Men Without Work

is a book by Nicholas Eberstadt, an American political economist, written in 2016 and updated in 2022. I haven’t read the books but have listened to him talk about them on YouTube podcasts. The premise is that the documented 7.2 million men, aged 21 to 54, that have quit the workforce is a problem. For America and the world. I do and don’t agree. Let’s get into it.

Modern technology has fostered a new generation of women and men and their relationships.
Emerald, of Lumber Capital Log Yard

The Data

is irrefutable. Seven million plus American males of prime working age (21 – 54) have quit the work force. They aren’t even looking for work. Therefore, they don’t show up in official employment/unemployment statistics. That allows for politicians to lie about the economy.

According to Eberstadt, and others, what they are doing is living at home with their parents. Or living with a female (or male) partner and watching screens. Over 2,000 hours a year, which amounts to a full time job. What they are watching isn’t reported.

Moreover, this results in billions of dollars of lost revenue for the country. Because employers can’t fill vacant positions. Of which there are over 800 thousand. Many of the jobs pay over $60 thousand a year.

What’s going on? Is a question I asked myself. It turns out that many of these men have criminal records, 2.2 million. (Unemployable?) Some are in school, 1.2 million. (Professional students?) About half are getting some sort of disability insurance and are on some kind of pain medication. (Learned helplessness?)

What I think

is going on is a confluence of unintended consequences of well-intentioned “progressive” policies and social “progress”. In addition – a failure to understand human nature. Said another way, a failure to understand what is real and what is an illusion. In other words, a belief in fantasy.

This fantasy is fueled by screens. First, the big screen, Hollywood. And now, the little screen that fits in your pocket, The Phone. And, of course now the internet – the global “community”. What is on the screens are predominately fictive stories. Including the news.

The Why of it

is complex; but a good place to start is the nineties. In her book The Time Bind, Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild details what happened to a real community in the rural Midwest that had been a thriving American town before. Before what? Before progressive, well-intentioned policies were implemented in a Fortune 500 manufacturing company. Specifically, second-wave feminism, family-friendly ideals, and globalism. [Read her book, or my summary linked above for details.]

Those changes crippled many families which then broke apart. Moreover, the net effect was a devaluing of fathers and children. Many men lost their jobs and resented, first women and children, then all others. Relief came from drugs, alcohol, drifting and disability checks. And violence.

Children were farmed out to child-care facilities so as their mothers could join the work force. These children now form the population of Men Without Work. They are Millennial men. Their role models were their fathers – lost men. Men adrift. Their mothers preferred money and the workplace to unpaid domestic, traditional female roles. The kids became their own nurturers. Parentified is a term used.

That’s Not All.

The downstream, cascading effect is now we have Generation Z with an almost total unmoored sense of traditional gender, work and family roles. We have made a society that doesn’t need many men, or children. Partly because of the above mentioned policies and trends. Another cause is technological innovation.

For example, take Emerald and Lumber Capital Log Yard pictured above. Emerald is eighteen. She and her younger sister and brother run a sawmill. Granted, it’s a family business. Her father (54), “The Boss”, her mother and grandfather own the company. However, it’s modern machinery that allows for girls and boys to do the work. The work used to be man’s work. [Logging, what The Boss does, still is. But he’s concerned there are not many men willing to do it now. In fact their are less than 50,000 logging jobs  in the US.]

In addition, Emerald started a YouTube channel that is so popular it has sponsors, which brings in revenue. “Women learned that, if they were beautiful, they could make ludicrous money just by existing online.” [Grazie Sophia Christie, Tablet, “The Class Politics of Instagram Face”, 2/15/23.]

Teen girl makes money being pretty and doing man's work. All the while having fun.
Emerald making money

More from Christie’s article.

“Pretty has always been exclusive. Pretty means something that everyone else is not. … We hoard beauty. … Partly because of our urge to legitimize, in any way we can, the advantage we have over other people.”

More on Men and Work

from my book Election 2016.

“… the concept and question of work. Work is labor, and labor produces something that is necessary for survival–be that food, clothing, or shelter. And there is also energy, which is work and working.

Emotion is energy in motion or the manifestation of that which motivates a human to work. One works because it makes one feel good about him or herself. Work provides satisfaction emotionally as well as practically.

A man without work is worthless, which, to a person, feels like failure. In other words, a man without meaningful work feels as if he were a waste, useless, which is intolerable. So a man has to work to work. Get it?

Man must work to have purpose, to be of value to himself and to a potential mate and to his children. To work is to live, to be alive!” (p.37)

Damn, I couldn’t have said it better myself. LOL

Money, Beauty, and Women

should be obvious. Furthermore, how modern technology has enabled women to free themselves from the devalued role of homemaker and mother.

Ms Scanlon talks about the economy and other things on YouTube. I met her via WordPress which she ditched for video.
Kyla Scanlon. Beauty = $$s

Kyla Scanlon makes a living on YouTube. Just talking about money, and other things.

Is there an urge, a biological, instinctual drive for human females to procreate? To become mothers and care-givers? I don’t know.

It sure as hell doesn’t pay well. Moreover, the costs are extensive.

Ally McBeal

was a TV series (1998-2002) that dealt with feminism and the work-family balance.

In an early episode there was a case wherein a TV station let-go a female news anchor because she had aged out. In other words – the audience no longer wondered what she looked like naked. Therefore, viewers would go elsewhere for the “news” was the network’s argument. Moreover, that was a lose/lose scenario so they had to make the change.

Ms Brennan is 43 and trying hard to look the part, and do the news.
Margaret Brennan, CBS News, 2023

In Conclusion

I think it’s obvious that “things” have backfired. Moreover, our well-intentioned, progressive policies, and technological advances are leading us down the road to hell. Many men have been soul murdered, or crippled spiritually.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. This is, after all, THE GREAT DEBATE. Where disparate minds meat.



7 thoughts on “Men Without Work

  1. I’ve had occasion to commission sawmills to cut timber for me, from 1986-2000. It was tough, hard work at the yard. There were no women, girls, or boys there.
    I’m not blaming women, just saying we need to look at unintended consequences and understand the choices we make. After all, isn’t that what being conscious and intelligent means?

  2. A long way from Men AT Work: “I come from a land down under, where women glow and men thunder.” I have not thought about much of this before: men without work and women on Instagram making money. The American work ethic: pull yourself up by your bootstraps, would require some digging to find active examples. I have a former student who married a guy who became a multi-millionaire because he perfected those interactive goggles and sold them to Facebook. Before that, he lived in a trailer on his folks property. Now they live on the ocean in Newport Beach, and she travels all over participating in Cosplay conventions. That’s the American success story now.

  3. Yes, I remember you recounting that. As I remember: Ted Cruz (US senator from Texas) was at the their wedding. (As were you.)
    Question? Could CROCODILE DUNDEE (1996) Even be made today? Famous scene/quote: “Me Tarzan you Jane.” [The actors (she and he) married. I don’t know what’s up with them now.]
    It’s not only Instagram, but TicTok, and YouTube.

  4. To clarify my opening that I don’t agree this fact that MWOW is a problem.
    Who cares? Yes, YOU do if it effects you directly. But in the aggregate these men don’t matter. In other words, they are canon fodder.
    They can be classified into Hillary Clinton’s deplorable category of Trump MAGA voters. More accurately – disposable. As in, WHO NEEDS THEM?.
    These lost, adrift men have no political value. Therefore, yeah no problem. When this cohort dies(out) – society will benefit.
    Which exposes the lies of the both (political) sides.

  5. The psychology of human behavior is no longer a mystery and therefore, the ability to manipulate and exploit the masses is much easier. The information age via a smart phone in every citizen’s hand is a double edged sword. Untethered access to information does not make us smarter, it actually makes us dumber because we do not have to think for ourselves, (something that’s been a big problem anyway only now it’s worse).

    But at the end of the day Mark, you and I are just a couple of old men from a fading generation that will soon be extinct. All we can do is gripe, grumble, howl and boo hoo hoo….. who knows, sounds like it might be a youtube sensation; NOT!!

  6. “a fading generation that will soon be extinct” – That’s an interesting way of thinking about it. Maybe that IS happening – a new selection process that spawns a new species of humans? No longer HOMO SAPIENS (thinking man); but ___ hmmm, I’ll have to think on that. (Or drink on it.)

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