The NY Times has a long article about Men Not Working, and Not Wanting Just Any Job. There's a silent trend happening that escapes the data gnomes of Bureau of Labor Statistics, namely the growing number of dropouts from the work force.
Millions of men… in the prime of their lives, between 30 and 55 — have dropped out of regular work. They are turning down jobs they think beneath them or are unable to find work for which they are qualified, even as an expanding economy offers opportunities to work.
Wait. I'm in the prime of my life? Nevermind…
I'm not sure I like news that some men my age are taking the easy way out of their career misfortunes by retiring early. The two mentions of mortgaging homes in order to fund their laxity are abrading my sensibilities. Isn't that abusing the system? No wonder my insurance costs are higher every year.
And no mention is made in the article about how these men afford things for their children. I smell a Baby Boomer bugaboo here, in the selfishness of kicking back just because your future didn't pan out the way it "should have."
“These are men forced to compete to get back into the work force, and even then they cannot easily reconstruct what many lost in a former job,” said Thomas A. Kochan, a labor and management expert at the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “So they stop trying.”
It's one thing if you've either made enough money to justify the move, or if you've sufficiently downsized your lifestyle to accommodate a shrinking income. Increasingly, though, these Deadbeat Dudes are riding the welfare train besides over mortgaging themselves in order to pay for the privilege of kicking back.
Instead, [one man] supports himself by borrowing against the rising value of his Los Angeles home. Other men fall back on wives or family members.
But the fastest growing source of help is a patchwork system of government support, the main one being federal disability insurance, which is financed by Social Security payroll taxes. The disability stipends range up to $1,000 a month and, after the first two years, Medicare kicks in, giving access to health insurance that for many missing men no longer comes with the low-wage jobs available to them.
No federal entitlement program is growing as quickly, with more than 6.5 million men and women now receiving monthly disability payments, up from 3 million in 1990. About 25 percent of the missing men are collecting this insurance.
That just ain't right.
Dang! I sound like a Republican I know. I think I'll shower.