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America’s hidden crisis: Men not at work - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016

The United States’ biggest problem ... is more insidious. Millions of able-bodied men have dropped out of society – out of working life, of civic life, of family life. Many of these men belong to the Trumpenproletariat. How to re-engage them may be the biggest domestic challenge the country faces.

Political economist Nicholas Eberstadt calls these men “the unworking,” to distinguish them from people who want work but can’t find it. “America is now home to a vast army of jobless men who are no longer even looking for work,” he writes. “Roughly seven million of them age 25 to 54, the traditional prime of working life.” His new book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis, is essential reading for this election cycle. “For every prime-age man who is unemployed today,” he writes, “another three are neither working nor looking for work.” Most of these men are less educated, and many, particularly blacks, have prison records.... in fact, the work rate has been in decline for two generations. What happened during those decades was a massive shift in cultural values.... “To the extent that non-work is contagious, it is likely to grow exponentially rather than at a linear rate.” If current trends continue, he expects that more than one-third of all men in the 25-54 age group will be out of work by mid-century. That is a truly terrifying prospect – as well as fertile soil for toxic populism.

At its root, the collapse of the working class isn’t so much economic as it is social, moral and spiritual. This means that economic remedies will only take us so far. Marriage rates for less-educated men have plunged – and unmarried men are far more likely to opt for unwork. The percentage of babies born to unmarried parents has soared. Working-class whites have largely abandoned church (while church attendance among higher-income whites has stayed relatively high). Family and community networks have dissolved.
Margaret_Wente  unemployment  men  exponential  joblessness  contagions  working_class  social_classes  Larry_Summers  job_destruction  participation_rates  addictions  opiates  socioeconomic  habits  values  books  unworking  populism  social_crisis  moral_crisis  spiritual_crisis  cultural_values  whites 
october 2016 by jerryking
Lawrence H. Summers: ‘There are many ways of burdening our future’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

Lawrence Summers: confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus.

If a young person asked you, ‘How do I thrive in a low-growth economy?’ what would your advice be?

It’s never been more important to be comfortable with technology, to be well-educated, to not just know things, but know how to learn, and develop a set of distinctive skills that employers can value. For people who are able to do those things, the combination of technology and global markets will make this a moment of immense opportunity........There are many ways of burdening the future. One is to borrow money – though, given how low interest rates are, those burdens aren't that great. Another is to defer maintenance. Those costs accumulate at a much greater rate, and that's why I think infrastructure investment is so very important. Another way to burden future generations is to scrimp on education. Another way is to fail to invest in basic scientific research. Another way is to saddle them with huge pension liabilities for those who are working, serving the public today. We are doing all those things.
Rudyard_Griffiths  America_in_Decline?  growth  economy  technology  automation  deferred_maintenance  downward_mobility  infrastructure  skills  advice  new_graduates  economic_stagnation  the_Great_Decoupling  low_growth  slow_growth  confidence  economic_stimulus  leaps_of_faith  Larry_Summers 
march 2015 by jerryking
Conduct of scientists (and science writers) can shape the public’s view of science. | Doing Good Science, Scientific American Blog Network
Back in January of 2005, Larry Summers gave a speech at a conference about what can be done to attract more women to the study of math and science, and to keep them in the field long enough to become full professors. In his talk, Summers suggested as a possible hypothesis for the relatively low number of women in math and science careers that there may be innate biological factors that make males better at math and science than females. (He also related an anecdote about his daughter naming her toy trucks as if they were dolls, but it’s fair to say he probably meant this anecdote to be illustrative rather than evidentiary.)

The talk did not go over well with the rest of the participants in the conference.

Several scientific studies were presented at the conference before Summers made his speech. All these studies presented significant evidence against the claim of an innate difference between males and females that could account for the “science gap”.


In the aftermath of this conference of yore, there were some commenters who lauded Summers for voicing “unpopular truths” and others who distanced themselves from his claims but said they supported his right to make them as an exercise of “academic freedom.”

But if Summers was representing himself as a scientist* when he made his speech, I don’t think the “academic freedom” defense works.
sexism  women  science  STEM  larry_summers 
july 2014 by Quercki
The rich have advantages that money cannot buy - FT.com
June 8, 2014 7:01 pm
The rich have advantages that money cannot buy
By Lawrence Summers

average affluent child now receives 6,000 hours of extracurricular education, in the form of being read to, taken to a museum, coached in a sport, or any other kind of stimulus provided by an adult, more than the average poor child – and this gap has greatly increased since the 1970s.
Larry_Summers  high_net_worth  moguls  children  The_One_Percent  parenting  super_ZIPs  self-perpetuation  values  opportunity_gaps  college-educated  upper-income  unfair_advantages 
june 2014 by jerryking

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