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Economists have long struggled to explain why a growing proportion of men in the prime of their lives are not employed or looking for work. A new study has found that nearly half of these men are on painkillers and many are disabled.

The working paper by Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist, casts light on this population, which grew during the recession that started in 2007. As of last month, 11.4 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 — or about seven million people — were not in the labor force, which means that they were not employed and were not seeking a job. This percentage has been rising for decades (it was less than 4 percent in the 1950s), but the trend accelerated in the last 20 years.

Continue reading:  Millions of Men Are Missing From the Job Market

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2 thoughts on “Millions of Men Are Missing From the Job Market

  1. “And federal and state governments could focus economic initiatives where long-term joblessness is highest, especially in the South, Southwest and Midwest.”

    It should come as no surprise that these are the areas significantly impacted by Southernomics, where the goal is to “break their spirit.”

    “Southernomics” is an economic policy honed in the Old South, is spreading across the United States, says Lind, author of “Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.”

    The Old South didn’t just give the nation the Confederate flag, “Gone with the Wind” and mint juleps. Its leaders refined the practice of exploiting workers, busting unions and being stingy with investments in public services. Each tactic was designed to create a desperate and powerless workforce…”

    Measures that would make life easier for ordinary workers — guaranteed health care, unemployment benefits, minimum wage laws — are all opposed under Southernomics because they make workers less dependent on their employers, Lind says.
    “If you have free universal health care and free education supported by public school taxes, then you have more bargaining power with your bosses,” Lind says.

    “But if everything is privatized, and ordinary Americans have to pay for everything through their wages, then they’re at the mercy of their employers. If the workers know they’ll be ruined if they lost their jobs, they’re not going to be uppity. You want to break their spirit.”

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