has fallen into economic ruin.

Here's some food for thought: an employer decides that instead of hiring ten American engineers at a cost of $60/hr ($35/hr of which they actually get to take home after their and the employer's share of taxes), to hire two American engineers and have them manage an offshore team of 25 Indian engineers. So about a million bucks per year in Indian salaries.

Now, a question: what happens to that million bucks? The Indian engineers can't spend it on anything; India uses rupees. The company that employs them can buy rupees and pay them with those, but then what does the former owner of the rupees do with this big pile of dollars? Answer: buy stuff made by, or services provided by, Americans.

Scott M said...

Cook

Define living wage. My experience with that phrase is that it's usually a rhetorical trap. The last argument I had about it suggested that someone working the grill for 35 hours a week at McDonalds should be able to provide for a family of four. Is that about where you are?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I would agree with Superdad that a large share of them are in the cash economy which will only increase as Obama screws up the economy more and more.

You know, the Fair Tax would solve that whole underground economy problem. Just sayin'

Scott M said...

You know, the Fair Tax would solve that whole underground economy problem. Just sayin'

Simplicity doesn't allow for stuff to be shoved down legalistic rabbit holes.

windbag said...

@Robert Cook

I think you missed my point. And furthermore, nobody is owed a living wage. Market forces drove Europeans to the New World. Market forces will drive us to discover new wealth in the years ahead. The problem is government confiscation of that wealth.

If someone is motivated by hunger or desire to maintain a certain standard of living, he will make the necessary adjustments to accomplish either. What you consider a living wage probably dwarfs what a Somalian considers a living wage.

Scott M said...

You know, the Fair Tax would solve that whole underground economy problem. Just sayin'

Simplicity doesn't allow for stuff to be shoved down legalistic rabbit holes.

Revenant said...

And the manufacturers won't pay living wages as long as computerized mechanization and cheap overseas labor is available.

It never ceases to amuse me that people think mechanization represents a threat to workers instead of, for example, an enormous benefit.

Some people really believe workers had it better when every product available had to be painstakingly crafted by manual labor. Ludd lives! :)

jimbino said...

Wages are properly set by supply and demand. Paying a "living wage" has negative side effects. If not, why not pay at least 5 living wages?

Of course, the real side effects of setting a minimum wage include unemployment of young men that leads directly to drug involvement and incarceration, early marriage, breeding, divorce, 22 years of child-support payments and loads of other evils.

edutcher said...

deborah said...

No one would confuse you with dutcher, brainiac.

Thank you, ma'am.

deborah said...

"Now, a question: what happens to that million bucks? The Indian engineers can't spend it on anything; India uses rupees. The company that employs them can buy rupees and pay them with those, but then what does the former owner of the rupees do with this big pile of dollars? Answer: buy stuff made by, or services provided by, Americans."

Thanks. I didn't realize...

deborah said...

y/w :)

Robert Cook said...

"...nobody is owed a living wage."

At last, the blunt truth about the capitalist's mindset.

andinista said...

It's just something I've noticed recently. More every day, men of all ages, all days, out and about in t-shirts, flip-flops, and shorts. Men who look healthy and intelligent. Who still have the spark in their eyes. Who also look hang-dog. They're everywhere now. It's getting scary out there.

But of course it would have been worse with McCain and Palin. Of that there's no doubt. No, none at all. It was a foregone choice. And after 2012, it will be worse with anybody besides BarryO and his court jester Biden. So America, one more time, how about it?

BarryO: increasing the number of men in shorts since 2009.

Scott M said...

Answer the question, RC. Define a living wage.

andinista said...

It's just something I've noticed recently. More every day, men of all ages, all days, out and about in t-shirts, flip-flops, and shorts. Men who look healthy and intelligent. Who still have the spark in their eyes. Who also look hang-dog. They're everywhere now. It's getting scary out there.

But of course it would have been worse with McCain and Palin. Of that there's no doubt. No, none at all. It was a foregone choice. And after 2012, it will be worse with anybody besides BarryO and his court jester Biden. So America, one more time, how about it?

BarryO: increasing the number of men in shorts since 2009.