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AMERICA’S QUIET CATASTROPHE... THE COOLAPSE OF WORK –FOR MEN.
and the dramatic, continuing expansion of a class of nonworking males constitutes a fundamentally new and unfamiliar sort of crisis for America. The progressive detachment of ever-larger numbers of adult men from the reality and routines of regular paid labor poses a self-evident threat to our nation’s future prosperity. It can only result in lower living standards, greater economic disparities, and slower economic growth than we might otherwise expect. And the troubles posed by this male flight from work are by no means solely economic.
It is also a social crisis – and a moral crisis. The growing incapability of grown men to function as breadwinners cannot help but undermine the American family. It casts those who nature designed to be strongest into the role of dependents – on their wives or girlfriends, on their aging parents, or on government welfare. Among those who should be most capable of shouldering the burdens of civic responsibilities, it instead encourages sloth, idleness, and vices perhaps more insidious. Whether we choose to recognize it or not, this feature of the American condition – the new “men without work” normal – is inimical to
By Nicholas Eberstadt
American Consequences 75
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