December 8, 2016

"Policy wonks like me have wondered why more lower-skilled men aren’t adapting" by taking up "girly jobs."

Writes Bloomberg View columnist Betsey Stevenson. (She's also a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan and has been on the Council of Economic Advisers and in the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama administration.)
A wealthier, better-educated and older population has allowed professional and business services to flourish, and boosted demand for various kinds of care and help. Over the last 20 years, the education and health services sector have added 9 million jobs, while the manufacturing sector has shrunk by 5 million.... 
Lower-skilled men don’t seem to want service jobs. As the goods sector has declined, so has the labor-force participation of men without a college degree. Today only 83 percent of prime-age men with a high school degree or less are employed or actively seeking work. In 1964, 97 percent were.

Why don’t [lower-skilled men] take care of their children when they are out of work? Why don’t they take jobs as home health aides? Or sign up for degrees in nursing? One problem is that these occupations conflict with traditional notions of masculinity....
Stevenson thinks Trump got support from people attached to these traditional notions: "He won in part because he promised to return us to a time when men are strong and work in manly jobs." But since these jobs are not coming back — Stevenson assures us — Trump ought to help by "chang[ing] the culture" to "make girly jobs appeal to manly men."

The Bloomberg column is obviously not intended to be read by the poorly educated.



Those who will change the culture and affect those men's minds might be amused and enthused by phrases like "girly jobs" and "manly men," but you don't oust the traditional notions by using the words that heighten the desire to cling to the ideas they represent. You don't tell a man who likes his masculinity that he ought to do something "girly." Words like that only work behind the scenes, among the well-educated, talking about the poorly educated.

Interestingly enough, Barack Obama originally wanted to bring manly jobs to working class men. His economic advisers — perhaps including Stevenson — were telling him in 2007 that the new economy had health care jobs for lower-skilled male workers:
But Obama shook his head.

“Look, these are guys,” he said. “A lot of them see health care, being nurse’s aides, as women’s work. They need to do something that fits with how they define themselves as men.” ...

As the room chewed over the non-PC phrase “women’s work,” trying to square the senator’s point with their analytical models, [Alan] Krueger—who was chief economist at the Department of Labor in the mid-1990s at the tender age of thirty-four—sat there silently, thinking that in all his years of studying men and muscle, he had never used that term. But Obama was right. Krueger wondered how his latest research on happiness and well-being might take into account what Obama had put his finger on: that work is identity, that men like to build, to have something to show for their sweat and toil.

“Infrastructure,” he blurted out. “Rebuilding infrastructure.”

Obama nodded and smiled, seeing it instantly. “Now we’re talking. . . . Okay, let’s think about how that would work as a real centerpiece.... Don’t even get me started about potholed highways and collapsing bridges,” Obama said....
Somehow he got talked out of that, and now here's Betsey Stephenson trying to talk Trump out of it.

107 comments:

TreeJoe said...

I've read that story of Obama's decision to allocate enormous funds to infrastructure a few times and it's either complete BS or an incredibly scary decision making process.

I normally assume BS in these stories, but given that the Obama admin was surprised the jobs weren't in fact "shovel ready" and our infrastructure remains relatively the same....

Martha said...

Why can't a man be more like a woman?

What a sad sad world that would be.

rehajm said...

Don’t even get me started about potholed highways and collapsing bridges,” Obama said

Interesting as ultimately very little of the infrastructure 'stimulus' went to infrastructure spending. It went to spendthrift municipalities and leftie special interest groups so they could remain solvent and maintain the standard of living to which they were accustomed.

Brando said...

Yes, that's what we need--presidents who see "changing the culture" as a part of their job descriptions. Last thing we'd want is presidents sticking to their constitutionally mandated and limited duties, when they can be out there culture changing.

Men will do what they have to. At least the ones who don't want to be dependent on the dole will.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Poorly educated" is not the same as "doesn't have a college degree"

Virgil Hilts said...

The passage in Confidence Man is why I grew to dislike Obama so much. When he started office he had so much goodwill/leeway to do important things (like rebuilding infrastructure) that would have been great for the country, but he had no guts whatsoever to even slightly annoy the public unions/other lefty constituents. He Squandered a unique opportunity to be a real leader/really help the country get out of a terrible hole, choosing instead to play golf and let Valerie Jarrett make the "tough" and typically disastrous decisions. He gave good speeches but is and was a small man whom the job did not make any bigger. That is hos history should remember him.

MayBee said...

Let's talk for a moment about why men would not go into childcare.....

Expat(ish) said...

It's pretty clear none of these people have ever actually worked in a "low skill" job with "low skill" people.

I have dug ditches (when I was the only white "boy" on an all black crew - it was a long time ago) with a shovel and moved boxes by hand/dolly in an unconditioned warehouse. I have stocked shelves, unloaded trucks, moved furniture, boxed files, hauled shingles up a ladder (*great* quads!), re-tarred tin roofs, and powerwashed hundreds of miles of concrete.

It does not surprise me a bit that the people in these roles don't become "home health aids" or what not.

-XC

PS - I work in a nice air conditioned office now, but my quads are still titus-riffic

MayBee said...

Brando said...
Yes, that's what we need--presidents who see "changing the culture" as a part of their job descriptions


Yes!
Leave us alone, presidents and politicians. We can figure out the culture.

rhhardin said...

Guys could become commenters.

Big Mike said...

Somehow he got talked out of that ...

And every now and again Obama would make a half-hearted pitch for another dose of stimulus funds to rebuild infrastructure. But no one would trust him with more money to throw around after they saw what he did with the $800B from the first stimulus.

Big Mike said...

Betsey wants Trump to help change the culture? Like that's a do-able do? Trump has demonstrated that one can convince a state and an air conditioner manufacturer to reach a common ground -- after Barack Obama had mocked him for even suggesting that he'd try, much less succeed -- but convincing men to stop being manly? There are only so many beta males in the country.

Kate said...

The tone is: guys won't take softer jobs because of their self-image. If only we redefined their social understanding, it would all work out. Let us raise up the neanderthals to enlightenment.

Maybe guys don't take these jobs because it's baked into their nature as men. What if all the womansplainin in the world won't change that?

tim in vermont said...

Higamous hogamous girls are hypergamous
Hogimous higamous, men like women.

Or as one lady put it:

"Now herein lies my problem — I became the breadwinner in an extreme way. I committed to supporting us for two years, but we’re going on four now, and it will likely be five. Our income divide is so extreme that I pay for 90 percent of our living expenses. What I’ve found is I can’t live this girl-power lifestyle that I believe in. . . . I hate that I want a more traditional lifestyle with a husband who can provide for me.”

Or as more than a few commenters pointed out "I hate it that I don't really believe what I profess to believe!"

Imagine if "gender studies" weren't about finding ways to force pre-conceived ideas on the general population, but were in fact an area of serious inquiry? I kid! I kid...

Big Mike said...

"Policy wonks like me have wondered why more lower-skilled men aren’t adapting" by taking up "girly jobs."

Third thought. We could edit this sentence just a bit:

"Physicists like me have wondered why more photons aren't responding by going faster than the speed of light."

Shouldn't self-proclaimed policy wonks make policy based on what is real and not on what they'd like it to be so their pet theories can come true?

EDH said...

Policy wonks like me have wondered why more lower-skilled men aren’t adapting" by taking up "girly jobs."

tim in vermont said...

What is the point of the song "You're So Vain" anyways? Is it about a bunch of jerks that Carly Simon happened to date, or is it a song about how Carly Simon seemed only to be attracted to men who had higher status jobs than she did, and she had a pretty damn high status job to begin with? Oh, and those guys with ultimate high status jobs? They knew it! Jerks! Bastards!

Paco Wové said...

Surely louder, shriller hectoring of men is the answer. Or more estrogens in the water.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There used to be more male teachers, particularly at the high-school level. That was back when school focused on education rather than social work.

You could bring men back to education jobs with three simple changes:

1) Bring back corporal punishment.
2) Bring back school uniforms.
3) Bring back the traditional definition of male and female*.

Laslo would know where to take it from here...

*The last thing you want is to be applying corporal punishment to the girl in the school uniform skirt, only to end up with both of you getting an erection. That would be awkward.

Rusty said...

The answer to your question resides in the role of men in the inner city black community.

Larry J said...

It amuses me when I hear someone speak derisively of those who "work with their hands." I guess they must not know much about anatomy. The hands are controlled by the brain. Surgeons work with their hands and few people look down on them. The through processes for diagnosing medical illnesses are the same used to troubleshoot a malfunctioning machine. As Will Rogers wrote about a century ago, "Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." Too many people equate having a college credential with being educated, much less intelligent.

Greg said...

Another economist who thinks everything would be great if we all embraced service jobs. Service what, if nobody works in a wealth creation industry?

John said...

Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"Poorly educated" is not the same as "doesn't have a college degree"

James Lileks links to an excellent opinion piece in the Star Tribune today:

http://www.startribune.com/places-in-the-twin-cities-where-worlds-sit-side-by-side-the-library-light-rail/403667136/

The author has a sociology degree from a tony private, expensive, university and the best job he can find is as a dishwasher.

He thinks the main St Paul library needs to be made more friendly to the homeless people. We need to pay attention to him because he is a sociologist!!!

Well credentialled and poorly educated indeed.

John Henry

John said...

One of the differences between Obama and Trump on infrastructure is that Trump knows how to do it and has 40 years experience doing it.

I remember 5-6 years ago they were rehabbing the UN building and spending about a billion dollars doing it. I heard a lengthy (45-60 minutes) interview with Trump. He got deep into the nuts and bolts of the project explaining in detail what they were doing right and what they were doing wrong and why they were paying way too much for it.

With examples: "UN is paying X dollars per foot for this, in my buildings I typically pay Y dollars. They are getting ripped off."

It will be nice to have someone in ultimate charge of these project who knows what he is doing.

John Henry

Henry said...

Here's one answer to the question. There aren't enough jobs:

While unskilled men have decreased their labor force participation, unskilled women have gradually increased their labor force participation since the early 1970s. Within the last four years, one group of low-skilled women—unmarried mothers—has raised dramatically their participation in the labor market and the trend is likely to continue. As noted above in the work and family section, the increase in single mothers’ labor market participation was due in part to a 1996 federal law that placed a lifetime limit on the number of years a family could receive AFDC benefits.

Welfare reform will play an important role in the future of the unskilled labor market. Many analysts think that the influx of welfare mothers into the labor market will crowd out men and immigrants. Others argue that the labor market will be able to absorb welfare mothers by creating new jobs; studies show that large groups of unskilled immigrants have been fully absorbed by the labor market with minimal displacement of native-born workers.

campy said...

MayBee at 7:06am touches on the truth.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

The author of the article assumes the actual work (caring) is what conflicts with "traditional notions of masculinity." When it is the pay/opportunity for advancement that conflicts with "traditional notions of masculinity." Health aide and child care were traditionally jobs women did when their children were in school or grown.The jobs provided a little extra money, these were not jobs that paid well enough to support a family nor provide opportunity for advancement. With less stay-at-home Moms there are also less women willing to take dead end health aid type jobs. Nursing pays a livable salary and you do see more males entering the field.

John said...

Now that the election is over and President Obama has more freedom to act, he is really on a tear.

First Carrier and Ford agree to stay in the US. Then we have the Japanese/Saudi group investing $50bn to create 50,000 jobs. US Steel announced yesterday that it may recall 10,000 laid off workers. Foxconn, with more employees (1.3mm)than San Francisco has residents is talking about a major (10,000 employees or so) plant in the US. Stock market is flirting with 20,000.

Jut by way of no harm, I should point out that while Foxconn does a lot of manufacturing in mainland China, it is a Taiwanese company.

Where were you for 8 years, Obama? Why are you just doing these things now instead of 8 years ago?

I am hoping you will stay around to advise President Trump. You can really shine when you put your mind to it.

John Henry

Brando said...

"Let's talk for a moment about why men would not go into childcare....."

And there's our answer. Perhaps all these people complaining that men consider themselves too good for "girly" jobs and suggesting changing the culture (i.e., making men less stubborn and sexist) ought to consider instead changing the culture that teaches everyone that men are predators, and especially any man who goes into any field where they'd work with children (teachers, priests, child care workers).

Hagar said...

The "service jobs" the professor mentioned also happens to be government service jobs. Someone has to do useful work to earn money and pay taxes to support those.

I have seen precisely one woman on an asphalt crew.

John said...

Oops.

Was it racist of me to say that President Obama can "shine" when he wants to?

I am sorry if anyone was offended.

John Henry

Fernandinande said...

She's also a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan and has been on the Council of Economic Advisers and in the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama administration.

Policy wonks like me have wondered why more useless paper-pushers with sinecures aren't adapting by paving roads and hauling bricks.

John said...

As a man, I would be scared shitless to go into childcare. My daughter, son in law and year old baby are living with us while finishing their house and I will not change a diaper. Not because it is beneath me but I hear far too many cases of men getting charged with child abuse. Many times unfairly.

If I wipe her butt, how many wipes do I get before I cross the line from wiping to fondling?

Doesn't even matter whether I do anything or not. Just the accusation is worse than the Spanish inquisition.

John Henry

Jersey Fled said...

And yet another case where liberals view men as just defective women.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Kruger is an academic labor economist. He is paid to tell liberals that their economic ideas are gee-whiz wonderful and will have no ill effects. He wrote a paper using bad methodology to show that increasing the price of a good does not effect demand for that good (raising the minimum wage does not decrease demand for minimum wage labor). When his theories don't work in the real world, he is paid to explain that this is the fault of capitalism, or insufficient regulation, or sunspots -- anything but liberal economic policies.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJ said...

One of the good things the Trump Tidal Wave did was totally erase the entire concept of a "wonk". The culture of "wonks" "TED Talks" and people playfully referring to themselves as "nerds", as in "Nerd Prom".

Ugh.

The voters have finally realized that the people that call themselves policy "wonks" actually know less than someone who knows 0 about a particular policy, because they know so much that isn't so; a self-described wonk actually knows -1, or -0.5.

Brando said...

"As a man, I would be scared shitless to go into childcare. My daughter, son in law and year old baby are living with us while finishing their house and I will not change a diaper. Not because it is beneath me but I hear far too many cases of men getting charged with child abuse. Many times unfairly."

Interesting--I was once visiting with my toddler niece and she kept saying she wanted to play "doctor" and I was all "uh, no way kid! Let's read a story or something instead..." Later my sister explained that at their day care they did some thing on doctors and so my niece has been asking everyone to pretend to be patients with her. Felt crappy, but there's just a line men have to draw and we always have to be conscious of it.

Another thing is when leftists talk about how unjust it is for blacks (though primarily black men) to have to police their behavior for whites they tell it as though whites are terrible for making sweeping assumptions. Yet they seem to not have the same sympathy for men who have to police their behavior because of society's assumptions about them.

Rae said...

Houses still need to be built. Plumbing still needs to be plumbed. Bricks still need to be laid. Cars still need mechanics. Houses need to be wired for electricity. Most of those jobs, women have little desire for. There is the occasional mechanically inclined woman, but they're rare, and that isn't going to change any time soon.

The problem is there is little economic growth. If Trump arranges for a 3-4% growth period, there will be an economic boom in the trades.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Interesting as ultimately very little of the infrastructure 'stimulus' went to infrastructure spending. It went to spendthrift municipalities and leftie special interest groups so they could remain solvent and maintain the standard of living to which they were accustomed.

In my city the Obama stimulus money went to a well connected construction company which put in pointless concrete medians that prevent left turns in arterials by forcing people to make u-turns instead. They were supposed to decrease accidents but no one knows how to use them, so instead we have old ladies who drive down the lanes the wrong way and then require a cop's help to get them unstuck.

But I'm sure that company made some money and hired some guys for a couple years while they tied up the busiest streets in town, so, yay?

Michael K said...

“Look, these are guys,” he said. “A lot of them see health care, being nurse’s aides, as women’s work

I see lots of male nurses. Many are former military. They get a BSN degree and go right up the ladder into administration. Women nurses that I know often/mostly prefer to work for male supervisors. Female supervisors often have favorites and can be very bitchy.

As a man, I would be scared shitless to go into childcare.

My youngest daughter's favorite 8th grade teacher was a man, It was a private school and his wife was also a teacher. I would not be a male teacher in a California elementary school for anything. High school is safer but it is still a risk these days.

Mattman26 said...

If that Obama story is true, it's about the smartest and most perceptive thing I've ever heard attributed to him. (I guess that't the case if it's false, too.) The very thought of a "transformative" liberal actually recognizing an aspect of human nature instead of just assuming he can wave a wand to change it for the better . . . makes me weep.

If only his execution could have been better. But maybe that's where Trump comes in.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

There's a kid--a man, maybe mid twenties--who works at my eye doctor with a whole gaggle of women medical assistants and contact lens dispensers. I know my thinking is horribly retrograde but I think, that's a nice job for a woman. Comfy climate controlled office, lots of other women to chat with, holiday decorations to scotch tape up, Wendy's runs at lunchtime, office baby showers. Sure you're bringing home maybe $1000 or $1500 a month but when you have kids in school and no daycare that's a nice supplementary income to pay for summer camp and braces and park in their 529 plans. That's not a job for someone who has to be the main provider for a family. I always think, what is that kid going to do? He can't work there forever and expect to marry and have children.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Bloomberg View columnist Mason Verger wants to know why American men wouldn't take the chocolate.

Hagar said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants, please.
Regardless of how well-connected a construction company may or may not be, it will build a project in accordance with the Plans and Specification, which are prepared by an engineering consulting firm hired by the City, and in accordance with the City Standards and as directed by the City Public Works Dept.
You have a problem with the medians, call your City Council member.

Larry J said...

John said...
Now that the election is over and President Obama has more freedom to act, he is really on a tear.

First Carrier and Ford agree to stay in the US. Then we have the Japanese/Saudi group investing $50bn to create 50,000 jobs. US Steel announced yesterday that it may recall 10,000 laid off workers. Foxconn, with more employees (1.3mm)than San Francisco has residents is talking about a major (10,000 employees or so) plant in the US. Stock market is flirting with 20,000.


I'm calling this the Trump Effect. Donald Trump has pledged to do things like lower business taxes and cut some of the regulatory burden on businesses. If successful, it'll be easier to operate a profitable business in the US. Done properly, this can undercut the economic reasons for relocating production to outside the country.

Hagar said...
The "service jobs" the professor mentioned also happens to be government service jobs. Someone has to do useful work to earn money and pay taxes to support those.

I have seen precisely one woman on an asphalt crew.


On average, it takes the full tax payments of several people to pay the salary and benefits for a single government employee. According to this source, the average US income level is a bit over $50,000 who pays a bit less than $9,000 in federal income taxes. If you have a government employee who gets $90,000 a year in salary and benefits, it takes the full income taxes of 10 average people to pay for that one employee. There are huge numbers of federal employees who make well over $100,000 in salary alone, so for them the number of taxpayers required is much higher.

As for women on highway repair crews, I've seen several over the years. Without exception, they were flaggers holding the "Stop" sign to control traffic. The only reason they were there is because some government contracts specify that a percentage of the jobs must go to women.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Women aren't taking enough tech jobs? Sexism.
Minorities aren't taking enough police or firefighter jobs? Racism.
Men aren't taking enough nursing jobs? Clearly a mental problem w/regressive, uneducated men.

No contradictions nor evidence of bias there, no sir.

Ann Althouse said...Somehow he got talked out of that, and now here's Betsey Stephenson trying to talk Trump out of it.

Somehow? I'll just leave this Weekly Standard article from 2009 here

Well, actually, here's an excerpt:

Last November, President-elect Obama addressed the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries by proposing an ambitious New Deal-like program to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. He called for a two-year "shovel ready" stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams and made reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy the goal of the legislation that would become the recovery act.

Women's groups were appalled. Grids? Dams? Opinion pieces immediately appeared in major newspapers with titles like "Where are the New Jobs for Women?" and "The Macho Stimulus Plan." A group of "notable feminist economists" circulated a petition that quickly garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the president-elect to add projects in health, child care, education, and social services and to "institute apprenticeships" to train women for "at least one third" of the infrastructure jobs. At the same time, more than 1,000 feminist historians signed an open letter urging Obama not to favor a "heavily male-dominated field" like construction: "We need to rebuild not only concrete and steel bridges but also human bridges." As soon as these groups became aware of each other, they formed an anti-stimulus plan action group called WEAVE-- Women's Equality Adds Value to the Economy.

The National Organization for Women (NOW), the Feminist Majority, the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and the National Women's Law Center soon joined the battle against the supposedly sexist bailout of men's jobs. At the suggestion of a staffer to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, NOW president Kim Gandy canvassed for a female equivalent of the "testosterone-laden 'shovel-ready' " terminology. ("Apron-ready" was broached but rejected.) Christina Romer, the highly regarded economist President Obama chose to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, would later say of her entrance on the political stage, "The very first email I got . . . was from a women's group saying 'We don't want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.' "


...so yeah; "somehow."

Peter said...

The list of "girly jobs" seems a mish-mash, as a few of these are good jobs but most are the sort of jobs one takes only if one is desperate for work.

For example, "nurses aide" is low-paid, unpleasant work (although it can require a great deal of patience). On the other hand, registered nurses do a variety of work, and some of it is both highly skilled and well paid (and, in an age of 300+ pound patients, a man's strength here can be useful).

bagoh20 said...

Because we have pushed the feminine and suppressed the masculine, that sensibility has over-built bureaucracy and law for the sake of safety and security. This new structure is designed lopsidedly to protect us from risk, and it has now become excessive and turned into pathology where it will sacrifice anything to protect us from challenges, bad ideas, and even bad luck. All this has shackled our imagination, our dreaming, our risk taking. We don't even try manly things, because it wouldn't be safe. We don't build like before, we don't explore, we don't take chances, we don't fly to the moon, but we are a little safer - maybe. The female sensibility says that's worth it. The male says "hell no", but the female is now hegemonic and even dictatorial in the law and the bureaucracy. We have infantilized ourselves, all warm and swaddled.

Bored by it, we turn inward and are obsessed with self: our health, our opinions, our idols, our "personal development" our stuff. We don't even raise our heads to imagine what we could do without limits.

The male and female were designed as a mutualistic system far superior to the sum of it's parts, but as we encourage the excesses of the feminine and suppress the masculine, we accept our self-imposed limits and give ourselves a raw deal, a bad value for the price. Potential sacrificed for security. Manly men have little to do in what amounts to a dystopia for them. I admire and cheer on those who fight to keep the masculine vital. It will never be extinguished, but if suppressed long enough it will lash out at some point like any cornered animal in existential danger. Besides, the rest of the world still has men, and they see our swaddled precious treasures. Maybe they can be talked down or shamed into leaving us alone.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sorry, more from that same article:

They were right indeed. Our incoming president did what many sensible men do when confronted by a chorus of female complaint: He changed his plan. He added health, education, and other human infrastructure components to the proposal. And he tasked Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, Joseph Biden's chief economist, with preparing an extraordinary report that calculated not only the number of jobs the plan would likely create, but the gender composition of the various employment sectors and the division of largess between women and men.

Romer and Bernstein delivered "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" on January 10. They estimated that "the total number of created jobs likely to go to women is roughly 42 percent." Lest anyone miss the point, they added that since women had held only 20 percent of the jobs lost in the recession, the stimulus package now "skews job creation somewhat towards women."
--------
In her March "Below the Belt" column on the NOW website, Kim Gandy could not contain her elation over "this happily-ever-after 'stimulus story.' " When she and her allies saw the final recovery package, they were amazed to find "over and over" versions of "very specific proposals that we had made." More than that, the programs NOW had proposed had vast sums of money next to them--"numbers that started with a 'B' (as in billion)," Gandy said gleefully. "It's impossible to convey just how many hours we put into this issue during December and early January and how fruitful it really turned out to be."
----------
Right again. It is now four months since the bill was signed into law. A recent Associated Press story reports: "Stimulus Funds Go to Social Programs Over 'Shovel-ready' Projects." A team of six AP reporters who have been tracking the funds find that the $300 billion sent to the states is being used mainly for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other social services. According to Chris Whately, director of the Council of State Governments, "We all talked about 'shovel-ready' since September and assumed it was a whole lot of paving and building when, in fact, that's not the case." At the same time, the Labor Department's latest (June 5) employment report shows unemployment rates of 8 percent for women and 10.5 percent for men. "Unprecedented" is what Harvard economist Greg Mankiw called the new 2.5 percentage-point gender gap. "It's the highest male-female jobless rate gap in the history of BLS [Labor Department] data back to 1948," said Mark Perry.
----------

The point is that the "somehow" was the result of deliberate, concerted effort on the part of feminist groups and their Leftist allies. It's entirely possible they will bend Trump to their will, as well, but we can (for now) at least hope their coming efforts to do so will fail.

mtrobertslaw said...

Kate has it exactly right. People like the "well educated" Betsey Stephenson have absolutly no understanding of concepts like "nature" or "natural differences" It would take years of remedial studies for them to gain even a dim awareness of what these terms mean.

Michael K said...

the female is now hegemonic and even dictatorial in the law and the bureaucracy. We have infantilized ourselves, all warm and swaddled.

I have watched this in medical education, Medical students are now 60% female and the teaching has shifted to "feely" topics.

Some if this is fine but there are limits to what is useful. I am no longer involved in surgical training and have not been for 20 years.

Back when I was involved, I initially thought that women would bring fine motor skills and be better surgeons, What I saw was the opposite and I wondered if rough handling of tissue was some sort of compensation to make the surgeon feel more "masculine" when she wasn't. I have not followed the trends since and I have encouraged several of my female students to go into surgery and they have.

Jupiter said...

"She's also a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan...".

Oh, she's a Communist. Well, of course. Communists don't believe in Human Nature.

Paul said...

"men like to build things". That about sums it up. But Obama strikes me as a guy who wouldn't know which is the business end of a screwdriver.

Hagar said...

"Flaggers" are not the laydown crew, which, incidentally, also are highly skilled workers, if they are to be any good.

Jupiter said...

John said...

"Was it racist of me to say that President Obama can "shine" when he wants to?"

That depends. Are you white?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants, please.
Regardless of how well-connected a construction company may or may not be, it will build a project in accordance with the Plans and Specification, which are prepared by an engineering consulting firm hired by the City, and in accordance with the City Standards and as directed by the City Public Works Dept.
You have a problem with the medians, call your City Council member.


Lol~found the bristly engineer! :)

and regarding city council, I assure you I and many others did, and I'm happy for you that you maybe live in a city that isn't completely corrupt so quaint things like contacting your council member has some effect.

bagoh20 said...

Manly jobs are simply those that men are generally better equipped for: physically demanding or risky. We all know instinctively what is of that type and what is not. There are women who are able to do them, but far fewer willing or desirous of them like many men are. Those jobs and the needs they serve have not disappeared. We just choose to put them off until they get less manly - sometimes that means forever. We may even get back to the moon someday. I don't think we should be waiting, but that's probably because I'm a man. I don't care who takes on these jobs, whether men or women, but they should be tackled every single day. We should be reaching, risking, conquering our fears. Otherwise, we are less than half a species. Regardless of sex you are equal the moment you accept all the risks of the manly job, including being beat out of the job by the opposite sex on a level playing field.

Bruce Hayden said...

Back when I was involved, I initially thought that women would bring fine motor skills and be better surgeons, What I saw was the opposite and I wondered if rough handling of tissue was some sort of compensation to make the surgeon feel more "masculine" when she wasn't. I have not followed the trends since and I have encouraged several of my female students to go into surgery and they have.

Is it still bad? Or getting better?

I ask this because the Ob/Gyn who delivered my kid, 25 or so years ago, would complain about how macho the field was, since their specialty is surgical. At the time, she indicated it was hard for women to get into and through OB residencies, but after they got out, their practices were gold mines, thanks to all the women who preferred other women looking at them Down There. And, yes, the Muzzies who have serious cultural problems with male doctors treating their wives and daughters. (Muslims were already a problem in this area well before 9/11/01).

I think my point here is that, talking to the female doctors of my (and Ann's) generation, they really did seem to feel the need to be more macho than the guys, when it came to surgery, just to survive in such a macho field. With so many women now in the field, is it still as macho? And, are the female surgeons still too hard on their patients?

John said...

Larry J,

I agree that it is the Trump Effect. I was being facetious about Obama being very active in his last days. The only reason all this is happening now is because Trump will be Prez soon and people are seeing bright, sunshiney, days ahead.

My clients too. To the minimal extent that we talk politics. PackExpo is the 2nd largest trade show in the US. Over a million sq ft of machine builders and other suppliers to the packaging industry. On Wed after the election talking to some of them they saw a coming boom in their businesses. They only sell machines when manufacturers are looking to ramp up production so I took that as a very positive sign.

I might also note that Foxconn made their announcement after the convo between Trump and the Taiwanese president. Foxconn is a Taiwanese company. I wonder how much they might have been influenced by this call?

John Henry

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem here is that there are definite differences between males and females. We have had gender based occupational differences at least since before we split from chimps, 6-7 million years ago. Chimps have similar gender based occupational roles as we do. The females take care of the kids and forage for plants and the like, while the males hunt and fight. And, thanks to their hunting, apparently eat more animal protein. Should we be surprised that human males tend to be more active, want to run around more, and do things that require physical strength? Instead of sitting around and gossiping, in a nice interior environment? Or prefer building things to care giving? When you are tempted to ask why guys don't want to take up female roles, just think of chimp male hunting parties bringing back meat for the females and young in the tribe. We really aren't that different (except to mostly pair bond for raising our children).

chuck said...

"Krueger wondered how his latest research on happiness and well-being might take into account what Obama had put his finger on..."

Either Krueger was a moron or the journalist is trying to make Obama look smart. I suspect the latter.

PatHMV said...

I thought thinks like gender identity were innate and can't be changed?

Hagar said...

Misplaced Head as well as Pants,
An arterial street project will have State money in it, which is really Federal money, and subject to all the SJW and environmental rules etc., the FHWA can think up. It takes years of studies and public hearings, etc., which are all advertised in your local paper, before the design is finalized. That is the time to protest if you don't like it.
When the Contractor is out there working, the train has left the station.

pdug said...

We need "Nursing for men" to get re-branded like Yogurt for Men and you get to wear a tactical black vest with pockets bulging with medical technology.

And you get to do home visits in emergency situations.


like..

like a EMT.

OH!

Stephen said...

Your historical memory is bad. "Somehow he got talked out of it," is not how it happened. How about somehow a Republican Congress refused to do it because it involved fiscal stimulus that they did not support.

Unknown said...

I find it pretty insulting to say that men should "look after their kids" if they are not working. Damn insulting as I would imagine they most do.

Thorley Winston said...

I remember 5-6 years ago they were rehabbing the UN building and spending about a billion dollars doing it. I heard a lengthy (45-60 minutes) interview with Trump. He got deep into the nuts and bolts of the project explaining in detail what they were doing right and what they were doing wrong and why they were paying way too much for it.

I remember when Hugh Hewitt played the audio of that on his show years ago and it was absolute gold! Here’s the video of the exchange (Trump starts at 1 hour 35 minutes).

Michael K said...

At the time, she indicated it was hard for women to get into and through OB residencies, but after they got out, their practices were gold mines

OB is a totally female field now. A couple of years ago, when men still went into OB, the UCLA male graduates in OB had not been able to find jobs a year after finishing. I doubt any male medical school graduate would apply now.

Last year, the hospital where I practiced for 30 years fired the trauma group that I had been in before I retired. The administrator (since fired) was a big Obamacare enthusiast and they were buying up all the medical practices. They wanted to buy the five man surgical group but the group turned them down. The following July, their contract to run the Trauma Center that I founded in 1979, was terminated. In addition, the medical staff is now required to get approval by the Emergency Medicine doctors, who are hospital employees, before they can admit patients to the hospital. The surgical group members believe that the ER docs have been told to refer only to the new trauma surgeons.

Anyway, a new trauma group arrived July 1. They were from northern California and no one knew any of them. They were also all female except for one male who had previously applied for a job with the group and had been turned down as not qualified enough.

There is very little information about their results as there is no outside peer review,

Life in Obamacare world.

Crazy Jane said...

I spend several months each year in cities known for large homeless populations. What strikes me is that most of the homeless are men (the fewer women seem to attach themselves to men for protection), and that most of them are young, white and able-bodied. A few weeks ago, we walked three blocks home after a restaurant dinner, and four of these asked us along the way to give them our doggy bag. Obviously, this kind of life leads nowhere.

My brothers and I were raised on the ethic that work, whatever the job, was a noble enterprise deserving respect. My kid, now growing into adulthood, has a friend whose wealthy parents informed him that he was expected to work for his living when he got out of school, even if that meant a job in a gas station or fast-food restaurant.

I don't get why so many people seem to have lost the connection between independence and self respect.

robother said...

"Infrastructure" turned into filling potholes, because the real thing (pipelines, transmission lines, electrical generation, highways, bridges, dams, tunnels) are precisely the kinds of things the Democrat elites have prevented with environmental laws for 40 years.

protestmanager said...

Stephen said...
Your historical memory is bad. "Somehow he got talked out of it," is not how it happened. How about somehow a Republican Congress refused to do it because it involved fiscal stimulus that they did not support.

That's a delightful fantasy Stephen. Reality: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=feminists+oppose+obama+infrastructure+plan

"Why don’t [lower-skilled men] take care of their children when they are out of work? Why don’t they take jobs as home health aides? Or sign up for degrees in nursing?"

I wonder if later years will see that properly as the "let them eat cake" line that it is.

Michael K said...

Stephen seems not to know that the Congress in 2009 was not "Republican."

Stephen has a reading disability.

Not enough reading, they call it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But no one would trust him with more money to throw around after they saw what he did with the $800B from the first stimulus."

-- That's what killed future stimulus for me. I thought, OK. Timely, targeted, temporary -- I get it. If we can do that, maybe in the future, we can try it again. They did none of that. Almost every metric was worse with the stimulus than they predicted without it.

Literally by their own measurements, the stimulus hurt the economy, in some places gravely. That's why I am pretty much hard no on "stimulus" and "shovel-ready" projects. It didn't work when the two entire administrations got behind it. It doesn't work, at least, not with how our economy and government is structured.

Birches said...

I know a few male nurses. But they are trauma nurses or other types where patient interaction is minimal. Shocking that most men aren't really the nurturing type...

Michael K said...

"But they are trauma nurses or other types where patient interaction is minimal. Shocking that most men aren't really the nurturing type..."

Many of the ones I know or knew, if they had BSN degrees, quickly moved up in admin. The OR supervisor at one hospital, etc,

I interviewed one last week who is applying to the military for a PA program. I tired to interest my fireman son in aPA program 20 years ago. I know PAs who make $240,000/year.

Birches said...

I actually preferred a male OB. I felt they were gentler as well and not in a rush. But they really are no more. So my next preference is an older woman who might have some hippie tendencies. My last two children were "breathed out" and that was just fine. The younger ones are either too in a rush or too interventionist for my taste.

n.n said...

“Look, these are guys,” he said

Perpetual smoothing functions (e.g. welfare) are first-order causes of progressive dysfunction in families, in relationships, in communities. However, the destruction of individual and human dignity, unequal treatment by "good" people, female chauvinists, abortionists, etc. can be mitigated and resolved within a generation, perhaps two.

let’s think about how that would work as a real centerpiece.... Don’t even get me started about potholed highways and collapsing bridges

Perhaps some renewable energy converters to complement a basket of energy producers/converters in a merit-based energy production plan.

That could have worked. It may still as part of a comprehensive plan including emigration -- not immigration -- reform, the end of progressive wars, restoring the integrity of science, and ending the rite of aborting human life unworthy of life (e.g. inclusion of Posterity in the Constitution).

Birches said...

Yep, Michael K. I know a PA, nurse anesthetisist, and an administrator, all men.

ALP said...

My job could be considered "girly", as well as the jobs I've held in the past: paralegal, admin assistant, program assistant.

My guess is that these jobs require more comfort and skill with writing, paperwork, and verbal communication. Symbol manipulation as opposed to material manipulation. Much emphasis on words. Maybe the skills learned in a man's former jobs are very, very different. If a man was naturally comfortable with shuffling words and papers, he'd at least try getting an education, I would think.

I've seen many educated, smart men brought nearly to tears by a stack of forms.

I thought caring for ill/elderly people required brute strength at times? Most nurses I know suffer from long term pain issues because of it - having to turn over one too many an obese patient.

n.n said...

"Nursing for men" like.. like a EMT

Good observation. Similar roles, different contexts, which may correlate better with the physiological and psychological bias of each sex.

lgv said...

Blogger Michael K said...

Back when I was involved, I initially thought that women would bring fine motor skills and be better surgeons, What I saw was the opposite and I wondered if rough handling of tissue was some sort of compensation to make the surgeon feel more "masculine" when she wasn't. I have not followed the trends since and I have encouraged several of my female students to go into surgery and they have.


The two best thyroidectomy surgeons (one has since moved) in Dallas are both females. I think we are at a point where gender is irrelevant, although it takes a generation for a new era to take hold.

As to the original topic. There are two issues, but everyone one is focusing on the easy one; men WANTING OR WILLING to take "girlie" jobs. The other issue is market driven: consumer preference to have an actual female perform the service. Do women prefer a massage from a female? Do men prefer a female to perform a massage? Do women want a male Pilates instructor? This demand preference impacts supply.

cognito said...

She needs to lose 50 pounds. Look at her here:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/person-photo/betsey_stevenson.jpg

Why would Trump listen to this?

tim in vermont said...

I thought thinks like gender identity were innate and can't be changed? - PatHMV

Well, you see, that depends. Sometimes I think that gender and agenda are kind of words for the same thing.

tim in vermont said...

"Gender Studies", "Agenda Studies." You can see where I am coming from.

Unknown said...

Right. And the fastest way to increase the number of manly jobs in the economy is to get out there and start kicking some ass! Let's invade somebody. "Boots on the ground" is also balls collecting checks! I don't know, maybe Mexico? They have oil. Maybe we can turn a large tract of Mexico into a sort of super-duper West-Bank type zone.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe we can use electro-shock therapy to make men prefer to clean bedpans to working on a crew building stuff that the Chinese, Mexicans, and whoever else can build cheaper with unlimited free trade.

There has to be a better word than "free trade" BTW, for what we have. Can we send a container load of widgets into China because some business person in China filled out a purchase order?

tim in vermont said...

Relax, Unknown. Hillary lost. Trump has said we won't be in the business of toppling foreign governments anymore. So despite your best effort to get the war-monger elected, including breathlessly reporting that 100 neocons had signed a letter in support of Hillary, the days of foreign policy by military adventure have hopefully died with Hillary's candidacy.

Hagar said...

Obama and "free trade" is an oxymoron.
There were some other things going on there.

tim in vermont said...

Trump's plan is to access the kind of conflict free oil that Canada, for example, is willing to sell us at a fair price over a pipeline, and to get out of the way of American drillers. YOu know, instead of relying on kleptocrats like the House of Saud or Putin, or Iran for our oil.

Maybe you can read from a source you can trust, Unknown, about Hillary's little war:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/4/29/1521312/-Emails-Reveal-True-Motive-for-Libya-Intervention

Why you backed such a cynical war-monger is beyond me, unless you felt like there was a little sumthin' sumthin' in it for you personally, I guess.

StarBanker said...

Perhaps it is policy wonks like her never actually met and talk with the people to whom they believe are just moldable putty in their hands. Clearly she shows no real world experience, held prisoner in her academic bubble. I think a education should be in store for her, maybe a year cleaning portapotties at chili-fests would be ideal.

tim in vermont said...

Anybody else notice the blatant misandry in Unknown's post? I wonder why Democrats have such a problem winning over men? What could be the cause of such a gender gap?

robother said...

This is a perfect example of how the "ceteris paribus" assumption prevalent in so-called social sciences, especially economics, comes to infect the analysis itself. Assuming all human beings are equally capable of doing any job subtly changes from a convenient "all other thing being equal" express assumption into an accepted truth about the nature of the workforce, the human condition.

Larry J said...

Stephen said...
Your historical memory is bad. "Somehow he got talked out of it," is not how it happened. How about somehow a Republican Congress refused to do it because it involved fiscal stimulus that they did not support.


Ah, no.

Last November, President-elect Obama addressed the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries by proposing an ambitious New Deal-like program to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. He called for a two-year “shovel ready” stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams and made reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy the goal of the legislation that would become the recovery act.

The National Organization for Women (NOW), the Feminist Majority, the economic recovery program should be designed with gender in mind is itself remarkable. That, in current circumstances, it should be designed to “skew” employment further towards women is disturbing and ominous. appalled. Grids? Dams? Opinion pieces immediately appeared in major newspapers with titles like “Where are the New Jobs for Women?” and “The Macho Stimulus Plan.” A group of “notable feminist economists” circulated a petition that quickly garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the president elect to add projects in health, child care, education, and social services and to “institute apprenticeships” to train women for “at Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and the National Women’s Law Center soon joined the battle against the supposedly sexist bailout of men’s jobs. At the suggestion of a staffer to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, NOW president Kim Gandy canvassed for a female equivalent of the “testosterone laden ‘shovel-ready'” terminology. (“Apron-ready” was broached but rejected.) Christina Romer, the highly regarded economist President Obama chose to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, would later say of her entrance on the political stage, “The very first email I got . . . was from a women’s group saying ‘We don’t want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.'”

No matter that those burly men were the ones who had lost most of the jobs. The president-elect’s original plan was designed to stop the hemorrhaging in construction and manufacturing while investing in physical infrastructure that is indispensable for long-term economic growth. It was not a grab bag of gender-correct programs, nor was it a macho plan–the whole idea of economic stimulus is to use government spending to put idle factors of production back to work.

mccullough said...

Putting aside evolutionary/genetic/biological differences between men and women, which the Gender Studies Experts say are all social constructs, it is very difficult to change culture. Takes about 100 years. And no one knows what jobs will look like 100 years from now.

amr said...

While I am one of those who never completed college, I still did very well with a career in the heavy construction industry, but today what I did almost completely requires a degree; I'm now retired. College is not required to do the vast amount of field work; design yes, but I have had to modify designs because the young engineers who did the design, without having field experience, didn't understand completely the application of what was being designed.
As to who does this field work leads me into the aspect of genetics. While roles can be changed, I doubt if the warrior/hunter/builder makeup of a mans DNA is easily overridden to change males to that of someone who is similar to a nurturing female. IMO, if tried on a large scale the risk of the men going into depression and an a large up tick of drug and alcohol abuse and suicides would be the result. We see that now with the unemployed males and many male retirees who see that they have not future.
Do these SJW and experts believe that humans are so different from other animal species that we can completely change our preprogramed dispositions. I think not.

Joe said...

Men like to solve problems and there are a lot of trade jobs out that that would be fulfilling, yet they've been told that the only worthwhile job is one requiring a university education. Women have been told the same and higher graduation rates of women from university, even if their actual jobs pay less than trade jobs, creates a social hypergamy.

Hagar said...

The Norwegian Technical High School (now university something) used to require students to work one year for a general contractor before being accepted by the school. This is a bit backwards. I have always thought that at least a year in the field, and preferably two, should be required after graduation, but before professional registration.

Hagar said...

And the Federal Government should not be allowed to hire any engineers until at least 10 years after graduation.

Honordads said...

Tell men they're potential pervs long enough, and show them enough examples of other men getting accused of molesting women and kids and little old ladies, and they're going to stay way clear of any job involving the same. Probably not more complicated than that.

Rusty said...

Unknown said...
I find it pretty insulting to say that men should "look after their kids" if they are not working. Damn insulting as I would imagine they most do.


See my comment on urban black fathers.

mockturtle said...

I admit to finding it peculiar when a male chooses to work in a child care facility.

mockturtle said...

Females of all mammal species have greater multitasking ability and peripheral awareness regarding offspring than do men. Nurturing and child-rearing are, and should be, a female role because we are better suited for it.

mockturtle said...

Putting aside evolutionary/genetic/biological differences between men and women, which the Gender Studies Experts say are all social constructs, it is very difficult to change culture.

We are trying to change our natures to fit the social constructs. It continues to be a disaster for society in general and children, in particular.

John Lynch said...

The author of the peace has it backwards for two reasons (probably because he's never had to do real work).

When I was temping, I was offered jobs involving manual labor and being outdoors. Jobs for office work or other indoor activities were offered to women. Why? Because women can't or won't do the jobs that men will do. The temp agency knew this, of course, so they'd offer me jobs that I would do that a woman would not.

Second, companies hire women for low skilled office work more than men. When was the last time you saw a male receptionist? A female one? Men can and do work in these jobs, but not as often.

It's not that men won't work pretty much any job they need to work, it's because women don't let them, directly or indirectly. It's not male pride, it's female intolerance and employer preference that causes the difference.

autothreads said...

"Somehow he got talked out of that, and now here's Betsey Stephenson trying to talk Trump out of it."

Somehow? It was very specific.

What happened was that after Obama announced that much of the stimulus money would go towards infrastructure, feminists howled that that would favor men, so the money instead was shifted to the educational and medical bureaucracies, which disproportionately employ females.

Todd said...

Unknown said...
Right. And the fastest way to increase the number of manly jobs in the economy is to get out there and start kicking some ass! Let's invade somebody. "Boots on the ground" is also balls collecting checks! I don't know, maybe Mexico? They have oil. Maybe we can turn a large tract of Mexico into a sort of super-duper West-Bank type zone.

12/8/16, 12:08 PM


Don't you know we don't need their oil. We have plenty of our own (thanks to fracking) and the latest estimates say there is at least 100 year's more just laying around under the US. Additionally, if President Three-Putt would get out of the way, Canada is more than happy to let us have some of theirs via the pipeline Obama keeps holding up (and which Hillary would have done more of the same). This is a big reason for the cheap oil we now have that is bankrupting all those evil ME countries that like to throw gays off of roofs and stone women for the crime of getting raped.