Jobs

There's More to a Job Than Making Money

More than 11 percent of prime working-age men in the U.S. are outside the job market.

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The most fundamental cause of economic poverty," said Richmond's 2013 poverty commission report, "is inadequate access to remunerative employment—that is, to good, steady jobs."

The absence of work causes other kinds of poverty, too. As Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser points out in a new article for City Journal, "jobless husbands have a 50 percent higher divorce rate than employed husbands." The loss of a job inflicts a much greater degree of unhappiness than a reduction of income does. A loss of income likewise causes much less divorce, and much less suicide, than the loss of a job does. Jobs matter for reasons beyond money.

What's more: "Jobless men don't do a lot more socializing; they don't spend much more time with their kids. They do spend an extra 100 minutes daily watching television, and they sleep more. The jobless are also more likely to use illegal drugs. … 18 percent of the unemployed have done drugs in the last seven days."

Nicholas Eberstadt draws an even more finely grained and depressing picture in his book Men Without Work. He, and Glaeser, The New York Times, and many others focus attention on a dilemma no one seems to know how to fix. As The Times put it in a headline last year, "Millions of Men Are Missing From the Job Market."

In 1948, only 3.3 percent of prime working-age men (that is, those ages 25 to 54) sat outside the job market and did nothing. The rest were either working or seeking work. In 1967, the figure stood at about 5 percent. Today, it stands north of 11 percent. Fifteen percent of prime-age men are unemployed, including 28 percent of the college-educated and 59 percent of high-school dropouts.

Theories as to why abound. Liberals, naturally, gravitate toward structural explanations: de-industrialization has left men with no jobs to take. Conservatives blame structural issues of a different sort: excess regulation, changing social mores, an overly generous welfare state. "The unemployed tend to find jobs," Glaeser argues, "just as their (unemployment) insurance payments run out… Elementary economics tells us that paying people to be or stay jobless will increase joblessness."

Well. As Neil Gaiman put it in his introduction to Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451: "If someone tells you what a story is about, they are probably right. If they tell you that is all the story is about, they are very definitely wrong."

De-industrialization has not really happened; U.S. manufacturing output has risen to record highs; the jobs have simply been replaced by automation. This has affected other advanced countries too, most of which have welfare states at least as generous as that in the United States. Yet America's prime-age-male idleness is generally higher than elsewhere.

Eberstadt notes that the withdrawal of men from the labor market has carried on largely indifferent to the business cycle, and Glaeser underscores the point with this datum: From 1976 to 2015, Nevada and Michigan had the highest and lowest rates of economic growth, respectively, "yet the two states had almost identical rises in the share of jobless prime-age men."

Making jobs more available might seem to be the obvious answer to joblessness, in the same way that making food more available might seem the obvious answer to hunger, but it is not so simple. Jobs, like food, are not scarce: The economy created 37 million service-sector jobs from 1980 to 2000 alone, for instance.

Perhaps men want to do manly work instead, such as construction? To that end, President Trump has proposed a massive new federal infrastructure program. But Glaeser notes: "Contemporary infrastructure projects rely on skilled workers, typically with wages exceeding $25 per hour; most of today's jobless lack such skills… And the nation needs infrastructure most in areas with the highest population density; joblessness is most common outside metropolitan America."

One answer might entail more skills training, through apprenticeships and vocational education. Roughly half of German students undertake an apprenticeship, and Germany also has among the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world. England, which had 50,000 apprentices two decades ago, now has a half-million. The U.S. has 100,000 fewer than England does, even though the Center for American Progress estimates it will need 5 million more workers with technical certificates than it is likely to have.

Another answer, frankly, probably entails faster rather than slower migration from rural areas—such as Virginia's coalfields—to places where jobs are plentiful. Government efforts to revitalize rural communities might merely delay the inevitable—and thereby prolong the agony.

In any event, it's clear that the current trend shouldn't continue. At least not unless you think the ideal America resembles a lions' pride—where the females do all the work, while the males lie back and enjoy the fruits of their effort.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. Poor Crusty.

    1. I thought he was a freelance bathroom attendant

      1. He was, but the illegal nightclub where he plied the lion’s share of his trade got raided, shut down, condemned, and then mysteriously set on fire.

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

        2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

        3. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

  2. “jobless husbands have a 50 percent higher divorce rate than employed husbands.”

    If I couldn’t get out of the house for several hours every day, I’d be divorced too.

    1. If men divorced their wives because they were no longer making money, the SJWs would be screaming bloody murder.

  3. “””””There’s More to a Job Than Making Money”””

    There is also crushing your enemies. Seeing them driven before you. Hearing the lamentations of their women.

    1. Don’t leave out the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

      1. “wailing and gnashing of teeth”

        Also known as “commuting.”

  4. This is what the left doesn’t understand when they cheerfully call for a BMI or other forms of universal dole. People need to feel that they are productive, that they are contributing, that they are making their way. It’s not about collecting a check, it’s about being busy doing something useful.

    1. Can everyone please emphasize this to the Reason staff?

    2. shit, they’re using your Body Mass Index to determine your suitability for a job? that’s fat shaming!

    3. “People need to feel that they are productive,”

      You don’t need to be employed to feel productive or to make oneself busy. In fact unemployment frees up a good portion of the day that would otherwise be drudgery.

      1. Are you employed, sir?

        1. No, thank god. I’m more of an independent contractor.

      2. There’s nothing wrong with that. But employment does happen to be an easy and traditional way to do that.

        1. “an easy and traditional way to do that” among those who are situated so that their needs will be taken care of and their lives reasonably comfortable whether they work or not. Suffering anxiety over whether one is “useful” is only a problem for the upper classes and Thomas the Tank Engine.

        2. “But employment does happen to be an easy and traditional way to do that.”

          Now there are internships. And plenty of schools and institutes willing to take your money. Why pay an untrained worker?

      3. Why should I work in a job that doesn’t excite me? We should all be free to pursue our passions without regard to the market demand for our labor. Someone could be a mediocre, but happy, painter instead of a mass murderer. WSPTOTC!

        1. As the need and demand for labor of any kind continues to fall, working a job is no longer an available option for an increasing portion of the population. Recognizing that those whose services are no longer required will not volunteer to hang themselves when they become surplus, we need to come up with alternative ways for them to have what they need to survive. Mediocre but happy painters living on their basic income checks would be better neighbors than unemployable desperadoes mooching and stealing for living.

          1. Mediocre but happy painters living on their basic income checks would be better neighbors than unemployable desperadoes mooching and stealing for living.

            Or we could just encorage them to do the right thing,,,

            I’m thinking high buildings, helium tanks, or handguns.

        2. “We should all be free to pursue our passions without regard to the market demand for our labor.”

          That should, of course, be the ultimate goal. It will still be a while before technological progress makes that possible.

          1. Said the grasshopper to the ant…

            1. I’m sure that as the need for human labor is greatly reduced by technological progress, there will still be irrational “ants” who insist that there is something ennobling about needless toil, just as there are radical Amish in today’s world who choose spend lives of hard labor that could be made much easier with technology.

              1. bow down to your robot masters?

      4. Mtrueman says something true.

      5. Mtrueman says something true.

        1. yup, all about the feelz…

    4. Bullshit. Romantic bullshit, that you only hear from the lucky few who have found their way into jobs or businesses that both pay well and are interesting and personally rewarding. For most of us, working a job is soul-sucking drudgery that we tolerate only because we can’t survive without the paycheck. Period. Finding useful and enjoyable things to do with our time would be very easy as long as the rent was paid and the lights were on. We don’t need employers telling us what to do and managing our time for us to be happy. It’s about collecting a check.

      1. Finding useful and enjoyable things to do with our time would be very easy as long as the rent was paid and the lights were on.

        This. If you can’t find something fulfilling and enjoyable to do with your time without a supervisor issuing you directions, the problem may not be with society.

    5. That is a good point, but they will have to do such things as volunteers, as the robots will already be working. I forsee a lot more involvement in sports and video games.

  5. Obviously I’m not a “blame big business!” guy, but I do wonder why so few offer remunerative apprentice tracks anymore without prior training and bullshit credentialism. I remember (quite a few years ago now) looking at getting into the trades, and nobody was willing to hire on without having taken a bunch of classes beforehand, and having a bunch of regulatory certs already acquired before they’d even look at you. I get they don’t want to bear the burden of the cost, but they can always include claw-back provisions (and require you to use direct deposit, so they have access to your bank account) if they help you to get your certs and then you up and quit on them.

    1. I talked to my grandfather about it, given that he was (before dying) a retired electrician and lineman. He said that when he got into that business in the 50s, the only requirement was that you had the balls to get up on the utility poll. He claimed two big distinctions now, 1) you had to have various safety certs from the gov’t before being allowed to touch anything, and 2) the local utility he worked for was no longer willing to train anyone. Either you came into it with your certs and a background in the field, or they wouldn’t consider you. He didn’t know why they eventually stopped, he was never in management there. But he did note that, over the course of his lifetime, a lot of trades went from being willing to train people if they thought the person could learn (even if they didn’t come from a background in that trade), to being completely unwilling to do so.

      Sorry for the lengthy post, but it’s a subject that really interests me.

      1. Sorry for the lengthy post

        I don’t accept your apology.

        However, occupational licensing is a huge problem, and I am glad that Reason and other libertarian outlets cover it. It impacts everyone – mostly the lower classes, but even those looking for a career change.

      2. My guess is that they’ve done the research on the testing required to figure out who can learn quickly, and that in order to remain in compliance with Griggs v. Duke Power, they have to leave the teaching aspect and certification aspect in the hands of third parties to remain in compliance, so that a “Disparate Impact” does not occur.

        1. I suspect you’re right.

        2. I all comes down to masking the fact that the Blacks are un-trainable.

          Sounds legit.

          1. Graduates of urban public schools are very easy to train. Their teachers trained them to believe that failure is a sign of social injustice and extra help is the solution.

      3. hmmmm…change banks?

      4. I was a “warehouse guy”. I can use anything on wheels in a warehouse (Pallet jack, tow motor, forklift, high picker, squeeze lift, etc.- and could spin a wrench if needed by our mechanic) I worked for over 4 years developing those skills while also being called on to help run the annual “inventory” before my second year.

        They eventually fired me for telling the Dock manager to “kiss my ass”. I told the manager I wouldn’t take the shit I was getting and I was I was the best worker he had.

        It was really funny when he showed up at a bar where my friend was playing with his band- and he lamented over the quality of his new employees.

        I got a new job for a computer distributor- inventory was once a month- where I was the “go to guy” to help Charlotte, our manager- and also helped with ideas for the set-up of their new warehouse facility they opened 6 months later and were looking for a “dock boss”. But, I didn’t have a college degree, so they hired the (contracted out) janitor to be my boss because he had an Phys Ed degree.

        I played with him. We would get a shipment of computers, and I’d ask him how to handle it- and openly laugh when he couldn’t even lock the pallet in on the rack. Or, we would get a delivery of “chips”, and I’d call him over to help me- He would admit he had no fricking clue, and I’d tell him to go away and hide in his office. That lasted about three months, but I quit when he wouldn’t schedule my yearly review after 3 months and 5 requests.

    2. Gojira|7.3.17 @ 11:04AM|#
      “Obviously I’m not a “blame big business!” guy, but I do wonder why so few offer remunerative apprentice tracks anymore without prior training and bullshit credentialism.”

      When I owned my first company, our plant was in Hunter’s Point (in SF); still not a high-rent district. We had a couple of local kids who asked for some after-school jobs, and one in particular probably ended up with his own business. On time, kept at it even when nobody was actively telling him to do so, etc. The other kid, not so much.
      Regardless, if we tried to do that now, we’d have the ‘Department of Labor’ or some such on us like stink on stuff; M/W, child labor, etc, etc.
      So even basic skills like showing up on time can’t be addressed.

    3. Because all their HR managers are credentialed – and credentials make it easier for these guys to sort through resumes.

      And most everyone seems to have bought in to the ‘its only at college that you learn skills’. I’ve had people tell me that McDonald’s is a dead-end job because no matter how hard you work you won’t ‘get promoted to doctor’.

      1. I like HR…keeps pedophiles and animal abusers off the streets and away from the school yards…

        1. You have evidence for your factoid?

      2. Because all their HR managers are credentialed – and credentials make it easier for these guys to sort through resumes.

        That’s why I don’t regret my history degree.

        I know there are a few around who boldly state that the only degrees worth having are STEM, and I completely agree that those tend to be the only degrees where one needs to go to higher education to actually learn the shit needed for the field. However, that does not make them the only reason to go to college.

        And I’m not talking about “learning how to think” or any of that bullshit. I didn’t get a history degree because I’m so retarded that I think one can only read history books at college. I got it because I have never had, nor do I have now, any desire to be an engineer of any sort, but you still have to have a degree just to not get your application auto-rejected at an enormous number of employers. It was an expensive “in”, but worth it if you review the unemployment stats for people without degrees. I know that only helps to keep the problem going, but I’m not a martyr, boldly making my life more difficult on purpose just to stick it to The Man and his Credential Regime. If society sez that I will automatically be foreclosed from even applying for half the jobs that I may be qualified for because their lazy HR departments demand a degree, then I’m going to get a degree. Preferably an easy one, which is what I did ; )

        1. If society sez that I will automatically be foreclosed from even applying for half the jobs that I may be qualified for because their lazy HR departments demand a degree, then I’m going to get a degree.

          And therein lies the answer to your original question – chicken and the egg. Employers have realized that it’s easier/cheaper to hire people with credentials than to hire people without them and then train them, because people with credentials exist because that’s what employers tend to look for.

        2. College tuition comes with an opportunity cost. What keeps the average high school graduate from starting a successful small business with $100,000 in seed money?

          High schools are judged by how many students go to colleges and the prestige of those colleges. Our government run education system trains suburban Americans to believe that college is the only route to employment and worth every bit of time and money dedicated to those degrees.

          Consider breaking the monopoly on education. New Jersey towns spend about $20,000 per year per student on education. Imagine 5 high school seniors pooling their college funds to buy a home and run a one-room school house in it upon graduation. If they work together to teach 20 students, they gross $400,000 per year which comes to $80,000 each per year. Most of that money would be take home profit.

          Hate to break this to you guys, but your kindergarten teacher stole your future.

          1. “Imagine 5 high school seniors pooling their college funds to buy a home and run a one-room school house in it upon graduation.”

            If the law allows. They could easily run afoul of many laws trying to do that.

    4. “Obviously I’m not a “blame big business!” guy, but I do wonder why so few offer remunerative apprentice tracks anymore without prior training and bullshit credentialism. ”

      Training costs money. Why would a big business shell out money to train an employee when so many are willing to train themselves at their own expense.

      1. No, not at their own expense. With borrowed money. Make student loans dischargeable through bankruptcy and most of the “schools” offering “career training” would disappear overnight.

        1. “With borrowed money. ”

          So much the better. An indebted worker is more likely to accept poorer terms than one who is flush.

          1. Increasingly, we have people who are deep in student loan debt AND not working. The loan sharks just have to wait until they’re on disability or Social Security to collect.

            1. You don’t need to a college degree to become a loan shark’s collector.

              1. Chili Palmer

    5. Risk minimization on their part. Have you seen an untrained person with a welder? Gojira already adequately answered this, it’s laws and insurance on this one.

  6. You obsession with work is regressive. Once we have a basic minimum income, no one will ever have to work, and we will all be truly free.

  7. Dow is in record territory again today. Just a reminder:

    If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”
    — P. Krugman, 11/9/16

    1. “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”
      — P. Krugman, 11/9/16″

      Has Krugman yet admitted he’s full of it?

      1. And give up his gig writing two columns a week for the NYTimes?

  8. The absence of work causes other kinds of poverty, too. As Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser points out in a new article for City Journal, “jobless husbands have a 50 percent higher divorce rate than employed husbands.” The loss of a job inflicts a much greater degree of unhappiness than a reduction of income does. A loss of income likewise causes much less divorce, and much less suicide, than the loss of a job does. Jobs matter for reasons beyond money.

    What’s more: “Jobless men don’t do a lot more socializing; they don’t spend much more time with their kids. They do spend an extra 100 minutes daily watching television, and they sleep more. The jobless are also more likely to use illegal drugs. … 18 percent of the unemployed have done drugs in the last seven days.”

    Causation or correlation? Slackers with poor impulse control fail more at everything and lead crappier lives. Except the part about getting high.

    1. No, silly, the “unhappiness” of unemployment is not caused by one’s soul suffering a crisis of self-worth. It’s caused by anxiety about not being able to survive without an income. I know the upper-middle-class and wealthy are increasingly isolated from the rest of us and are increasingly unable to understand our lives, so let me give you a clue: for the 80%, job loss does not cause “a reduction of income”; it causes income to STOP.

      “They do spend an extra 100 minutes daily watching television, and they sleep more. The jobless are also more likely to use illegal drugs.”

      So, what’s the down side?

      1. No, silly, the “unhappiness” of unemployment is not caused by one’s soul suffering a crisis of self-worth. It’s caused by anxiety about not being able to survive without an income.

        Having been there briefly a number of years ago, i can tell you it’s both.

        1. For you, maybe, but understand that makes you a weirdo.

          1. I think you’re selling an awful lot of people short.

            1. You think people would be feel lost and useless without a boss telling them what to do, and I’m the one who is selling people short?

      2. On the contrary we isolate ourselves from you precisely because we understand you so well.

        That text was written by Hinkle, though, not me. And he was citing some professor at the time.

  9. There’s More to a Job Than Making Money

    There is????

    SOMEONE HAS BEEN HIDING THINGS FROM ME!

    Stop paying your employees and see how much a job is about money, as they scurry out the door towards higher ground.

  10. This is why I believe that welfare is actually insulting and hurtful. It’s the government essentially telling people, “You have zero to contribute to society and your fellow humans. Stay home, stuff your face/numb your mind with food/TV, and shut up.”

    How do I know? Because they actually create incentives to stay on welfare and not get back into work whenever the crisis that prompted a person’s going on welfare has passed. They don’t want people getting off welfare, the way, say, a doctor wants to remove a cast from a limb after the broken bone has healed.

    It’s funny how progressives always ignore the destructive aspect of welfare and make it all about a phony compassion. They also ignore things like apprenticeship programs, for that matter. When reading about the push for “free college for all — like they do in Europe,” I read that in much of Europe, only a minority of people go to “free” college — because they’d rather get into lucrative apprenticeship programs that have them working instead of sitting around listening to some idiot drone on from behind a lectern.

    1. They don’t want people getting off welfare, the way, say, a doctor wants to remove a cast from a limb after the broken bone has healed.

      Have you ever tried telling a doctor that you don’t need those pills anymore, because you don’t feel anxious anymore?

  11. Jordan Peterson talks about this a lot. Rights are only half of the equation, the other part is responsibility that no one is selling. If you just live off of CBI and never do anything then you are wasting your life. It’s the Lion getting fat and sleeping after it’s caught the Zebra

  12. The “work is about more than money” attitude is precisely why men aren’t working more. When you pay half a pittance but it’s okay because we’re all BFFs here! you’re only going to get women working there.

    1. That’s why non-profits are staffed mostly by women.

      1. I thought that’s because the average head of a non-profit gets food and shelter by banging a rich man. Ah, the joys of suburban marriage.

        One neighbor told me she left her last boyfriend because he made her go on welfare. I asked for details. She explained that she had to go on welfare, because he didn’t make money, because he was unemployed. The boyfriend before that had money and took care of her. I wasn’t sure whether to point out that she qualified for welfare, because she was also unemployed or to point out her chosen profession.

        1. The HEAD of the non-profit might have that advantage. Her employees are most likely female Believers in the Cause with low self-esteem.

  13. But Glaeser notes: “Contemporary infrastructure projects rely on skilled workers, typically with wages exceeding $25 per hour; most of today’s jobless lack such skills”

    Barking up the wrong tree, here.

    When we talk “infrastructure projects,” we’re really talking Public Works (to call a spade a spade). There isn’t anything special about “contemporary infrastructure projects” that makes them require more skill than infrastructure projects used to require.

    What’s special about “contemporary infrastructure projects” is the Davis-Bacon Act, by which the unskilled labor on a project (we do still use quite a lot of that – brooms don’t push themselves) bills out at about double Glaeser’s hypothetical, too-high-for-unskilled-labor rate of $25/hr. The bar isn’t high to get these jobs – you just have to be lucky/know someone, and they apply upward pressure on wages throughout the industry, leading to less overall employment.

    It’s the end of the article that nails it – it’s less that “there are no jobs” and more that people (men in particular) no longer have any expectation that you go look for a job. If there are no jobs in your town, a politician is supposed to bring you one. They say so every day.

    1. “There isn’t anything special about “contemporary infrastructure projects” that makes them require more skill than infrastructure projects used to require.”

      You should familiarize yourself with fibre optic cables. Dealing with these is a lot more finicky that laying tarmac.

      1. Please don’t pretend to know anything about construction.

        1. I know something about fibre cables. Until you can say the same, I suggest you find something else to comment on.

        2. well…it’s fibrous and cableisiou…there, where’s my job??

    2. “…people (men in particular) no longer have any expectation that you go look for a job.”

      “Looking for a job” doesn’t really exist anymore, except for service jobs in very small businesses. These days if you walk into a business and try to knock on someone’s door to ask for a job, you’ll be escorted off the property by security guards. Today, unless you have a family or social connection to someone in a position to hire you, you have to go through a fixed process to offer your labor for sale. It’s more like putting yourself “on the circuit” like people looking for sex in Logan’s Run than like “pounding the pavement” job seeking the old-fashioned way. Most businesses outsource their hiring to employment agencies and don’t even accept applications from the public. Often, applicants don’t even know what company they’re applying to until a job offer is made.Today, “looking for a job” mainly means posting your resume in the appropriate places and hoping that your credentials and experience will trigger the phone to ring. If it never rings and you can’t find a job through personal connections, you’re pretty much SOL. If there are no jobs in your town and you head off to another town where you don’t know anybody trying to find a job, you’re on a fool’s errand.

  14. That people get jobs when their benefits runs out means nothing. What is the pay of the job they get? Sure when I was on unemployement I could’ve taken plenty of minimum wage jobs. One was even in my profession where I had 25 years experience. I bet they would’ve loved to charge a customer $30 for labor they were paying $1 for.
    It is not libertarian to think people should work for low wages. It is libertarian to think people should get paid a fair amount for what they produce. Stop being collectivists and be the libertarians you claim to be.
    But if you want to be allowed to pay low wages Basic Income is your answer, starving people isn’t.

    1. It is not libertarian to think people should work for low wages. It is libertarian to think people should get paid a fair amount for what they produce. Stop being collectivists and be the libertarians you claim to be.

      It is libertarian for people to get paid what someone else has voluntarily agreed to pay them. The rest is hot air.

      1. “It is libertarian for people to get paid what someone else has voluntarily agreed to pay them.”

        When the system is rigged to make it difficult or impossible for people to make money without working for an established business, then working for wages is not voluntary.

    2. Three questions:
      Who decides what’s fair?
      Who pays those wages/basic incomes?
      How do you ensure those fair wages/incomes get paid?
      I think it might be difficult to maintain a libertarian stance in answering those.

      1. I’ll give it a shot.

        “Who decides what’s fair?”

        A free market would set fair rates for labor. That would mean getting rid of barriers to competition such as complex and meddlesome regulations that make it hard or impossible to be in business without being big enough to employ compliance consultants and lobbyists; reforming the criminal, regulatory, and civil legal systems so that it’s safe to be in business without a staff of lawyers in your employ; controlling the various forms of neo-slavery such as illegal immigration, prison labor, and importation of products of child labor; reforming finance laws so that people of modest means are free to pool their resources to fund business endeavors; doing away with protectionist licensing and certification requirements; repealing prohibitions against drugs, sex work, and other banned products; etc. With a free economy in which people had the realistic option of offering goods and services on their own as an alternative to working a job for existing businesses, established businesses would be forced to compete with other options for making a living and wages would rise.

        “Who pays those wages/basic incomes?”

        Well, that’s easy. Businesses would pay wages and government would pay any basic income.

        “How do you ensure those fair wages/incomes get paid?”

        Wages: You don’t “ensure” it; you just make it as likely as possible by allowing maximum economic freedom.
        Basic income: Uh?you just send the checks.

        1. Not trying to beat a dead thread, I just don’t stay on the interwebs much.

          I couldn’t agree more with your first paragraph, but you address the basic income with a bit of hand waving. Yes, you can say that government will pay and send the checks, but ultimately those funds are coming from taxpayers (involuntarily under threat of penalty) in a massive redistribution program. I’ll concede that a UBI could be more libertarian than the current various systems of social welfare. However, to declare it to be libertarian outright seems a hard sell.

          1. “…ultimately those funds are coming from taxpayers…”

            Not necessarily, but I don’t want to write an essay about how money and taxes work here.

            “…a massive redistribution program.”

            I think that’s a mischaracterization. I’d call it a new type of distribution, not redistribution.

            The world is changing. If there is going to continue to be “libertarianism”, it will have to take new realities into account. In a world in which everyone’s labor is not required or even useful, the concept of “working for a living” will have to be modified or abandoned. The alternative would be culling the population of those whose services are no longer required. I know there are a few libertarians who would be down with that, but I’m assuming most would not be. The leaves finding innovative ways of distributing wealth.

  15. I’m part of the 11%. I’m not college-educated, and I have only worked 9 months in my entire 24 years of existence. And yet I could go to BK and other places and get a job. I’ll get paid shit, but generally they’ll promote you pretty quickly if you work your ass off where you’ll get a payment bump to at least $10/hr if you’re not shit. (And the hours will be good too.) When I worked at McD, I was offered a manager position four months in from starting the job from simply being generally polite to most and working a bit harder than the average employee. There really are few excuses.

    1. How is it possible to have only worked 9 months? I’m your same age and have been working steadily since I was a freshman in highschool. Even assuming you’ve been living with your parents this entire time I assume you’re too old for an allowance lol. How do you buy anything?

  16. Companies no longer provide on the job training, expecting applicants to know every little specialized detail that colleges never teach. Companies discriminate against people who are out of work. Figure out the dilemma that creates for the unemployed. Companies also refuse to hire the overqualified (which is the most idiotic thing on earth). Maybe it is time to consider that companies are at least partly to blame for unemployment?

  17. Another answer, frankly, probably entails faster rather than slower migration from rural areas?such as Virginia’s coalfields?to places where jobs are plentiful. Government efforts to revitalize rural communities might merely delay the inevitable?and thereby prolong the agony.

    There isn’t anything about the soil of Manhattan verse the soil of Virginia’s coalfields that makes more jobs appear in the former. Build enough homes to house 8 million people in the coalfields of Virginia, and you’ll see businesses move there and hire people. What prevents developers from building a city in the wilderness these days? Environmental policies written in the cities.

  18. At least not unless you think the ideal America resembles a lions’ pride?where the females do all the work, while the males lie back and enjoy the fruits of their effort.

    Did you miss the part where women do not stay with unemployed men? Women also use more entitlements so just what are you talking about? Maybe the thankless entitlement to the fruits of male labor is contributing to the problem.

    1. “Did you miss the part where women do not stay with unemployed men?”

      Women don’t SAY they stay with unemployed men, because they’re not allowed to if they want government assistance. In my experience, nearly all women living on public assistance have unemployed live-in boyfriends. That doesn’t show up in the stats because they have to lie about it.

      1. This isn’t women just “saying” it. We are talking about actual divorces.

        1. Just because a couple is divorced doesn’t mean they aren’t living together.

  19. You described why unemployment is more of a hardship for husbands than for wives.

    Not many people care. But if unemployment were more of a hardship for wives than for husbands, there would be reports and calls for solutions day and night.

    On the gender dynamic:

    “A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality: Taking On The Institute For Women’s Policy Research” http://www.malemattersusa.wordpress.c…..-research/

  20. It’s the video games. You can buy a used 3DS system for $30 and be entertained endlessly if you are a jobless 18-34 year old.

    https://reason.com/archives/201…..o-ga/print

    1. Or older- but the older guys didn’t grow up with as much gaming.

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