America's 'detached men' pandemic
Thursday, September 22, 2016
The presidential election shifted into high gear after Labor Day. On Nov. 8, the nation will elect a new president, either Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
And while the candidates hurl epithets laced with generalities and discount credible questions of veracity, respectively, perhaps the biggest issue of the election largely goes unaddressed.
The Federal Reserve continues to do the nation a great disservice — as it gives the government fiction business a great boost — as it claims the United States is at or near "full employment." But that is, in a word, daft.
As Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, reminds, "During the past half-century, work rates for U.S. males spiraled relentlessly downward.
"America now is home to a vast army of jobless men who are no longer even looking for work — roughly 7 million of them age 25 to 54, the traditional prime working life," Mr. Eberstadt writes in his forthcoming book "Men Without Work: America's Invisible Crisis."
Mr. Trump waves his hand as if it's a magic wand, vowing to put America to work again. Mrs. Clinton appears to think that installing a gazillion solar panels in her first term will solve all our ills, if not remove crow's feet.
These members of the "Idle Army" are the "detached men" of America, Eberstadt says. And their detachment, and their numbers, are growing. No nation can survive such a pandemic.