America is now home to an immense army of jobless men no longer even looking for work ...”

According to Eberstadt, we are subsidizing sloth among the very

what we think of ordinarily as adult responsibilities not only as breadwinners, but as parents, family members, community members and citizens,” writes Eberstadt. “Having largely freed themselves of such obligations, they fill their days in the pursuit of more immediate sources of gratification.” No, they aren’t taking care of their kids while their wife is at work. That’s because most aren’t married; they’re single. The primary source of gratification is watching television and movies. Who are these jobless men? Many tend to be unmarried. Some live with their aging parents. Many are felons who have served time and have been released from jail; or convicted felons who did not serve time in jail. About 10 percent of men without work are pursuing some form of education or training that might lead to a job. Black men are more than twice as likely to constitute the “un- So what are these men doing?

worker” than white or Latino men. And disability benefits — both temporary and permanent — are a major source of income for working age men who neither have a job nor are looking for one. How can they do it? Eberstadt says they live off the employed, or on food stamps, and 63 percent of them received some form of social support or disability from state or federal government agencies. “A Depression-scale collapse in employment for men, which is what we are witnessing today, could have far- reaching and highly destructive reverberations, regardless of why these workless men no longer hold down jobs,” warns Eberstadt. “Imagine how different our country would be if another 9 to 10 million American men — most of them in prime working age — held down paying jobs today.”

segment of society who can, and should, be working. Meanwhile, federal income- tax paying workers — roughly half the population — pull the wagon for both the employed and jobless; hardly a “fair” and equitable equation. Eberstadt’s real attack is on America’s too-generous social welfare state, which he sees as the real culprit for weak labor force participation. It isn’t laziness that’s destroying male culture, argues Eberstadt; it’s the nanny state. For Eberstadt, the solution to men without work is more small businesses and fewer government social giveaways. Specifically, Eberstadt suggests reducing disability insurance, food stamps and Medicaid, which he claims encourages sloth and turns able-bodied workers into slackers with low self-esteem.

Crisis of Masculinity “These men appear to have relinquished

ATTOM Data Solutions • P17

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