Sunday, May 28, 2017
I was shocked to read in The Atlantic that "Nationally, around 23 percent of men ages 23 to 54 are not working . . ." This would be the age when traditionally most men would be working. Maybe a few at the lower end were still students pursuing postgraduate degrees but the observation can be made that if a man is not working during that age span, when then? The location covered in the article is the mid-west United States, an area that has experienced a severe decline in manufacturing jobs.
The article is entitled The Lonely Women of the Rust Belt and there are some overtones of the dated perspective that women are lonely without a man, a traditional man with a job who is able to fix things around the house. But others might observe that the family is the time honoured unit of society without which things start to fall apart or at least crack around the edges. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It can be hard to be a single parent and a society without children would be lacklustre.
If it were only a slowdown in the economy it would be difficult enough for many to overcome but a byproduct has been an opioid and heroin epidemic. Many people are dying of overdoses. Which came first the unemployment or the drug addiction? It is difficult to suss that out.