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Pundits Not Men
George Will argued in the Washington Post that there is an epidemic trend in America of able bodied, but voluntarily unemployed men. He essentially asserts then men are children living a life of abundance via the welfare state. He also asserts that Trump is some mysterious manifestation of this phenomenon, he isn't he is a different animal only tangentially related. Will's problem is he comes back to the economic incentive, men aren't unemployed out of a ease because they don't value work, or would rather relax for relaxation's sake. Something, deeper, some alienation is taking place, and this may perhaps be attributed to our secular, globalist, and consumerist modernity.
Rod Dreher followed it up in the American Conservative with a similar commentary. However, Dreher as usual is more insightful, first he recognizes that men lack for an authoritative father figure (absent father's are the scourge of the impoverished). However, he fails to note that single mothers are the number one reason for absent fathers. Instead, he concludes with some man shaming ending his statement with, 'I’ll say this: I don’t blame a woman for not wanting to marry an idler.' I don't think he realizes men, don't want to marry most women, and would be foolish to do so. Rod Dreher, checked out of the sexual market along time ago.
Pertains More to Underemployed
I understand that my assessment will pertain more to those underemployed men that unemployed men, but the incentives will be similar regardless. First, we forget that underemployment can be voluntary, and why wouldn't I chose to work fewer hours if possible? If I can have modest comfort and freedom on a modest budget with fewer working hours I'll take it, that's a rational actors trade off.
Its a Symptom of Something Else
Will and Dreher, who I assume have fun poking at the sorry state of men, which I try my best to avoid, seem to think that we can tie all this back to men being lazy and profligate spenders: I don't buy it.
First of all, they fail here to address the problem of mass immigration. The tide of people sneaking intro the country, and likewise coming legally, have a large effect on the job market and strip opportunities that would otherwise be available to those of low skill in their own economy. This also ties into the problem of social alienation. White men, especially white men under 40, for good reason, feel marginalized and discriminated against. They get passed over for employment, they have a hostile academy and a hostile job market run by H.R harpies who every man fears to cross. Why would they jump into a system that disenfranchises them and demonizes their privilege at every opportunity? Meanwhile, political elites, in the GOP and the Democratic party have little accountability to their constituents, sadly the king makers in Washington aren't the common man but the monied interest. Again, nihilism seems reasonable.
Lets keep going, this a problem of liberalism but needs mention regardless. We have created a culture that does not condemn behavior and expression despite it being anti-social or harmful. We live in the era of hedonism, drug use, easy sex, low self-consciousness, historical alienation, low culture, and social licence is not stigmatized and in the absence of a moral order cannot be condemned. Remember, if it doesn't harm me then why not let them do it? You can't ethically inhibit another person can you? And any attempt to cultivate virtue in the person, to inculcate value, well that would just be your values... So we have a standstill and degeneracy.
It would be remiss not to mention the American diet, which isn't far from our own Canadian diet. Let's put it this way, you want to explain the economic, disability, budgetary, and healthcare crisis in one fell swoop.... Bad carb laden and sugar filled food. Until we start to burn see coca-cola factory's burning it will only get worse. Until the FDA bans added sugar America will relentlessly poison itself and more people will be unable to work, feel like shit, or end up in hospital. Sugar is the Black Death of our time.
Sustaining a Bachelor is Cheap
Our compatriots in the mainstream forget that sustaining a man on a single income is easy. We don't ask for much. In the abbreviated or mildly misquoted words of Aaron Clarey who wrote the awesome Bachelor Pad Economics. 'All a bachelor needs is a place to shit and to sleep.' Sorry Aaron! Don't have my book handy! I'll check it later. Now, ever since my ex-fiance and I split, I've noticed that my expenses without any effort have come down immensely. If I wasn't a student living on loans most the year I'd be banking it. When a man doesn't need or have a woman, and only pays for himself he can get by on a very small surplus. This is part of why married men make more they have to. By default the bachelor has fuck you money, he isn't keeping anyone else in comfort.
We Don't Want or Have Wives
BAM! George Will states. 'The collapse has coincided with a retreat from marriage (“the proportion of never-married men was over three times higher in 2015 than 1965”), which suggests a broader infantilization.' George nailed it here, a flash of insight and he found the disease vector and relates it to the correct malaise, but only partially: his diagnosis is incorrect.
Let's face it modern women, have little going for them. You can't trust them, they are loud, boisterous, manly, quick to offend, entitled and childish. Yet, when a woman elects to work and not marry she is an independent and powerful woman. When a man checks out of the marriage market he is shamed. When a woman fucks around with many men, she is powerfully expressing her freedom and enjoying her body; a man is a player, a cad, a child, and a pig.
But let's not blame only women. Its worse, the real problem is the divorce system, which eats men alive. Jezebel likes to say 50% of marriages aren't divorces. But neglect to notice that most the factors for why they suggest divorce is down are factors involving women marrying at a later age and having less access to the sexual market. Their is a reason why as women get older they divorce less, remarriage rates are horrible for older women. Men do okay, however.
Now why would any self-respecting man willingly invest in a system where he is risking 70%+ odds of having his future ruined. I say plus, because he may end up in a system by an intolerable bitch who may even be abusive, but because he is a man he is defacto at fault for any relationship conflict. Furthermore, marriage was reasonable, when the law protected marriage, because of no fault divorce it no longer does so. In fact it tips the scale toward women, and in turn creates overwhelming poverty by destroying the lives of children.
Men check out because there is no reason to wear the collar of a slave nor place that same yoke on your future children.
Things Have to Change Before We Do
Its safe to say that the problems with men aren't problems with men, but expressions of systemic illness manifest across societies uprooted and denatured social order. But men are convenient victims. They are an entitled class, and therefore guilty by association with their peers. If we blame men, we don't have to do anything, we don't have to fix broken laws or incentive's or address female vicissitudes in relationships even when it destroys lives either through poverty or men putting a gun in their mouth or placing the barrel down range.
Men are Checking Out of Gain for Gain's Sake
Finally, I have to point out that men are checking out of the money making calculus, because really, what is the point of more money without a family, without a meaningful life, without a community. None of these things are fixed by our modern ways, and yet these are the things that construct natural meaning. Otherwise, why wouldn't I live a low rent lifestyle and encjoy the decline with my minimal income and maximal free time? Give me a convincing reason . . .