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When Factory Jobs Vanish, Men Become Less Desirable Partners (theatlantic.com)
272 points by hunglee2 on Mar 5, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 446 comments



"They found that manufacturing declines significantly affected the supply of what they termed “marriageable” men—men who are not drinking or using drugs excessively and who have a job. (...) the numbers of marriageable men relative to women declined, because men had migrated elsewhere, joined the military, or fallen out of the labor force."

How many in which category? The article treats men who moved away as the same problem as being junkie. Social problems like alcoholism and drugs are talked about as if they would be same as being unemployed. It is odd conflation, it is not the same, not even nearly.


Tells you how far society would have to go to ever accept able bodied people not working for a living.


The root problem seems to be that we have made money (or rather, the ability to make some) an ends instead of a means.

I don't know how all of the 8 billion people on this planet can be expected to meaningfully contribute to something (that can't be done better and more cheaply for everyone by automation) and "earn" their money, without seriously crippling technological advancement (e.g. the advent of self-driving vehicles, or robot lawyers/doctors.)


That reminds me of something someone once said...

Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.


So the story of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia..


>So the story of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia..

Which, like essentially all Disney works, was based on existing folklore.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sorcerer's_Apprentice


Yes, that's largely what Disney does, repackage existing folklore in a way that modern society wants to consume.

At least the American culture is well aware of Fantasia and the brooms with buckets scene. Whatever earlier work? Only someone with specialist knowledge could tell you which work it had been derived from.


Yeah, and then stamping a never ending copyright on it.


This means that on a societal level we will probably implement some kind of artificial scarcity or even make belief work.

The later is in a way already happening just to keep unemployed people occupied:

Have a look at Potemkin economy:

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/frances-potemkin-econo...

> Candelia is one of a number of so-called “Potemkin” companies operating in France.

> Everything about these entities is imaginary from the customers, to the supply chain, to the banks, to the “wages” employees receive and while the idea used to be that the creation of a “parallel economic universe” would help to train the jobless and prepare them for real employment sometime in the future, these “occupations” are now serving simply as way for the out-of-work to suspend reality for eight hours a day

Society fears a large unoccupied class. Whether that fear is warranted or not is a different thing.


It's absolutely warranted. I spent time in South Africa, specifically Johannesburg and Durban, and due to completely unrestricted immigration there is a massive unemployed population (there simply isn't enough work for all the people coming in to the country), and crime rates have gone through the roof.

"Idle hands are the Devil's workshop." Human beings do not naturally drift towards societally beneficial behaviour when lacking productive activities to engage in.


> "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop."

I was almost having a mental countdown until this exact expression popped up.

What you wrote is true, but that unemployed population didn't have any money or their needs met.

What would happen if living was really easy and work either unneeded or just downright impossible to get?


> "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop."

This puritanical belief makes the idea of Basic Income politically un-doable through most of the world, along with the belief that a living is something that must be earned through productive work.


> This puritanical belief makes the idea of Basic Income politically un-doable through most of the world, along with the belief that a living is something that must be earned through productive work.

It's just a framing problem.

For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit in the US is a small de facto UBI. If you eliminated all US welfare programs and used all the money to increase the amount of the EITC you will have effectively solved the problem.

In theory the EITC requires you to earn money, but if you eliminated the loss of welfare benefits that currently occurs if you report earning any amount of money, suddenly you'll discover that everybody everywhere has "income" from doing odd jobs for their friends and so on, most of which they've been doing the whole time in exchange for in-kind services but (illegally!) not reporting it as income because reporting it previously caused a net loss rather than a net gain.


> This puritanical belief

That's one way to ignore human nature as a force driving human society.

> Basic Income

That's another.


Human nature isn't anywhere near as simplistic as economists tend to believe. That is why half the theories doesn't work in reality, people are far from the rational actors they're made out to be.


> immigration there is a massive unemployed population (there simply isn't enough work for all the people coming in to the country), and crime rates have gone through the roof.

The situation in South Africa is far more nuanced. Due to a sham government and a badly fractured education system, the immigrants to South Africa are generally more skilled and far more employable than many locals. The immigrants also open shops and are more entrepreneurial. There might be some crime from foreigners, but surely we don't need to go making blanket statements like this. This is the kind of thing said by mob leaders during buildup to xenophobic attacks, which surely you know actually take place in South Africa.

Statements by


While I've never seen a graying Chia Pet before, I would've preferred a link to the NYT article [0] on which that blog post was based. The blog post wasn't even by him, it was just republished from ZeroHedge where it was credited to "Tyler Durden."

It's an interesting story, I had not heard of "practice firms" as a form of training for the unemployed. They don't really say how long people stay in the training program, I think one quoted person had been there for four months, which seems like a long time. "The success rate of the training centers is high. About 60 to 70 percent of those who go through France’s practice firms find jobs, often administrative positions, Mr. Troton said.

But in a reflection of the shifting nature of the European workplace, most are low-paying and last for short stints, sometimes just three to six months."

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/business/international/in...


You're right.

I read the sidebar and it's a bit too shady but the content in this article is solid.

Thank you for posting the NYT link.


A better option would be to employ more people in the sciences. There is still a lot to be discovered and labs I have worked in have a range of work to be done from the low skilled cleaning glassware to high skilled design of experiments.


Most people are unable to contribute to human scientific development in any meaningful capacity.

The exception might be repetitive tasks that are already being automated, like drug testing.

I have no idea how all these trends are going to play out, at least during the transient regime we are currently experiencing.


Is money really an end for anyone? People seem to have more interesting terminal goals: to win, to live in a well-regarded area, to have financial security in tough times, to get paid "what they're worth", to own nice things, to travel, to get to the front of the pack, to retire early, etc.

Those aren't necessarily very good goals, but they're more complicated and much harder to do away with than just lust for money.


> to "win" ... to get to the "front of the pack" etc.

and "making money" are all pretty much man-made measures of social success and self-worth, which would be meaningless in a post-scarcity society.

I mean, in some cultures, "winning" included having a large number of wives and slaves. In today's world, someone with such achievements would be out of place and seen as archaic.

What does it mean to "get to the front of the pack" when everybody can have [figuratively] everything and nobody needs to work?

Instead, success would (hopefully) be defined by what you can create and discover, or how many people you can entertain.


> "making money" are all pretty much man-made measures of social success and self-worth, which would be meaningless in a post-scarcity society.

It's actually at the very end just a proxy for mating value, like this article clearly explores.


"Winning" and "getting to the front of the pack" would definitely still be relevant in a post-scarcity society. Material wealth would just stop being a proxy for those (although some forms of material wealth would always be scarce and usable as status signals, eg. unique works of art).


There is no post scarcity society without a post enlightened society.

Theres far too many people who will look at someone without a job and say "work harder, you moocher", and then argue using first order logic without any facts or context to say that all safety nets should be taken away to ensure that people dont become sloth like.

Add to that, the manipulation of the media, and manipulation by the media and you have the perfect constraints to ensure that people there will never be a post scarcity society.


> Instead, success would (probably) be defined by what you can create and discover, or how many people you can entertain.

That has actually already happened. Current marketing focuses strongly on enjoying non-expensive but creative lifestyle, instead of showing off wealth.


The majority of what you listed sounds to me like it would be motivated by a lust for money.


Maybe for regular Joes like you and me. But do you think the ultra rich are still just trying to buy comfort and things with the heaps of money they store up?


In many parts of the world we find work for most people. Robots haven't taken most of the jobs yet.

https://www.chrisstucchio.com/blog/2016/robots_didnt_take_ou...


But even many of these jobs could be (and eventually will be) automated. I find the very concept of having to "find work for people" to be flawed. Why should people be expected to work bullshit (often soul destroyingly meaningless) unnecessary busy-work jobs?


I dont expect people to do anything they don't want to do. In contrast, it is the people complaining about work (e.g. BI proponents) who expect me to work in support of those who refuse to do so.

Also, cook, maid, trainer and paan wale - examples given in my blog post - are not bullshit jobs in any sense. They all directly contribute to the happiness of other human beings with no levels of indirection (unlike "good" jobs such as mine).


That's the fallacy though. You aren't expected to do anything to work in support of BI. The whole point is, with increasing automation that all of us don't have to work much anymore to make basic necessities.

Its an old way of thinking, that if anybody else has anything then I don't have it. The new world we're building is called 'post-scarcity' for a reason.


People want BI/welfare state/etc now, and we are in a world with a huge labor scarcity.

Let's drop it now and take up the issue after we reach post scarcity, when it's so cheap to provide that no one cares about it.


I don't know where that idea is coming from. There are a hundred million Americans under-employed and soon to be replaced with automation. This is an urgent issue.

Already clothes and basic food is so cheap as to be almost free here (the store cost is a fad/fashion tax; clothing is made in factories at pennies a garment).


Those people refuse to work as maids, caring for the elderly, picking crops (remember how we need immigrants to do jobs that Americans just won't do?) and similar.

They are not underemployed, they prefer not to work. Go read the article I linked.


> They are not underemployed, they prefer not to work. Go read the article I linked.

"Prefer not to work" is not a reasonable summary of the article. "Receive no benefit from working" is the real problem.

Not only do low income people in the US lose almost all of their earnings to government benefits phase outs, taking a job incurs expenses. You need transportation to the job, potentially to move to an area with an overall higher cost of living, pay someone to do things you can no longer do yourself because you're busy working, etc.

The result is that for low income people in the US, taking a job can easily cause you to lose money.

Which is the thing a UBI fixes, because there is no phase out other than normal taxes, so you keep >=70% of your earnings and taking a job will actually put more money in your pocket.


A basic job also fixes the disincentives - you work regardless, only question is if it's a bad govt job or a better private one.

A basic job also costs a lot less since it only goes to people who need it.


The problem is it doesn't actually cost less. The taxes you pay for your own UBI cost you nothing.

Meanwhile a basic job has the potential to be very expensive, because unlike a UBI you can't supplement it by working since you're spending your time doing the basic job, so it has to pay a living wage, which is more than the amount you would have to pay as a UBI. And then you will have people who choose the basic job when they would otherwise have chosen an economically productive real job since it's one or the other, which you then have to pay for while at the same time losing the tax revenue you would have had from them doing the real job.

And what happens if too many people choose the basic job so that there are too many unfilled real jobs? With a UBI you can reduce the amount to push more people into the labor force. With a basic job which workers can't supplement with a real job, reducing the amount causes them to starve.


Wait, a UBI won't pay enough to live off of? UBI beneficiaries will all die? That could be pretty cheap.

Also, you assume the economic value of a basic job is zero. Is providing child care for working women really worth $0? How about building infrastructure? In fact, this could be a net gain for the treasury if we replace overpaid government union workers with basic jobbers.

If you want to argue that the BJ is somehow more expensive than a BI, could you provide a back of the envelope calculation showing how that would work?


>In fact, this could be a net gain for the treasury if we replace overpaid government union workers with basic jobbers.

In the US most prisoners are not allowed to work (even for no pay) for this reason.


> Wait, a UBI won't pay enough to live off of? UBI beneficiaries will all die?

They will all find work, which they will be able to without a minimum wage.

Suppose it costs $18,000/year to live here and we have a $12,000/year UBI. Finding a job that pays $18,000/year is not possible for everyone but finding a job that pays $6,000/year is, so they don't die.

> Also, you assume the economic value of a basic job is zero. Is providing child care for working women really worth $0? How about building infrastructure?

It isn't that the value is zero, it's that the value is less than what you're paying them. Because otherwise it would just be a regular job.

And it is not likely that the government is going to find highly productive work for everyone rather than ending up with a lot of people digging holes and filling them back in. The whole "central planning doesn't work" thing.

> In fact, this could be a net gain for the treasury if we replace overpaid government union workers with basic jobbers.

If we could actually do that, i.e. find workers to do the same work for less money, then we could/should do it regardless.

> If you want to argue that the BJ is somehow more expensive than a BI, could you provide a back of the envelope calculation showing how that would work?

A UBI is purely redistributive. You aren't actually buying something, you're only moving money around. It only makes sense to talk about "cost" in the sense of net transfers with government for a given person. For the average person it costs nothing -- they pay $X in taxes and receive $X in UBI, net is zero. People at below average income are net receivers, so if you want to talk about what it "costs" it has to be what it costs to people with above average income.

Moreover, a UBI replaces both welfare/basic job and the progressive tax structure, because the effective tax rate as (taxes - UBI)/income is inherently progressive even with a uniform marginal tax rate. With a basic job you still need a progressive tax structure, which from the perspective of our above average income taxpayer means they then have to pay a higher marginal tax rate than lower income people.

And under both the current welfare system and a UBI, the effective rate paid by lower income people is negative. So unless you're willing to put in place a system that is less progressive than the existing one, a basic job would also have to be coupled with transfer payments to lower income working people. To be equally progressive the transfer payments would have to be the same as the UBI net of taxes.

So they end up costing "the same" until you get to the question of what happens to people who can't find a job that pays a living wage.

Then under a UBI, you let people find whatever job they can even if it doesn't pay a living wage, and let the UBI supplement it so they don't starve.

With a basic job, the government invents work for people.

In some kind of hypothetical sense these could cost the same amount as well. You have a job whose actual economic value is $6000, under a UBI you take the job for $6000 and get a $12,000 UBI, under a basic job the government pays you $18,000 to do the job and then has $6000 worth of productive work done which it can sell on the market or whatever.

But the underlying assumption is that the government is as good at finding productive work for you to do as you are. The bureaucracy itself will waste money, it won't optimize for job satisfaction or consider economically productive activity like providing child care for your own children, and it will have the incentive to invent less productive unskilled jobs for everyone rather than matching each person's abilities to the job. Fundamentally it assumes that the government is as efficient at the market at allocating work, which is hopelessly wrong.

On top of that, it makes the relative value of the basic job too high, so that people have no reason to choose a real job that pays $17K/year and produces >=$17K/year in real value over a basic job that pays $18K/year but only produces $4K/year in real value.

So how does a basic job cost more? Because with a UBI there is someone receiving $12K/year from the government while getting paid another $12K/year to do a job that creates $14K/year in economic value, and then pays $4K/year in taxes, so the government is net -$8K/year to this person. Whereas with a basic job the government is paying the same person $18K/year to produce $4K/year in economic value (which they prefer over the $12K/year real job), so the government is net -$14K/year to the same person, the person has $2K/year less in their pocket and there is $10K/year less economic value produced.


Suppose it costs $18,000/year to live here...

It doesn't. There are billions living on $365/year, after adjusting for the cost of living.

It isn't that the value is zero, it's that the value is less than what you're paying them. Because otherwise it would just be a regular job. And it is not likely that the government is going to find highly productive work for everyone rather than ending up with a lot of people digging holes and filling them back in. The whole "central planning doesn't work" thing.

It's good to know that there is no possible use the government can come up with for labor, and that every program that liberals are currently proposing (child care for working women, pre-K, infrastructure spending) is wasteful. I didn't know that.

I'm still waiting for your back of the envelope calculation. Be sure to include the labor disincentive effects of the BI, which was 9% in the Mincome experiment.

https://thecorrespondent.com/541/why-we-should-give-free-mon...


> It doesn't. There are billions living on $365/year, after adjusting for the cost of living.

That wouldn't feed an adult for half that long in the US, to say nothing of lawful living quarters or healthcare or transportation.

And even if true, how does it help you? It would allow both the amount of the UBI and the wage of the basic job to be proportionally less, but the necessary amount of the UBI would still be smaller -- at that cost it could be negligible, given that the number of people who can't find a job in the US that would pay $0.18/hour would be nearly if not literally zero.

> It's good to know that there is no possible use the government can come up with for labor, and that every program that liberals are currently proposing (child care for working women, pre-K, infrastructure spending) is wasteful. I didn't know that.

You can't use "building infrastructure" as a basic job because it's already a real job. The benefit of doing the work exceeds the cost of doing the work so it would/should be done regardless of a basic job program and can't be used to create jobs on top of that, unless the additional jobs couldn't otherwise be justified because they provide less public benefit than they cost.

And how is "child care for working women" or "pre-K" better for those people than the equivalent amount of cash which they can use to buy those things or not as they choose? If anything it will make those things worse because a subsidized government option would bankrupt private alternatives that would otherwise provide better service or lower true cost.

> I'm still waiting for your back of the envelope calculation. Be sure to include the labor disincentive effects of the BI, which was 9% in the Mincome experiment.

Was the last paragraph of the previous post not satisfactory?

"Labor disincentive effects" is just a pejorative way of saying that some people may choose to consume their own labor/time rather than selling it to a third party, which is not actually a problem. Your link points out that the "decline" was primarily young mothers and college students. People choosing to spend more time with their children and their studies. How is that bad?

By comparison a basic job directly displaces private labor with less efficient government labor. That's why it costs more -- people will choose a basic job that pays $8 but only produces $2 in value over a private job that pays $6 and produces $7 in value, and now you have higher expenses, less productive value and lower tax revenue.

Choosing to care for your own children over working for someone else doesn't do that because people only make that choice when they get more value from it than the wages they would receive from the other work. They're literally paying themselves (in opportunity cost) to do child care. The ability to do that isn't a cost, it's an efficiency gain.

The only sense in which it's a cost at all is that self-labor is typically untaxed, which is a policy decision that we could make the other way in theory, but we're probably better off not because it implicitly subsidizes self-labor which is generally meritorious (e.g. no transportation costs, no principal-agent problems, no paperwork).


Ah, but people still want to be in fashion, don't they?

If you take people's wants into account, as opposed to their needs according to abstract principles, we're not yet in a post-scarcity society.


Maybe many people would not develop the wish to buy fashionable clothes, a bigger car or a faster smartphone if there weren't adverts and people all around us suggesting that that's the right thing to do.

I hope that humans aren't intrinsically consumerist, but I honestly don't know. Does anybody know if research has been don one this topic?


You have it backwards. Advertising works because advertisers know what people want. And people WANT social status.

"We even find that relative income is more important than absolute income in explaining individual well-being. More precisely, we find that the income relative to individuals’ own cohort working in the same occupation group and living in the same region matters for happiness" [1]

"To the conspicuous consumer, such a public display of discretionary economic power is a means of either attaining or maintaining a given social status." [2]

1. http://www.uh.edu/~cguven/papers/JonesesCahit_SEP262007.pdf

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspicuous_consumption


These conspicuous consumers are only fooling themselves. If my neighbor spends 4x on his car compared to me, it certainly doesn't make me feel inferior in any way. If anything it makes me feel sorry for him -- must be overcompensating for some other shortcoming.

Yes I've read Veblen so I understand the theory and psychology behind these tactics that advertising exploits (especially luxury advertising), but there are plenty of people, men and women, for whom such shallow status markers have no effect.


These conspicuous consumers... are a very important part of the economy :) Think about how many engineering and design jobs there are just creating fancier/faster/prettier/etc versions of basic goods. And if the consumer if happy, whats wrong? A lot of that money would just be sitting in a bank somewhere otherwise. Yes, I know some people would donate it to charity.

"but there are plenty of people, men and women, for whom "

Sorry, I didn't mean to generalize all people. I should have said "a large portion of people".


If you take wants into account, we will never be in a post-scarcity society.


> Its an old way of thinking, that if anybody else has anything then I don't have it.

Okay, if you don't take it from the taxes of those who work/invest, where do you take the money to provide for the people who don't?


And now is the time for actually doing research into the BI. Instead of speculating and manufacturing fear, uncertainty and doubt.


who expect me to work in support of those who refuse to do so.

Not all people who make money work for it. What about those people who earn tons of money collecting economic rents on all the capital and other property they own? By paying economic rents to these people, the rest of us are supporting their lavish lifestyles while many other people struggle to keep a roof over their heads.


> What about those people who earn tons of money collecting economic rents on all the capital and other property they own?

I love how all these revolutionary fantasies always start with the same concept "these greedy capitalist pigs do nothing and get all the money!", as if everything was given to them to just profit from; and even if you want to play the inheritance card, as if their ancestors got the same benefit.


I didn't say they do nothing, I said they don't work for it. Travis Kalanick is a billionaire but he didn't get that money by driving millions of people around in his own car; he paid people (with investor money, no less) to do it for him. You can talk all you want about the huge risk involved in growing a startup but guys like Kalanick will never end up on a street corner holding a filthy cardboard sign.


I favor eliminating the regulations that allow rent seekers to profit - NIMBY rules in coastal cities, taxi and other labor protectionism, etc. I even favor taxes on signalling activities, such as getting a degree.

I am all in favor of eliminating rents, as distinguished from investment income (which is not a rent).


The rents mostly go to the banks, who create the loans out of nothing and win either way. Your rent might go to a landlord but to compete in the bidding on the building he must lend as much as anyone else from a bank.

That ability to mortgage land should be shared among society if anything is to get better. The question is how the 'state' handles any foreclosure in a politically acceptable way when home owners would use their voting power to cajole their way out of giving anything up when they get greedy and over extend. Right now the state offloads this to the banks as the bad guy debt collectors, giving them the benefits of foreclosed assets.


I am all in favor of eliminating rents, as distinguished from investment income (which is not a rent).

Eh, tons of the money made on Wall Street is not really investment income but stuff like management fees, so-called 20 and 2 fees, interest on loans, arbitrage from high-frequency trading, etc.

How are you going to eliminate all of that?


Management fees are labor income. Interest is investment income. I have no desire to eliminate any of this, except for the portions that are economic rents.

As an example of the portion that is a real rent, consider the management fees you pay on 401k investments over and above the management fees paid on equivalent public symbols. (E.g., my last 401k's S&P index fund cost 30 or 40 bps more than SPY.) I favor eliminating this rent by banning 401k's.

Is that what you had in mind?


"rent seeking" and capitalism only differ in that a rent seeker strives to rig the system to maintain for themselves a profit whereas in capitalism it is assume that all profits will drop to zero with competition, and one must chart new territory to regain profitability. Hence if you can maintain your profit (like Apple) then you are probably a rent seeker and not a capitalist.


I don't find it flawed at all. The Public Works Administration (PWA) during the depression put many able-bodied men (and women?) to work, and built many public facilities - including parks - that we all benefit from today. I don' think the men and women who participated in PWA considered it "soul destroyingly meaningless". But perhaps there was a different work ethic then.


>work bullshit

What's with the "bullshit jobs" thesis I see around HN these days? How is working as a cook for a software engineer less bullshit than writing software? At the end of the day the cook can point to something he has done, right?

What exactly qualifies a job as "bullshit?"


There are plenty of unnecessary jobs, especially in large companies (anecdotal, I have friends working in a local bank and from what I hear, they could easily replace half their workforce with one or two actually competent people -- and before anyone questions this, these are people who created a database table with 7000! columns) and government.

A "bullshit" job is one created only for the purpose of creating a job. That is, its unnecessary or redundant and only exists because we've decided that people need jobs and we don't have enough "necessary" or "socially contributing" jobs.

There are also lots of factory, agriculture, logistics, manual labour jobs that I believe will soon (next 10 to 20 years) be replaced by automation, be it robotics, self-driving vehicles or software. It also seems to me that the jobs that are in my opinion most likely to be automated are the ones that currently employ the largest amount of people.


a job with negative value. You hire a worker to dig a hole and the second one to put the dirt back.


I assure you, anyone able bodied and not working who can afford not to live in their parents' basement is very acceptable.


I would respectfully disagree.

Particularly for males.

Single mothers are a different thing altogether and if they can take care of their children without working and alone then they are praised.


Able bodied men.


Relevant George Carlin - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc (5:10)


If they're not a burden on the rest of society, then there's nothing wrong with that. I take issue with able-bodied people not working, and collecting welfare while contributing nothing - which is a problem worth billions of dollars in my country.


> Social problems like alcoholism and drugs are talked about as if they would be same as being unemployed. It is odd conflation, it is not the same, not even nearly.

When comparing two things, it's useful to understand what is the comparison being made. Of course these things aren't the same in general sense of things - but as far as making a man "unmarriable" (as in statistically desired by either gender for a long-term relationship and partnership), they have a pretty similar effect, don't they?


No, because this ignores the cause & effect reality of nature. If people are turning to drug-based stimuli for the purpose of numbing and unfulfilled life of 1) no sexual partners 2) few job prospects, then we should not act as if the drugs are the first-tier causes of their predicament...

Anyone who has seen the upper echelons of society knows how many drugs are used up there too - and therefore knows that they are not first tier-causes (of being on the bottom) in every use case.


For the rich, there are challenges of ennui and expectations. And that drives “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations”. Maybe it's not so unrelated.


I thought those sayings came from the idea that we get lazy when we have a lot... I've never heard that the proposed cause is drug use - any sources on that?


There may be published studies, but I haven't looked. But consider the Beats. Most of them were trust-fund kids. Or the people who hung around Warhole. Or the early college hippies, protected against arrest by institutional influence. Or what they used to call the jet set.

Drug use is common among wealthy kids because they're so well protected from consequences. All children like to experiment, and have fun. So why not?

I knew a guy who burned through his inheritance, and then became a heroin smuggler. He used his friends as unwitting drug mules, and kept living the high life on the profits. But then one of them got busted, and sold him out. Oops.


But everything in the universe is caused by something else. Why go through to original causes in some cases and not in others?


I didn't make an argument to not look at root causes for anything. If your argument is that I'm being inconsistent, then you're wrong. Is your argument: "it isn't worth it to discuss causes in this case?"


In this article, chemical abuse seems to be an effect of economic disadvantages.


Yes, it is downstream - and in a different way than women's decreased desire for them is.


in the gender model of man-as-provider, the real disqualifier is the unemployment.


I'd assert that not living anywhere near you is a similar impediment. If women can find local employment, but men have to move into the cities, even if everyone's employed that's going to affect the number of marriages.


Alcoholics and junkies cause way more trouble to their families then people who are just unemployed.


Right. An Alcoholic with a job will still be able to provide for his family even though he beats them too.


My Dad was an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. A pretty serious one, but functional. But he held down a white-color job at a shipping company for which he was paid pretty well, and we lived a pretty comfortable lifestyle.

He always had a temper - he gave us lots of spankings. By some measures, maybe he was abusive, but he never hit us or left bruises with his belt. He just tending to give out those "whooping" at the drop of a hat if he'd had too much to drink.

Then he lost his job when the major job provider in town closed. He kept trying to find a new one, but it was never a good one. For someone that had spent 15 years making good money at something he was apparently pretty good at, working menial low-paying jobs was devastating to him.

His alcoholism got worse, and pretty soon he wasn't able to hold down even the menial jobs. Needless to say, my parents marriage fell apart.


Assuming he don't spend all money on alcohol, which is pretty easy with low income and assuming employer won't get tired of paying alcoholic.

Domestic violence is something that is even more different - living with such person is spectacularly bad idea and directly dangerous.


I haven't seen the statistics, so I do not know. However,for pregnant young women, marring alcoholic or junkie is freaking stupid idea. Marrying unemployed to soldier on together makes more sense.


> I haven't seen the statistics, so I do not know. However,for pregnant young women, marring alcoholic or junkie is freaking stupid idea. Marrying unemployed to soldier on together makes more sense.

Not necessarily. A woman might be better off holding out for someone with a job. Especially when she isn't already pregnant.


From the perspective of a woman who'd like to marry, those are the same thing.

I'd challenge TFA's "men less desirable" summary, however. Some men are less desirable, but that would seem to make others that much more desirable.


Well, given the 18 -> 40% single mother increase, it's not a zero sum game. Not all women who would have married from the factory worker pool are now marrying into the white collar pool; many of them are simply choosing not to marry.


Isn't that just what PUA types describe as alpha? More and more female attention going towards a smaller pool of males?


There are definitely groups of men that feel this is the case and that they have been wronged. Good articles on how this manifests online are https://thebaffler.com/salvos/new-man-4chan-nagle and https://www.salon.com/2015/10/08/toxic_masculinity_is_tearin...


"Good" articles, linking to extreme degenerate pedophilia propaganda site, the Salon[1].

Where were their toxic Islam and toxic homophobia articles following the Orlando shooting? They like to rant about toxic masculinity only after shootings done by white males[2]. Yet not a peep about it when it's Cho Seung Huis or Omar Mateens doing the shootings.

[1] http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/02/salon-shouldnt-have-unp...

[2] http://www.salon.com/2013/11/01/why_is_always_a_white_guy_th...


Excuse me? Did you even read the NYMag article you posted? Allow me to provide some quotes:

"Now, as Hoffner and Salon surely know, things live forever on the internet, so you can still read the original Nickerson article here. And doing so makes it clear that Salon took a silly, overly risk-averse approach here, likely caving to a chorus of voices who willfully misunderstood the article. That’s unfortunate, since this was a brave and important article to publish — one the site should be proud of rather than try, futilely, to toss down the memory-hole."

Later:

"No reasonable reader could construe this as pro-pedophilia. Nickerson is explicitly saying his condition has hampered his life immensely and that he is simply hoping to scratch out a decent existence without hurting anybody. That’s the entire point of the article — nowhere does he defend sexual contact between adults and minors. Why, then, was his article deleted? It sounds like Salon won’t ever provide an explanation."

After reading your comment, you're the only one that's coming off like a propagandist.


> that would seem to make others that much more desirable.

I was thinking the same thing. Hooray for being marriage material.


> TFA

Not familiar with that acronym.

Care to elucidate?


Generally understood to use this first definition: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=TFA


The remainder of the paragraph and the next:

"Fewer men were working in manufacturing, which tended to mean their wages were lower than they had been when manufacturing had more of a presence in their area. And their wages were not significantly higher than women’s wages, which they had been during the heyday of manufacturing. (Fewer women worked in manufacturing in the first place, so they were less affected by the shocks.)

"This made the men less appealing to the women, the authors suggest—so there were fewer marriages. They find that trade shocks reduced the share of young women who were married, and reduced the number of births per woman."

In terms of marriage candidates, those are the same problem (except those who had moved elsewhere).


Ms. Semuels, it seems, places them in the same mental category.


Yeah, I guess. But actually, that's a pretty standard characterization, I think.

Me, I'm amused by the title of George Lakof's Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind . But actually, it turns out that "Women are not dangerous things", according to Plaster and Polinsky (2007).[0]

0) http://scholar.harvard.edu/mpolinsky/files/Dyirbal.pdf


That's by the way among the only books I've bought due to the title alone, without knowing what it was about.

And it was an interesting read (basically about categories/measure words/collective nouns, "families" of meaning or "radial" categories, and rejection of the good old Aristotelian notion of definition as membership in a class together with some more specific boolean predicate, e.g. "a bachelor is a man that is not married").

Anyways, great title, great book. Interesting paper you posted, though I don't recall whether Lakoff actually made the case that Dyirbal speakers saw women as dangerous. The paper suggests that "there is no synchronic conceptual association among all of the items in a given gender class; in particular, the smaller subsets within a class do not need to be radially related to the semantic core. The overall class membership is motivated only diachronically, and even then not necessarily on semantic grounds." - would Lakoff disagree?


I read the book decades ago, so ... But no, I don't recall that he argued that Dyirbal speakers thought of women as dangerous. It was just a sensational title. And that's why I cited the paper.

For what it's worth, I read it together with Illuminatus! by Shea and Wilson and Lessing's Canopus in Argos series, and found the mix immensely transformational :)


AIDS causes deaths, and car crashes cause deaths. Am I putting them in the same category? Is that wrong to do? Getting breast implants requires general anesthesia and a lung transplant requires general anesthesia. Am I putting them in the same category? Is that wrong to do?

Birds fly and planes fly.


For instance, dudes that joined military or found work in different city are not on local marriage market, but they are marriageable wherever they currently are.


I can't tell if you agree or disagree. But yes, those things. :)


I find it odd that the article manages to completely ignore/miss the effect of welfare and the change in incentives it may result in. Also, it appears that statistically, single mothers are much more likely to vote Left than Right.

In the sci-fi movie Advantageous, a future society with a lot more automation, has high unemployment rates. Recruitment (which in the movie is mostly done by AI) eventually evolves to a consensus whereby most jobs are assigned to men because otherwise society would become a lot more dangerous to everyone.

EDIT: References:

[1] 74% of single mothers voting Democrat

[2] one quarter voting Republican

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/single-mothers-give-... [2] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opinion/sunday/single-moth...


> Also, it appears that statistically, single mothers are much more likely to vote Left than Right.

If you're married to the state, then you vote for more of the state. It's one of the many examples where liberty has been eroded in recent decades, but few talk about it because it's a sensitive topic.


Ah yes, the sweet liberty of being unable to provide for your children. Welfare is a pitifully small percent of the budget compared to military, health, and education not to mention the massive amounts of corporate welfare that happens ("I'll get those taxes down for you"). But you're right it's the left voting single moms that erode our liberty. What about the right-voting single moms? Are they "welfare queens" eroding our liberty too or are they just good people who had to make a tough choice?


That is a straw man argument. Saying that a lot more money is spent elsewhere does not refute the potential effects of welfare.

Also claiming that tax reduction is a form of welfare if very disingenuous since basically that would mean the State would be entitled to take all of your profit by default... meaning any amount of profit allowed would be welfare.


It's not a "straw man", it's more like reductio ad absurdum.

And if you'll remember the 1990s, the entire plan to cut welfare benefits was premised on the Earned Income Tax Credit taking up the slack. Which actually worked in some ways though, if anything, it makes it easier for single mothers to provide for a family by working a low wage job. Which has distorted the "marriage market" though in different ways from the welfare benefit.


[flagged]


Yup, I just looked up "dumbass" and it's not nice. Way to go in trying to keep the discussion civil.

If you were paying attention, you would see I never said I was against welfare. Only that you can't have a decent debate on this subject and completely ignore it.


>Welfare is a pitifully small percent of the budget compared to military

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism


You aren't looking this from a bigger picture. The more infrastructure that is put in place to protect single parents, the more infrastructure that gets in the way for standard families. Basic building blocks for society like marriage become less appealing because the state is too involved in the process.

It doesn't really matter how much welfare costs (obviously it should kept under control like military, health and education) and that's why I didn't mention that aspect. All I'm concerned about is the state becoming so involved in an individual's life, that it nannies them like a parent.


>The more infrastructure that is put in place to protect single parents, the more infrastructure that gets in the way for standard families. Basic building blocks for society like marriage become less appealing because the state is too involved in the process.

Huh? Marriage itself is a legal construct by the state, no different than a corporation. Is a corporation a "basic building block for society" too? Should it be? What makes you think marriage is such a great thing that society should be dependent upon it? Statistics show that it's a massive gamble, and you're more likely to lose with it than you are to benefit. On top of that, the risks are enormous: child support, alimony, and in many cases, bankruptcy.

>All I'm concerned about is the state becoming so involved in an individual's life, that it nannies them like a parent.

That's funny, coming from someone who obviously supports marriage, which is absolutely an example of the state nannying people and becoming involved in an individual's life. Try going through a contested divorce and tell me the state wasn't involved.

The simple fact is that your "standard familes" are a complete and utter failure. Society needs an all-new paradigm, because clinging to this archaic institution clearly isn't working.


Absolutely. For a country referred to as "the land of the free" you surely have a lot of "sensitive topics". As soon as I posted my comment, I started getting down-voted. I believe the post was quite factual, not offensive in any way or prejudicial, so I can only imagine it was affecting someone's sensitivity.


Why do you attribute it to welfare instead of the habitual villainization of single mothers by Republicans? I wouldn't vote for someone who disparages my life situation, particularly if it were a difficult one.


I'm not claiming that welfare is what it should be attributed to. Just saying that I think it should be part of the debate anytime anyone looks into these social issues like the article above does.


> habitual villainization of single mothers by Republicans

This is the first I'm hearing of this. I know the right is against "leeches," but I've yet to see them single out single mothers.

Unless you're referring to undertones in their (Republicans') way of conduct. If so, then I wouldn't expect single mothers to be able to recognize the subtlety.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_queen

That kind of language, in various forms, has been a dogwhistle of the right since Reagan started saying it at campaign rallies.


I wasn't able to find a way to calculate the prevalence of "welfare queen," but off-hand that phrase doesn't come up too often in the mainstream.



Here's ngram -- a measure of use in books: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=%22welfare+que...


That was going to be my go-to, but I remembered that search popularity != usage.

Though, I am surprised that the term is hovering around 25%.


"Could your comment possibly be any more obtuse and offensive?" asks this single mother with a PhD.


Or, you know, given how wed conservatives have been to the Evangelicals, you tend not to vote for people that tell you you're a sinner and demonize your lifestyle. Homosexuals similarly vote more Left than Right.


I'm not convinced of the effect, especially in the context of single mothers and divorce. Welfare would seem to decrease the incentive to divorce an unemployed husband. I've also seen claims that just 100-150 years ago a lower proportion of men were married, and far more died childless, which would go against the narrative trend if true (but who knows if they are).


I tend to agree with you in that case. Was not aware of your historical claims. Interesting to know.


That's because women don't decide to have children in order to get welfare, they decide to get welfare because they got pregnant. Also, as a community starts to go downhill, couples often have less access to birth control and other family planning options, especially those who are "just getting by" to begin with.

The only people who actually seem to think that welfare causes these problems, are the ones who don't think we should be paying welfare. People who are on welfare or know those on that kind of assistance know better.


Some people from former Yugoslavia mentioned that during the war all women clustered around the few men that had means for survival and who led gangs or were involved in all kinds of shady business bringing in resources. I guess the effect described in the article is similar.


It's similar to the entirety of human history, minus the last little bit. The notion of most men finding female partners is a relatively recent development. Throughout most of our history, most men haven't procreated. There was a story posted here a while back that cited DNA analysis to show that humans have roughly twice as many female ancestors as male ancestors. Apparently, the historical averages are around 80% of females that reproduced and only around 40% of males that did. It sounds like we experienced a brief period of middle-class prosperity that made that phenomenon far less pronounced and we're now seeing a regression back to the norm.

I'm not making a value judgment or saying we should want this disparity, just pointing out that throughout our history, it's mostly been this way.


It would be interesting to see studies on this. Intuitively this makes sense - in times of societal breakdown, the ability to violently compete for resources will return as a key signal of fitness


I hate to sound this much politically incorrect but women in these times of social unrest and upheaval turn into resources themselves and this clustering, as you described it, would be more of involuntary and less of at will.

This doesn't mean that women in these situations wouldn't tend to gravitate toward the most power male with the largest resources in the pack but in most case it's the other way around.


Which is really more politically incorrect to say, that women are basically looking for a man to provide for them, or that, more or less, pimps are survivors?


It sounds like manufacturing jobs left, so the men have no jobs, but the women still have jobs. Yes?

Why won't the men compete for the jobs the women are getting?

Alternatively, the men could stay home and take care of the kids while the women work at the jobs they have, providing the stable two-parent household.

It seems like a large portion of the problem is tied up in men's idea of what constitutes a "manly" role. I don't mean to trivialize the difficulty of changing one's perspective, but changing diapers has to be a better option than dying from an Oxycontin overdose doesn't it?


No matter how much feminism pretends otherwise, women are not keen to form lasting relationships with unemployed men.

The reality on the ground is that many women consider extended unemployment a good-enough reason to end a marriage.

A cynical but not unrealistic view is that humans tend to display loyalty to performed roles in relationships, not to individuals.

If one individual stops performing their assigned role, the relationship ends.


I read an article recently saying that women want men to be the breadwinners and they also want them to do the housework. We can't win.

http://on.mktw.net/2li9AOT


The state has taken the place of the father as the primary bread-winner amongst the working class in the west. Prior to universal welfare most women would never have risked pregnancy outside a stable relationship because of the financial risks. There are no risks now, in fact there is actually an incentive single mothers get more money via state benefits that a single women with similar qualifications can earn in work.


We can, through automation of /everything/.

When there is no more work, in the house or out, all that is left is room for enlightenment or self-destruction.


    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.
I rather think the choices are self-destruction through violent conflict and self-destruction through lack of purpose/lethargy. But maybe that's only nation states. Or maybe I just have an unreasonably glum view of human nature.


> A cynical but not unrealistic view is that humans tend to display loyalty to performed roles in relationships, not to individuals.

>If one individual stops performing their assigned role, the relationship ends.

This is a very succinct way to describe reality.

Thank you for stating it so clearly.


This may be true now, but there's a trend of women accepting that a man earns less (or even sometimes doesn't have a job) as long as she doesn't yet want to have a baby, and the man looks hot. It's still all about supply and demand.


In my experience the baby has nothing to do with it - I know at least 3 women who have married that guy+, and now have a happy marriage and a kid. 1 of them even describes himself as a house husband with a side gig. Money isn't everything - particularly if you have lots of it.

+ well hot, smart, and having lived interesting lives by 35. That describes all 3 of them.


Seriously, where can I find those? It seems to be an incredibly good and responsible attitude that would radically change the face the world, and, as a man, I'm dying to see such behavior happen. Does this trend have newspapers or forums where they share this positive attitude, so I can witness it and bump up my faith in my future?


I think if you go 5 days a week to the gym for 2 years, and eat what's needed to get muscular, they will find you.


Provided you are of the right shade of color and tall enough.


> No matter how much feminism pretends otherwise, women are not keen to form lasting relationships with unemployed men.

I am a feminist man and I would not be keen to form a lasting relationship with an unemployed woman unless she was already wealthy.


It's not even an issue of feminism or any other -ism.

It's statistics and sociology.

The last time I saw data on this, that was one of the most common causes.


I spoke to a divorce lawyer and as someone getting married in a few months I asked him what made marriages fail. He said that "It's mostly out of your control, when men come in it is mostly because their wife has been unfaithful. When women come in it is mostly because the man has lost his job." He also said that women seem to tolerate a great deal of infidelity on the part of the man up until the point where he stops earning.

Sort of makes me glad that I met my fiancee while I was very poor, hopefully I set the bar rather low.


If I knew my wife was considering divorcing me because because I lost my job, she wouldn't have to consider it any longer because I'd get the ball rolling.

I suspect that there are deeper compatibility issues at play and major events like infidelity or job loss just act as catalysts for divorce.


It's comforting to think that, but human nature is what it is. The typical woman would not immediately hire a divorce lawyer if her husband lost his job, but after a year or two she'd definitely be thinking she could do better (regardless of "fault").


I just think that's a very reductionist outlook.

Humans are complicated. They have a lot of different needs that all have complex relationships with one another. Everyone experiences theses needs to varying degrees. If the needs that aren't adequately satisfied aren't outweighed by those that are, then it's reasonable for a person to start looking elsewhere to satisfy those needs.

If my wife became a huge economic burden and wasn't contributing anything else to the relationship, then after a year or two I'd definitely be thinking I could do better.


If that were true, would it not be equally likely that husbands would initiate divorces when their wives lost their jobs, and women would initiate divorces when their husbands cheat? (I.e., a contradiction of GP's claim - but your comment doesn't sound like you intend to contradict him, but only explain the behavior he described.)

You could begin to support such an explanation by pointing out that less women work and so less women are able to lose jobs and so less men divorce them because of it. But that only explains half of the divorce inequalities described by GP. Do men really cheat significantly less than women?

So we arrive at a point where either it's more socially acceptable for women to divorce men because of job loss than the reverse (GP correct), or it's more socially acceptable for women to cheat than men (GP incorrect).

Conversely, either it's more socially acceptable for men to divorce women for cheating than the reverse (GP correct), or it's more socially acceptable for women to be unemployed than men (GP incorrect).

Interesting!

Of course, this is all based on anecdote. Also maybe I oopsed and strawmanned inadvertently.


If he were honest he would have identified another category of woman: she has put up with her husband while building her career, but now that she has either succeeded or satisfied herself that she won't, she has had one or more kids and realized she doesn't have to stay married to receive the benefits of her husband's labor. Maybe there have been some recent 911 calls about "domestic violence"?

Although, as you say, that's still out of the husband's control.


What dates do you go on when you were dating her and poor? How did you leave "poverty"?


I think the best dates are essentially free. Go to a park with a bed sheet with the lunch you were going to eat anyway for example. That's only bus fare or gas as an input cost. Going to a bar and screaming over the music while you get shitfaced is no way to get to know someone.

As for how I got out of it. I got someone to give me my first job in IT. I was a cook prior to that. I'm not wealthy but I pretty much have everything I need.


What was the IT job like? I never heard of anyone going from cook to IT. Congrats.


I was the Sysadmin for a number of medical offices. I did a brief stop working in a colourant lab prior to that but cooked for nearly a decade prior.

Thank you.


What training or certifications did you participate in?


"...feminism pretends otherwise..."

Source?


Good point but there's nothing that precludes these assigned/expected roles in a LT relationship from changing or evolving in the future and for persons in the relationship to adapt to the new dynamics and realities.


Many of these thing are deep atavistic behaviours well rooted in our evolutionary past.

Very difficult to change in any meaningful way.

You'll have outliers, but statistically it will be insignificant.


Women who don't date men without a job are like men won't date a woman with a career. There's plenty of sexism on both sides.


The simple reality is that women do not respect men they have to provide for.


Feminism, the advocation of equal social and political rights for women? What does that have to do with wanting to form lasting relationships with unemployed men?


Because traditional gender roles dictate that the man in the relationship to be the breadwinner and being a bum doing nothing all day long wouldn't bode well for the woman in the relationship and given that feminists are against the status quo and traditional gender roles, it would look hypocritical that they disqualify a male suitor or partner for a romance or LT relationship based on their LT employment outlook or prospects.


There's a big gap between not-being-a-breadwinner and being a bum. My sister's ex stopped working and stopped looking for work. That in itself wouldn't have been bad -- they were financially ok. But, she would still come home from her long day of work and do the dishes and laundry and cook supper (for her a chore, not a hobby). I have other friends with unemployed husbands where the dad does 90% of the childcare and most of the housework, and that seems to work out pretty well. People like a team effort, regardless of who is doing what.


This. It is very common for guys who are out of work to be much less productive around the house despite having more time available to dedicate to housework. Tons of guys are not brought up doing housework and being detail-oriented about this stuff, so in a lot of relationships where the guy is at home more often (for whatever reason), he doesn't know how to pick up the slack at home.

I'm not saying this is because those guys are dumb or lazy or malicious; I have trouble with it and don't consider myself those things. My girlfriend and I try to split stuff up evenly (we both have jobs and neither of us likes housework, so we try to be fair), but I still find it hard to remember to do certain things that she has been doing for years (e.g. remembering to clean the toilet bowl), or I will not prioritize certain other things that she makes sure to do promptly (e.g. I will wait longer to do laundry). I am trying to pull my weight, but I can definitely tell that I am catching up to her in housework productivity. And, from most anecdotes I hear, this is a very common (though obviously not universal) phenomenon.

This is not to say that there are not other things wrapped up in this (people are attracted to roles, and I am sure plenty of women in traditional subcultures find jobless men just plain unattractive regardless of their value in other dimensions). But I can definitely see why someone who is already going to have to raise and provide for a kid would be reluctant to bring another person into a lifelong relationship when that other person (judging from widespread anecdotal evidence) will very likely not be much help at home while also not contributing a paycheck.


I am trying to pull my weight, but I can definitely tell that I am catching up to her in housework productivity. And, from most anecdotes I hear, this is a very common (though obviously not universal) phenomenon.

How do we know that the solution is "men should do more housework" rather than "women should do less"? Is it really a disaster if the toilet bowl gets cleaned half as often?


Housework is like a gas - it will expand to fill any volume of time that you are willing to allocate it. The dirty secret is that not doing some of it, or doing it on a more, eh, relaxed, timescale, doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

Results vary according to your & your partners levels of OCD, however...


Haha, I've always suspected that fastidious housekeeping could be a sort of Fisherian runaway [0], except it affects females more than males.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisherian_runaway


Spot on. Is a little bit of dust on the furniture going to kill you? Sure I'm not proud of it but dusting it every single week religiously isn't something to be particularly proud of either.


not only that, but new housework can be invented out of thin air to fit any sized time or money budget/surplus, which is what the entire home improvement / remodeling industry exists for.


Oh right, traditional gender roles. I thought this feminism was the advocation of equal social and political rights, but actually this is something else on top.

I seem to be an appallingly bad feminist. For me, it's about equal social and political rights, but it turns out it's really all about a whole lot of crazy stuff I don't understand. It's odd that the people who most loudly understand what feminism really is seem to be those opposed to it, and people who simply label themselves feminists (such as myself) end up mystified by where all this extra junk comes from. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps people aren't conflating advocation of equal social and political rights with a whole lot of other things, but it's generally not worth the conversation.


So have equal political and social rights been achieved yet? I'd assume that for political rights, the answer is yes. Not sure about social rights - could you elaborate?


I think you're more than capable of digging up answers to that question yourself. I do apologise if you're genuine; you seem genuine, and your website certainly paints you as a reasonable person, but I've just had too many bad experiences in such discussions online that I no longer engage in them. I'm sure you can imagine the kind of thing. HN in particular seems to suffer from it; a disturbing sense of perceived victimhood in some that poisons their conversation.


The problem with finding examples ourselves is that we don't know what you meant by the terms you used. I, for one, would have some difficulty drawing the line between "social equality" and "other stuff on top", such as getting rid of traditional gender roles.

(what I see as) the mainstream feminist position is that getting rid of traditional gender roles is essential to achieve equal social rights. It's not really equal if one can legally do a thing but everyone else will think it's innappropriate.


Thanks for giving the benefit of the doubt. What you describe as "political rights" I can get fully behind, and it seems to me we're mostly there yet. "Social rights" I'm genuinely not sure what you mean, it seems reasonable. But the problem is that a lot of contemporary feminism seems to entail a lot more (with some of which I disagree), that's why it would be important to understand what is meant by "social rights" here. But fair enough, HN might not be the best place to discuss that in detail.


It's also worth pointing out that there is no "feminism", any more than there is one "american". There are as many meanings and iterative ideas that get labeled as feminism(by originators, and relative strangers) as there are different people in this country.


Not only would it look hypocritical to not enter into a relationship because someone doesn't fit into traditional gender roles, it would disqualify one from being a feminist altogether.

That mentality is one of the reasons we need feminism. Women will only become increasingly equal to men as time goes on. If we blindly cling to antiquated, unrealistic notions of what constitutes an acceptable partner, we impede progress.


Maybe, but a lot of shit heads are unemployed, and a lot of men who become unemployed become shit heads too. I read in a related article posted here that most prime aged men who've given up on the labor market aren't doing more child care, aren't doing more work around the house, are watching more TV and using alcohol and drugs more. So, basically, they're shit heads, either because they're out of work or with that cause and effect flipped.

Edit, forgot to include the article: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13795397


Calling them shit heads for 'giving up' when they feel the deck is stacked against them is an oversimplification that avoids the issue. I think we're seeing in western culture what has been happening in Japan for the last 20 years. Herbivore men who simply evaluate the marketplace and decide giving up on working, women and a family and sticking to a life of video games is their best risk/reward option.


If you recall Maslow's hierarchy from high-school psychology, you will understand that if non-working men still have shelter and food (and television and internet in many cases) they have their most fundamental needs met. Internet (porn, games) provides sexual satisfaction and a sense of winning at something, leaving little in the way of motivational pressure to do more. TV is there as catch-all distraction in case lingering guilt remains.


Maslow's hierarchy is bunk nonsense.


Why do you think so?


The evidence doesn't justify it and there are more sophisticated theories that match up better. Furthermore the theory is quite centered around bourgeois western society. Maslow's hierarchy has a lot of prominence because it's peddled in shoddy high school curricula.

Is Wikipedia good enough?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs


No, no I was calling them shit heads for their personality. This idea of a chronically out of work man whose wife leaves him isn't necessarily false, but also that it doesn't mean his wife left him because he's chronically out of work but because maybe he's a jerk. My mom and dad were married 30 years and for almost all that time my dad didn't work. She did leave him though, when he developed a meth habit and became delusional. Even though he didn't work, he did raise us kids, he did the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking, he ran the household. In other words he did what should be expected of someone in a genuine partnership: nothing more and nothing less than what he was able to do of what was needed. When he stopped doing that the partnership dissolved.

This "women want a higher earner" picture is a bit crude, and applying it to this situation ignores that men are often ass holes who aren't interested in a genuine partnership, and that category has some overlap with the chronically out of work.


Women are a lot more likely to go to college than men. [0] If you work in a factory, or planned to, you probably didn't go to college.

For all the attention that is given to the lack of women in CS and Engineering the story in aggregate for all majors is that women outnumber men at colleges. It's been that way since 2000 and the trend has continued in the past 17 years. Its to the point where women outnumber men two to one at some large schools like UNC which are, for example, 60% female. [1]

[0] https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/fashion/07campus.html


Unfortunately one of the results of that trend has been a lot of young women with less-than-useful degrees and mountains of student loan debt, working rather low-paying jobs. Which, to be brutally honest, makes them rather unattractive marriage partners, all other things being equal.


Very important point. Unequal distribution in higher education will exacerbate the issues raised in this post. Unfortunately, we are looking at a near future where increasingly large percentage of unemployed people in the West will be young, sexually unsuccessful males.


Did you ever hear of a man losing his job, or getting ill, then shortly after his wife leaving? It's quite common.

It's very much both sex's perspective of role. Clichéd it may be, but there's a truth behind women preferring men with money, power or strength, or a combination of all.


> Did you ever hear of a man losing his job, or getting ill, then shortly after his wife leaving? It's quite common.

Okay well how exactly "common" is it?

> but there's a truth behind women preferring men with money, power or strength, or a combination of all.

And men prefer attractive women...so what?

The majority of these men are uneducated and unemployed. The article states many are HIGH SCHOOL drop outs.

I'm a male. and I can tell you right now that I probably would not marry a female high school drop out.

The problem to me is not the women. it's that boys are being left behind in school and more work needs to be done to educate and re-purpose males from unskilled drones to skilled or white collar workers.


It's worth noting that job loss often results in depression, especially if finding another job isn't easy for the person. That also tends to be a reason for divorce.


The depression results from failing to meet societal expectation. For example, he fears his wife and society at large thinks he's a bum now. Whether or not it's true, the depression is a result of the gender role.


Yeah, I've been saying this for 25 years... And that "Better Homes and Gardens" is just porn for females.


The thing is, if men switch roles with women, they will not be picked by them. Men are not selected for their capacity to stay at home raising kids. This will not change. So while what makes women attractive to men is still working (more than ever! Just look at Instagram), the opposite isn't holding true anymore. What is the man women are looking for now? The one with hundreds of thousands of instagram followers and gorgeous pictures. They just wanna enjoy this same fake happiness online together. How long is this behavior be mainstream? I don't know. What comes next can be even worse.


Humans are half-way between a tournament species and a pair-bonding species. Pair-bonding species certainly do select males for their ability to raise children. So to you I say, not all women!


Raising children as in a man raising a children: providing, protecting, inspiring, been a role model. Not preparing food or babysitting. I agree with the final part, though: not all women. but biologically, the separation of roles is really well defined by past evolution. Perhaps we are heading in a different path now, and I guess that we'll be able to understand it only retrospectively.


Otherwise said, you go to work and don't do anything child related at home - oh, except projecting the "I am awesome look at me" level of confidence. (How else do you 'inspire' when you refuse to spend time caring about them.)

Frankly, I would not want such father for my children.


Would you want an unemployed dude who smokes weed all day? Because that's the choice you're offered here! b^)


He/she wants a man that works, provides, inspires, has no vicious and also raise children. The very projected perfect man that is making men become less desirable partners.

While men still puts women's beauty as top (only?) priority.


Projected world != real world


You seem to conflate flicks or one-night stands and LT relationships. From my experience, women tend to choose marriage partners who are well-off and this is very understandable esp. in societies which are barely above the survival level or where women don't enjoy the full benefits and opportunities available to men.


I'm dating a gorgeous inspired woman. She doesn't have a Facebook account or an Instagram. I don't have a full time job. We have been living with my parents to save money during the winter, and bike touring / camping during the summer.


That is incredibly naive. Most women with a stay-at-home man become resentful and see them as a drain on their resources. They rarely succeed even if the man does the child raising household chores etc. Of course there are plenty of successful cases but they're in the minority. The reason why women don't marry men who don't earn more than them is because they want a successful guy, and by that they mean one that can earn more than them.


> Why won't the men compete for the jobs the women are getting?

Because different people are suited to different jobs. Why didn't (and don't) women generally compete for manufacturing jobs? Because being a creative designer or HR professional or pre-school teacher or dental hygienist is something much preferred for certain types of people. Just look at the numbers [1].

Men not only don't want to do certain types of jobs, but in many cases can't - they're not well-suited for them. So even if/when they compete, they'll lose to less experienced women just entering the workforce. And vise-versa for other types of jobs with flipped genders. There are gender differences, plain and simple. You can argue why they exist, but for this discussion it's not as relevant at this point.

I would like to note that the next "industrial wave" could affect women pretty hard as well: artificial intelligence. Recruiting and HR software, health-care robotics technologies, therapist chatbots, etc, could upend the female-dominated jobs listed in [1].

> Alternatively, the men could stay home and take care of the kids while the women work at the jobs they have, providing the stable two-parent household.

Heh, I guess you haven't read many women's online dating profiles for what is acceptable in a mate and what isn't. You generally have to be higher up on the ladder (education, wealth, status, etc) to attract a woman for mating in the first place. How this manifests in data: 80% of guys are "below average"! [2]

But who needs data, ask your grandfather if he could have "stayed home and taken care of the kids while the woman works" and he'd laugh at you and tell you to stop being a sissy. They may not have been able to explain it, but older generations have typically understood more about human nature than we give them credit for.

[1] https://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/occ_gender_share_em_1020_txt.ht...

[2] https://theblog.okcupid.com/your-looks-and-your-inbox-8715c0...


What 'average' is being highlighted? Is this an actual average, or a perceived one? Either way it sounds harsh and reminds me of that XKCD comic that concluded there was no way to win 'the game of love'.


Is it just men's idea of a "man's role" that's a problem? The article seems to suggest women's preferences are also in play.


Wait, you actually think that men are just so tied up in their gender role of "manliness" to enjoy the benefits of all of the reproductive success that low-paying jobs would afford them? So basically, you think men are given the following scenarios, but are choosing option A?

A) Be a man, don't compete for women's jobs, drink beer instead of going to work, likely don't have a girlfriend or get laid because you don't have your finances in order...

B) Be less of a man, compete for women's jobs, drink less beer and more wine at dinner parties, bite your tongue about the manliness and receive willing girlfriends and sexual partners...

Anyone with any sense will laugh at this above false choice implicitly being promoted.


Or what about, examining the sense of bitterness in yourself, so that you can hold yourself in esteem at dinner parties regardless of your work, or what you happen to be drinking, and enjoy the personal connections that develops, even if they don't result in getting laid


It doesn't seem like you're understanding my comment. I don't hold myself in low esteem - and the false choice I mentioned is about the political discourse I see, not any actual person. I'm curious how you're able to establish that I'm a bitter person - this just seems ad hominem.


It's not just a changing of one's perspective. It's the destruction of your whole identity. It feels incredibly jarring and like you're going insane. It's what people with personality "disorders" have to go through to "fix" themselves to fit society.


You think it is men deciding not to marry, as in "no thanks, I'd rather be alone and unemployed than change diapers"?

The article said it is women making the decision.


Women marry up not down.


Or sideways. There's this tendency to look at the lower classes of history and assume that since we too are not 'the rich' our behaviour should follow the same patterns of our class in the past.

Today, the burden of household work has been cut to 1/10th of what it used to be, jobs are primarily intellectual, and education is paramount. The model to compare against is not the factory worker who was poor in the 1900s, and somehow due to a quirk of history became middle class in the 1950s.

We ought to compare against the gentleman class---those who in the 1900s had maids, butlers, personal transportation, and intellectual jobs akin to what we do today: management, clerking, accountancy, licensed professions, etc.

In those cases, people married sideways---intellectual women marrying men then helping to run the estate, daughters of merchants marrying other merchants and participating in the businesses, 'professional' socialites giving the entire clan a leg up by creating situations where networking was possible.

This is the position we have inherited, and if we must take lessons from the past--we should take lessons from the right class.


Sure, point is just very rarely do women marry down.


Sideways can include guys "of my class, but has fallen on hard-times". If a guy has some skills and all he really needs is a good network to help him find a job, that's fine too.

There's a lot more sideways than there is 'down'. Technically its pretty hard to even get to know people of a lower class than you; rarely do you mingle.


> is tied up in men's idea of what constitutes a "manly" role.

or in women's idea of what constitutes a "manly" role.


I haven't researched it deeply, but I wonder if it's better to assume that most two-parent families simply need two wage earners. Women tend to earn less than men, and might not be able to support kids plus a non employed husband on their income.

Anecdotally, I know at least two families in my neighborhood, in which the father stays home with the kids. One of the moms is a physician, and the other is a business executive.


The women don't have jobs either. But the state will provide a basic living if she has a child.

It's a real mess everywhere.


"Fewer men were working in manufacturing, which tended to mean their wages were lower than they had been when manufacturing had more of a presence in their area. And their wages were not significantly higher than women’s wages, which they had been during the heyday of manufacturing."


Out of topic but...

> This group includes Olivia Alfano, a 29-year-old single mother living in Evansville, Indiana, where she works as a waitress at Red Lobster. The money is pretty good, she told me: She drives a BMW and was able to buy a house last year.

Am I the only one who is surprised by that? (I don't live in the US)


Millions of Americans were "able to" buy houses in the mid-2000s. The problem is they bought these houses entirely on credit, wholly without the means to eventually pay for them. Cars are also a type of purchase Americans typically take on debt for. It is slightly more difficult to obtain a loan you shouldn't qualify for these days, but there's plenty of opportunity in the US for those who want to get in over their head.

The problem with a story like the quoted is that it presents the superficial elements of someone's lifestyle without giving any actual insight into the fundamentals (i.e., budget) on which the lifestyle is based.

So, I guess stuff like this might seem surprising to those unfamiliar with US culture. But my point is it may only seem surprising if the assumption is the person actually paid for those things. It's highly unlikely that a house, car, and kids are in the clear on a part-time waitress salary, and more likely that the person is up to her eyeballs in debt and neglected to mention it.


It's hard to say. The given information is consistent with either "nothing strange at all", OR someone who is living far above her means using credit, or has sketchy / black-market income sources.

For the "nothing strange at all" argument: Median home value in Evansville Indiana is $105700 [1] - even with a bog-standard 30 year mortgage at 4% with no down payment that's a monthly payment of only $505. A relatively small down payment ($20K via help from parents), and/or some fancy (unwise) 5/1 ARM financing could probably get you below $400/month mortgage payment. Depending on age and model and condition, a used BMW can be had for under $3K.

If she owns an above-average home and a new/expensive BMW, then I would say there are important details being left out.

[1] https://www.zillow.com/evansville-in/home-values/


In some towns, Red Lobster is a very popular resturant. Its pretty terrible, but is seen as a splurge for the lower class. With the splurge status, tips are often decent compared to other family friendly establishments. Homes are pretty cheap outside the city there. Used bmw's are dirt cheap here, for any doubt see LeMons racing, which is packed with em, at a $500 budget (sans safety gear).


Probably all on credit. If your debit to income ratio (ironically, not a measure of your actual debit to income, but of how much money you have to pay off debts every month) is good enough, and your credit score is good enough (influenced mostly by using your credit and paying things on time), you can get some pretty huge loans out of the system.

IOW, it matters less if you're living with less than a month's worth of savings, so long as you can afford the payments and have a history of making payments; so here's a BMW.


This article is quite full of narrative.

I bet she has a gigantic pile of debt and gets a lot of help from state. And alimony.


Why is it surprising? She gets alimony. In Europe she'd also get extensive state help.


I was rather surprised as well (I don't live in the US either), but the Wikipedia page for the city offers several clues: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evansville,_Indiana#Economy


An attractive woman could probably make $40,000 a year there, maybe a good bit more.

I worked at an similar restaurant back in the 2000s and cleared $25k a year working part time, mostly weekends. I'm an unattractive man. The attractive women I worked with would clear double what I made each shift.

Evansville is a cheap place to live, relative to the rest of the US. It's doable to raise a family on that salary with help from family for child care.


In addition to the other replies we have this interesting social custom in the U.S. where certain jobs have been arbitrarily recognized as worthy of extra compensation by the paying customers (tipping). So with a number of states raising minimum wage combined with tips and given the right conditions of cost of living, frugal living, and money management I could see it being pulled off.


As a general rule, the minimum wage does not apply to "tipped" jobs.

"The American federal government requires a wage of at least $2.13 per hour be paid to employees that receive at least $30 per month in tips. If wages and tips do not equal the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour during any pay period, the employer is required to increase cash wages to compensate. As of May 2012, the average hourly wage – including tips – for a restaurant employee in the United States that received tip income was $11.82."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage_in_the_United_St...


I think that you're misreading that: it states that: a different minimum wage (but still a minimum wage) applies to workers earning tips; and the standard minimum wage still applies if their wages & tips are insufficient to equal the minimum wage.

In other words, the minimum wage does apply, and even with tips the employer must pay at least some money.

Everyone I know who's ever worked for tips has tended to make quite a lot, considering.


I'd much rather the real cost just be built in to the experience. However as a single participant in the market I don't have much real hope of affecting that outcome.


I was surprised by this too. Childcare especially is very expensive where I live. It would hardly be worth going to work here.

Edit: incoherence


In the comments it was mentioned that she was arrested for involvement in a Haitian cocaine distribution ring out of Miami 7 years ago (as per an FBI press release)


The article implies that it's solely the woman's decision to marry, but the reality is more complicated. Many men are choosing not to marry since it is fraught with economic risk to do so. This has been building for a generation.

> “You don’t want to marry a man who is in all likelihood not economically viable, because it’s not a free lunch,” Autor said.

"Not economically viable" is the exact phrase used in the movie "Falling Down" by the man who was denied a loan by a bank and was arrested while the Michael Douglas character looks on sympathetically. His wife ditched him, too.


I disagree with the title and message with its overall sentiment.

Yes, old school partnerships are dying, but that doesn't make males more disposable.

If anything,it gives men and women more options and opens up our society to fine tuning. (effects of large scale single momhood/dadhood, competetive job markets and novel family and supporting social structures) the old was nice, but if a single unit can function and achieve what a complex unit used to, wed all benefit. Supposing the experiment doesn't end in failure and twist society. Though even if it does, we'll self correct. After all, nature still rules us.

It's a culture of work hard, fuck-young and marry-old(er) for partnership for the coming future, we'll see where that takes us.


That doesn't take into account the fact that (through no fault of their own, and meriting no shame), single parents are pretty systematically worse statistically than bioparents in a nuclear household. Take into account the impact of parental "abandonment" on the child, which is traumatic regardless of whether the abandonment was voluntary or not, and regardless of whether it's one parent no longer seeing a child at all, or the other parent seeing the child less because she has to work harder to provide; both count as "abandonment" emotionally, and can be traumatizing.

Single-parent families, step-families all require better parenting, management, and communication skills, since they're more complex, and these parents aren't more skilled than the average, with predictable consequences.

Check the statistics on "fatherless" households, children of single mothers perform worse on every single metric. Worse academically, commit more crime (and much more rape), more runaways, more addictions, the list goes on.

> Yes, old school partnerships are dying, but that doesn't make males more disposable.

Implies that "old school partnerships" are dying, but being replaced by something new. That's not the case. It's not a case of old-thing-evolving-into-a-new-thing. It isn't being replaced by anything, just being destroyed. I'll bet you single mothers are much less happy than married women, especially in their 50s and 60s, not to mention the increased likelihood of being abused by dates, strings of failed relationships, increased stress, and loneliness.


tbh you're preaching to the choir here, i believe in 2-parent models for the sake of spending more time with the child and nurturing it better.

that said, ill add that single parents of the past are often a result of a broken house hold. the single parents of the future will do so by choice, this will give rise to interesting dynamics, i think.

it isn;t replaced by anything right now, but crises leads to break through, we might/(most likely will?) deal with is, as nature would have us, by either coming up with a new paradigm, or breaking then reverting to (a better?) version of the old.

maybe im an optimist, but ive seen so much shit, and the world is knee deep in shit these days that i need to believe that we'll make it.

to deal with this issue i personally would suggest community (kibutz style?) child care, which ironically echoes a communist tint, to deal with time-not-spent with children. top that with corporate/workplace restructuring (ala sweden with mandatory father-time as well as mandatory mom-time off for birth) and we'd be on our way.

one issue i do see is old age and loneliness. i see so many lonely old people here in europe. for now, females are growing older and finding it more difficult to find a partner after choosing not to marry. the men are reluctant to take an older woman as a partner, and while i understand hypergamy, im not sure i understand why the older men are not taking mid-30-smth women as partners.

also, i dont understand why can't couples marry and support each other's careers and just have kids later. is it so unnatural? it might boil down to the socioeconomics of hypergamy, which is a thought that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, to think that our females are "programmed" as such is no comforting notion.


The title is a simple quantifiable assertion taken directly from the conclusion of the research [0] while your comment is just an opinion. I encourage you to read the conclusion to the paper and its supporting analysis - and then to argue with the data, or to at least propose something falsifiable.

[0] http://www.nber.org.sci-hub.cc/papers/w23173.pdf


Wow, I just looked at the title of the paper, and it's the opposite of the HN title: one is about marriage (yes, of course jobs matter a lot), the other is about relationships. Number of married years per person is declining, number of relationships without babies are increasing.


Honestly on reading the article I thought it was quite clear this was about marriage.


> Supposing the experiment doesn't end in failure and twist society. Though even if it does, we'll self correct. After all, nature still rules us.

Well that's the problem, isn't it? The self-correction is for nature to destroy us so that something else can take our place.

It's completely possible for births to be below the population replacement rate until the people die out. It already is in first world countries save for immigration, and that can't save you if the third world industrializes and automates to the point they're in the same situation.

If we don't want that to happen we may have to start finding ways to enable people to marry and have more children.


Wait, what? In a world where the population keeps increasing, automation is and will continue to drive unemployment, and environmental destruction is rampant... you're concerned that we're going to die out for lack of breeding?


You might want to look at specifically _where_ the population keeps increasing. It isn't in the West where we have modern social values but rather, um, less enlightened places. The United States is currently below replacement birth rate and Japan dramatically so.

A culture and society which devalues having children and raising them properly, even as a side effect of a nobler purpose, is one that will die out and be replaced with another.


> In a world where the population keeps increasing, automation is and will continue to drive unemployment, and environmental destruction is rampant... you're concerned that we're going to die out for lack of breeding?

Neither unemployment nor environmental destruction is incompatible with population decline.

The unemployment rate is independent of the population size, because fewer people means less demand which means proportionally fewer jobs.

And unchecked evil corporations can perfectly well automate environmental destruction and carry it out with a minimum number of people.


I don't see how factory jobs vanishing give men more options. Yes, for the lucky few who still have marketable jobs that aren't subsidized by the public sector, they have more money and options. For the vast majority of men, the job market is a much more brutal place than it was before with a lot fewer actual options.


It doesn't give men more options. It puts a lot of unexpected pressure on men to adapt.

And adaptation is a real challenge, because it may mean learning completely new technical skills as well as completely new social and political skills as well as being unusually creative and inventive - and most men have to attempt this after a very poor education and little or no mentoring or modelling of the possibilities.

In the past, men could get by fairly passively because the job-market was full of ready-made slots for them. They could turn up and fill a slot and money would start flowing.

Now the slots have to be invented before they can be filled. That immediately disenfranchises the 90% or so of the population who aren't particularly creative or entrepreneurial.

And even if a slot is invented, the odds of lasting success aren't great. Most projects fail, and failure isn't tolerated well.

So we've gone from an open job market with limited selection pressure and relatively easy rewards to a very closed and challenging job market which only works for maybe 5% of the male population - specifically unusually intelligent, creative/inventive, socially connected and/or wealthy, or just plain sociopathic men.

It's a huge, huge change, and I don't think we've even started to see the effects.


Great comment and as the father of two boys, 17 and 15, this has kept me up nights and has put some strain on my relationship with them. While both show some aptitude and modest interest in technology I don't foresee either of them pursuing a technical field.

If we eliminate STEM fields from the set of options, the prospects for young men to earn as past generations seems to be drastically reduced.


There's a real problem that's being tackled by those trials for basic income. We don't live in post war time of plenty. What scares me is thus seeming runaway information inflation and landgrabbing by people who don't rent out or up rent prices top high. People have job.. It's just that we are getting pushed to a corner.

It's not the absence of a job that'll Choke us, it's the pricing of things with ill adapted wages. I'm in IT, but still,I can see trouble down the road thst I'm trying to tackle now.

We do live in interesting times.


I understand your argument, but it assumes humans don't adapt.

So what if the coal mines close down?

We dont live in aculture where needs stop evolving. Where there's a need, there's industry of some sort.

Humans brains adapt, especially generationally.

I dont see Germany suffering any detrimental consequences of the modern workplace (where I am right now) and infact it's flourishing.

That Said, the education system and the industrial system works close together here, and it's a better system than most. So countries need to pitch in to the effort if educating it's populace for modern day jobs


> So what if the coal mines close down?

Then people need to get a very good education to get one of the new jobs. Because the old jobs are dying out, those you could get into with little education.

The problem for men? That boys fare far worse in school than girls. This gets rarely addressed, e.g. the vast difference in reading comprehension.

Boys then should just adapt? Well, whenever women seem to have a disadvantage (the whole MINT-discussion), society is supposed to fix it. Whenever men have problems, they remain their individual problems, and it's definitely their fault. No systemic forces here to be seen, move along everybody.

A last comment about Germany: The lack of jobs for unskilled workers is definitely a huge problem. It makes it incredibly difficult to integrate everybody with a, shall we say, sub-par education. Almost half of the Turkish hailing migrants in Berlin are unemployed. 75 % of them did not graduate from secondary school.


boys suck at school not because boys are bad at school, it's because school sucks and is today fine tuned for women.

there's a distinct need to revise all schooling before it's too late, tbfh. the men of old were very well educated, those who could get an education. but it was a harsh education, so the world today isn't willing to deal with it.

if boys sucked so much at reading and writing, we wouldn't have had all those male authors or male scientists. the system's whacked now, and it'll crash and crumble before it's fixed, especially in germany with their switch to MBAs, worsening school systems, and neglect of young boys (have nothing against trying to push women forward, just don't forget the boys)


>Almost half of the Turkish hailing migrants in Berlin are unemployed. 75 % of them did not graduate from secondary school.

Wow, this is staggering. Do you remember where you saw those figures? (I don't doubt them, I just want to quote them in other discussions.)


Unfortunately it's mainly German sources. I hope Google Translate can help here. They may also report different numbers, depending on who would be included in "Turkish migrants". Some address Turkish citizens (who have a work permit in Germany), some address German citizens of Turkish descent.

The numbers I used are from this article: https://www.taz.de/!5176721/

> 75 Prozent der Migranten türkischer Herkunft haben keinen Schulabschluss, fast jeder zweite ist arbeitslos.

> 75 % of migrants of Turkish descent do not graduate from school, almost every second is unemployed.

It's from 2008. Upon reflection I would expect that the situation is not as dire anymore, due to Germany's positive economic development.

In any case, the trend in Germany hints towards a dire situation in any case (2009): http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/immigration-surv...

> Some 30 percent of Turkish immigrants and their children don't have a school leaving certificate, and only 14 percent do their Abitur, as the degree from Germany's top-level high schools is called -- that's half the average of the German population.

This article from 2016 references a report from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. It states that over 40 % of the Turkish immigrants and their children only achieve a very basic school leaving certificate ("Hauptschulabschluss"). With this type of certificate, it is difficult in Germany to even get into a vocational school. Also, over 1/3 of the Turkish immigrants are poor: They earn less that 60 % of the mean income.

https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article155700942/Warum-so-vie...

https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/Datenreport/Datenre...

Out of the 3 million Turkish migrants in Germany, 275,000 have received unemployment benefits in 2015. Only people actively seeking employment are eligible for those benefits. I could not find the absolute number for Germany for this population. But for the whole of Germany, we have 39 million workers, out of a population of over 80 million. The Turkish migrants tend to be younger, so a larger percentage does not belong to the workforce yet.

I would therefore assume that the unemployment rate is around 20 % for Turkish migrants in Germany, and considerably higher in Berlin, due to the "special" economic status of Berlin as a whole. The article below is from 2001 and has them at 42 %:

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/tuerken-in-berlin-beruf-ar...

Summing up, while the specific numbers should be subject to scrutiny, the trend remains abysmal.


I see, thanks for the detailed response.


> Well, whenever women seem to have a disadvantage (the whole MINT-discussion), society is supposed to fix it.

What does MINT refer to?


Oh sorry, that's German for STEM. It's math, information science, natural science, and technology (referring to engineering).


Adaptation can take a while (particularly if its generational). Many things have to go right for it to happen smoothly. While society and people are adapting, there will likely be many workers who are unable/unwilling to re-skill to compete in other job markets. Many people will be without work as those markets will become highly competitive. They will also likely require years of university, increasing the economic load on society.

You seem to have a lot of faith in education systems in a capitalist environment. My own observations is that universities are just enrolling students in courses regardless of there being jobs available in those fields or not - as long as they are making a profit. I doubt governments can move fast enough to develop proper education systems to educate the population for modern day jobs.


The government sticking its nose in this process (among other things via student loans, leading to the escalating price of university education) is one of the things perverting the pricing signal wrt education. I have little faith in a good outcome even if (maybe especially if) governments "move fast" in this space.

The majority of the population opting out of traditional higher-ed would be a wholesale benefit to the current state of affairs, imo, as it would allow something more suitable to appear.


i do have a lot of faith, but it's in education and the human spirit in general. i don't view capitalism as a thing that'll stick around for long since it's severely predatory and wrecking havoc on the 3rd world. that said im no hippy. we need free enterprise, but we need effective oversight and better resource management, schooling included. right now we're led by blind leaders, but then again, considering this is all natural, this is the /best/ we can do /now/. we'll hopefully do better tomorrow.

systems such as the one switzerland has (tight coupling of industry and education) are not bad at all, but it requires an informed public, and more imprtantly, informed lateral-thinking politicians.

the coming crises will test us, and i believe we'll come out stronger, albeit with a few bruises and some lasting scars.


Germany is one of the few countries that has kept a manufacturing base and a manufacturing based workforce.


Partly because the German currency is severely undervalued for its economy (because it's held down by the other eurozone countries), favoring exports. In a sense, the other eurozone countries are subsidizing German exports. If the euro went away, and Germany switched back to the Mark, exports would be corrected downwards, and jobs would leave since Made in Germany wouldn't be profitable anymore.


Because Germany has protectionist tariffs similar to those Trump wants to implement. E.g it is not cheaper to outsource plants to Mexico and import BMW back to Germany.


Eastern European states fill that role in the EU, though I'm not sure how great the scale of that is.


Exactly - the scale is different. And where they can, jobs have already migrated from Germany


>> Where there's a need, there's industry of some sort.

Have you ever talked to people who live in the projects? They have little hope. There is no "industry of some sort".


That's a different issue all together. The very rich and the very poor are a unique clustering, but not at all fixed. Generationally, they're not stuck. There is movement in those clusters.

I view these two minorities as a result of governmental neglect,corruption or/and policy.

Can you argue about how the topic at hand affects them? Maybe I don't follow your argument well enough.


As you said, they adapt "generationally".

If we assume that means the next generation adapts, what's the current one to do with its remaining 40-60 years, except for voting for Trump?


well, that's a very interesting problem to solve, isn't it :>


Wasn't there a bit of a kerfluffle when West Germany was integrating with Eat Germany?

"Generationally" is the key word in your comment.


yes, yes it is. i am hopeful for the future, but i do worry for the present.

what do you suggest we do about it? i have a few plans after im done with my studies which include education centers, but ill need to delve deeper into the issue first, something my studies currently don't allow.


What are the options for men who want to have a family/live with their children?

I guess men who just want to have sex might benefit, because they can just sleep with women and then leave, and society takes care of the single moms. Likewise, women can have more sex with varying partners.

The downside is not having a family or having a stressful family life (as a single mom).

And for the absent dads, the state will try to get the money back from them, so their outlook isn't pretty. They'll bend up being poor and lonely.


The main downside is for the children. Believe me, you would not want to be the child of such a man or such a woman.[0] This is worse than lack of iodine, lead in the pipes, or congenital deformities from pregnant drug abuse. It's a societal time-bomb.

[0]: http://www.fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequen...

Some statistics:

> Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.

> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

> Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

> Children age 10 to 17 living with two biological or adoptive parents were significantly less likely to experience sexual assault, child maltreatment, other types of major violence, and non-victimization type of adversity, and were less likely to witness violence in their families compared to peers living in single-parent families and stepfamilies.

The "gender roles" crowd is deeply dogmatic and misguided, and it's having incredible consequences.


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