Superfluous People

Again, here is one of the crucial problems of our times that’s getting worse but other than impotent bleatings about UBI or “automation” we rarely even hear about it:

On the eve of the recession at the end of 2007, 12.8 percent of prime-age (25-54) men didn’t have jobs. Now that figure stands at 13.7 percent. The headline unemployment rate for this group has fallen—from four percent to 3.1 percent—but only because many of these men have simply given up looking for work. When they stopped actively searching for jobs, they no longer qualified as “unemployed.” Instead, the government labeled them as “out of the labor force,” a designation that lowers the unemployment rate but is no less harmful to the economy. The exodus of prime-age men from the workforce depresses overall workforce participation and swells the (already teeming) ranks of the non-employed. In total, 8.5 million men aged 25 to 54 are either unable to find a job or no longer looking for one.

All of yesterday’s meaningless posturing by the privileged kids about how they aren’t going to have kids is actually true for the working class men in their twenties who are out of work. They aren’t forming families. They are excluded from productive life. And nobody cares because the freakouts of the kids who have everything and are still pouting are so much more important.

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